Diabetes Management in Children Engaging In Physical Activity
Children with diabetes are often sidelined during team sports and planned exercise.
Physical activity is universally recognized as an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise improves cardiovascular outcomes, improves insulin sensitivity, and improves glycemic control in patients with diabetes. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children, including those with diabetes, engage in 60 minutes of physical activity each day starting as young as 5 years old. Unfortunately, studies have shown that children and adolescents with diabetes are less physically active than those without diabetes.
There are several factors that may contribute to this difference in activity levels including: concerns of altered glycemic control during exercise, the need for closer monitoring, fear of being ostracized, and the fear of experiencing a hypoglycemic event. It is important that children and adolescents, especially those with diabetes mellitus, are encouraged to play sports, get regular exercise and not feel ashamed of their chronic condition. With a proper understanding of the blood glucose fluctuations that occur during exercise and a comprehensive diabetes care plan, children and adolescents can engage in sports and physical activity safely.
Understanding glucose metabolism and hormonal changes that occur during exercise is essential for the management of glycemic control in children and adolescents. The major sources of fuel for the body during exercise are carbohydrates and fat. Glucose is obtained from carbohydrates in the diet and is stored as Continue reading