Power lifter, author offers advice on living with type 1 diabetes

Exercise has been shown to provide a number of health benefits, especially for individuals who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Many physicians tell their diabetic patients that physical activity may help improve their insulin sensitivity.

Ginger Vieira, who has had type 1 diabetes for 12 years, started going to the gym to improve her overall health, but found that she had a passion for weightlifting, according to a recent article published by the Huffington Post.

While adapting her diabetes management routine to her new hobby, Vieira found that she often encountered problems with high or low blood sugar levels even when she did not stray from her every day regimen.

Since then she has published a diabetes management book to address the inevitable struggles with hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia that other individuals with type 1 diabetes face.

"People who don't have diabetes think taking shots and pricking your finger is the hardest thing, but actually it's the easiest thing about diabetes. It's your blood sugar going too high and too low that makes this disease so incredibly complicated and hard to live with," said Vieira, quoted by the newspaper.

She explained that in order to succeed in power lifting she had to understand the physiological intricacies of insulin sensitivity and hormone fluctuations in relation to diabetes.

Vieira explained to the news provider that her book includes some of the smaller details of diabetes management for physically active individuals. For example, she said that she cuts carbohydrates out of her diabetic diet during the week before a competition, and therefore reduces her insulin dosages. However, she learned that her blood glucose levels tend to be higher on the day of the event due to high levels of adrenaline, which requires increased amounts of short- and long-acting insulin.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week after discussing changes in physical activity with their physicians.