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Comparing Two Treatment Approaches for Patients with Type 1 Diabetes During Aerobic Exercise: a Randomised, Crossover Study

  • Vartak, Varun1
  • Chepulis, Lynne1
  • Driller, Matthew1, 2
  • Paul, Ryan G.1, 3
  • 1 University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand , Hamilton (New Zealand)
  • 2 La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia , Melbourne (Australia)
  • 3 Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton, New Zealand , Hamilton (New Zealand)
Published Article
Sports Medicine - Open
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Apr 29, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s40798-021-00319-5
Springer Nature


BackgroundIn a randomised, counterbalanced, crossover design, eight men with type 1 diabetes (T1D; mean ± SD age, 27.6 ± 11.4 years) reduced insulin (INS) by 50% of their normal dose or consumed carbohydrates equivalent to 1 g of carbohydrate per kilogramme of their body weight without the usual insulin bolus (CARBS) over two sessions, held a week apart. Each session included standardised meals, a 45-min treadmill walk at 7.24 km h−1 and a 6-min walk test (6MWT). Rate of perceived exertion (RPE), blood glucose, ketone and lactate measures were taken before, during and immediately after the aerobic exercise. The distance covered in metres and the predicted VO2 max (mL kg−1 min−1) were also calculated for the 6MWT.ResultsParticipants completing the INS intervention spent more time in normoglycaemia (242 ± 135 min vs 88 ± 132 min; P < 0.01) and less time in hyperglycaemia (41 ± 95 min vs 154 ± 125 min; P = 0.01) as compared to the CARBS intervention. Mild hypoglycaemia occurred in two participants during INS and no participants during CARBS. Furthermore, there was no significant difference for blood lactate, ketone, RPE, distance covered and predicted VO2 max between interventions.ConclusionBased on this pilot study, INS intervention appears to be the best approach for maintaining blood glucose levels in those with T1D during aerobic exercise, though this does need evaluation in other groups, including women, children and those with suboptimal glycaemic control.Trial RegistrationAustralian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ACTRN12619001397101p. Registered 09 September 2019.

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