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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Feb;20(2):173-84.

Role of physical exercise in children and adolescents with diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Italy.


During the past 50 years several studies have underlined the central role of physical exercise in the management of patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The numerous benefits described in normal individuals who practise regular exercise have also been demonstrated in patients with diabetes who obtained significant physical and psychological advantages for the care of the underlying disease. Despite physical and psychological benefits, the occurrence of acute complications and some important effects on diabetes-related vascular complications may often discourage patients from participation in sports activities. However, even though adverse events may occur, exercise is still judged one of the most important components in the treatment of patients with diabetes. Thus, children, adolescents and young adults with diabetes must be educated on the metabolic changes occurring during physical activity in order to be able to acquire the ability to individually modulate their diet and insulin therapy before and after exercise. Appropriate education may allow a proper and correct approach to physical exercise.

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