Blood sugar spike after sport

By Charliegr Latest Reply 2011-11-26 21:37:16 -0600
Started 2011-11-21 16:46:18 -0600

Hi, I wonder if there are more people experiencing what I do. It's been a while now, that after having done sport my blood sugar is high (220-270)
My Doctor said to me the other day I should eat more before doing sport, since I was only eating 1/4 apple with a little bit of peanut butter (80 before sport -> afterwards 220)
today I had 180 before the sport and I didn't eat anything because I only do about 30-45 minutes sport (15 min. in-house cycling and 20-25 min. weight lifting) and after the sport I had 278.

I cannot be because my blood sugar went down too low and the spiked. There wasn't enough time for that.
It is frustrating to do sport in order to keep my body healthier and seeing that my body doesn't like it. It seems that is telling me: don't do sport

Anyone experiencing something similar? Any solutions?


18 replies

Kelley Fields
Kelley Fields 2011-11-26 21:37:16 -0600 Report

If my BG level is above 160 I wait till it comes down with a little insulin because if I don't my BG will rise just like your story. Maybe you are over working your body. I test while I am in spin class and eat if I have to or bolus. But to be honest with you sometimes it just goes high with out warning… Those darn hormones!!

LindseyLou993 2011-11-26 21:02:07 -0600 Report

YES! This happens to me too!

I am a dancer and I find that when practice is over my sugar will sometimes be in the 130s. After a quick shower it'll be down in the 70s.

My endo said that when you exercise, your body releases adrenaline which raises your blood sugar.

Keep some candy on you because it WILL drop fast!

It is completely OK for this to happen! It happens in a non-D person, too!

Charliegr 2011-11-22 02:26:13 -0600 Report

Thank you all for your answers. So, if I understand you right Mary, according to this article we should keep doing sport eventhough we get high blood sugar levels afterwards. That it`s better the benefits of the exercise than the negative effects of high blood sugar in the body.
This is something that I've been noticing for some months now.

Maybe I should try another type of exercise, like yoga, although I read that weight lifting is very good for people with diabetes because you burn lots of calories even after having donde the exercises.

I have type 1 diabetes.

Thanks again

MEGriff1950 2011-11-21 19:27:27 -0600 Report

I found this online.
Here is just a bit of the article: Fight-or-Flight Response

Why does blood sugar spike after exercising? For all of its health value, the body interprets exercise as stress. You are putting forth a greater effort during your workouts, causing a depletion of circulating blood sugar and its reserves found in your muscles and liver. You may be exercising hard enough to elevate your heart rate. These effects are caused by the release of epinephrine or adrenaline. This hormone is associated with the fight-or-flight response.

It is a survival instinct with the purpose of enhancing your ability to respond to some type of stress or threat. A spike in blood sugar is not uncommon during other types of stressful events such as surgery. Another effect of epinephrine release in an increase in sugar metabolism. This response may explain the blood sugar spike after exercising.

While that may appear to be harmful for a diabetic, a 2009 study by the University of Missouri argues that the body needs stress like exercise because stress is part of its evolutionary history. Researchers explain that the absence of stress can actually be the cause of harmful physiological changes. In the long run, exercise will increase your insulin sensitivity so that your body can respond more appropriately to changes in blood sugar.

As a precaution, you should plan on having a small snack prior to exercise to help maintain stable blood sugar levels. The spike in blood sugar following exercise may be accompanied by a subsequent crash for which you need to be prepared. With proper blood glucose monitoring and control, you can exercise safely.
I hope you find this helpful,

Type1Lou 2011-11-22 17:29:28 -0600 Report

Thanks for the helpful article Mary. I did get my pulse rate up to 120 while walking the golf course on Sunday, so there definitely was an aerobic component to it. Oddly enough, when I do my 45 to 60 minute walks (without golf), I don't get the high BG effect afterwards.

MEGriff1950 2011-11-22 17:54:20 -0600 Report

I am wondering Lousie if it is the stress of trying to improve your game that aids in the raising of BG.

Type1Lou 2011-11-22 18:44:04 -0600 Report

I'm hoping it was a typo when you called me "Lousie" although that does pretty much define my golf game. My mantra is "Bad golf is better exercise". It keeps me humble. (I hope!) I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll never be a good golfer because I don't take the time to practice…there are too many other things that I want to be doing. The only sport I was ever any good at was downhill skiing…actually did some competitive racing and won a few local medals…but, there ain't much snow skiing in Florida where I live now. I'm thankful that I can still be active and enjoy the sunshine in the companionship of good friends.

Caroltoo 2011-11-21 21:52:11 -0600 Report

Thanks, Mary. I had the same issue after alternating walking and running on Saturday for a total of 2 miles. I've definitely increased my insulin sensitivity because my readings have been hovering around 95 since then.

jayabee52 2011-11-21 17:48:14 -0600 Report

I have no experience with this Charlie, but I would hazard a guess that you might want to try breaking up your exercise into shorter sessions and lesser intensity. Are these things something you've done for a long time, or is this something new for you?

Type1Lou 2011-11-21 17:15:55 -0600 Report

The same thing happened to me yesterday and I am baffled. Walking usually makes my BG drop by up to 100 points. Yesterday, I played 9 holes of golf with a friend and walked the course, pulling my bag. (I'm a bad golfer and take a lot of strokes, so golf is better exercise for me.) It was hot here in Florida with temps in the 80's. Afterwards, my BG was 143 and climbed up to 273 by dinnertime. I finally got it back to 125 at 3 am. Prior to going out, my BG was 72 and I ate my usual lunch of an apple with peanut butter. I will be interested to see other responses here and hopefully an explanation for why this happened. Thanks for starting this discussion

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