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CU Study Says Metabolic Changes Make Exercise Harder For Type 2 Diabetics

AURORA, Colo (CBS4) Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine are getting closer to understanding what keeps people with Type 2 diabetes from exercising.

A study focused on 54 overweight women between the ages of 50 and 75, half with diabetes and half without. Researchers found that the women with Type 2 diabetes reported that they felt like it takes extra effort to exercise, and they found higher levels of lactate in their blood. Lactate levels increase in proportion to the level of exertion.

"This is important because the level of effort that people feel when they're doing things may be a barrier to exercise, if things feel too hard them people may not want to do it," said Dr. Amy Huebschmann, associate professor at the CU School of Medicine's Center for Women's Health Research and Division of General Internal Medicine.

diabetes study
(Credit CBS)

Huebschmann said that further study needs to be done, but one of the reason's why Type 2 patients may feel like moderate exercise is harder than their counter parts may lie with changes in the metabolism. The bodies of patients with diabetes have a hard time converting food nutrients into fuel for the muscles.

"It creates an impaired physiology, abnormal metabolism, skeletal muscles, blood vessels, also even at the level of the heart," Huebschamm told CBS4.

Exercise (Photo Credit: Thinkstock)
(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

As researchers learn more about the underlying causes of why exercise feels harder for Type 2 diabetics, they'll be able to develop treatments and therapies that can ease the discomfort.

"With regular exercise training, this physiologic abnormalities can definitely be overcome. There is improvement with regular activity," Huebschamm said.

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