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Diabetes and exercise

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:50 pm
If you have diabetes and you're an athlete, you're probably well aware of some of the complications you face. For a diabetic athlete, one of the most serious complications is a foot infection that doesn't heal. Diabetes limits the flow of blood to nerves in the feet and limits the ability of the body to fight infection. This can cause the tissue in the foot to die. Symptoms of a diabetic foot infection include swelling, redness, pain, and ulcers which can occur on the soles of the feet. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. Diabetic athletes also face a challenge in regulating their diet and medication levels, including insulin. With strenuous exercise, the body burns up more sugar. Exercise will affect how much you need to eat, when you need to eat, and how much insulin you need. It's been estimated that there are seven million people that are unaware they have diabetes. Risk factors include: If you're over age forty, overweight, a blood relative to a diabetic, black, Hispanic, or Native American. If you're at risk, you'll need to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes which include fatigue, blurred vision, wounds that are slow to heal, tingling in your toes or feet, frequent urination, or dramatic weight loss. Diabetes can be controlled by proper nutrition, exercise, and if necessary, medication. For more information about diabetes and exercise, consult your health care provider.
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