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How Does Exercise Affect Insulin Sensitivity?

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Sports And Exercise: The Ultimate Challenge In Blood Sugar Control

by gary scheiner, MS, CDE Sometimes, it amazes me how smart the pancreas really is. It always seems to know what to do to keep blood sugars in range, even under the most challenging circumstances. Having an argument with your partner? It churns out some extra insulin to offset the “fight or flight” response (make that flight only, if you’re smart). Upset stomach keeping you from eating the way you normally eat? Insulin secretion drops off a bit. Can’t resist the aroma of a fresh bagel (something that, in my opinion, was forged by the Diabetes Devil himself)? Pancreas cranks out just enough to cover it. Participation in sports and exercise presents a special challenge. That’s because physical activity can affect blood sugar in multiple ways. With increased activity, muscle cells become much more sensitive to insulin. This enhanced insulin sensitivity may continue for many hours after the exercise is over, depending on the extent of the activity. The more intense and prolonged the activity, the longer and greater the enhancement in insulin sensitivity. With enhanced insulin sensitivity, insulin exerts a greater force than usual. A unit that usually covers 10 grams of carboh Continue reading >>

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  1. cheerleading wife

    How soon does Metformin start working?

    Hi there - looks like a friendly bunch of people here. My husband is newly diagnosed as diabetic or at least pre-diabetic. Either way, he's getting therapy for blood sugars that are not ideal. Oddly, he bought a meter and strips two months ago (because our friend did a random check on him which uncovered a problem.) Finally now he's been in to see the excellent doctor. The doctor was impressed that he's already been bringing his weight down (through semi-starvation, his high blood glucose is preventing him from losing weight at a reasonable pace even though he eats less than his slim, non-diabetic, smaller wife does.)
    So there's the background. His typical AM fasting readings are around 112 at best, some days 120 or 130. After eating the "wrong" things, it can go up to 178 or so; watching food carefully and exercising daily, "good" readings after eating are in the 120s. In general too high, especially the AM readings and the belly fat causing the problem of insulin resistance.
    QUESTION: The Dr. just put him on Metformin XR, 1000 mg. once per day at dinner time. He's only taken two doses (two days) and we hoped the effect on blood glucose would be immediate, but so far no change. I called a pharmacist and asked, and he says it takes at least 3 days to see maximum blood concentration of the drug, so be patient for 3 or 4 days.
    I thought I'd ask you guys, since you are the ones actually having knowledge of these meds, first hand. We have pinned hopes on this med. It will be sad if it does not work.
    THANKS!!! I'd just like to know if anyone remembers how long after starting to take it that they saw a decrease in blood glucose numbers. He's already doing everything he can throught diet and exercise (the doctor even said so.) So we're really hoping this med will work. By the way, he's had minimal but expected side effects re: the bathroom. Nothing too bad. Also been having some hot flashes and sweating episodes, but also more energy. THANKS AGAIN in advance.
    *by the way, I want to say that he did a home A1C test kit in the last two months and it was 7.0; in just about three weeks he brought it down to 6.1 as tested by his doctor. And this was before even seeing the doctor, without meds, just eating better, exercising even more than usual, losing weight visibly (thinner arms, legs, belly shrinking, but with 40-50 pounds left to go.) I've been reading around this site and he's reading over my shoulder, and we're so impressed by some of the progress made by people here (Jaclyn and others). He's very motivated, like you guys seem to be! Please excuse my American English! I see you're mostly English and I'll giggle at your phrases, you can giggle at mine! ;oD

  2. Jaclyn

    Hi welcome to the forum. Metformin takes about 2-3 weeks to start working. although his numbers are great in my opinion. his high 178 is high Im guessing its after dinner? Metformin help him from going tohigh and too low. hypo and hyper. With a good diet and exercise which hes already doing hell see a good change very soon. Also Metformin will help him drop weight
    What was his A1c? also he cant starve himself the body needs carbs so his brain will funtion. I dont know what kind of diet he is on but try and stay away from bad carbs until the Metformin kicks in. bread, pasta,potatoes,rice. I eat 45g of carbs 3x a day with each meal. and 15g each scanck 2x a day.
    for the side effects try taking the pill right before he eats. If that doesnt help try during and then after. Is he on the exchange diet,counting carbs?
    In the mean time relax hsi numbers are pretty grerat and sounds like hes already doing a great job! right now the best thing for him to do is test test test and see waht foods are effecting him.
    Jaclyn

  3. cheerleading wife

    Hi Jaclyn! We posted at the same time. I just added an edit above explaining the A1C, the last paragraph. Thanks for your interest and information! Your story in particular is inspirational. We'll be patient with the Metformin XR; we didn't know it took some time to get started. THANKS!!!

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