Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guest Post by Jackie

Please meet Jackie. She is a fitness and nutrition guru who writes over at Jackie's Arc and The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. I will admit, I had no idea what this kind of cancer was until I did a bit of research. From the website: Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen. She approached me with an idea to write about the benefits of exercise for people with diabetes. Her father-in-law is T1D and it seems like he has a really great asset with having Jackie's expertise in his family.

Running Towards Better Control of Type 1 Diabetes
By: Jackie Clark

With so many factors to consider each and every day, type-1 diabetes can be quite tricky to keep a handle on. For those living with the disease it can still be a challenge keeping blood glucose levels on an even keel. Diabetics must watch everything they put into their bodies. However, staying active with a regular cardiovascular exercise routine can play a major role in keeping diabetes under control. A major part of working out includes early morning running at least four times a week.  If you add running to your exercise regimen, you will notice several positive changes to your overall health.

Considering I have always been a fitness activist I decided to take my father in-law on my morning runs because he is a type-1 diabetic. The first piece of evidence that proves the benefit of running is helping to keep track of his blood glucose log. His readings changed dramatically, becoming more consistent as time passed. It does take a bit of extra planning to prevent hypoglycemia while running. Before we start our morning run, my father in-law reduces his insulin injection by 75% and eats a snack full of complex carbohydrates and protein

Since type 1 diabetics are at risk for circulatory problems their lower extremities, regular running helps to increase the blood flow to their legs and feet. This could help prevent such diseases as diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery disease, which could lead to such dramatic treatment as amputation.

Type-1 diabetes has been found to be an auto-immune disorder, where the body attacks healthy cells of the body as if they were invaders. This response can also lead to a lower immune system response, making diabetics more susceptible to illnesses and diseases, including cancers such as breast, prostate, and mesothelioma. Regular exercise such as running has been shown to help improve the immune system, helping to prevent any dire conditions, which could affect my father in-law as well as other diabetics.

For 20 years my father in-law has been plagued by so many worries when it comes to controlling his type-1 diabetes, as well as preventing complications, which arise from poor blood glucose control. By following a strict diet and keeping up with his running schedule, I know that he will live a healthier life.

Thanks Jackie, I really enjoyed this. It is true that cardio exercise on a daily basis has pretty awesome long-term effects on blood glucose control. Be it running or cycling or anything else that makes you sweat. It makes me especially happy to already be a runner. I mean, I know it helps me to maintain half-decent blood glucose control but I didn't know it could have such a good effect on the legs with regards to circulation. I'm pretty sure all of us Type 1's worry on a daily basis about complications. Although good diet and exercise can help, they don't make us totally immune to possible complications.

Thanks for sharing your brain with us!

4 comments:

  1. Wow this totally serves as extra motivation to run :) Thanks!

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  2. I enjoyed it, too. What a great way to help her father in law, and they both benefit with good health and a great relationship.

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  3. I found this inspiring! I am going on a run tonight now! Thank you!

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  4. Great story on controlling diet and exercising and how it helps to control diabetes and diabetic complications. Hope this regiment continues to have such good success.

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