Standard guidance issued on safe exercise practices for type 1 diabetes patients  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disorder that requires management of the condition
- Exercise plays a very important role in the management of type 1 diabetes
- However, exercise can also caused extremely low or high blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous
New Delhi: Diabetes affects millions of people around the world. Irrespective of the type of diabetes, the condition does not have a specific cure and needs to be managed with the help of diet and exercise. While type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle condition that occurs due to obesity and insulin resistance, type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the healthy cells of the pancreas destroy the insulin-producing cells, wrongly perceiving them as a threat to the body. For people who live with type 1 diabetes since childhood, exercise plays a major role in the management of the condition. However, no specific guidelines on the same existed so far.
Now, international experts have put together a landmark set of guidelines, which can help people with diabetes use modern glucose monitoring tools to help with safe exercise.
According to a report in Atlanta News Now, the guidelines have been approved by a collection of diabetes experts and organisations. The guidance was announced in a press release and has been compiled by a team that included UK-based Swansea University’s associate professor of sports science, Dr Richard Bracken.
The guidance was published by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes in the research journals Diabetologia, and Pediatric Diabetes.
What the new guidance says
The new guidance helps in understanding the results from glucose monitoring technology. It is used to manage glucose levels during exercise but can be hard to interpret. The guidance has now helped in understanding the clear direction for exercise, in patients with type 1 diabetes, including patients of all age groups – children, adults, and teenagers.
The guidance will also touch upon areas such as carbohydrate consumption, and safe glucose thresholds. The guidance will serve as a tool to provide initial direction for management of the disease, and medical professionals can customize it based on each patient.
“This guidance is a landmark agreement which could end up making a real difference to people with Type 1 diabetes,” Bracken said. “It is built on years of research into the strengths and limits of modern glucose monitoring devices. On the basis of that evidence, we can now recommend how to safely use these devices and support people with type 1 diabetes. It will help them to obtain the health benefits of exercise, whilst minimizing wide fluctuations in their blood glucose level.”
With the condition not being curable, management of diabetes is the best bet for patients with it, and exercise can help considerably. However, it comes with the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, for which it is important o watch glucose levels closely.