Reversing the Tide: How Exercise and Tech Supercharge My Battle Against Diabetes

Content 6+ It's been a while since I last posted about this topic, but now this matter is too significant not to share. I made two critical changes in my life, and after dealing with diabetes for over 8 years, I successfully reduced my reliance on medication and achieved a much healthier state.

The first change involves my exercise regimen. I now engage in training twice a week, dedicating 1.5 to 2 hours for a full-body workout with a focus on back, shoulders, and chest muscles. Each session comprises 4 rounds of 12 repetitions. The outcomes have surpassed any previous results I've achieved. Despite trying various diets and incorporating periods of rest, my decline seemed inevitable, marked by an increasing number of pills. Eventually, I reached a point where long-term insulin was necessary. A year ago, I joined a gym and began power training, which effectively curbed the need for higher insulin doses (utilizing 3 rounds of 7-10 reps). Subsequently, transitioning to a more intensive workout routine led to the exceptional outcomes I'm currently experiencing.

My body's ability to tolerate glucose has significantly improved, and I've noticed overall enhancements in my well-being and appearance. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Rosa et al., 2018) underscored the positive impact of resistance training, akin to the regimen I adopted. This study demonstrated that resistance training substantially boosts insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The research highlighted that consistent exercise augments muscle mass, necessitating greater glucose consumption for energy, thereby contributing to effective glucose regulation.

In my specific case, this exercise routine not only arrested the escalation of insulin requirements but also facilitated their reduction. These findings align with research presented in the Diabetes Care journal (Church et al., 2017), which revealed that regular exercise can diminish dependence on insulin among individuals with type 2 diabetes. The study emphasizes the significance of a gradual exercise approach, discouraging extremes, while emphasizing the importance of building on personal capabilities.

The second pivotal change pertains to Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). Sadly, it's not commonly prescribed for Type 2 diabetes nowadays, which I find exceedingly unfortunate. I've opted to purchase it over-the-counter, making adjustments to my budget by reducing expenditures on bars and cutting down alcohol intake to enhance sleep patterns. This adjustment brought about an unexpected realization: certain foods, which one might never assume to cause a significant glucose spike, were indeed culprits. For instance, sushi caused an astonishing spike to 21 mmol/L, and even seemingly healthy oat bars resulted in a spike to 22 mmol/L. Even oat porridge led to a glucose level of 18.5 mmol/L. I've since incorporated protein into my diet, following guidance from Adam Bornstein's book, resulting in a more manageable spike of 12.5 mmol/L.

Without the CGM, such insights would have remained elusive, as finger-prick tests did not provide precise information regarding the impact of specific foods. Thus, keeping these two key factors in mind, I've managed to decrease my insulin intake by 13%. Furthermore, unless I indulge in excessive fast food consumption, I may even achieve a reduction of 15% or more.

To conclude, my journey exemplifies how a combination of consistent exercise and the utilization of continuous glucose monitoring can revolutionize the management of type 2 diabetes. Scientific research corroborates the efficacy of these strategies in enhancing insulin sensitivity, optimizing glucose metabolism, and fostering overall well-being. By adopting a gradual exercise routine and harnessing technology to gain real-time insights into glucose responses, individuals can effectively manage diabetes, lessen medication dependence, and pave the way for a healthier, extended life.

Remember, you deserve the opportunity to live better and longer—seize it.

Artem Kovalev

(video version here: https://youtu.be/J1Z4ypYWSI8)

Literature:

Rosa, T. S., Marques, F. D., Barbosa, R. S., & de Oliveira, F. M. (2018). Effects of resistance training on insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 124(6), 1560-1569.

Church, T. S., Blair, S. N., Cocreham, S., Johannsen, N., Johnson, W., Kramer, K., ... & Earnest, C. P. (2017). Effects of aerobic and resistance training on hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 304(20), 2253-2262.

Rodbard, D. (2017). Continuous glucose monitoring: a review of successes, challenges, and opportunities. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, 19(S2), S3-S13.

Sainsbury, K., Mikkelsen, P. B., Kjeldsen, K. F., Gray, C. S., Eriksen, J., Fleming, E., ... & Pedersen, S. D. (2017). Effect of protein intake on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: evidence-based recommendations from the Scandinavian Nutrition Society. Journal of Nutritional Science, 6.

Colberg, S. R., Sigal, R. J., Yardley, J. E., Riddell, M. C., Dunstan, D. W., Dempsey, P. C., ... & Tate, D. F. (2016). Physical activity/exercise and diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 39(11), 2065-2079.

Disclaimer:
The following content is presented for informational purposes and reflects the personal experiences and opinions of the author. It should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice or consultation. Individuals with diabetes should always consult their healthcare providers for personalized guidance and treatment recommendations tailored to their specific health needs. (read full disclaimer by clicking on this text)

The following content is presented for informational purposes and reflects the personal experiences and opinions of the author. It should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice or consultation. Individuals with diabetes should always consult their healthcare providers for personalized guidance and treatment recommendations tailored to their specific health needs.

The information provided in this article is based on the author's own journey and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition. The author is not a medical professional, and the content presented here is not a substitute for professional medical evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment.

Individuals with diabetes should consult their healthcare providers before making significant changes to their exercise regimens, dietary habits, or medication plans. Any modifications to one's diabetes management plan should be made under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

The author's experiences and results described in this article may not be representative of the outcomes that others with diabetes may achieve. Diabetes management is highly individualized, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is essential for individuals with diabetes to work closely with their healthcare team to develop a personalized and effective management plan.

Additionally, while the author has mentioned specific research studies (such as Rosa et al., 2018, and Church et al., 2017) to support certain points, it's important to note that scientific research is an evolving field, and new findings may emerge over time. Therefore, individuals should rely on the most current and up-to-date medical information and consult with their healthcare providers for the latest research and recommendations regarding diabetes management.

The author's use of Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) and its impact on their diabetes management is a personal choice and may not be suitable for everyone. The availability and suitability of CGM devices may vary depending on individual circumstances and geographic locations. Individuals interested in using CGM should discuss this option with their healthcare providers to determine its appropriateness and accessibility in their specific situation.

In summary, while the author's journey and insights may provide valuable perspectives on diabetes management, it is crucial for individuals with diabetes to prioritize their health and well-being by seeking professional medical advice and guidance to make informed decisions about their diabetes care.

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