High-intensity exercise to combat hypos

Scientific title: Restoring hypoglycaemia through dishabituation
Principal Investigator: Professor Rory McCrimmon
Institution: University of Dundee
Project duration: 01/08/2017 – 31/27/2020

Photograph of Prof. Rory McCrimmon
Professor Rory McCrimmon

Objective: Prof. McCrimmon will test whether high-intensity exercise can improve hypo awareness and also improve the body’s response to hypos.

People with type 1 who have hypo unawareness do not feel the symptoms of a hypo. Low blood glucose can be very dangerous, sometimes resulting in a coma. The cause of hypo unawareness is unknown, but it is known that the more hypos a person experiences, the more the brain and body get used to hypos, and the response each time is reduced.

Previous research in rats has shown that high-intensity exercise can improve the body’s response to hypos, even after repeated hypos. Prof. McCrimmon now wants to test whether a similar approach can work in people living with type 1 diabetes and hypo unawareness.

Prof. McCrimmon will first study if a single burst of high-intensity exercise (where the person is working at over 90% of their maximum heart rate) can improve the body’s hormonal response to hypoglycaemia. The participants will then take part in a 6-week high-intensity exercise programme, and Prof. McCrimmon will study the body’s hormonal response and see if the exercise plan can improve or restore a person’s hypo awareness.

Categories: Treat, Complications, Hypos, Exercise