Just wondering if i could get some advice and opinions. I am finding im getting low rather easily and quickly when i train in cycling, sometimes running and ALWAYS when swimming. I have tried numerous combinations including:
1) 0.5 unit bolus (and minor basal reductions the night before exercise) for breakfast/lunch or whichever prior to exercise. The result= no power and didn’t train well. Its as if i need my normal 1 unit bolus to shuttle that glucose into muscles. (1 unit is what i have at lunch and breakfast because both meals have 30gms of carbs)
2) I have tried low GI carbs and waiting around 1-2 hours prior to exercise. I have also tried high GI carbs about 15mins prior to exercise. The result= Still get very sharp drops in bs within 30 mins.
What was worked for my triathlon races is this: 1 unit bolus in the morning 2-3hours out from the start to cover around 55gms of carbs. It usually gets me to around 10mmol which is great (if it doesnt i just have to have a few jellybeans to top it off). I do a 300m swim (yes, 300m only!) and have a Gatorade prime in the first transition (30gms of quick acting carbs), ride 15km while drinking a powerade along the way, and finish the 3km run. I finish back on 10mmols. It goes down after that over a fairly short time, if it doesn’t i bolus but usually don’t have to. Anyway for an event that lasts all of about 45 mins, i need 55gms carbs for breakfast + 30gms in transition + 15gms on the ride. 45mins of exercise and i need around 100 grams of carbs just to get through! These feels crazy to me. I feel like im sucking down carbs just to stay afloat.
Ill give you another example. Today i got up, had a banana and 30gms of oats and 1 unit (to cover the oats, the banana to try and spike me a bit). I got to 7mmols before i took off for a run (in about an hour after taking food and insulin). Now perhaps i needed to wait more because i had full effects on insulin on board. But in only 4kms i was down to 3.1. I took glucose tabs and jelly beans to see out 10kms. It was at moderate pace. At lunch i had 1 unit to cover lunch (30gs of carbs), 2 hours later went to the gym and lifted weights. Finished that about 2hrs later with bloods at 5mmol (weights slightly spike me then level out). I then had a powerbar with 40gms of carbs in it before i went for a swim after weights. I waited about 15 mins and my bs got up to 7.5mmols. The powerbar was working and my sugars were seemingly on the way up. I swam 35 laps of a 25m pool and lost my power and technique went to crap so i knew i must be getting a bit low. Jumped out and i was 3.3mmol.
Does anybody else feel like their really sucking down alot of carbs to keep afloat with exercise? Sorry for the long post, but does anyone have any suggestions. I have tried to spike with larger amounts of most things from brown rice to energy gels, often with insulin still ‘fresh’ in the system and often when its well out (eg 4 hours like my swim today). Im at a bit of a loss in trying to maintain high bsugars for any length of time during exercise, intense or not, stopping short of becoming a carb addict. I assume the honeymoon period may have something to do with it. I think when im off my honeymoon and my insulin needs increase i think i might get a pump.
Wow, I really admire you cyclists, swimmers, etc. I have trouble walking down the street without dropping way below target range. It really helped to get the pump. Even though it's a lot of micro-managing, it's better than constantly eating every time I exercise. I usually turn the rate way down or else suspend (especially when hiking). Otherwise, all that eating will cause you to gain too much weight when you get older (like me!).
I know we are all different, so of course this may be totally off target for you, but if it were me, this kind of intense fluctuation would possibly point to my using too much insulin. Is that a possibility here?
lantus possible yep. My boluses are good. I am on 8 units of lantus and get up around 4-4.5 give or take so that is fairly low. But 7 give me 5.5-6, so not too bad but i prefer the lower numbers because i find i get better control throughout the day (exercise aside) if i start 4 or above.
just a bit of a follow up-....its definately lantus thats the problem here. As mentioned before, im finding it hard to compete against it. Its tiring that im going low after a simple 4km jog without any real intensity. I only take 1 unit of bolus for food so even if i half the dose or miss it, i feel as though i cant train with any real intensity because i need some insulin to shuttle the glucose into muscle.
For those on pumps, do you find by suspending/decreasing your dosage during or prior to exercise, that you still go low easily? would i be correct in assuming you would need less carbs during exercise because there is nothing working in the background to drop you down?
That's correct. I think that a good rule of thumb is a small "hit" of carbs every 3-5 miles and I seem to do ok w/ that, like a cup of gatorade, about the fuel a "straight" person w/o diabetes would have if they were running? . Most of the 1/2 marathons I've run have maybe 4-5 drink stations. I usually lug a bottle along but I think of that as more "emergency" rations than "fuel"?