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Dr. Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM

Dr. Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM
(Advisory Board Member) Sheri Colberg, PhD, also known as Sheri Colberg-Ochs, is an author, exercise physiologist, and professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University and adjunct professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, both in Norfolk, Virginia. Having earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, she specializes in research on diabetes and exercise and continues to conduct extensive clinical research specifically in Type 2 diabetes and exercise with funding from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), NIH, and others. She has authored eight books, along with more than 175 research and educational articles on physical activity, diabetes, healthy lifestyles, and aging. In addition to her educational web site, Diabetes Motion (www.diabetesmotion.com), she is also the founder of an academy for fitness and other professionals seeking continuing education enabling them to effectively work with people with diabetes and exercise: Diabetes Motion Academy, accessible at www.dmacademy.com. These and her personal site (www.shericolberg.com) offer additional information about being active with diabetes. She is the 2016 recipient of the American Diabetes Association’s Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award.

Physical Activity Is Only One Part of the Equation

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As an exercise physiologist, I first and foremost focus on the physical activity part for management of blood glucose levels, often stating that being active will increase insulin action, lower blood glucose levels, and make diabetes management easier. In reality, not all of those benefits are fully evident in many cases. In fact, they usually cannot be counted on unless you take into account myriad other factors that can have an equally—if not more—dramatic effect on blood glucose management.

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When It’s Hard to Treat Exercise-Related Hypoglycemia

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by Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM
My last article focused on why glucose was the best short-term treatment for hypoglycemia, but this time I want to switch gears and talk about why treating lows is not as straight-forward as you would think. It mainly stems from the fact that sometimes hypoglycemia can be very difficult to treat effectively and even hard to prevent in many cases, particularly related to physical activity.

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How to Treat Hypoglycemia—as Quickly and Effectively as Possible

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You have to love it when research studies come out and prove what you believed all along. I had this experience recently when a systematic review and meta-analysis (looking at the results from multiple studies simultaneously) e-published ahead of print in Emergency Medicine Journal in September 2016 (1) compared the speed of glucose tablets against dietary sugars for treating hypoglycemia in adults who had symptoms of being low. The dietary forms of sugar tested included sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), orange juice (containing fructose), jelly beans, Mentos, cornstarch hydrolysate, Skittles, and milk.

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Reclassifying Diabetes: is it Time for an Expanded Definition?

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For those healthcare providers who treat diabetes with any kind of regularity, it has become increasingly obvious that several of our patients fall outside the current diabetes classification system. With individualization of patient care being the new focus, it can be challenging to accomplish this, when certain diabetic individuals don’t “conform” to the current definitions.

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When a Bike Is Not a Bike…But Rather a Health Device

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Why are people inactive, especially when they have diabetes and know how much physical activity could benefit them? If they’re older, overweight or obese, arthritic, or dealing with other physical or joint limitations, they may not feel capable of walking for exercise, and they may not have easy access to other types of activities. This may be particularly true of adults with nerve damage in their feet or arthritic knees for whom walking for exercise is just not feasible. Enter the Corratec Life Bike, particularly designed with adults with diabetes in mind.

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Why I Count Calories, Not Just Carbs

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Whenever someone gets diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) nowadays, the first thing that an educator or dietitian tries to teach them is how to count carbohydrates (carbs). Although I have been living with T1D now for almost half a century, I have to admit that I don’t count carbs. Not only that, but I personally don’t think carb counting works very well!

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Head Scratching Days with Insulin Action Changes

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The topic of insulin action (resistance and sensitivity) has come up multiple times over the years in my articles, but it is admittedly much more complex than I often make it out to be. In a DIC article last summer, you can find a short list of all the factors that can potentially improve insulin action (basically insulin sensitivity). In reality, though, sometimes it is impossible to know exactly what is causing your reduced insulin action from day to day and how to easily and consistently manage it.

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How to Improve What Really Matters: Quality of Life, Not Longevity

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For many years, I have focused on aspects of lifestyle and health management that can enhance quality of life, especially when living with a chronic disease like diabetes, rather than simply on living a long time (longevity). Much of my motivation is derived from the personal experience of watching my maternal grandmother suffer through six (long) years of severe disability related to cardiovascular complications of diabetes starting at the age of 70 that left her unable to feed herself or communicate, bed bound, and with almost no quality of life for her final six years of life. Really, what is the point of simply being alive when you’re really not experiencing life under such conditions?

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