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HelenM

advice on bs and running

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HelenM

My aim is to run a half marathon and I've gradually got up to 3 times a week with a long run of 9 miles. I also exercise (bicycle, nordictrak and pilates) on 3 other days a week.

I've been trying to work out a sensible plan for keeping my BS high enough (but not too high ) during exercise. This is what happened to my BS running on the treadmill the other day and was (I think) fairly typical.

Breakfast reduce insulin by 2units

2.5 hrs later BS 110 (lower than I thought it would be)

run 2 miles (22 min) BS 62 take dextrose tablet

run 2 miles BS 64 dextrose

run 2 miles BS 71 dextrose

run 3 miles , stretching, shower, prepare lunch BS 77

If I start at a lower level the BS may go down further, 52 in a 5 mile run the other day but it has also gone down as quickly starting at 150.

There have been some occasions when my level has been much higher after the run than at the start with only a couple of dextrose on the way.

 

I sense when I getting low whilst running but its not incapacitating. When I'm not running the signs seem more intense but it takes very little to correct it. ... I really don't want to eat more as the one benefit in getting this illness was weight loss and I don't want to gain it back again! however when I read of others problems with hypos I wonder if I am not really managing the exercise sensibly.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

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Tokyo Cate

I have never been on such an intensive exercise program, but I remember in my home-town (Victoria, BC) there was an ultra-marathoner with Type 1 who managed quite well on MDI. I tried to do a search, but didn't have any luck.

 

One way you could look at the problem is mathematically. You had to take 3 glucose tabs. Evaluate how much insulin you need to deal with 15-20 grams of carbohydrate and subtract that from your pre-run bolus. If you take too little insulin before your meal to do that, you may need to snack extra or reduce your long-acting insulin to accommodate for the run.

 

I am sorry I don't have any personal experience to go on, but I do wish you luck in the marathon and in your training.

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BriOnH

Hi Helen,

I have run into this same problem. I normally run during my lunch break (to be honest though I havent run much these past few months, but know I will get back into it when the sun is out more and spring sets in) and would eat a typical lunch but not give any insulin to cover my meal. I run for at least an hour and my bs is awesome while running. For as long as I exercise skipping the meal shot works beautifully, but an hour after stopping exercise my bsl will rise by at least 50 mg/dl. So what I do is immidiatly after exercise give a unit or two and that would usually do the trick. This is what worked for me. Everyone is different. Maybe lowering your insulin to carb ratio before breakfast will help<?>.

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HelenM

Thanks for your ideas, I've been experimenting and drawing graphs to find out what happens. Levels consistently go down after about 20 minutes whether I start from a high(188... which is really high for me) or lower level. The lows have ranged from 45 to 60. I found a graph that showed the same thing happening in a non diabetic person in which a low of 2.2 mml was followed by a rise as the liver releases glucose. Perhaps the dextrose is unnecessary, I'm going to experiment but with husband on hand just in case I go too low!

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Simon

I suspect non-diabetics slow down insulin production during exercise as the glucose enters the cells by a different method. Diabetics don't have that luxury unless they're on a pump and even then there is a delay in the insulin levels in the blood dropping. I think you'll always need to eat regularly during exercise. Just remember to keep checking the bs after you stop as it often rises quite a bit then. You may also find your glucose needs are slightly differnen on the road to on the running machine. Cold, hills and wind will all make a difference. Keep us up-to-date. As a caver and would be scuba diver I'm interested to know how I'm going to manage when prolonged exercise is needed.

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HelenM

Thanks Simon,

I've reluctantly decided that I'll have to start taking the dextrose (or something else) before starting . I think that I', really quite scared of high BS and also hate eating carbs for the sake of it, rather than for enjoyment!

I went down to .31 on my last run, I knew I was low but was determined to get to 2 miles before testing and was a bit shocked to discover it was that low!. I did carry on and after the dextrose 10 minutes later was .44 and then it started going up again I only needed a third dextrose and finished 9 miles with a blood level of 1.01. Now I've got a cold so need to wait before I try again.

(I've just realised I've written in 'French units' .. some places they use mml, others the use mg/dl, in France unlike anywhere else it seems they use mg/l.

I understand there are quite strict rules on diving with diabetes but it is possible. Personally I would hate it.. I tried one of those try dives in Turkey a few years ago(prediabetes) and felt very claustrophobic. Are you planning to learn to dive in the UK or in warmer waters because I think like running outside that could make a big difference.

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