Fitness and Diabetes

One of the easiest way to protect yourself from the effects of type 2 diabetes is by staying active. Type 2 diabetes comes on as a result of changes in the body; it’s not an inborn condition. Major risk factors include inactivity and eating too many sugary foods, but it turns out these are also factors influencing the severity of the disease. In fact, exercise has been called the most effective therapy for type 2 diabetes, burning the excess sugar insulin is no longer able to handle. Exercise can triple the efficacy of medication for diabetes.

Another thing that can help protect you from the ravages of diabetes is eating legumes, vegetables such as peas, beans, and lentils. In a recent study, a diet high in these foods was found to reduce levels of a protein known as glycated hemoglobin. High glycated hemoglobin levels are a diagnostic criterion for type 2 diabetes. Eating legumes was also found to reduce the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes. Fiber was less effective, but it was also found to have similar benefits.

One common symptom of diabetes is pain referred to as diabetic neuropathy. Now a medication may be available to help people with this condition. Called nabilone, it is currently given to chemotherapy patients to help with the nausea that often accompanies those treatments. It has cannabinoids, chemical compounds similar to those found in marijuana.

“This is a good option to help treat nerve pain due to diabetes, with very few side effects,” the lead researcher of the study, the University of Calgary’s Dr. Cory Toth, said in a statement. Dr. Toth found that, in addition to relieving pain, nabilone also helps patients sleep better.

An odd approach to diabetes prevention is vibration. Mouse experiments suggest that brief, daily whole-body vibration of people with conditions typically regarded as precursors to type 2 diabetes may help keep glucose levels under control. It was effective for normal mice as well as those who had the equivalent of a prediabetic condition, but it did not work on full-grown adult mice.

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