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Diabetes. 2004 Jul;53(7):1798-806.

Effects of low and moderate antecedent exercise on counterregulatory responses to subsequent hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes.

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Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-6303, USA.


Antecedent moderate-intensity exercise has been shown to blunt autonomic, neuroendocrine, and metabolic counterregulatory responses to subsequent hypoglycemia in nondiabetic individuals. The aims of the current study were to determine 1) whether this occurs in type 1 diabetic patients and 2) whether the degree of blunting is dependent on exercise intensity. Twenty-seven type 1 diabetic patients (13 women and 14 men) were studied during a single-step, 2-h hyperinsulinemic (9 pmol x kg(-1) x min(-1))-hypoglycemic (approximately 2.8 mmol/l) clamp 1 day after two 90-min exercise bouts at 30% (n = 11) or at 50% (n = 11) Vo(2max) or after no prior stress (control subjects, n = 25). After prior exercise at both 30 and 50% Vo(2max), epinephrine (1,959 +/- 553 and 1,528 +/- 424 vs. 3,420 +/- 424 pmol/l, respectively; P < 0.05) and pancreatic polypeptide (97 +/- 32 and 98 +/- 8 vs. 223 +/- 32 pmol/l, respectively; P < 0.05) responses to subsequent hypoglycemia were significantly lower compared with those of control subjects. Endogenous glucose production was significantly lower, while glucose utilization and, consequently, the exogenous glucose infusion rate needed to maintain hypoglycemia were significantly greater after both exercise intensities compared with that of control subjects. Muscle sympathetic nerve activity was significantly reduced by prior exercise of both intensities at baseline (16 +/- 4 and 22 +/- 4 vs. 31 +/- 3 bursts/min) and during hypoglycemia (22 +/- 4 and 27 +/- 5 vs. 41 +/- 3 bursts/min) compared with that of control subjects (P < 0.05). Total hypoglycemic symptoms were also significantly lower (P < 0.05) in both exercise groups compared with the control group. In summary, repeated episodes of prolonged exercise of both low and moderate intensities blunted key autonomic (epinephrine and pancreatic polypeptide) and metabolic (endogenous glucose production and peripheral glucose uptake) counterregulatory responses to next-day hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes.

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