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The three cornerstones in the treatment of diabetes are food, medications, and activity. Of these three, activity is often a first choice for the person who has diabetes. Moving toward a more physically active life is generally inexpensive, convenient, and easy and usually produces great rewards in terms of blood glucose control and a general feeling of well-being.Whenever you actively use a muscle, you burn both fatty acids and glucose. During and after periods of activity, your falling glucose level is sensed by the beta cells in your pancreas, and they relax their output of insulin.
This gives your beta cells a break from excessive insulin production. In addition, the lower insulin levels signal your liver to empty its glucose reserves (glycogen) into the blood to supply the muscles with needed energy.
As physical activity continues, the liver converts amino acids, lactic acid, and fats into glucose to supply the muscles. If the activity continues long enough, even the body's fat cells get in the game. They compensate for the reduced fatty acid levels in your blood by converting their stored triglycerides into fatty acids.
When all of these steps are considered, it's easy to see why using your muscles is the perfect treatment for diabetes. It lowers blood glucose, lowers fatty acid levels in your blood, and reduces the workload of your pancreas. And, unless you are on a medication that can cause hypoglycemia, physical activity won't cause your blood glucose level to fall below normal the way some other diabetes treatments may.
To get started incorporating exercising into your diabetes treatment, see How to Control Diabetes With Exercise.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.