I play intramural basketball at my college. It is not at all competitive, D-I or II, but I do have fun playing and would consider myself decent in relation to the rest of the school.
Normally when I exercise, working out for example, my main concern is low blood sugar, so I tend to regulate carbs and turn off my temp basal (I have a pump).
However, the main concern when playing more competitively is high blood sugar. I used to think this was a result of being overly cautious of low blood sugars thinking that its better to have 200 in the short term than 45, but I'm certain that is not the case anymore.
I try to get my blood sugars in a normal range before games or correct for it. I'll play for about 25 rigorous minutes and then take an extended break followed by another 25 minutes. In the middle of the break my sugars than rise to 260-300 this is followed by my sugars going up to 350 or higher afterwards.
I understand that it is difficult to lower sugars during exercise if they're already high, but it is incredibly, incredibly frustrating that it goes up at all.
Today for example I had 180 before playing, which. Right before playing I turn of my basal and pop two glucose tablets and sip Gatorade, no more than 12 carbs. 25 minutes later my blood sugar is at 260?! This is while I still have insulin in the background from a correction from an hours earlier when I had 215. So I add more insulin maybe a unit or so. And keep my basal when I play again. At the end it is 350, which I make a total correction for. And then 25 minutes after than my omnipod has an error which suspends insulin completely!
So my question then is should I just quit playing? This is the time my blood sugar is mostly out of whack and it is incredibly upsetting. I end up feeling like shit for the rest of the day.
I will talk to my doctor at some point but I'm incredibly hopeless that we will be able to help at all. I'm still concerned about low blood sugars more because those I feel are more easy to send me into a diabetic coma, but consistently having it in the high 300s while exercising is also pretty terrible. I genuinely do not think intramural sports are worth my long term cardiovascular health. But at the same time I do not want diabetes to dictate my life like this. I do not want it to be the reason for me to not do things. I'm had interest in doing work overseas or possibly Air Force and this is incredibly unlikely because of my condition. I'm beginning to feel that whole positive outlook and not letting diabetes define you is a complete lie.
Thank you if you've read this extended rant and I'm more than grateful to hear responses.
However, I do not think I want to hear the "hang in there!" "you can do it!" pseudo motivational rally cries. I want reason to actual believe in this.
Hang in there, you can do it! I had a lot of problems working out (an intensive, boot camp Tae Kwon Do program a few years ago) and decided to get a pump to get through it. Since then, I succesfully completed that and got my black belt and was very proud to have done so. It sounds like you might need to have some insulin and maybe insulin and carbs. I agree that IM sports aren't worth your long-term cardiovasculr health but I there's always a way to work things out.
I've switched to running to work out. Before the Chicago marathon this year, I thought I beat it and was running low and had a couple of snacks to get up to where I wanted so, 3 or 6 or however many miles into the race, I saw like 180-190 on my CGM! Eek, I didn't bail out, I bolused and kept running. I didn't have any gatorade for like 10-12 miles and then it started to come down and I did a second screw up, having a Gu, 20-25G of carbs, and bolused for all the carbs, b/c I forgot to cut it. So I had lots of gatorade at at the subsequent Gatorade stops.
Usually, your BG goes up if you are getting adrenaline so my guess for your situation might be that despite it not being "at all" competitive, maybe your getting competitive yourself, which would cause adrenaline to boost your BG. Maybe maybe not but maybe it'd be a good place to start? Don't turn your pump off, try like 50% basal and see how it goes. If it works, great. If you run low, have some Gatorade, Smarties, glucose tabs or whatever. Maybe beer. Beer does useful things getting rid of adrenaline.
I am inclined to agree with fellow member Ginger Vieira who wrote a book called "Your Diabetes Science Experiment" and think that might help you reconceive things rather than quitting. Quitting sucks.
I did track and field, JC level, two years of D1, a year on the Euro circui, and Master's level these days.
Diabetes is not a reason to give up on competitive athetics. There are too many of us competing successfully at all levels, from weekend warrior up to professional ballplayers, for you to think that you are alone in this and hopelessly in over your head when it comes to playing basketball and controlling your diabetes.
Yes, hypos are scary as hell, especially during work-outs and competition, but if you are spiking to 300 and 350 after workouts/competition, you have lot's a room for adjustment while still being able to maintain near normal BGs.
Honestly, it sounds like turning down your basal, popping glucose tabs, and drinking gatorade at the start of your 25 minute physical activity is way overkill. Msssing with your basal is tricky because it may take up to three hours to see an affect after you've made an adjustment. You may have turned down your basal right before your work-out, but IOB would take you straight through your 25 minute exercise, then leave you high and dry with a decreased basal just when you need a bigger dose the most to bring down a post-exercise glucose dump from your liver.
Look at this as being a trial by fire for the rest of your life. You need to do some serious BG testing during your workout to see exactly what your BG profile is under physical stress. Don't fly blind. You have to take the minute to test your BGs here and there when needed and I'm thinking that doing that will have minimal impact on your ability to play competitively. Make the adjustments, then assess again. Give yourself some latitude when it comes to BGs during execise and games if you have to as long as you can avoid those spikes above 200 and 300 post competition.
I'm not going to tell you to hang in there because that's not even an option for diabetics. Yeah, you can give up on competitive physical activities and work just to keep your BGs under control, but you don't have to. What you're gonna have to do is work a lot harder than non-diabetics to do the same things.
No, it's not easy to deal with diabetes and do anything that takes you out of a consistent routine but, honestly, your only choice if you plan on giving up on something you love to do now is to sit down and make a long list of the other things you plan to give up because of diabetes.
Let us know how things are going.
I find that competitive activities cause me to go high, not low. For example, if I run a race, my BG will end up in the upper 200s at the end if I do nothing but keep my normal basal rate going. In those instances, I have to do a 150% increase in my basal rate.
I would advise sticking with it and trying to find the right combo of snacks and insulin that work for you. Sometimes, a combination of a little more insulin and a small snack does the trick.
Diabetes does definitely does define us in many ways. A problem we're faced with is feeling that quitting something is failure, it's just a change. There are countless things that I miss, but I avoid because I feel happier knowing I'm healthier this way.
The Canadian Forces use something called universality of service. Despite being a written document it's pretty vague and therefore subjective. I imagine the USAF has something similar. I occasionally read of people in the military with diabetes. Much like shooting a game of hoops without highs or lows it's probably not impossible.
I don't play anything like basketball. Not just on account of my severe butter-fingers. Almost exclusively running and weights because I feel like I can predict what they do to my BG. Some might say be a human being first and a diabetic after. I say the exact opposite and feel much happier this way.
Acidrock may have identified the missing factor for you (adrenaline). I have experienced unbelievable spikes when taking finals where I can feel the adrenaline flowing. Basketball is naturally competitive vs. say going for a run and your perceived stress from it could be cranking up your adrenaline and thus causing your liver to dump glucose.
Stick with it!!! I played softball in high school and just left my pump on like I normally would...didn't take any extra carbs before either...I think the adrenaline makes my blood sugar go up so I would test between every two innings and make sure your numbers are staying in range. Have some regular powerade and powerade zero with you so if you are high you can drink the zero and if you're low you can drink the regular. Just find what works for you!! :)
Thank you for the suggestions. I'm certainly not going to complete take off my basal next time and keep glucose tabs just in case. I play again tomorrow with renewed confidence.
My goal is 140-180 before the game and keep basal on, maybe a -15% decrease. Check again at halftime and correct fully any high reading.
I read somewhere that that's close to Jay Cutler's target for his BG although, given the amount of time he spends on his back, I suspect he's probably got some adrenaline going on too!
I am not a huge fan of running my BG up there but sort of follow that "target" for an area not to worry about as I seem to be able to run comfortably in that range. One thing I do running is kill the temp basal for the last couple of miles, as I seem to naturally "push it" when I'm in the home stretch. There might be a parallel with your 4th quarter or the end of the second half where you might let it run back to the regular amount, to prevent a spike afterwards.