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Exercise Training in Diabetes???? (Back to contents)

Despite the clear association between physical training and improved insulin sensitivity, the clinical utility of physical training in improving glucose control in Type I diabetes has not been clearly demonstrated. Studies suggest that improved overall glycemic control in these patients is difficult to demonstrate during physical training, despite sustained improvements in insulin sensitivity.

As a consequence of obesity, many overweight individuals have a reduced glucose tolerance that results in hyperinsulinemia and a generalised insulin resistance.Many of these individuals develop adult onset diabetes. In this situation, exercise training can often reduce resting plasma insulin levels and lower insulin output during a glucose tolerance test, both of which are evidence for improved insulin sensitivity. Improved insulin sensitivity with exercise training is important "therapy" that can ultimately result in a lowered insulin requirment for those individuals who are insulin-dependent. Some diabetics, however, must be cautious because exercise can actually trigger a dual response; an enhanced glucose uptake and a greater insulin supply due to the rapid circulation that accompanies exercise.Such a response would actually worsen the imbalance between glucose supply and utilisation and could result in serious complications from hypoglycemia. In these cases, the site of insulin injection has proven to be important in terms of insulin action in exercising diabetic.

Diabetics can safely engage in regular exercise, but they must be cautious and proceed under medical supervision to appropriately monitor blod glucose and insulin.

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