The Type 1 Diabetes Exercise Study University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

RPA Diabetes Centre Manager, Associate Professor Marg McGill, said physical activity was a vital component of everyday life, yet there was relatively little research conducted in the area.

Professor Stephen Twigg, MBBS(Hons-I), PhD(Syd), FRACP, Professor in Medicine, Sydney Medical School and A/Professor Marg McGill AM, RN,CDE, MSc(Med) Manager - Diabetes Centre Royal Prince Alfred Hospital talk about the Type 1 Diabetes Exercise Study

“Currently Australia has no evidence base with respect to exercise and physical activity that says to people with Type 1 Diabetes; follow this particular path and you are likely to get better outcome” says Professor Stephen Twigg from The Sydney University Medical School and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital - Editor of the National evidence‐based clinical care guidelines for type 1 diabetes in children, adolescents and adults*.

“We are all encouraged to be physically active however, this brings very real problems to people with Type 1 diabetes as it can play havoc with their blood glucose levels,” Associate Professor Marg McGill, said.

“This increases the risk of low blood sugars (hypoglycaemia), which can make them feel very unwell and lead to coma if not treated.

“As a consequence, young people often lose confidence, become frustrated and stop exercising and actively taking part in sport.

“We have begun to examine any additional barriers that may exist for people with Type 1 Diabetes to exercise and also to test an innovative web-based education tool developed by Allan Bolton, an Exercise Physiologist who has Type 1 diabetes.

“This e-learning tool has been designed to teach people with Type 1 diabetes about the specific metabolic effects of exercise and how they can better integrate exercise into daily life with confidence,” she said.

A/Prof. McGill said there was an estimated 140,000 people in Australia living with Type 1 diabetes in Australia. Most of the six new cases diagnosed each day were children under 15 years of age.

“It is particularly hard on young people to miss out on the physical and psychological benefits exercise brings,” she said.

“With this research, we hope will give them back the confidence to be physically active in a safe and secure manner.”

The RPA Diabetes Centre is part of an elite global network of diabetes services. In December 2011 it was recognised by the International Diabetes Federation as the first IDF Centre of Excellence in Education for health professionals in the Asia Pacific region.

* Craig ME, Twigg SM, Donaghue KC, Cheung NW, Cameron FJ, Conn J, Jenkins AJ, Silink M, for the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Guidelines Expert Advisory Group. National evidence‐based clinical care guidelines for type 1 diabetes in children, adolescents and adults, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra 2011.

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