Thursday, 18 September 2008

How to take control of your diabetes ‘destiny’

According to a new BHF study, women at high risk of diabetes can reduce their body’s insensitivity to insulin – which affects blood sugar control – by exercising.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease.

People with a family history of diabetes are predisposed to the condition and tend to have greater ‘resistance’ to insulin.

However, after just seven weeks of an exercise programme, insulin resistance had reduced by nearly a quarter in women whose family history put them at a high risk of type 2 diabetes.

Rose Traynor from Glasgow, a social worker with South Lanarkshire Council, took part in the study. Her mother has diabetes. Her father, now deceased, was also diabetic.

Rose says: "Before taking part in the study I wasn’t aware of the effect exercise had on my likelihood of getting diabetes and it wasn’t something that I had really given much thought to.

"I now realise that I can be proactive in minimising the risk of this simply by increasing the amount of exercise I do. The exercise regime really gave me the kick start I needed to get exercising properly. It has now become just a part of everyday life for me."

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the BHF, commented: "I hope the findings will encourage people to get active for their health."

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