ADVERTISEMENT

Exercise in diabetes - why recommend it?

04/03/2003 - Questions and Answers

Exercise in diabetes - why recommend it?

By: Mark Castleden

Tools:

Question

I have diabetes, for which I take oral medication, but no insulin. Why should exercise help my diabetes?

Answer

In people who have diabetes, especially those who do not require insulin, exercise can be a helpful tool for increasing control of the diabetes. Exercise affects glycaemic levels and is a major factor in influencing day-to-day food and insulin requirements. This is because if you replace fat tissue with muscle you will increase the sensitivity to the insulin that you already have in your own body.

This sensitivity to insulin may mean that you have to take extra carbohydrate when you are exercising, but that would depend on the strenuousness of the exercise and for how long you did it. In insulin requiring diabetic people who are well controlled, exercise may lead to a fall in glucose levels and hypoglycaemia unless treatment is modified. Management varies of course with individuals. If you are mildly overweight it is probably wise to decrease insulin before planned exercise. A lean diabetic person perhaps should take more carbohydrates before commencing exercise; more may be necessary during the exercise. It is important to remember that hypoglycaemia may occur several hours after exercise. The amount of exercise and how you manage it therefore depends on the diabetic state, and needs pretty accurate information of your clinical state.

The diabetic should expect to be able to enjoy both exercise itself and its beneficial effects on health as much as anyone else. Overall we favour aerobic exercises, e.g. walking, cycling and swimming.

Links

Created on: 05/24/2000
Reviewed on: 04/03/2003

Your rating: None
Tools:

ADVERTISEMENT

Most Searched Terms

ADVERTISEMENT



Alzheimer test

Information For Caregivers

IAGG Webcast