Thursday, September 27, 2012

Exercise? Great for Diabetics

Why Exercise?

Exercise is beneficial for diabetics by helping you manage blood  glucose levels. Blood capillary beds are increased and that increases the efficiency of your body cells. This makes the cells use of insulin better.

Activity, through exercise, helps you "burn"' calories. This requires you to provide glucose that eventually creates products that muscles use for movement. It also lowers your blood glucose that aids in glucose management.

Exercise distributes your blood into the increased blood capillary beds. This lowers your blood pressure and reduces your chance of stroke. 

Your heart is a wonderful muscle and, it too, increases its' capillary beds. This lessens the chance for heart related problems tied to oxygen deprivation.  The effects of a heart attack are minimized and recovery is quicker,

On a chemical basis, exercise raises good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. Keep in mind fat is necessary to provide insulation to myelinated nerves. Your body produces cholesterol naturally for this purpose. Too much fat in your diet is the problem. Anytime you can exercise is good for heart health.

Insulin need is reduced through exercise by reducing the amount of blood glucose. The pancreas produces less insulin because of exercise.

Weight control is better through exercise. Losing fat, a source of stored glucose in the form of glycogen, prevents the body from turning to this potential source of glucose. That, in turn, lowers blood glucose.

Exercise leads to quicker working energy by supplying glucose, needed for normal activities, faster. It also converts chemicals that make muscles "sore" faster. Your recovery time from good exercise is shorter.

Weight bearing exercise is excellent for other systems in your body. Blood flow back to the heart from lower extremities, like your legs, is enhanced by the "milking action" of muscles contracting in your lower legs and thighs. Bone health is enhanced by better blood circulation and repair of tissues in better and more efficient.

Swimming, a form of low-impact exercise, is very effective for increasing cardiovascular health without the risk of join damage associated with walking, jogging and running. The older you get the chance of damage or injury is greater with impact exercise.

Sleep, of course, is very important to your health. Exercise helps you achieve deep sleep which is necessary for psychological recovery. 

Stress, anxiety and depression recovery are alleviated through exercise and proper sleep habits.

The local gym, personal coach and, especially good, a physician trained in exercise programs for diabetics is a great place to begin your exercise program.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Diabetes and Pregnancy

Diabetes and Pregnancy

Several normal physiological changes occur in pregnancy. Increased hormonal secretions influence blood glucose levels.  Remember, hormones are "global" since they are carried by the blood stream to all parts of your body. 

One effect is a "glucose drain" from your system through the placenta to the fetus. The emptying of your stomach is slowed, an increased excretion of glucose by the kidneys occurs and there is a resistance of cells to insulin.

The risks to a developing fetus from a diabetic mother include:
  • Miscarriage
  • Growth restriction
  • Fetal obesity
  • Mild neurological deficits
  • Birth defects
Building on the above risks, mild neurological and cognitive deficits in offspring include increased symptoms of ADHD, impaired fine and gross motor skills and impaired explicit memory performance are linked to Diabetic Type 1 mothers. A mechanism for the above deficits may involve prenatal iron deficiency. 

High blood sugar is harmful to both the mother and her fetus. If you plan on a pregnancy try and maintain the blood sugar level close to a normal range two to three months in advance of becoming pregnant.

Type II diabetics need insulin instead of oral diabetes medication. Type I diabetics need extra insulin during pregnancy. You need more frequent blood glucose checks to carefully manage your glucose levels in pregnancy.

Tips for diabetics before and during pregnancy.
  • Coordinate with your health care team to monitor and achieve blood glucose normal levels
  • See a physician experienced in diabetic pregnancies
  • Monitor your eyes and kidneys - pregnancy may increase damage to them
  • Stop smoking, drinking alcohol or the use of harmful drugs
  • Follow the dietary plan of an experienced dietician
If you are already pregnant consult a physician right away. It is not too late to bring blood glucose levels to a normal range so you and your fetus stay healthy during the rest of your pregnancy.