Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Exercise, Diet Strategies Key to Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Exercise, Diet Strategies Key to Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Article excerpt

Byline: Ed Blonz

Q: It came as a bit of a shock when I was found to have an elevated blood-sugar level. When it happened again, I went through some other tests and was eventually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus. I am 59 with no family history of diabetes, and I have been in a mad search for information about my condition. I have to lose some weight. What advice do you have?

It is important that you have a basic understanding of the relationship between obesity, insulin and diabetes.

During digestion, most dietary carbohydrates are broken down into their glucose building blocks. The glucose is then actively absorbed into the blood stream, at which point it is often referred to as "blood sugar." Glucose travels throughout the body via the blood stream. It needs to get into the cells, but glucose has a hard time doing this on its own. The missing factor is insulin, the hormone produced and released by the pancreas as the blood-glucose level rises. Insulin works like a passport to get the glucose into the cells. Once inside the cells, glucose can be used to provide energy for work, such as muscular efforts or cellular repair. When there is sufficient energy, the glucose gets changed into fat, the body's most concentrated form of energy. It then gets put away in storage in the body's fat cells.

Diabetes develops when there's insufficient insulin to get the glucose out of the blood stream and into the cells. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas is unable to produce the insulin. In such cases, replacement insulin needs to be provided via injection. It has to be given by injection because if insulin were taken orally, the digestive system would break it down before it could be absorbed. More common is type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is still able to produce and release insulin, but it's unable to keep up with the demand, and the blood glucose levels remain elevated. …

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