To start off with Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels rise beyond normal limits due to lack of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas in response to carbohydrate (glucose) intake. After you have eaten a meal the pancreas detects the rise in BSL and secretes insulin. Insulin transports glucose into the cells where it is either used for energy or stored as glycogen in the liver/muscles or as fat in adipose tissue, therefore reducing blood sugar to normal levels.
The above response does not occur in those with type 2 diabetes, thus leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Consequences of increased blood sugar levels include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage and kidney problems.
As mentioned previously diet (carbohydrate intake) impacts blood sugar levels, and as type 2 diabetics lack the insulin response necessary to reduce bloods sugar levels back to normal it is really important to reduce carbohydrate intake, especially simple carbohydrates such as sugars, soft drinks/fruit juices and pastries.
There is less known about the exact mechanisms by which exercise helps in diabetes management; however it is related to improved insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by cells. When we exercise our muscles and cells need fuel, so our body responds by opening glucose transporters called Glute 4, thus allowing more glucose into the cells and reducing blood sugar levels.
Insulin sensitivity refers to how the cells respond to any insulin that is secreted. Although the insulin response is altered in type 2 diabetes, during the early stages some insulin is still released by the pancreas. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity and optimizes the cells response to insulin thus helping to reduce blood sugar levels, even when not exercising.
Report this post
You must be a HealthShare member to report this post.
to your account or
now (it's free).