Limited information is available regarding the metabolic effects of high altitude trekking in patients with type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Thirteen individuals with type 2 diabetes took part in a 12-day expedition to the summit of Mount Toubkal (altitude, 4,167 m), Morocco, after 6 months of exercise training. Energy expenditure, body weight, blood glucose, fasting insulin, lipids, and HbA1c were assessed.
Training reduced fasting glucose (−0.7 ± 0.9 mmol/L, P = 0.026) and increased exercise capacity (+0.3 ± 0.3 W/kg, P = 0.005). High altitude trekking decreased fasting insulin concentrations (−3.8 ± 3.2 μU/L, P = 0.04), total cholesterol (−0.7 ± 0.8 mmol/L, P = 0.008), and LDL cholesterol (−0.5 ± 0.6 mmol/L, P = 0.007).
High altitude trekking preceded by exercise training is feasible for patients with type 2 diabetes. It improves blood glucose, lipids, and fasting insulin concentrations, while glucose control is maintained.