Diabetes comes in two forms: Type 1, often referred to as “juvenile diabetes,” typically appears in childhood and is an autoimmune condition affecting insulin-producing cells in the pancreas; Type 2 diabetes usually occurs later in life, and is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose and insulin resistance. Both types of diabetes have been on the rise for several years, but, according to research, Type 2 can be prevented or combated with a combination of dietary restrictions and exercise.
Typically, when a patient is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, their doctor will recommend limiting or cutting carbs and sugars from their diet, as well as increasing exercise to at least 150 minutes a week – that’s 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day for three days.
However, two new studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine show that even a small amount of non-cardiovascular exercise, like weight training, helps lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes by at least 12%. The study, which focused on men, showed that if the group trained with weights for 30 minutes each day, risk was reduced by 34%. Both 30 minutes of weight training and aerobic exercise, like walking or running, decreased the risk of diabetes by up to 59%, compared to the sedentary group.
The second study showed that even low-impact exercise, like walking, leisure cycling, housework, and gardening, lowered the risk of diabetes compared to sedentary men.
Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and an author of the first study, said that the mechanism behind weight training’s benefit had to do with the insulin receptors. Building muscle mass can take weeks, but it improves sensitivity of the insulin receptors in muscles, making it easier for the tissue to absorb glucose. The effect can last for days, from just a moderate amount of resistance exercise.
Both studies involved groups of mostly men, and the first study used almost exclusively white male volunteers. However, Dr. Willett said, “Muscle physiology is pretty similar across ethnic groups and gender … There may be some subtle variations, but the basic biology is similar.”
The studies come in a storm of controversy surrounding diabetes drugs in recent years, and is good news for those suffering from, or trying to prevent , Type 2 diabetes. Most recently, Takeda Pharmaceutical’s drug Actos has come under fire for detrimental side effects, including increased risk of heart disease, diabetic macular edema, liver failure, and, most controversially, bladder cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, consult your doctor about treatments that do not involve high doses of drugs, and consider making changes to your lifestyle. If you have been prescribed a drug for your diabetes, like Actos or Avandia, and are now suffering harmful side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC can help. We are now accepting cases nationwide against Takeda Pharmaceuticals. We also offer free consultations to help get you on the road to recovery, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.