How to Prevent Low Blood Sugar During Exercise
Exercise and low blood sugar have been a terrible struggle for me since I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a little over a year ago. Different types of exercise effect me differently from day to day depending on what time it is, when I last ate, how much insulin I have on board and how vigorous my exercise is. Sometimes I show up and I start thinking of all these moving pieces and I literally say f*** it, why try and decode, most of the time I think I've got something figured out and I'm excited to try out my new game plan and it totally backfires.
For example, if I do a crazy intense, long crossfit workout I might guess that i'm going to go high because your body goes into survival mode and releases carbs into your blood stream that you didn't just consume. How many? Well, this depends. I competed in a crossfit competition and I continued to give myself extra insulin the entire time and couldn't get my blood sugar under 200. The problem with assuming I'm going to go high is that intensity makes a huge difference and its hard to exercise at the same level.
The majority of the time I go low during my workouts causing me to be light headed, dizzy and unable to concentrate. I can set a lower temp basal (little drips of insulin that I get all day to keep my blood sugar level) but then, sometimes, I go high without that needed insulin. The insulin I use lasts 4 hours so anything I take, or do not take will effect my blood sugar later as well.
After many frustrating trial and errors I made it a point to ask my endocrinologist what I should do. Her answer was simple. Do. Not. Eat.
Mind. Blown. I literally laughed thinking she was joking and I waited for the real advice. Nothing followed. Wow. It stayed in the back of my mind for a few weeks. I couldn't imagine not eating 4 hours before exercising or even just not eating for 4 hours period.
I finally got sick of sucking down juice boxes during my workouts and I was supposed to do a 4pm crossfit workout with one of my best friends, I decided to skip lunch. This made me feel really uncomfortable because I do not skip meals and I also worried that I would have lack of energy during my workout.
Sure enough, my blood sugar was perfect. The most beautiful, steady blood sugar I've ever had during a workout. I'm still not sure what to make of this. What would you do? I'm left feeling uncomfortable.