Diabetes | Management & Medication

Diabetes Management and Medication

Insulin is the main tool for managing Diabetes. Diabetes management depends on: type of Diabetes, presence and severity of complications, and blood glucose goals (aim to normalise blood glucose). Most diabetics die from cardiovascular diseases, thus it is important to manage this condition properly. Insulin can cause hypoglycaemia during and after exercise and therefore important to monitor glucose levels, timing of medication and food intake before and after exercise.

Therapy for type 2 diabetes

  1. Diet
    • Weight reduction
  2. Exercise
    • Improve glucose control by enhancing insulin sensitivity
    • Decreased intra-abdominal fat
    • Increase in GLUT-4 transporters in muscle
    • Enhanced blood flow
    • Reduced FFA levels
    • Lowers BP, TGs and increased HDL levels
  3. Pharmacotherapy
    • Sulfonylureas – can cause hypoglycaemia and weight gain
    • Biguanides (Metformin) – Decreases hepatic glucose production; no weight gain or hypoglycaemia
    • Thiazolidenediones – decrease peripheral resistance
    • α-glucosidase inhibitors
    • Insulin – weight gain and hypoglycaemia

Exercise and Diabetes

The benefits associated with exercise are as follows

  1. Possible improvement in blood glucose control
  2. Improved insulin sensitivity, which allows for lower medication requirement
  3. Reduction in body fat

NB: Used for Type 2; not Type 1.

  • Exercise is not considered a component of treatment or a method for lowering blood glucose in type 1 diabetics, however
  • Type 1 diabetics are encouraged to exercise to improve CV health BUT blood glucose must be in reasonable control if individual is to exercise safely

Weight loss increases insulin sensitivity and may allow persons with diabetes to reduce the amounts of insulin needed.

  1. CV benefits

Regular exercise decreases risk of CVD

  1. Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise precautions

It is important to get medical clearance from your advising doctor prior to starting any exercise routine.  Once you have received the go ahead, be sure to take the following points into consideration:

  • During exercise, a source of carbohydrates should be present
  • Consume adequate fluid before, during and after exercise
  • Carry medical identification
  • Practice good foot care, for example by wearing proper socks and shoes
  • Avoid injecting insulin into exercising limbs, rather use abdominal injection site

It is never too late to start making changes to your diet and lifestyle to prevent, improve or manage this disease. Live smart and love your body today for a better tomorrow. To find out more about what we can do to help, please Contact Us.


Durstine, J.L., Moore, G.E. & Painter, P.L., 2016. ACSMs exercise management for persons with chronic diseases and disabilities, Human Kinetics.



Author | Taariq Patel at Fish & Field Biokineticists


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