Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
July 16, 2005
Exercise and Sports, Hyperglycemia and DKA
Question from Grootebroek, the Netherlands:
I am 21 years old and have had type 1 diabetes for 1.5 years. It was always difficult for me to lower my blood sugar when I'm hyperglycemic. Most of the time, my blood sugar is less than 8.0 mmol/L [144 mg/dl], but if it is above the 15.0 mmol/L [270 mg/dl], an insulin-injection has no effect. Sometimes, it gets even higher after taking an extra insulin injection. Normally, I inject four times a day. The only way to get a normal blood sugar is to exercise, which is what I do in case of hyperglycemia. My endocrinologist and diabetes specialists have no explanation for this, so my question is: do you recognize my story? And, can you explain it?
It is difficult to add much without knowing more specifics such as insulin doses, meal planning, patient’s general level of health and fitness, etc.
My knee-jerk response would be that elevated glucose levels do not come down with extra insulin because the dosing of extra insulin is too little. Do you have an insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio? Do you have a “correction” formula with a target glucose and a “sensitivity factor?” Your endocrinologist should be able to help you with these, again depending on your current insulin regimen.
Could you have some sort of additional insulin resistance? This is not likely, but not unheard of in someone with type 1 diabetes, depending on level of health, weight, and fitness.
Exercise is good for you and a little bit of exercise often goes a long way towards lowering and sustaining blood glucose levels.