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Diabetes and Exercise

Just thought I would make a short & simple post on diabetes, the difference between type 1 and type 2, and how it effects exercise.

Basically, when someone has diabetes, there is something abnormal about the way their hormone insulin works.

When you eat, your food gets broken down in your digestive system.  A lot of it enters your blood stream as glucose (sugar).  Therefore, eating causes a ‘spike’ in your blood sugar.  When this spike occurs, your body releases Insulin, a hormone  from the pancreas that puts your body in “storage mode”.  Then, all that excess sugar that isn’t immediately taken up by working muscles and your brain is stored for use later.

This is important… too much blood sugar = hyperglycemia.  Too little = hypoglycemia.  Both of which is BAD.  Do not want.

Now, there are two kinds of diabetes.  Type 1 and Type 2.  The following table explains how they are different, and how it effects exercise.

Type I Type II
Insulin dependent. (needs to take insulin shots throughout the day to keep blood sugar regular) NOT insulin dependent.
Happens because: Pancreatic ß-cells can not produce insulin.  People are often born this way, or develop over time (various reasons, sometimes unknown).  They have to take insulin shots as their medication cuz their body don’t make it naturally. Happens because: Insulin receptors de-sensitized to insulin. Usually comes on over time from poor diet, and often associated with obesity.  Basically, this person has eaten so much sugar, that their body has had to release insulin too often. Now, insulin has little effect! So taking shots won’t help.
Exercise: can be dangerous. If you didnt take an insulin shot recently, it may be ok, but still need to pay attention to blood sugar.  If you just took insulin, that plus exercise might lower blood sugar too fast! Not good.  Talk to your doctor! Exercise: is important. Because your body has desensitized to insulin, exercise is one of the only ways you can get your blood sugar lower, other than being very careful with what you eat (which you should be anyway).  So drop the fork and get outside!!!

So, there you have it.  I hope this made sense.  Tried to keep it short!


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    3 Responses to Diabetes and Exercise

    1. sean ross says:

      Hi – Does anyone happen to know of any seriously skilled bboys with Diabetes of either type? Working on a powerful PSA for diabetes and would love some guidance.

      Thanks so much,


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