Exercise App To Control Diabetes


Salt Lake City, Utah (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Scientists say they’ve come up with a way to show type two diabetics just how exercise can help them maintain healthy blood sugar levels. And the new technology is not only educational but also motivational; it’s getting patients moving, too!

Edwin Espinel has managed his type two diabetes mostly with diet for more than 13 years. He’s active but was surprised how much exercise affects his blood sugar.

“I knew it would help me, but I didn’t know that it could actually bring down my glucose level almost immediately,” Espinel explained.

Bryan Gibson’s team at the University of Utah developed this interactive program to show type two diabetics the big impact exercise can have.

Bryan Gibson, DPT, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Information at the University of Utah School of Medicine said, “You generally see around a 24, 25 percent drop in blood glucose within, say, half an hour of a walk.” (Read Full Interview)

More than 13 hundred people plugged basic information into the test web page, got a blood sugar curve, then moved the mouse to measure how they thought exercise affected things.

Doctor Gibson continued, “There’s two ideas here. One is we want to motivate people by showing them this positive effect, that’s kind of our main interest. But also, we want to measure people’s beliefs with this  task of them drawing, what do they think would happen?”

Gibson says people learned the real impact of walking and exercise, and increased plans to walk by more than 30 minutes the next week. Edwin says an app for this can’t come too soon.

“Having an application like that would actually give me a tool that can say, that can put the management of diabetes per se, in my hands,” Espinel said.

Edwin will have to wait a bit longer while Doctor Gibson’s team makes the app more patient-specific with glucose and activity monitors. They also want health care providers to be able to use the app for patient education. No timeline yet on when this might hit the market.

Contributors to this news report include: Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Jason Ball, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Gabriella Battistiol, Assistant Producer; David Harrison, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4378

DIABETES: Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, are too high. Blood glucose is the body’s main source of energy, and it comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into the cells to be used for energy. Sometimes the body does not make enough, or even any, insulin, or it doesn’t use it well. Glucose then stays in the blood and cannot reach the cells. Over time, too much glucose in the blood can cause health problems. Diabetes has no cure, but steps can be taken to manage it and stay healthy.

(Source: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes)

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & TYPE 2 DIABETES: Physical activity is extremely important in the treatment plan for a person with type 2 diabetes. Staying fit and active can help control a person’s diabetes by keeping their blood glucose levels within a healthy range. Controlling this blood glucose level is essential in preventing long-term complications related to type 2 diabetes, such as nerve pain and kidney disease. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you are exercising, which means, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough. When you exercise, your muscles will get the glucose they need and as a result your glucose level goes down.

(Source: https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/type-2-diabetes/type-2-diabetes-exercise)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: A tool is being developed to show type 2 diabetics exactly how exercise can help them maintain healthy blood sugar levels. A lot of patients do not realize how quickly or just how much exercise can help manage their levels. This interactive program allows them to use the mouse to draw what they think would happen to their glucose levels, and then compare it to the actual curve. Generally, a person will see about a 25 percent drop in blood glucose within a half an hour of a walk. More than 1,300 people plugged basic information into the test web page, got their blood sugar curve, and learned the real impact of walking and exercise. These people increase plans to walk by more than 30 minutes the following week. The purpose of this application is to motivate people and show them the true measurements and difference it can make. Researchers are working to make the app more patient-specific with glucose and activity monitors. They also want it to assist healthcare providers in patient education.

(Source: Bryan Gibson, DPT, PhD)


Stacy Kish


Bryan Gibson


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Bryan Gibson, DPT, PhD

Read the entire Q&A