Exercise and blood sugar levels

By Philippa Latest Reply 2012-01-13 08:27:34 -0600
Started 2012-01-07 20:53:22 -0600

Hi everyone! I have type one diabetes and really struggle with exercising because my blood sugar levels will go up after exercising and then there will be a delayed reaction and I will experience hyperglycemia 5-8 hrs after workout. I understand the reason for my blood sugar levels going up (a release. Of glucose from the liver) and can deal with it but I don't know what to do about the 5-8 hr delay. Does anyone know any tricks?? I take novarapid and NPH at night only.

15 replies

Philippa 2012-01-10 09:30:35 -0600 Report

Hi everyone! Thanks for all your responses and suggestions. It's so nice to actually connect with other fellow diabetics. James, I am from Toronto in Canada and do measure my blood sugar in mmol/L …thanks for converting it for others. As for my exercise dilemma I will try having some protein before working out however I'm not sure if that will prevent my lows 5-8 hrs later. I agree with you James that I probably should monitor more at the 5 hr mark but I suppose I am also trying to decrease the amount of carbs I am consuming to try to lose a few pounds so my frustration is that the calories I burn during my workout I'm just reconsuming in the form of carbs later on :( its just so frustrating for me!

jayabee52 2012-01-10 09:44:44 -0600 Report

I think that protein AS you exercise and perhaps eating protein at about the 4 hr mark may help stabilize your BGs and keep you from needing to consume carbs to bring up a low.

Also if you find yourself in a low, I understand the frantic nature which comes over many who find themselves in a serious Low. My late bride "Jem" went low often and when she did she was FRANTIC to consume carbs. I had to stop her from scarfing down a whole box of cookies (she'd get on the BG "roller coaster")! When I found her like that we followed the "rule of 15s" Take a BG reading, and if truly low (she also had many "false lows") I would give her 15 g of fast acting carbs, wait 15 mins, and if BG not improved enough, would repeat the cycle, until it would come up enough. Then I'd feed her some peanut butter or other protein to give her a longer lasting BG leveling factor. (I had to do much of this for her since she was totally blind — she really was a delightful lady and it was my pleasure helping her).

Philippa 2012-01-13 07:55:01 -0600 Report

Thanks for clarifying James! I will definitely try having more carbs as I exercise and at the 4 hr mark and get back to you… Feeling hopeful :)

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2012-01-13 08:27:34 -0600 Report

James, I never even thought about eating a protein and a carb before exercising, So glad that I read this before I start my new exercise routine.

phoenix777 2012-01-10 10:05:35 -0600 Report

i would be interested in that converter if you stil have the link please we use mmol here in OZ and i get confused when i see your readings …hmm confused that is sooo unusual for me lol :)

annesmith 2012-01-10 01:41:34 -0600 Report

I am a very brittle diabetic, and I did not fully realize it at first, but after I exercise, my blood glucose sometimes goes up, then about 5 hours later, I take one heck of a nosedive..down to the 50s. It seems to me that when I do not miss breakfast, then have enough protein before I exercise, I experience almost zero falling of my blood sugar. I have had insulin, but am too low on my A1c right now to take insulin. I'm so brittle that the doctors are scratching their heads—ha. ANNE

jtorske 2012-01-09 19:31:03 -0600 Report

If you are exercising after you take your fast-acting insulin, try reducing the insulin amount when you exercise. When my son has wrestling or soccer practice after dinner, we give him .5 units less humalog than he would normally ge at dinner.

jayabee52 2012-01-08 02:04:05 -0600 Report

Howdy Philippa WELCOME to DiabeticCommect! Sorry you quality for you are eligable for inclusion in our "little" family But since you do, glad you are here.

The only thing I could suggest is to eat a protein and a complex carb before you start exercising. Some folks eat peanut butter and a graham cracker, others eat that peanut butter on an apple. I suspect you will need to experement as to how much you eat of what substances.

Then you may also want to test starting at the 5 hour mark and testing 1 hr after that and when your BGs start to drop a bit, eat some more protein and complex carbs.

I am from Las Vegas NV, USA. Where are you from?

I pray this works for you.

To your better health

Philippa 2012-01-07 20:56:35 -0600 Report

Oops I meant I experience hypoglycemia 5-8 hrs later (blood sugar levels go down to 2.3!!)

pixsidust 2012-01-08 21:14:18 -0600 Report

Do you mean 23? I am accustomed to numbers that are whole. For me normal is between 80-114. Lows start in the 70's and in the 60's I am in the HYPO. The same applies to eat before and after with the combo protein and Carb like James suggests. I drop very low afterwards too but eating some Carbs/Protein both times helps curb that.

Where are you from? I love your name!

jayabee52 2012-01-09 01:47:07 -0600 Report

I suspect Phuilippa is from outside the USA where bg is measured by the mmol/lL measurement. 2.3 converts to 41.

jayabee52 2012-01-09 09:27:11 -0600 Report

That's OK Christy!

When I first came across something like this a while ago I was rather puzzled too. Someone kindly explained it to me.

If you'd like a link to a program which converts the one measuring system to another, I could send it to you via your DC inbox. I haven't needed it a lot, but it is nice to have it in the rare instances I do use it. ( I have "discalculia" (kinda like dislexia only with numbers) so I have a lot of problems doing calculations.

Philippa 2012-01-10 09:32:09 -0600 Report

I replied to yours and others messages but it's at the top of the discussion opposed to in reply to you. Sorry about that