Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

What is it and how can we work with you


What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) is a chronic condition that affects insulin production in the body. Insulin is used in the body to help regulate blood sugar levels. Without insulin the body cannot metabolise glucose which leads to high levels of sugar in the blood. For people with T1DM, their body cannot produce enough insulin on its own and they rely on insulin treatment as well as diet and exercise to manage the condition. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, T1DM is not a lifestyle related chronic disease and is instead an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells that produce insulin within the pancreas.  


Exercise and T1DM  

Exercise is an essential way to manage T1DM. Regular physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels as well as improve cardiovascular health and increase muscle mass. However, exercising with Type 1 diabetes requires careful monitoring and management of blood sugar levels to avoid hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). This is where the role of an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP) fits in.  AEP’s can provide safe, individualised exercise plans, monitor blood sugar levels, and provide education and support on diabetes self-management. By working with an AEP, people with T1D can improve their health, reduce the risk of complications, and enjoy the benefits of regular exercise. 

Tips for Exercising with T1DM 

– Check and record your BGLs before, during and after exercise to ensure you are in a safe range. Recording this data will also help you to further understand how your body reacts to exercise.  
– Drink fluid (water) before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration. 
– Carry extra carbohydrate with you to ensure you are prepared in case of hypoglycaemia.  
– Know your symptoms of an abnormal response to exercise.  
Before commencing an exercise routine, speak to your GP or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist to ensure you are exercising safely and appropriately.

Renae Hay – Exercise Physiologist

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