I wanna know and get advise on what others are doing during exercise. A couple of months ago I bought and exercise bike and I'm doing it consistently for about an hour. I always test my sugar, and usually turn my basal off, When I was doing 15-20 minutes that worked just fine. Now that I'm exercising about one hour I'm starting to get very low blood sugars ( like in the 40s). Even when drinking about 12 to 24 ounces of gatorade and my basal turn off. I've try juice (several cups) and I still get lows. I haven't try eating yet because it seems to defeat the purpose of exercising. Any ideas or better solutions?
I'm an Omnipod user for about a year now.
It may be that as you are working out, you are adjusting your need for basal insulin, or what you are taking is lasting longer? How does your BG behave say the day after you workout? Gary Scheiner recounts how he has to cut his basal in half the day after full court basketball, not halfcourt, just full court? There's all kinds of wierd stuff. I am always ready for change.
It may be better to have a small amount of more complex carbs, w/ a "cut" bolus, like 25-75% of the amount you would ordinarily take, that will "boost" your BG a bit and have a bit more staying power? It may also be useful to cut your basal like an hour before you "blast off" to sort of get it out of your system? I have to admit I don't do that and that a lot of times I sort of cut it close but I've been running and biking and ellipticaling for cardio stuff for a couple of years now and am always fiddling around making changes. Eating a small bit of food, complex carbs, maybe 15-20G may make it easier on long rides? I always ate breakfast before long runs I did last summer.
If you're doing extensive exercising (60+ mins duration) you need to cut your Basal dose down significantly about 60-90+ mins BEFORE you start exercising. The fast acting insulin will not be dropping your BS much before hand (even though text books say it starts to work in 20 mins ...it really doesn't significantly lower BS until 90 mins). There are a lot of variables to this practice for sure. This assumes that your BS at the time is over 125 or so. When I cross country ski for example, I cut my Basal in 1/2 about 90 mins before I start and I also carb up before and during. Works good for me.
When I do 20 to 45 min brisk walks (up a hill, moderate terrain), I never start when my BS is below 150. My BS will drop like a rock. You need to carb up for this too. My BS has dropped from 180 to 50 in just 20 mins moderately walking up a hill.
...so, for the most part you are normal Sal :) Test often and carry glucose. Just juice and glucose isn't enough when exercising. You need some complex carbs and fat too.
I have this same problem. My endo recommended "Gu Chomps" they are basically little carb/energy gummy chews that are supposed to help you maintain your BG without filling up. There are probably tons of other products similar to them. He also told me to try turning off my basal during exercise and setting a lower temp. basal an hour or two before exercise. Hope some of this is helpful :)