So it's now happened almost every time I've skied this season. Help me figure this one out that is confusing me so much. Here are the details.
1. I'm an ex-ski racer, in great shape, ski almost every weekend.
2. Use food to treat low blood sugars/keep me from going low - glucose tabs and high protein Balance bars.
3. Blood sugar in parking lot while booting up, mid 100's - very little active insulin from previous bolus
4. Keep basal the same because temp basal shoots me up very high in the evening.
5. Test first chairlift ride - no skiing yet - blood sugars in the low 30's - what? Test on another meter - same reading. No symptoms, just a baseline test. Full motor control, talking, skiing.
6. Pop glucose tabs/energy bar.
7. Still ski while low (I know I shouldn't but if there's powder, someone has to get it) and have no challenges with motor control.
8. Test in 10-15 minutes, today my reading was 22 - the lowest I have ever been - still full motor control.
9. Sit in powder and wait until blood sugar is above 100, so frustrated and have no confidence in my body so I can barely ski down terrain I usually rip down.
10. MiniMed CGMS doesn't alarm, doesn't even track a decreasing blood sugar - want to throw the system into the trees because it isn't giving me any more data than I have when testing.
11. Exhausted - drive back to Seattle and attend the ADA Tour De Cure kick-off because I will be biking 100 miles in a few months.
Here are my thoughts...
1. Altitude gain without physical activity (chairlift ride) might have something to do with it. Doesn' t happen biking, hiking, backpacking.
2. Less oxygen means better absorption of insulin?
3. Less oxygen means less ability to get glucose into the blood stream?
4. My body is producing insulin again, after 14 years of a vacation? I wish.
Let me know if you have any personal experience or knowledge about altitude and blood sugars. I have two diabetic friends in Seattle who have experienced the exact same thing.