Metabolically well controlled insulin-dependent diabetic subjects (IDDM) have deficient autonomic adrenomedullary responses to hypoglycemia. This defect, coupled with the characteristic deficient glucagon response to hypoglycemia, predisposes well-controlled IDDM subjects to an increased incidence of severe hypoglycemic episodes. In this report we describe a physically trained subject with long-duration IDDM (9 years) who was rigorously well-controlled (normal HBA1c), yet had exaggerated epinephrine responses to hypoglycemia compared with normal controls. Steady state epinephrine levels during a low-dose insulin (9 pM/kg/min) hypoglycemic clamp (2.9 +/- 0.1 mM) were approximately 2-fold higher compared with normal controls (10.6 vs. 5.5 +/- 0.7 nM). Epinephrine levels during a high-dose insulin (30 pM/kg/min) hypoglycemic clamp (2.8 +/- 0.1 mM) were also increased compared with normal controls (13.1 vs. 8.8 +/- 0.6 nM). We conclude that physical training in this metabolically well-controlled IDDM subject was associated with an augmented autonomic adrenomedullary response to hypoglycemia.