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Riding and Diabetes

 
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The Bike Doc
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Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:20 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Riding and Diabetes Reply with quote

Digimon:

I have moved your question here under a new heading to benefit you and those who have similar questions.

Hi Doc ... been awhile ... got another issue I really need help with- Jan '10, had a no-problem physical/no-issues-blood/lab-results check-up. May-2010 - full-blown insulin-dependant diabetic (LADA ... latent auto-immune diabetes of adults). Haven't been on my bike in 2 years. Recently decided I need to remedy that, but ... lots of concerns about hypo-glycemia (after some scary incidents), etc. I would be very grateful for a bit of off-line discussion if possible. Direct email is jsilj1@johnsilvey.net.
thanks,
- js

JS:

Exercise drives glucose into the muscles which is burned for energy and can lead to drop your blood sugar levels to critical points in someone with diabetes trigging signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia such as feeling sweaty, lightheaded, confused and with very low blood sugar level a hypoglycemic seizure and sudden loss of consciousness.

The good news is you can ride with your diabetes but you do need to keep readily available source of glucose to keep you blood sugars from dropping below the normal range. Fortunately most sports drinks such as Gatorade (TM) and Powerade (TM) have glucose in their ingredients. So keep a waterbottle or a hydration bladder such as a Camelbak (TM) filled with a sport drink that you should drink from several times during your work out. The usual concentration of glucose is 6% or 6 grams of glucose for every 100mls of sport drink. Keep a portable glocose monitor with you when you start back biking so if you find youself having symtoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) do a spot check and if you are lower than 60 take some extra sugar containing engergy source such as a cup of your sport drink or a glucose tube that you can buy at drug stores. Glucogon shots (an injected hormone that triggers the break down of glycogen --stored glucose in a starch form in the liver and muscles-- into glucose) will not work as well for an exercising diabetic because the glycogen stores have been depleted by the exercise. Do avoid alcohol as it can lead to a precipitous drop in your blood sugar and trigger a hypoglycemic seizure.

Keep in communication with your doctor who is managing your diabetes. Gradualy build up your exercise duration and intensity.
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Big_Ed
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Joined: 10 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:07 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I'd throw m $0.02 worth of info since I ride with diabetes.

I have switched over to the Pump which has changed my life and riding.

Whenever I do ride, my routine is this:
Before the ride I check my blood sugar (I will not get on my bike until I raise my blood sugars above 120 - 140).
If I am riding for an extended period of time I have two water bottle with a sports drink and a pack with water.
Then in my pockets I pack two tubes of glucose gell, that can be purchased OTC from your local drugstore and my portable monitor or a couple of PBJ's... something with fast acting sugars.

Being on the pump I can set my insulin delivery to a percentage below my normal amount. I change this about an hour before and leave it about an hour after excise is complete.

Keeping my blood sugars above 120 has helped me to not have an incident to where I've dropped or passed out on my rides. I have also learned what my body feels like when I am experiencing either high or lows and not ignored the signs.

I think the biggest key for me has been look, listen, and monitor. When in doubt check your blood sugar... (the last one I stole from my doctor)
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The Bike Doc
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Joined: 08 May 2003
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Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:32 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Big Ed for your pragmatic perspective and very useful advice.
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