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Exercise to prevent diabetes

Many patients ask if exercise will help to prevent diabetes, even if they are overweight. One study showed that lack of exercise is a major risk factor for diabetes in overweight women, and these women can help prevent diabetes by exercising, even if they don't lose a lot of weight.

Before insulin can do its job of driving sugar from your bloodstream into cells, it must first attach to small hooks on cells called insulin receptors. Having extra fat in your body prevents insulin from attaching to these receptors, and prevents insulin from lowering blood sugar levels. Therefore the cells of overweight women cannot respond to insulin as well as those of their leaner counterparts.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst showed that overweight women who engage in vigorous exercise can respond to insulin as well as leaner fit women (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, October 2006). Thirty-five percent of North Americans will become diabetic, and staying in shape may be an even better way to prevent diabetes than controlling weight.

Treatment of insullin resistance

Checked 9/28/14

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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