1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Any way to stop spikes with strenuous exercise?

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by phil1966, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. phil1966

    phil1966 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    5,850
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Following the brilliant advice from people on this forum (LCHF), I've brought my blood sugar under tight control (it sits between 4.5 and 5.6 all day now, even after meals), apart from one thing: I play 5 a side football once a week and it always, without fail, spikes my blood sugar.

    It's very strenuous exercise which I understand can cause the liver to dump glucose and cause a spike, but last night my BS went up from 5.4 before starting to 10.6 after I'd finished which is a huge spike. It did come back down to 5.0 within a couple of hours so it's a temporary issue but one I'd like to eliminate or reduce if possible.

    What confuses me is where my liver is getting the glucose from to dump into my system - I'm currently on less than 20g of carbs a day (mainly from vegetables) so am adding very little into my system! I eat around 80g of protein a day which is not excessive but I wondered if that was still a bit high and I should drop down a bit on that? I guess the other question is whether these short spikes are worth enduring for the benefits exercise brings?
     
  2. Ruth B

    Ruth B Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    948
    Trophy Points:
    133
    I can't claim to be an expert, but if I remember my biochemistry correctly then fats, proteins and starches can all be changed in to glucose, its just a matter of your body prioritising what it uses. Sugar is the easiest to make into glucose it is already most of the way there (glucose is a sugar). Starchy foods come next as most starches are made up of strings of sugar molecules. Fats can be made into glucose and vice versa. The body tends to store energy as fat for later use and then break it down into glucose when it needs it if you are burning more energy that you eat (what we try and do when dieting). Proteins are the final resort for making into glucose and if someone is actually starving the body will eventually turn its own muscles into glucose to try and stay alive in hope that food will become available.

    As far as the post exercise spike goes I would have thought that a small slow release starchy snack before hand might convince your body that it doesn't need to convert any reserves into energy to fuel the exercise. Not quite sure what to suggest, as you seem to prefer to get your carbs from veg maybe a small raw carrot chopped up would manage. I dont' know about football, but if possible eaten at intervals during the game might again help. Just a suggestion I don't have any real experience to base it on.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  3. phil1966

    phil1966 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    5,850
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Thanks for the reply, but I thought that fat can't be metabolised into glucose (which is why the LCHF diet is so effective at reducing BS levels. Glucose can be metabolised to fat though) . I could be wrong though :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #3 phil1966, Jan 22, 2015 at 12:55 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2015
  4. cold ethyl

    cold ethyl Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,211
    Likes Received:
    10,737
    Trophy Points:
    178
    The body can make glucose from the glycerol in fatty acids I believe along with from the amino acids in protein through glucogenesis.
    As for the spike, your liver is obviously overshooting - maybe a small snack before the game and at half time might cut it off - some nuts or cheese seems to help with liver dumping in the mornings so may have similar effect later in day.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. phil1966

    phil1966 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    5,850
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Thanks - I'll give that a try (can't eat nuts though - I'm allergic to them :))
     
  6. lizdeluz

    lizdeluz Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    1,908
    Trophy Points:
    178
    A small snack beforehand might stop the spike. i don't think there is a hard-and-fast answer, and you may just have to experiment with the variables of snack or not/ type of snack/timings. Try googling TeamBG for ideas on this issue.
     
  7. mine

    mine Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    68
    yes, i also experience the spike in blood glucose when gym. the body will dump glucose into the blood stream.
     
  8. Bebo321

    Bebo321 Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @phil1966
    Apologies I haven't commented sooner - I lost your thread!
    I thought I may be able to offer some information which may help with regards to managing your high BGs after your football matches.
    Firstly, though your body may now be keto-adapted (so your body has become used to using ketones as a fuel source) once your activity level rises in intensity, your muscles choose to use glucose as their main fuel source. Initially when you begin playing your match, your muscles will use their on-board glucose stores to fuel the work. After a while though they will begin to take glucose out of your bloodstream. Even on a low carb diet, your liver is able to maintain glucose (stored as glycogen) levels in your body through gluconeogenesis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluconeogenesis

    The high blood glucose levels after the game could possible be curbed - and logically the following may help you manage the highs:

    1) As mentioned above, after a period of playing football (after 30 mins or so) your muscles will naturally begin to draw glucose out of your bloodstream - lowering your BG level. There is a possibility that this is causing your liver to release glucose as it tries to restore the balance.
    Unfortunately when you have diabetes, the hormone that acts as the 'off' switch for your liver to trigger it to stop releasing glucose once your BGs are back within the normal range can become faulty and it is much slower to act. Hence this could be one of the reasons for the higher BG levels.

