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Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized as a chronic metabolic disorder resulting in hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and relative insulin deficiency (Olokoba, et al. 2012). The process of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus is caused by a series of complications known as defective insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity (Galicia-Garcia, et al. 2020). Defective insulin secretion is the process in which adequate insulin secretion is not met after food consumption. This alone can lead to other issues such as increases levels of glucose. As insulin resistance progresses, pancreatic insulin-producing cells produce less insulin and eventually resulting in Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The second complication, insulin sensitivity, is the process in which insulin-sensitive tissues respond to the release of insulin into the body (Jacobs, 2017). Type 2 diabetes mellitus is also diagnosed when an individual’s blood glucose levels exceed the normal range of 126mg/dL or their random blood glucose level exceeds 200mg/dL on two occasions. Exceeding a HbAlc of 6.5% can also pose a danger to individuals with this chronic disease (Smushkin & Vella, 2010). Approximately 29.1 million individuals in the United States alone have Type 2 diabetes mellitus with a prevalence of this chronic disease being greatest among African Americans and Hispanic Americans (Jacobs, 2017). Initial treatment for these 29.1 million Americans starts with focusing on lifestyle changes like nutritional habits and exercise interventions. Exercise interventions are extremely important in preventing the desensitization of skeletal muscle to insulin released by the pancreas. Skeletal muscle is essential for glucose uptake so when insulin resistance occurs and skeletal muscle becomes desensitized this process is disrupts the uptake of glucose along with the timing of the uptake (Merz & Thurmond, 2021). However, these lifestyle changes do not always help therefore pharmaceutical interventions are needed. An example of a pharmaceutical intervention can be seen using metformin. This drug stimulates the release of insulin by preventing the breakdown of GLP-1, while also inhibiting the release of glucose from the liver. This medication has also been known to improve insulin receptor sensitivity in muscle, liver, and adipocytes (Jacobs, 2017).

Publication Date

Spring 2022


Boiling Springs, NC


Medicine and Health Sciences | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Sports Sciences

Exercise Prescription for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus