Effects of leg exercise and insulin injection sites on blood glucose in persons with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
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The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of insulin injection sites to the leg, arm, or abdomen prior to leg exercise in blood glucose responses during exercise in individuals with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Four males and three females with IDDM (X age = 20.14 yrs) performed three 18 min submaximal stairclimbing tests at 50% of their predicted V02 max on a Stairmaster 4000 PT exercise device. Subjects injected 80% of their usual pre-breakfast dose of insulin (NPH + R) subcutaneously into the thigh, arm, or abdomen, 5 min prior to each exercise bout. Blood samples were collected before insulin injection (fasting baseline) and every 3 min during exercise via the fingerstick method. Blood samples were then analyzed for blood glucose. ANOVA revealed no significant statistical differences between the last blood glucose value and preexercise level induced by the three exercise test conditions (p > 0.05), indicating that insulin injection sites had no influence on these values. These results indicated that subcutaneous insulin injection into the leg before leg exercise did not induce a significant drop in blood glucose as compared to subcutaneous insulin injection into the arm or abdomen. However, the study revealed significant clinical differences within and between subjects' blood glucose responses to exercise, suggesting individualized attention to possible risks of hypoglycemia during exercise for these individuals.