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Perspectives

Managing glucose during exercise in type 1 diabetes

ANGELA S. LEE, STEPHEN M. TWIGG

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Abstract

Education on exercise and diabetes self-management is important to enable people with type 1 diabetes to exercise safely, and particularly to reduce the risk of exercise-induced hypoglycaemia.

Key Points

  • Fear of hypoglycaemia and development of unstable blood glucose levels are some barriers to exercise in people with type 1 diabetes.
  • Exercise can increase the risk of hypoglycaemia during the exercise session and also for up to 48 hours afterwards, including overnight hypoglycaemia.
  • Glucose response to exercise varies with type, duration and intensity of exercise, as well as other factors such as circulating insulin levels, food intake (timing and composition) and exercise conditions.
  • Glucose management strategies such as insulin dose reduction and carbohydrate consumption around exercise need to be tested, then individualised based on glucose trends.

    Picture credit: © Fertnig/adobe.com
    Model used for illustrative purposes only.

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