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* BE PROACTIVE


Exercise also plays a major role in preventing the progression of diabetes. During exercise, receptors in your muscle help to pull extra sugar out of your blood- stream. This results in a form of assistance to the pancreas, as less insulin is required to reduce blood sugars down to normal levels. Also, after exercise, muscles continue to require energy to recover, which results in continued help to the pancreas by pulling more sugar out of the bloodstream.


So, whenever possible, walk instead of driving a car or taking a bus or taxi, ride a bicycle, find a sport that you enjoy, take an exercise class, go to the gym — just get moving. Your body will benefit.


MANAGING STRESS


During times of increased stress, a hormone called cortisol is released at higher levels than normal. If you have diabetes, having higher levels of cortisol is potentially dangerous. Cortisol hinders insulin by encouraging higher blood sugar while at the same time stimulating the produc- tion of more sugar by the liver during a process called gluconeogenesis. In addition, cortisol has been found to weaken the immune system by reducing the effectiveness of specific cells called T lym- phocytes. This can also be harmful to people with diabe- tes, who are at an increased risk of infection. It’s not uncommon to have difficulty controlling your level of stress. Stressful situations are inevitable, whether you’re driving, working, going to school or staying at home. You may not always be able to change the circumstances that cause you stress, but it’s important to monitor how you react to stress and to try to reduce it in healthy ways.


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