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Type 1 Cycling And Cramps

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Besty W, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Besty W

    Besty W Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi I’ve been T1D since Oct 2016, my control is good at present HBA1c is 6.2% constant since getting sugars under control after diagnosis.

    I used to cycle for fun and fitness at the weekends but stopped after diagnosis, a few rides last year working out what happens with BSL and exercise, this year I’ve got it ripped and can manage a decent speed over 20+ miles without and hyper or hypos. All good then or so I thought, I’ve been having lots of cramps in my calves over the past week; I’ve drank plenty of water, had my breakfast/ lunch / dinner and gone out. My normal regime has been no nova rapid with food and cycle immediately after to prevent any highs, could this be causing the cramps?
    If i had any insulin at all with dinner I know from experience sugars crash dramatically during the ride so.
    I’ve questioned my dsn whom has stated exercise is individual and no one size fits all applies with T1D, just go trial by error.

    Any advice on the cramps and preventing them would be superb, they’re spoiling a good ride!
  2. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @betsy W,
    Type 1 from Oz, 51 years on insulin. It has been a few years since I was cycling but:
    1) if I exercised /cycled in the late afternoon evening I had to make sure I reduced my night-time basal insulin (Levemir) otherwise I was prone to hypos after midnight. Similarly my bsls tend to drop 6 + hours after I completed my exercise earlier in the daytime also, so if I had reduced or omitted my pre-lunch Novorapid for exercise I would ensure that my evening novorapid was reduced at least 20%.
    2) I would withhold exercise if my bsls at expected exercise time were 13 mmol/l or higher. It seems that the liver switches to generating glucose at and above that level ( the actual point is said to be 14 mmol/l but I use 13 mmol/l to allow for meter error) I have had very uncomfortable cramps, pain and nausea when I disobeyed this advice and had attempted to to exercise and 'burn off' the excess blood sugar and copped readings > 20 mmol/l into the bargain. I wait until my bsls in < 12 mmol/l before setting out)
    3) I was much less likely to get cramps if I took magnesium tablets the morning of the day of cycling. BUT I checked this with my doctor first. Magnesium tablets come in all sorts of combinations; Mg is short for magnesium and there is Mg sulphate ( Epsom salts, so not advised by anyone except for constipation !! !!), Mg orotate (but liver problems mentioned etc) So speak with your doctor as to what Mg supplement would be best to try and tablets vs powder etc.
    Enjoy the cycling !!
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