01 September 2010

Exercise is the key that makes things work

Tom Ross raises a valid concern and while I missed it originally on the forum, he is correct in his analysis in his blog of August 31, 2010. Exercise, diet, and drugs is the triad for strict control of diabetes. While I prefer to list them as exercise, nutrition, and drugs, most are using diet.

This points out one of the current problems facing us as advocates for greater participation and education of all people with diabetes. Our “pill cure” generation is still with us and do not want to learn what will help them the most. Finally, when the oral medications will no longer control their diabetes, they come to a forum and ask what they need to do nutrition-wise to get better control of their diabetes.

But this begs the question, oral medications are the first line of control, nutrition is the second line, but where does exercise come into focus. For many, this is not given any thought. These people with diabetes do not really want to change their lifestyle any more than is absolutely necessary. This is the group most needing education and guidance, but they are the most difficult to get cooperation from or even listen to us.

If these “pill cure” people with diabetes can control their diabetes within their reasonable expectations, they will look no further and continue their sedentary habits and ignore those of us trying to educate and provide some guidance to them. When we say that the key to strict control is exercise, they just ignore us. They have been able to use oral medications and some nutrition adjustments to have what they consider decent (but far from strict control) and are not interested in anything more.

Then in a few years, they find out that the control they thought they had is not there and the come back to the forums for more advice. They are now feeling like they have failed as the doctor is talking about insulin. Now they want more information to prevent them from needing insulin. They are reminded of exercise and still choose to ignore this. They attempt more nutrition changes in hopes that will be enough.

Then again they will be back when this isn't enough. Now the complications are starting to rear their ugly heads and insulin is no longer avoidable. Is exercise even considered now? Not if they can avoid it. And so it goes. Much of the “pill cure” generation will not accept exercise as the key to strict control and possible postponing of complications. Oh yes, a few will, but a majority will do no more than they absolutely need to.

When we are talking to the “pill cure” generation, we must remember to always mention exercise as the key that helps nutrition and diabetes medications work successfully. Just remember that it will probably fall on deaf ears, but even if we can get one person with diabetes to exercise, then it is worth every effort we have used to inform them.

We must also encourage our doctors to promote exercise and nutrition when ever possible, When they are able, doctors should avoid prescribing oral medications.

No comments:

Post a Comment