Diabetes patients should use caution when increasing physical activity, council says

November 14, 2012

San Diego – Patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes should take safety precautions before beginning or increasing physical activity, recommends the American Council on Exercise, in recognition of November as National Diabetes Awareness Month.

Regular exercise can help diabetes patients control their blood sugar levels, but may cause a person’s blood sugar level to drop dangerously low, according to an ACE press release. This could result in unconsciousness, seizure, coma or death.

Diabetes patients who are considering increasing their physical activity levels should take the following precautions:

  • Discuss your physical activity regimen with your doctor before beginning, and plan on checking in regularly.
  • Check your blood sugar level before and after exercising to determine how your body responds to certain activities.
  • Exercise with other people and wear a bracelet that identifies you as having diabetes.
  • If you plan to use a coach or fitness instructor, inform the instructor of your diabetes status so he or she can monitor you for signs of low blood sugar.
  • Type 1 diabetes patients should carry a light, carbohydrate-rich snack for a quick energy boost, if needed.