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With Diabetes, Boosting Exercise Should Be Done Safely

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise plays an important role in diabetes management, but people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes should take certain precautions before increasing their level of physical activity, experts say.

According to the American Council on Exercise, although exercise helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels, it can sometimes cause these levels to drop dangerously low. In extreme cases this condition, known as hypoglycemia, can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death.

As a result, the council recommended in a news release that people with diabetes take the following precautions:

  • Talk to your doctor before beginning a new workout routine or activity, and be sure to have your health monitored regularly.
  • Check your blood sugar before and after exercise to determine how your body responds to certain activities.
  • Don't exercise alone. Do wear an ID bracelet that reveals that you have diabetes.
  • Let your coaches or fitness instructors know that you have diabetes so they can modify your workout and be on the lookout for signs of low blood sugar.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, carry a light carbohydrate-rich snack in case you need a quick energy boost.

The American Council on Exercise release also noted that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about diabetes and exercise.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Council on Exercise, news release, Oct. 24, 2012

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