    2) When you have a rush of adrenaline, or your heart rate rises above a certain level (which will no doubt happen when you're playing football) Your body automatically responds with a 'fight or flight' response, which also triggers your liver to kick out glucose into the bloodstream!

    A couple of thoughts then;

    @cold ethyl makes a valid point that low carb snacks appear to curb morning liver dumps. There is no scientific proof to back this up (that I know of), but I am aware anecdotally that it seems to work. Indeed on one previous thread on the forum I seem to recall that cheese straws seemed to do a good job of keeping them in check!

    The second thought comes from my understanding of the science of how your body utilises the glucose when exercising.
    Within your muscles, you have what are known as GLUT4 receptors, or 'transporters'. When you exercise, these GLUT4s proliferate and are mobilised to the surface of your muscle cells, and enable glucose to be drawn into the muscle cells (no insulin required!). After exercising these transporters remain in greater numbers and are held nearer the surface of the cells for 24 (and longer) hours. If you think about it this explains why insulin resistance lowers with exercise - the GLUT4s are doing the job of transporting glucose for a day or so after the activity.

    So, with this in mind, if you are trying to reduce the spikes after a game I would suggest you want to ensure your GLUT4 transporters are working at maximum capacity and efficiency during and after the game. Theoretically then , it would seem logical to suggest that going for say a moderate run the day before the game will make your body more able to gobble up the glucose during the game.
    Secondly, warming your muscles up thoroughly before the game should have a beneficial effect (again, just by mobilising the receptors before you even begin)

    One other thought - I understand you take metformin? If I am correct, then metformin takes on the roll of the hormone within the liver that triggers it to stop releasing glucose. (It basically takes on the role of the 'switch')
    If you are taking the meds at night, perhaps (with the approval of your HCP) consider taking them in the morning and therefore closer to the time of the game?

    Hoping something there is of use, and keep it up! Bx
    Why not consider joining the Sporty Diabetics Type 2s Facebook group? www.teambloodglucose.com
     
    • Like Like x 11
  9. phil1966

    phil1966 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    5,850
    Trophy Points:
    158
    @Bebo321 - thanks a lot for the very detailed reply: It's definitely given me some pointers and made things a bit clearer!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Jemzor

    Jemzor Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    58
    That's a very comprehensive response @Bebo321 - I have a very similar issue as phil1966, although I am a Type 1 with no metformin and most of my training tends to be anaerobic.

    Will try something similar with the pre-training low carb snack. Would you suggest something starchy or sugary?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. cyclist

    cyclist Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    222
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Some good food for thought there.

    I track my heart rate via my Garmin Edge 510 on the bike so will be able to measure the effect on my BS with some decent stats
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Bebo321

    Bebo321 Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @Jemzor
    Unfortunately because the pre-training snack is anecdotal rather than science based (at least not yet), it's really going to be something that you have to try and check out yourself - experiment to see what works for you.
    You'll be gaining excellent health benefits from your anaerobic training!
    Another way to curb your BG spikes at the end, or even during any intense training session is to have a 'cool down' period, where you lower the intensity of your activity. If you think about it, when you are working at high intensity, your body is put into 'fight or flight' mode, triggering the liver to release glucose into the blood stream. In order to switch your liver from doing this, you need to lower your heart rate back down. What you don't want to do however is suddenly stop, because then your muscles are no longer sucking glucose out of your bloodstream (at least a nowhere near the same rate as when they're working).
    Ideally if you can just reduce your activity and lower your heart rate, yet keep your muscles soaking up the glucose you should be able to lower any potential spikes. For example - a 20 minute moderate run after an intense workout should drop your heart rate enough to allow time for your liver to 'switch off', whilst also managing the BS high that it would otherwise cause.:)
    Have you joined the Sporty Diabetic Type 1's FB group yet? www.teambloodglucose.com
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Bebo321

