Exercise can help manage type 1 diabetes, according to research findings. The three-month study looked at six type 1 diabetics who completed aerobic exercise. The researchers found these patients had better blood sugar control, used less insulin, and had fewer high blood sugar events, compared to seven patients who did not exercise.
Type 1 diabetics do not produce enough insulin to metabolize carbohydrates that come from food, so they must take insulin – either through a pump or injections – several times a day.
The researchers found that exercise offered additional benefits when combined with insulin therapy as a means of managing type 1 diabetes.
Study coauthor Dr. Livio Luzi said, “We found that being physically active can improve [blood sugar] control for patients with type 1 diabetes. Our results suggest that an educational program addressed to [type 1 diabetes] patients, and focused on insulin injecting monitoring, diet, and exercise, is highly advantageous for management of [type 1 diabetes].”
Dr. Rodolfo Alejandro, editor of Cell Transplantation and part of the Diabetes Society, added, “The current study provides physiological data that demonstrate exercise is an important factor in improving and managing type 1 diabetes. With the increasing rate of diabetes, including an exercise program as part of treatment is highly recommended and, when coupled with insulin therapy, may yield better results for patients.”