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MOVE to Fight Diabetes!

canstockphoto40647395November is dedicated to the Awareness of Diabetes, a disease that is growing at a rapid pace. To put it in perspective, here are a few statistics from the American Diabetes Association:

  1. In 2012, 29.1 million Americans had Diabetes… and it is growing! 1.4 million Americans being diagnosed yearly.
  2. In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes, which was an increase by 7 million compared to the 79 million with prediabetes in 2010.
  3. In March 2013, it was estimated that the total cost of Diabetes was $245 billion. It was estimated that the average medical expenditures among people diagnosed with diabetes were 2.3 times higher than the expenditures of those not diagnosed.

Sadly, the rate of diagnosis is not slowing down. There is a small genetic component making some people more susceptible to the diagnosis. HOWEVER, we must hold ourselves accountable and recognize that the choices we make relating to diet and physical activity are the greatest contributor to the risk of developing diabetes.

The focus today is the role of physical activity. Moving better is a priority for us at Body Logic. We don’t just think of this for pain management, but also for the overall health and well-being of an individual. Physical activity has shown to increase insulin sensitivity and also elicit favorable changes in lipid metabolism resulting in improved metabolic efficiency.

Did you know that the longer our cells are exposed to high levels of glucose in our blood, the more resistant the cells become to insulin? Our bodies have to constantly work hard to maintain a healthy blood sugar balance. When we eat, food turns to glucose and raises blood sugar levels. The pancreas responds by releasing insulin to help our muscles, fat, and liver cells absorb the the glucose allowing our blood sugar levels to lower. Overtime, this system can become hindered by poor eating habits like consuming an excessive amount of food, especially sugar-rich foods, either in short bouts or overtime. The cells become resistant to insulin from overexposure, but the body still tries to produce more insulin to reduce blood glucose levels. The cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin fatigue overtime and can not keep up with the body’s needs resulting in excess glucose buildup in the bloodstream resulting in Prediabetes and eventually Type 2 Diabetes.

canstockphoto23335394How does exercise help? The cellular uptake of glucose is increased with exercise due to the needs of the muscles and the liver to provide energy necessary to perform the activity and to replenish their stores. Increasing the cellular demands promotes increased sensitivity of the insulin receptors and overall improved balance of blood sugar levels, not only immediately after exercise, but for hours post-activity resulting in improved blood sugar balance.

Did you know that you have the choice to be physically active? We all lead busy lives, especially young adults that are working hard and starting families. It as this stage of life that we can either set ourselves up with healthy habits like incorporating 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. Or we can neglect ourselves and pay the price later on. For those of us that are older and have lived a lifestyle that promotes the potential onset of Diabetes either now or in the future, IT’S NOT TOO LATE! Diet and physical activity are central to the management and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes.

In honor of Diabetes Awareness month I have two major recommendations:

1) Get moving! Don’t let something as simple as skipping that 20 minute walk keep you from maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. If you’re struggling to be active due to pain, let us help you!
2) Talk to your physician about your fasting blood glucose levels and your Hemoglobin A1c. These two tests are simple ways to monitor not only how well your body is managing its blood glucose levels in a snap shot and over the last 3-4 months. If you see signs of prediabetes, take action now through diet and exercise to make changes before the need for medications. If you have questions about your blood work, don’t hesitate to ask us!