    Bebo321 Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Nice one @cyclist
    Hey, can you come along to the #gbdoc diabetes conference in March? http://www.gbdoc.co.uk/gbdoc/Conference_2015.html
    TeamBG will have a stand there and I know that one of the T2 guys who came on last year's epic cycle ride from Barcelona to Vienna is coming along. The Team were all hooked up to monitor BG levels, heart rate, etc etc over the ride - I bet you would find it interesting speaking with him (and the other cyclists there!) ;)
     
  14. beatdise

    beatdise Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    2,538
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Not an expert yet on Diabetes but am an expert on playing footy and impact on BS levels. I still play footy Power league as a 58 year old with sons mates aged between 16 and 30. early days after diagnosis I was getting those spikes...it settled down after about 6 weeks. I did stop takig Metformin though because my numbers were low enough.....I am playing better 5 a side now than when i was 40 and had hoped to kep going till I was 60..now hope to keep going until I am 65...Good luck with your progress. PS. I got my Hba1c dwon from 86 to 38 in 12 weks.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  15. phil1966

    phil1966 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    5,850
    Trophy Points:
    158
    As an update to this thread, I played again last night and following the advice I ate a low carb snack and had a espresso an hour before playing. The result was a lower spike to 9.1 so there's definitely an improvement there. Thanks again to everyone for their help and advice :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    2,810
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I don't know what to do about this either. I exercise straight after breakfast, so there's always food on board. But I spike every time before coming down. Intense cardio pushing heart rate: I spike. Anaerobic training: I spike. Even just biking to work, and especially biking home in the evening, 7km, mainly flat: I spike.

    I used to worry about exercising with NovoRapid on board (covering breakfast), but no worries about that now. It almost looks as if I have to cover the first half of the exercise! (I'm not going to.)

    The spike is usually from c 5.8 up to 8.+ . I really, really don't like spikes. I read somewhere that glycosylating doesn't happen immediately, i.e. perhaps not if levels fall within an hour, but I'm not totally sure about that.

    I eat LCHF. So the breakfast in question is usually about 6 grams carb, 12g protein (eggs plus butter/cream, last night's leftover veg).
     
  17. Bebo321

    Bebo321 Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @LucySW
    It sounds as though you at least know what to expect - you already know anaerobic/high intensity cardio exercise will cause a spike, but if you are only around the 8+ level, it seems to be you're doing pretty well - especially when you've not long finished breakfast!
    I am surprised that your BGs rise on your cycle ride however. Do you ride like a bat out of hell:D, or perhaps do you get nervous in traffic? Nerves/stress can illicit the same 'fight or flight' response and give you raised blood glucose levels.
     
  18. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    2,810
    Trophy Points:
    198
    No, it's quite gentle. I like to cycle fast, but until a last 5-minute haul up a hill, it's downhill or flat along beside the sea. It's very clear, though, even when my morning basal has not run out. !!
     
  19. Bebo321

    Bebo321 Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,565
    Trophy Points:
    178
    A hill will do it @LucySW. I've know T1 cyclists on cgm (continuous glucose monitor) who just on a short sharp climb will raise their BGs a couple of points. I love the fact you like to cycle though! Keep an eye out for TeamBG cycle events this year - why not join the cycle club? We do some really big events but also try to fit in some more manageable shorter ones designed for all abilities.:) http://www.teambloodglucose.com
     
  20. phil1966

    phil1966 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    5,850
    Trophy Points:
    158
    As a final update to this, on Wednesday I took my Metformin and had a snack before playing and only got a spike up to 8.0 this time (and according to my FitBit, I ran further and harder than ever this week).

    Thanks so much to everyone for your help with this - it looks like I have been able to make real improvements in this problematic area thanks to you all - what a great place this is :)
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook