Neuromuscular electrical stimulation changes glucose, but not its variability in type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical trial


Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) can be an alternative to conventional exercising. This randomized clinical trial evaluated the effect of NMES in type 2 diabetes patients. Twenty-eight individuals with type 2 diabetes were assigned to NMES (n=14) or NMES-placebo (n=14) applied to knee extensor muscles for 60 minutes. Glucose variability, microvascular function and endothelial function were evaluated through continuous glucose monitoring system, near infrared spectroscopy and flow-mediated dilatation, respectively. Glucose levels (mg/dl) decreased 2h (184 ± 11 vs 223 ±15), 3h (179 ± 12 vs 219 ±14) and 4h (177 ± 12 vs 212 ±12) after NMES, in comparison to NMES-placebo. No differences in glucose variability were found: coefficient of variation (%) at 0-6h (11.4±1.3 vs 11.4±1.2), 6-12h (9.8±1.0 vs 11.6±1.6), 12-18h (15.5±2.0 vs 11.4±2.1), 18-24h (12.8±2.3 vs 10.0±1.6); standard deviation (mg/dl) at 0-6h (21.6±2 vs 24.6±3.5), 6-12h (19.5±1.8 vs 20.3±2.8), 12-18h (29.9±3.5 vs 21.3±2.8),18-24h (22.8±4.1 vs 16.6±2.0) and mean amplitude of glycemic excursions (mg/dl) 54.9±25.0 vs 70.3±35.7. Endothelial and microvascular functions did not change. In conclusion, one acute NMES session was strong enough to trigger glucose reduction in individuals with type 2 DM, but it failed to induce any significant change in glucose variability, endothelial and microvascular functions.

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