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 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

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

More Articles

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

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...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...

While life on the road can be tough on musicians, it’s especially challenging for those battling diabetes. Some musicians have to check their...