“Evidence That Structured Exercise Helps Effectively Prevent and/or Manage Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus” Introduction
According to the American Diabetes Association there are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 5.7 million people (or nearly one quarter) are unaware that they have the disease (1). Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body’s ability to produce insulin (a hormone secreted by the pancreas to help transport glucose to cells) ceases to exist or in the case of type 2 diabetics the utilization of glucose by the body’s cells is altered. Exercise has been recommended as a treatment for type 2 diabetes for many years. It is only in the last 2 decades, however, that the powerful role exercise and physical activity play in treating and preventing type 2 diabetes has been fully appreciated. The molecular understanding of exercise in relation to type 2 diabetes is evolving, as is knowledge about the best mode, frequency, and duration of exercise to treat and prevent this disorder. Studies have shown that exercise improves a variety of glucose measures, including tissue sensitivity, improved glucose tolerance and even decreases in insulin requirements. As such, individualized exercise training can become an integral part of the treatment plan for the management of type 2 diabetes. Studies of Exercise and Its Effect on Type 2 Diabetes
The first study I reviewed focused on the effect that exercise has on the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The study, called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), compared diet and exercise to treatment with Glucophage in 3,234 people with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), a condition that often precedes diabetes (8). Glucophage is an oral diabetes drug that reduces the risk of the disease. The study was a randomized control study following 3 distinct groups....
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