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From Broadview Heights, Ohio, USA:

I am a 39 year old female with type 1 diabetes, I am on the insulin pump, I exercise six times per week, and my morning sugars are awful since I have changed my exercise routine. I used to do just a cardiovascular workout, but now do three days of cardiovascular workouts and three days of weight training. My doctor and I cannot get the overnight sugars back to normal, but the rest of the day my sugars are good. I cannot find much information about long and hard workouts and how they affect blood sugars. Sometimes when I work out hard my sugars rise.


I have seen some of the same effect in active patients -- highs at strange times. You really need a good assessment of your nighttime sugars. Your situation might well be clarified by monitoring sugar levels continuously for several days to try to sort out what's happening in more detail. See The Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, and ask your doctor about using it.

If your food, and insulin are consistent, but you're still high, then maybe a low is in the way. If you're disconnecting for exercise, that can ruin things unless you give mini-pulses.


Additional comments from Delaine Wright:

High intensity exercise as you have described can quite commonly cause blood sugars to rise after exercise as a result of hormonal effects. These can be particularly noticable in persons who wear an insulin pump. By learning the pattern through frequent blood sugar monitoring, compensations can be made with temporary basal rate changes or correction boluses. You will find the book The Diabetic Athlete by Sheri Colberg, PhD to be a fantastic resource on this very topic.


Original posting 5 May 2002
Posted to Exercise and Sports and Insulin Pumps


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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