Insulin-dependent (type I) diabetic subjects who exercise for whatever reason do this at the risk of hypoglycemia. To enjoy physical activities without major metabolic complications, diabetic patients can take measures to prevent exercise-induced hypoglycemia. These measures basically include preventing accelerated insulin absorption, mimicking physiological insulin secretion during exercise, supplying additional carbohydrates during exercise, and providing effective diabetes education. When adapting the insulin dose, duration and intensity of the work load, time of day, prevailing insulin levels, and the state of nutrition must be considered. Additional carbohydrates can prevent hypoglycemia when exercise is spontaneous and insulin dose reduction is impossible. Prevention of exercise-induced hypoglycemia may be best achieved if patients participate in intensive and comprehensive teaching programs for self-management of diabetes.

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