Exercise and Diabetes: Avoiding Type 1 Related Muscle Deterioration

Muscle deterioration, and subsequent loss of physical strength, is a possible complication of type 1 diabetes, and one rarely mentioned.

The significance of muscle loss is not just in the erosion of strength. Skeletal muscle is the body’s largest insulin-sensitive organ, so muscle loss affects our ability to utilize insulin, and manage blood sugar. Another name for this is “insulin resistance,” and it contributes to other type 1 diabetes complications such as heart, and kidney disease.

Researchers recently discovered that a depletion of muscle stem cells in the early stages of type 1 diabetes may be responsible for diabetes related muscle loss. Their investigation also indicates that taking steps to boost muscle fitness makes a positive, long-term health difference.

“...by improving muscle health we can reduce blood sugar levels and improve the response to insulin,” said senior research author Thomas Hawke, DeGroote School of Medicine.

Myostatin, Muscle, and Exercise

One means of preventing muscle loss owed to type 1 diabetes is lowering our myostatin levels. Myostatin is a hormone that inhibits muscle growth. The scientists found that blood glucose drops noticeably - even without insulin - when myostatin levels are reduced.

Hawke’s advice for lowering myostatin is “to exercise,” and earlier research supports his recommendation.

A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise concluded that “myostatin protein levels are regulated by aerobic exercise and, furthermore, that myostatin is in the causal pathway of acquired insulin resistance with physical inactivity.” Here, again, insulin sensitivity is linked to myostatin reduction via exercise—specifically, aerobic activity. Other research, and many fitness experts, also recommend resistance training for reducing myostatin volume.

Balance Is Key

It seems important to note that myostatin is not inherently bad. This hormone serves a purpose, and having too little might lead to bulky muscles that are deficient in strength, according to one study.

However, sedentary type 1 lifestyles are associated with elevated myostatin, muscle depletion, and insulin resistance. Regular exercise, either aerobic workouts or resistance training, can lower myostatin, build muscle, and help the body utilize insulin.

?Sources: Science Daily; Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise ; Journal of Endocrinological Investigation ; PNAS
Photo credit:Fit Approach

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Treatment of Diabetes Depends on if it Is Type 1 or Type 2

The treatment of Diabetes depends upon which type of Diabetes a person has....

Having elevated blood sugar can damage our body’s nerves over time.

Diabetic neuropathy is the generic term for all...

Modern fitness culture has popularized a wide range of high-intensity activities, from Crossfit and spin-class to marathon running and exercise...

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression...

There have been numerous studies that have demonstrated the link between gut health and autoimmune diseases, immune system, mental health, mood,...

More Articles

Nerve damage affects about 50 percent of people with diabetes, according to the American Physiological Society. Numbness, tingling and pain in the...

Diabetes has no known cure, but there are many ways to control the disease and prevent the symptoms from interfering with daily life. One major...

There are a host of complications that come along with diabetes of either type. Among them are increased risks for amputation, cardiovascular...

There is no question that people with diabetes need a diabetes diet plans and...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your blood glucose. For instance, a half cup of raspberries...

Oil pulling therapy derives from Ayurveda, a holistic healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine maintains that...

It’s only been recently that doctors, including endocrinologists, have realized the starring role gut microbes play in our health. The unique...

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Sleep apnea — a condition that causes shallow or obstructive breathing patterns — is an unpleasant disorder that often goes hand in hand with...

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, and mucus...

Certain dietary supplements may play a beneficial supporting role in the prevention and management of diabetic neuropathy. Frequently...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...