Preventing post-exercise nocturnal hypoglycemia in children with type 1 diabetes

J Pediatr. 2010 Nov;157(5):784-8.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jul 21.


Objective: To determine the effects of reducing overnight basal insulin or a bedtime dose of terbutaline on nocturnal blood glucose (BG) nadir and hypoglycemia after exercise in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Study design: Sixteen youth (mean age 13.3 years) on insulin pumps were studied overnight on 3 occasions after a 60-minute exercise session with BG measurements every 30 minutes. Admissions were randomized to bedtime treatment with oral terbutaline 2.5 mg, 20% basal rate insulin reduction for 6 hours, or no treatment.

Results: Mean overnight nadir BG was 188 mg/dL after terbutaline and 172 mg/dL with basal rate reduction compared with 127 mg/dL on the control night (P = .002 and .042, respectively). Terbutaline eliminated nocturnal hypoglycemia but resulted in significantly more hyperglycemia (≥250 mg/dL) when compared with the control visit (P < .0001). The basal rate reduction resulted in fewer BG readings <80 and <70 mg/dL but more readings ≥250 mg/dL when compared with the control visit.

Conclusions: A basal insulin rate reduction was safe and effective in raising post-exercise nocturnal BG nadir and in reducing hypoglycemia in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Although effective at preventing hypoglycemia, a 2.5-mg dose of terbutaline was associated with hyperglycemia.

Trial registration: NCT00974051.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology*
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Terbutaline / therapeutic use*


  • Insulin
  • Terbutaline

Associated data