Exercise Reverse Diabetes


 Fat in the liver and pancreas blocks insulin secretion
 Physical activity is fundamental for diabetes prevention and reversal
 Drinking water is associated with improving the metabolic rate
 The long-term chronic stress contributes to blood sugar elevation
 A single night of sleep deprivation can decrease insulin sensitivity.

Can Healthy Lifestyle & Exercise Reverse Diabetes? Absolutely, yes! The study has found that people who have been just diagnosed with diabetes type 2 have the highest chance to cure the disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Also, there is evidence that it is possible to reverse long-term diabetes by improving blood sugar control through diet and physical activity.

| Weight Loss

Obesity is probably the biggest cause of diabetes as the excess weight is mainly brought on by intake of too much sugar, fatty foods and a sedentary lifestyle which doesn’t encourage proper conversion of glucose into useful energy. Fat accumulation in the liver makes glucose and bad cholesterol levels rise, which leads to a fatty pancreas. Fat in the pancreas blocks insulin signaling and secretion and impaired β-cell function.

Extra fat is lost not only from the lipid tissue but from all other organs including the liver and pancreas. This means that shedding extra pounds can be rewarding in helping to improve and even cure diabetic conditions.

| Regular Exercise

Physical activity is fundamental for prevention and therapy for diabetes and pre-diabetes conditions. Regular exercise helps to remove glucose from the bloodstream, burn calories and lose weight thereby removing the risk of obesity, the leading cause of the diabetes condition. Losing body fat and gaining muscle mass, in turn, improve insulin action keeping blood sugars under control. The American Diabetes Association recommends performing three sets of eight to ten repetitions of resistance exercises, three times per week, in addition to aerobic exercise.

 Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise reduces abdominal fat and decreases insulin resistance but it does not help to build muscle mass.

Examples of Aerobic Training:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Long Distance Running
  • Dancing.

Anaerobic Training

Anaerobic exercise involves shorter bursts of high-intensity training thus exerting ourselves at 84% of our maximum heart rate. It uses no oxygen. This results in a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) which causes the body to continue burning calories for up to 38 hours after your exercise is done.

Examples of anaerobic training include resistance training, sprinting and jumping. Anaerobic training reduces total fat mass, visceral fat, builds muscle mass and therefore improves insulin resistance.

Examples of Resistance Training:

  • Weight training
  • Resistance bands
  • Bodyweight exercises (squats, burpees, lunges, pushups, planks, and crunches).

Beginners and the elderly should be careful in placing excessive stress on skeletal muscle to avoid injury. Always seek professional medical advice from a qualified health provider before you start your training.

| Drink Plenty Water

Drinking water is associated with improving metabolic rate of the body, increasing blood circulation, hydration muscles, and flushing out toxins. Elevated blood sugar draws water from the body tissue, making feel you are thirsty and can be a reason for excessive urination. For those reasons, drinking plenty of water helps prevent dehydration, dissolve and remove excess glucose through urine.

Chronic dehydration can cause serious health issues such as cardiovascular and kidney diseases, brain function impairment, and may also increase the risk of diabetes.

According to study, conducted over nine years among healthy French adults, people who consumed less than 2 glasses of water daily were more at risk high blood sugar levels and developing diabetes than individuals who were drinking over 4 glasses.

| Stress and Diabetes

During physical or emotional stress the body is responding by releasing "stress hormones" - epinephrine and cortisol. The nervous system produces what is called the "fight-or-flight" reaction, preparing the body to keep energy sources in response to life-threatening situations. For these reasons, the body reabsorbs more sugar to deal with the emergency that, in turn, increases glucose level in the bloodstream.

The human body can react to not life-threatening stressors the same ways. It could be family and work difficulties, health and financial problems, heavy traffic. Other words everything in our life can become a stressor. The long-term chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, heart diseases, blood sugar elevation, and diabetes. If you already have diabetes, it makes harder to control blood sugar level.

There are a number of ways to reduce stress such as physical and outdoor activities, quality sleep, listening to music, social life, meditation, and yoga.

| Quality Sleep is Important

One side of the coin: lack of sleep, too long or poor sleep can disrupt hormones, increase appetite, elevate blood sugar levels, and increase the risk of diabetes. Another side of the coin: diabetics with high blood sugar do not sleep well, going to a bathroom too often. Elevated glucose pulls water from the cells and the kidneys try to get rid of it by urination.

The study that included 4,870 Japanese adults with type 2 diabetes, has found that people who get more or less than between 6.5 and 7.4 hours of sleep per night are at increased risk for high blood glucose levels.

Researchers from the Netherlands reported that a single night of sleep deprivation can decrease insulin sensitivity by almost 25 percent.


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Raffaele Pezzilli and Lucia Calculli. "Pancreatic steatosis: Is it related to either obesity or diabetes mellitus?". 2014 Aug. NCBI
Ronan Roussel, et al. "Low Water Intake and Risk for New-Onset Hyperglycemia". Diabetes Care 2011 Oct; DC_110652. American Diabetes Association
Toshiaki Ohkuma, MD, et al. "Impact of Sleep Duration on Obesity and the Glycemic Level in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes". Diabetes Care 2013 Mar; 36(3): 611-617. American Diabetes Association
Chia-Wei Cheng, et al. "Fasting-Mimicking Diet Promotes Ngn3-Driven β-Cell Regeneration to Reverse Diabetes". February 23, 2017.  Cell
Min Wei, et al. "Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease". Science Translational Medicine 15 Feb 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 377, eaai8700. Cell

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