Effects of same day exercise on response to hypoglycaemia

Acute, same-day effects of antecedent exercise on counterregulatory responses to subsequent hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Hypoglycaemia is common in people with T1D soon after exercise, this study found the effects of exercise on the sympathetic nervous system and other metabolic processes can blunt the body’s counterreglatory defences (i.e. typical hypo symptoms) to hypoglycaemia in the hours subsequent to exercise.

In plain english this suggests you are less likely get telltale hypo symptoms for a few hours following exercise compared to time when you’re not exercising.I always have a chuckle when people tell me they ‘can always tell their BGL simple by the way they feel’ - mostly another iteration of denial! My motto (within reason of course) is test, don’t guess! You can’t tell you’re hypo without testing, even when you get symptoms it’s important to check your BGL for confirmation.

Take home message: The magnitude of common hypo symptoms can be reduced by exercise so it’s just as important to test your BGL after exercise as it is before - so test, don’t guess. In addition, it’s a good thing to learn how to best adjust insulin dose follwoing exercise - ask your doctor.

Sandoval DA, Aftab Guy DL, Richardson MA, Ertl AC, Davis SN. Acute, same-day effects of antecedent exercise on counterregulatory responses to subsequent hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes mellitus. American Journal of Physiology- Endocrinology And Metabolism. 2006;290(6):1331–1338. Full text article available here.

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