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Exercise and rising blood glucose

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by MauraH, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone, Several times now my BG has risen after I exercise, even gently. I'm afraid to exercise now, even though that is what we are told to do. Does anyone have any insights or advice? Thanks so much.
     
  2. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    PS: I am a recently diagnosed T2 and am at my ideal body weight.
     
  3. RuthW

    RuthW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Maura, if you go to this thread, you will find someone asking almost exactly the same question and you will find the answers all laid out. It's quite common!
     
  4. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much. I read most of it and it seems that most of those on the thread engage in pretty serious exercise. My problem is that my blood sugar goes up after a short walk. I can't understand it!
     
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    It happens to me, too. I have 2 dog walks a day, nothing strenuous and only 20 minutes at a time. This sends my levels up.
    When I do more housework than normal, such as cleaning all the windows, this sends my levels up. Even pushing the vacuum round the house does. I read on here when I was first diagnosed that if levels are high after a meal, run up and down the stairs 10 times and they will drop like a stone. This just did not work for me at all. I still have to do the housework and walk the dog, so I just put up with it and tell myself it is good for me in other ways. :)
     
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  6. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So weird but just what I am going through. Have you talked to a health professional about it?
     
  7. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    No. It isn't weird, it's just the way my body works. It's just the same as the Dawn Phenomenon. Some people's livers dump glucose early morning to help them get up and start the day. Some livers dump glucose during or just after exercise to help the muscles cope. It's a natural occurrence that can happen to anyone, diabetic or not, but doesn't happen to everyone. I just look on it as my liver looking after me and doing its job. The increase in BS levels during/after exercise doesn't last long as the muscles use it up, or that is the theory! Have a look round these forums, or Google it, there is plenty of information abut it out there.
     
  8. Baruney

    Baruney Type 2 · BANNED

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    Hola @MauraH

    You're going to have to treat exercise as a bit of an experiment as you are having to experiment with what diet you can tolerate.

    I don't know your particular circumstances but you say that even moderate exercise raises your bs. Well one man's moderate is another woman's intense! It's all down to what heart rate zone you are exercising in. So although you may believe that you are exercising gently you might not be.

    The only way to tell is to buy an inexpensive (not 'cheap') heart rate monitor and work out your maximum heart rate and examine what heart rate zone you are working in. It may all seem a bit complicated at first but it isn't. It is the same as working out what you can or can't eat - well what is good for your bloods or not.

    For example if you find that your bs goes up after a particular exercise you may find that it 'spikes' down afterwards or you may find that your bs lowers over a more lengthy period of time for eg your fasting levels show a downward trend - and that's the one that's important.

    Afraid to say that the advice of t2s is too generic like its a magic bullet and so easy to say by hcps. You know run up and down the stairs 10 times, walk briskly for 20 mins half hour. You'll only work out what is right for you by experiment. Myself hoovering sends my bs stratospheric and shopping is the same stress as experienced as a good pilot but I'm more than happy to plod along for a marathon!

    Find what you like to do and test.

    All the best.

    Baruney.
     
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  9. ChuckD

    ChuckD Family member · Member

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    What kind of fitness regime are you on? I got myself a bike from these guys last week and will continue to make a home gym over the coming year. I found i wasnt getting myself down to the gym for various reasons: parking, time, pressure etc etc, so i brought the gym to me!
     
  10. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Right now I have no exercise regime as I am afraid to exercise -- I don't want my blood sugar going up because of the damage. I can't find information that would help me decide how to go forward.
     
  11. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    So, how much does your bg rise? And what is the usual starting point?

    And what type of exercise? How long? And what intensity?

    And what is your current fitness level?

    Sorry about the barrage, but if you are afraid of exercising, then they are all relevant...
     
  12. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm a newbie T2, diagnosed a couple of months ago,120 lbs. so no extra weight, pretty sedentary. I used to go on occasional long walks before the diagnosis but since then I tried one long walk and short walks around the neighbourhood and each time my BG rose about 2 points, so if it was 7, it went to 9. It's scary since we're told to exercise. I'm not on an meds and I understand that exercise serves several functions for diabetes so I need to exercise. I actually appreciate the questions--thanks!
     
