Type 1 Diabetic? High-Intensity Exercise May Help

Bursts of high-intensity exercise could help people with type 1 diabetes better recognize low blood sugar episodes, according to new research.

About a quarter of people who have type 1 diabetes will eventually develop hypoglycemia unawareness - a condition where they can't recognize when blood sugar levels are dangerously low. Hypoglycemic episodes, when not treated in time, can cause loss of consciousness, coma or even death.

The authors' findings could represent a non-drug treatment option for people with type 1 diabetes, a report on the study stated.

Intense bursts may be best

Studying rats that had been exposed to repeated periods of hypoglycemia for several weeks, the researchers then tested how exercise would affect the rats' awareness and response to episodes of low blood sugar.

One group of rats was made to exercise at low intensity, another exercised at high intensity, while the third group did not exercise at all.

After 24 hours, the rats were tested for their response to hypoglycemia. Results showed the rats who had exercised at a high intensity were the fastest to respond when they reached a state of low blood sugar.

“Hypoglycaemic episodes are an unavoidable part of life for those living with type-1 diabetes," said Alison McNeilly, lead study author. “After a few years some people with type-1 diabetes might not even know they are suffering from one of these episodes and this puts them at high risk of severe hypos.”

The researchers will next conduct a clinical trial on individuals with type-1 diabetes to test the experiments further.

Source: Society for Endocrinology
Image courtesy of tuelekza/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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