A ground-breaking research study at Musgrove Park Hospital aimed at helping people with type 1 diabetes safely exercise is appealing for volunteers in Somerset to test it.
The study includes a new course which provides people with information so that they can exercise without upsetting their blood sugar levels.
The Musgrove EXTOD Education (Exercise in Type One Diabetes) team needs to recruit 50 participants to trial the programme under their supervision.
The study, led by Musgrove consultant Professor Rob Andrews, wants to find the best way of enabling those with type 1 diabetes to exercise safely, by helping them manage their glucose levels. Participants can be any age from 18-70, and should either be doing more than 30 minutes of exercise twice a week, or have signed up to a sporting event in the next six months.
They also need to know about counting carbohydrate intake, by having been on a course such as the Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) or similar.
Professor Andrews, consultant in diabetes at Musgrove and a researcher at the University of Exeter, said: “This is the first programme of its type, and if successful, it could be taken up by the NHS and other health services around the world. “The study will also involve developing training for healthcare professionals so they can provide this new education programme to patients in their local area. So everyone, both
patients and the wider NHS, will benefit from this.”
Prof Andrews is being supported by experts from his team at the hospital and the University of Birmingham and the University of Exeter.
Volunteers will need to attend eight appointments over an eight month period. Travel expenses will be covered and the EXTOD team hope to begin the trial – the second phase of the study – at the end of February.
Professor Andrews added: “The aim of this study is to develop and test the UK’s first education programme to help people with type 1 diabetes manage their glucose levels when they exercise.”
According to figures from Public Health England, around 3,500 people in Somerset live with type 1 diabetes. Research has shown that less than 40 percent of people with type 1 diabetes participate in regular exercise due to the worry of experiencing hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), or not knowing how to adjust insulin dose and diet in order to exercise.
Those taking part will be selected at random to either receive the new education programme, or continue their usual care. Anyone continuing their usual care will have the chance to try the new programme after
completing the study.
Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane is lending her support to the study. She said: “I was delighted to be invited to Musgrove Park Hospital to hear about the ground-breaking research into diabetes management that is being carried out by Dr Rob Andrews and his team. EXTOD Education is leading the way in managing this condition that affects so many people across the country. I am strong advocate of the benefits of exercise and the outdoors on both physical and mental health.”
You can meet members of the EXTOD Education team who will be supporting World Diabetes Day on 14 November with a ‘cycle to Birmingham’.
The team will be ‘racing’ Birmingham’s own EXTOD team to complete the 128 miles between the two hospitals on an exercise bike in the Jubilee concourse at Musgrove Park Hospital. They will also be available to discuss the study and research.
If you are interested in taking part, or want to find out more, contact Catherine Thompson – lead diabetes research nurse on 01823 344986, or email Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow the team on Twitter and keep up to date with their work @mphresearch