Diabetes

What Are The Latest Exercise Recommendations?

It is customary to ask a person if he/she got their exercise session in for the day.  In the future it may be, how much time have you spent on your feet. A recent study of people with Type 2 diabetes is causing us to question the notion that the duration and intensity of exercise are sufficient to assess whether a person has had enough exercise.  When the group of study subjects were on their feet more (walking 2 hrs and standing 3 hrs per day broken up over the course of the day) they reduced their blood sugars 36 per cent more in a 24-hour period than when they only stood 1 hr. and walked 1 hr. They also decreased their insulin resistance over a 24 hr. period more than when they biked for 65 minutes all at one time.  Turned out that when biking, the group was sitting more overall, than when the group was walking/standing for the total of 5 hrs.

The conclusion is not to give up the cardiovascular activity which, in the study improved glucose levels as did the walking/standing group, but consider ways of reducing overall sitting time, since the walking/standing group also experienced less insulin resistance, so overall better glycemic control.  This study involved people who have diabetes but could, if confirmed by other studies, help reduce the development of type 2 diabetes, since insulin resistance is a large factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

So, the challenge is to find ways to build more activity into our routine, whether it be standing when talking on the phone or getting up every 30 minutes from a sitting position, as the study group did, to walk or to do a few exercises, taking stairs instead of elevator, parking farther away, etc.   We are all likely to benefit from less sitting time, whether it be improved bone density, joint mobility, cardiovascular benefits (blood pressure), body fat, better sleep, or even just from an improved sense of well-being.

Are You at Risk to Develop Diabetes?

Many people think unless they have symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, or pain and/or numbness in their feet or hands, they will not develop complications. What is just as important to know is blood sugars can be high without any of the usual symptoms of diabetes and can be doing harm to your vessels in the eye, kidney, heart, or damage nerves leading to the feet or hands, without a person knowing it is happening. According to the California Department of Public Health, in California, approximately 1.5 million or 5% of our adult population has diabetes but doesn’t know it.

Are you aware of the risk factors for diabetes?

  1. Age 40 or older

  2. Immediate family member with diabetes

  3. Being  obese ( generally 30-40 pounds or more about ideal weight)

  4. Had diabetes during pregnancy

  5. Being Male

  6. Being diagnosed with high blood pressure

  7. Being physically inactive

If you have 2 or more or the above risk factors, check with your doctor to see if additional testing is needed. Prevention is the key. With awareness and some simple lifestyle changes, diabetes can be controlled and one’s quality of life can be maintained or improved.  Developing complications can often be minimized or avoided, if detected and acted upon early.

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition identified by a blood test your doctor orders.  Many people find out through a routine physical. If your doctor tells you your blood glucose values are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes.   It can be diagnosed by 3 different blood tests in the laboratory–fasting glucose test in which someone has not eaten for at least 8 hours, a 2 hour (75 gram) glucose test when you are asked to drink a sugary solution and then a blood is taken to see how your body handles a load of “sugar”, or an A1C or estimated average glucose test which does not have to be performed in a fasting state and reflects the average glucose levels over a 3 month period.

Test                                     Normal           Prediabetes  Diabetes

Fasting                                <100 mg/dl              100-125 mg/dl          >125 mg/dl

2 hour (75 g) glucose            <140mg/dl                140-200 mg/dl         >200 mg/dl

A1C(est. Ave. Glucose)        <5.7%                       5.7-6.4%                 >6.4%