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Insulin discovery could enhance diabetes management after exercise

A new study finds that people with diabetes can avoid dips in blood sugar at night following exercise by reducing their insulin dosage.
This research was conducted by Northumbria University, who aimed to assess if altering diet and insulin doses could avoid dangerous situations for people with diabetes.
A two-part study analysed the effects of adjusting slow-acting insulin – the participants were 10 males with type 1 diabetes. A continuous glucose monitor observed their blood sugar levels.
All participants took a normal slow-acting insulin dose in the first test and completed a 45-minute session of exercise in the evening. Between seven and eight hours afterwards, a blood sugar dip was experienced in 90 per cent of patients while they were sleeping.
Healthy blood sugar range
In the second test, the insulin dose was reduced by 20 per cent before participants underwent the same exercise session. None of the participants suffered from blood sugar drops afterwards.
This 20 per cent reduction also prevented glucose levels from spiking, with blood sugar levels remaining within an ideal healthy range.
“For diabetes sufferers, the fear of experiencing a dangerous blood sugar dip after exercise can prevent them from exercising altogether – which has both physical and psychological implications,” said Dr. Dan West, a Senior Lecturer in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at NU.
“We have developed a strategy to manage insulin dosage in a way that prevents these falls in blood sugar so that diabetics can exercise safely.”
The aim of the researchers now is to assess the exercise patterns of patients with diabetes and see how their research could affect their lifestyles.
The study was funded by Diabetes UK and the Northumbria University Strategic Investment Fund.

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