How exercise prevents and treats diabetes
How Exercise Prevents and Treats Diabetes
A ground-breaking article from The Netherlands shows
that lack of exercise is probably the most common cause of cell
damage in diabetics today (Medicine and Science in Sports and
Exercise. April, 2013). A high rise in blood sugar after meals,
is a major cause of the horrendous cell damage in diabetics.
Exercise can prevent blood sugar from rising too high after meals
and destroying the cells in your body.
The authors studied sixty men with type II diabetes, which
is caused by inability to respond to insulin, not by lack of
insulin. They showed that a single bout of exercise markedly
lowered rises in blood sugar after meals throughout that day. The
new information is that diabetics who thought they were
controlled by having normal blood levels of HBA1C (the test that
measures cell damage) were still getting considerable cell damage
caused by higher-than-normal rises in blood sugar after meals.
The authors also showed that exercise markedly lowered these
rises in blood sugar after meals. Other studies show that many
people who are not diabetic, still have high rises in blood sugar
levels after they eat, which can cause considerable cell damage
even though they are not classified as diabetics.
WHAT CAUSES CELL DAMAGE IN DIABETICS? Every cell in your
body is like a balloon full of fluid. Cell damage is caused by
sugar sticking to the outer surface of a cell membrane. Once stuck
on a cell, sugar can never get off. The sugar is converted by a
series of chemical reactions from glucose to sorbitol, a sugar
alcohol that destroys the cell. This is why diabetes can damage
cells in every part of your body, which means that diabetes can
cause blindness, deafness, dementia, heart attacks, strokes,
impotence, kidney failure, liver failure, loss of feeling in your
feet, and so forth.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT HIGH RISES IN BLOOD SUGAR? Sugar
sticks to cells when your blood sugar rises too high. The
higher the rise in blood sugar, the more sugar sticks to cells.
Blood sugar rises highest just after you eat.
You can keep blood sugar from rising too high by slowing
the absorption of food from your gut, by avoiding foods that are
known to cause a high rise in blood sugar, and by eating high-
fiber foods that slow the absorption of other foods. You can
also keep your blood sugar lower by contracting your muscles
before and after you eat.
EXERCISE MAKES MUSCLES MORE SENSITIVE TO INSULIN AND ALLOWS
MUSCLES TO TAKE UP SUGAR WITHOUT NEEDING INSULIN. Resting
muscles draw virtually no sugar from your bloodstream. On the
other hand, contracting muscles can draw sugar from the
bloodstream without even needing insulin. Furthermore, exercise
makes the muscle cells far more sensitive to insulin so that more
sugar can be removed from the bloodstream with far less insulin.
YOU NEED TO EXERCISE EVERY DAY. The ability of muscles to
remove sugar from the bloodstream is maximal during exercise.
The more intensely you exercise, the greater the ability of
muscles to remove sugar from the bloodstream. This effect is at
its peak during exercise and for up to an hour after you finish
exercising. It tapers off after that and is usually gone
completely after about 17 hours.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO EXERCISE? The best time to
exercise is either just before or just after you eat. If you
exercise just after you eat, your muscles can pull sugar from the
bloodstream as fast is it is absorbed. If you eat right after
you finish exercising, your muscles still have an extra hour to
draw sugar maximally from the bloodstream.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT CELL DAMAGE:
* Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They are full of fiber that
delays absorption of sugar from other food sources.
* Avoid sugared drinks as the sugar in liquid form is absorbed
faster than sugar in solid foods. You can take sugared drinks if
you need extra energy during vigorous exercise, since contracting
muscles will remove sugar rapidly from the bloodstream.
* Restrict all sugar-added foods
* Avoid red meat. The saturated fats in red meat block insulin
receptors to raise blood sugar levels.
* Avoid vitamin D deficiency. Lack of vitamin D blocks insulin