A recent study conducted by Amy Huebschmann, MD, MS of the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus indicated that women with Type 2 diabetes have a harder time exercising than their peers who do not have the disease due to physiological barriers.
"We know regular physical activity prevents premature disability and mortality from Type 2 diabetes mellitus and is a critical part of disease management," Huebschmann said. "However, many people with the disease are generally sedentary for reasons that are not fully established."
Subjects for Huebschmann's study were 54 overweight women between 50 and 75 years of age who were active less than one hour a week. About half of the subjects had Type 2 diabetes.
While the women exercised on a stationary bicycle at a low to moderate intensity, those with diabetes expressed higher levels of difficulty. And when their blood was drawn to monitor lactate levels, which increase according to one's exertion levels, the test revealed that their levels were higher than their peers without the disease.
Thus, Huebschmann concluded that the perception of those with Type 2 diabetes that exercise is difficult is actually a reality.
The study showed that a likely reason for the higher lactate levels is that those with Type 2 diabetes have abnormalities with fuel metabolism, meaning their bodies struggle to convert dietary nutrients to fuel exercising muscles.
"Problems with metabolism and the body's response to exercise may be an important driver behind both lower fitness levels and greater effort during exercise for people with diabetes," Huebschmann said.
The study was published in the latest edition of the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
Study shows type 2 diabetes makes normal activity feel more strenuous for women