Diabetes and Glucose Levels Essay

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Is exercise an effective preventive and therapeutic strategy for Type 2 diabetes? Diabetes is characterised by elevated blood glucose levels (normal = 4.5 - 5.5 mmol/L; diabetic = 7+ mmol/L) and a relative or absolute deficiency of effective circulating insulin (O'Gorman, 2009). Insulin is a substance made by the pancreas which is required for ‘the utilization of sugar in the body' and to maintain the sugar levels in blood within normal limits. Diabetes can be classified as two types; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus Type 1 and Type 2 non-insulin dependent diabetes) (www.articlesbase.com) Type 1 diabetes generally becomes apparent in childhood or young adulthood. In type 1 diabetes, the ß-cells, which are the insulin-secreting cells, of the pancreas are destroyed. This may be due to a number of factors such as ß-cell degeneration or increased ß-cell susceptibility to viruses. This leads to an insulin deficiency causing the individual to take daily injections in order to control the disease. With regard to type 2 diabetes however, the onset is more gradual and it is a lot harder to establish. It is usually characterised by three metabolic abnormalities which include; delayed or impaired insulin secretion, insulin resistance in the insulin-responsive tissues of the body or excessive glucose output from the liver (Wilmore, Costill & Kenney, 2008). Those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can produce insulin however it is not effective in escorting glucose into the cells. This is the more prevalent of the two forms of diabetes with 80 - 90% of the population suffering from this particular disease (O'Gorman, 2009). Type 2 diabetes also responds well to exercise which is a significant factor in this particular essay. Membrane permeability to glucose improves with exercise, likely associated with an increase in GLUT-4 receptors, which decrease an individual's insulin

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