Oral Presentation Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

Strengths and Limitations of Some of the Current Strategies to Prevent Exercise-Mediated Hypoglycaemia in Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes  (#183)

Paul A Fournier 1 , Raymond J Davey 1 2 3 , Vinutha B Shetty 3 4 , Adam J Retterath 2 , Nirubasini Paramalingam 2 4 , Kym Guelfi 1 , Elizabeth A Davis 2 3 4 , Timothy W Jones 2 3 4
  1. School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
  2. Telethon Kids Institute, Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
  3. School of Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
  4. Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia

Despite its many health benefits, exercise in type 1 diabetes mellitus increases the risk of hypoglycaemia and associated health hazards, thus discouraging many diabetic individuals from adopting an active lifestyle. In recent years, we have evaluated the efficacy of several strategies to reduce such a risk, namely (a) carbohydrate ingestion to stabilise blood glucose level during and after exercise, (b) the use of short sprints, and (c) the use of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). One established strategy to prevent exercise-mediated hypoglycaemia is to ingest enough carbohydrate to prevent blood glucose from falling in response to exercise. Using hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp methodologies we have shown that moderate intensity exercise late in the afternoon increases the glucose requirements to maintain euglycaemia during and both immediately after exercise and during sleep time, whereas no such increases in glucose demands occurs during night time when exercise is performed early in the afternoon. Also, we have just found that there is an inverted U relationship rather than a linear one between exercise intensity and the glucose requirements to maintain euglycaemia during exercise performed under basal insulinaemic conditions. Another strategy to decrease the risk of exercise-mediated hypoglycaemia is to perform short sprints during or after moderate intensity exercise. However, a number of questions still remain to be answered before advocating the use of sprinting in hypoglycaemia prevention. Finally, although the use of CGMs is generally advocated for the prevention of hypoglycaemia, our findings reveal that the inherent time lag in the glucose readings displayed by these instruments limits their performance in preventing exercise-mediated hypoglycaemia. Overall, it is predicted that by addressing the aforementioned limitations with some of the current strategies to prevent hypoglycaemia it will be possible to improve the safety and widespread adoption of exercise in the management of diabetes.