  13. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I also have hypothyroidism and have been on new medication since the time of the diabetes diagnosis. I have a pretty low carb diet since my BG rises when I eat bread and related.
     
  14. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Thanks for answering the questions. :)

    I would say that 2 mmol/l is nothing to worry about.
    If you are sedentary (ish) then your body is probably thinking (what the heck! This is unusual! Maybe i should prepare a bit of extra energy to be available in case this weird activity continues!')
    ;)
    It will be taking a bit of your glycogen store from the liver, breaking it down into glucose and letting it float around in the bloodstream just in case you decide to do something really freaky, like run up a flight of stairs and punch the air (Like Rocky at the end of his training runs)

    The increased movement and activity will increase the blood supply to your muscles, and they will use up 2 points worth of glucose in the next few mins or hours.

    As a very general rule, gentle exercise tends to lower bg a bit. While intense exercise raises bg a bit. That is in the short term.

    However, over the longer term (several hours, sometimes even the rest of the day) bg tends to drift a bit lower.

    The fitter you are, the harder you have to exercise to see these effects. So a sedentary person may see the up-then-down effect with a trundle round the block or a single flight of stairs. An athlete may have to run a significant distance to get the effect.

    In your situation, i would conduct a wee experiment (i love these little adventures).

    Check your bg before you start.
    Do a brisk walk round the block.
    Test your bg at the end, then once an hour for a few hours.
    You should see a short term rise followed by a drift down, possibly to a lower level than your starting point
    Result: an overall benefit

    Repeat this for several days.
    As your body adjusts, you will probably see a smaller rise, and more sustained benefit.

    Once you have got used to that level of activity, if you want greater benefits, then you can increase the intensity, or increase the duration of the exercise.

    Oh, and to give you a sense of the impact of different bg rises, type 1 diabetics are advised not to exercise at over 13mmol/l, most doctors say don't be over 7.8 mmol/l at 2 hours after food (but accept that you may be much higher than that at 1 hour after food), and any form of stress/excitement/shock (from a job interview to running for the bus, to an argument, to going on a blind date) will raise your bg. There is nothing inherently wrong with temporarily somewhat raised bg. The problems come when that rise is extreme, sustained and uncontrolled.

    Hope that helps.

    Oh, and one more thing. Several of us use these trackable benefits to help control our bg.
    Let's say i am in a situation where a few extra carbs sneak into my evening meal. My bg is likely to rise higher than normal, isnt it? Since i don't want that, i can use exercise to drive the bg down again. A brisk walk, a quick blast up and down a few flights of stairs, a bout on the exercise bike, and my muscles burn up that extra glucose as it arrives in the bloodstream after food.

    This is not a cure-all, because if the meal is large and slow to digest, the bg rise may be longer, bigger and lingering, but it is a good thing to keep in your toolbox, if you need. :)
     
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    #14 Brunneria, Oct 2, 2015 at 9:18 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2015
  15. mfactor

    mfactor Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yep I found my bloods were going up about 4 points after exercise (weight training) , so searched the net and found one piece of info that seemed a bit counter intuitive, the science was a bit complicated and I cant even remember where I found it...............

    Simply take a small amount of carbs half hour before exercise , I have a small piece of wholemeal toast.....

    And it worked (for me) :) it still rose but only 1 -2 points
     
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  16. RuthW

    RuthW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Maura, are you T1 or T2, or another variation?
     
  17. misswhiplash

    misswhiplash Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    How long were you walking? Generally your body will release glucose when you begin (aerobic) activity (as muscles etc need it to work), but the longer you go, the more of it you will use up. For me, if I walk for, say, an hour, my glucose levels will rise for the first 20 mins or so, then level out for a bit and then drop (often quite dramatically) after about 45 minutes. I'm T1, but the principle is the same for everyone. Are you familiar with teambloodglucose.com? They have lots of useful and accessible info on their website!
     
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  18. MauraH

    MauraH Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'm going to try experimenting with exercise. I appreciate all the advice. So much to track with diabetes :mad: This disease sucks. Thank goodness for the forum.
     
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