Exercise and Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to use sugars, starches, fats and proteins. Because the body needs various fuels for energy, this disease disrupts normal energy metabolism both at rest and during physical exercise.
Following digestion, a hormone called insulin is released into the blood from the pancreas. Among insulin’s primary roles is its ability to allow carbohydrates (absorbed in the form of glucose) and proteins to enter muscle cells, where they are stored or used for energy. Individuals with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce enough—or even any—insulin to allow this process to occur. Consequently, glucose is unable to enter cells and builds up in the blood. Because people with type 1 diabetes have insufficient insulin production, daily insulin injections are required to maintain glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Thus, individuals with type 1 diabetes are considered insulin-dependent.