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 »

Exercise spikes

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by briony1, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. briony1

    briony1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Hi all!

    Is there anyway of avoiding or minimising spikes from intense exercise? Have started up some training again and went from 9.4 to 23.9 ☹️
     
    • Hug Hug x 4
  2. Hayley78

    Hayley78 Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi Briony, You have spikes from exercise? that's new to me. I'm sorry to hear this though. I'm glad I started to look on this site, as its full of info, and learning new things, even after a life time of living with diabetes. are you on fast acting insulin?x
     
  3. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    1,681
    Trophy Points:
    198
    HI Briony, I get this to a certain extent with high intensity exercise, I assume because I'm quite insulin resistant (thanks T2 dad) and the stress hormones activated by HIT make my liver dump glucose? (I'm sure someone will correct me if I've misunderstood the mechanism).

    It always seems a bit of a lottery, because moderate intensity exercise (walking the dog etc) improves my insulin resistance and makes me go low...

    So, some thoughts.
    I'm assuming you're not wearing a pump because if you were you could just increase your basal for exercise.
    Consider prebolusing for exercise? I wear a dexcom so I can see pretty fast if my levels are rising or lowering in a gym session. If they are rising unacceptably I'll pop an extra 1 or 2 units. Obviously the quantity depends on your own body, and you'd need to work it out. Predexcom I'd do a blood test before the session and then maybe 1 or 2 during, just to see what's happening.

    Another thought, I find that my insulin resistance gets worse when my blood sugar starts to go high. Your spike might have been less if you'd started at 6.4.....

    Also, it may (or may not) make a difference if you exercise just after a meal (bolus from the meal still in your system and maybe the exercise will make you less insulin resistant) compared to before a meal (nothing in there apart from your basal)

    Really, you'll have to experiment and test test test.

    And if that 23 was from a sensor not a blood test, consider sensor error.... They are not at all accurate at higher levels. (And honestly, if it was from a glucometer, always wash your hands and try again, as it may have been a glucometer error.)

    Good luck. I'm sure you'll be able to work it out eventually. Don't let the spike put you off exercise, as in the long run it'll help you.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Jollymon

    Jollymon Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    432
    Trophy Points:
    103
    If the body is stressed it will increase blood sugar.

    How many times have you run this experiment and seen your number go up? If only once then it’s a fluke. If all the time then you need more insulin.
     
  5. Medina27

    Medina27 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    68
    My guess is that you're on a high carb diet and your liver has a ton of glycogen stored for contingency

    It's my understanding there is no limit to the amount of glycogen the liver can store and some people have obscenely large reserves

    On the flip side. If you have no glycogen stored, this is probably what causes "death in bed" as the body has no means of releasing sugars into the blood

    This is all a hunch btw. I'm still learning every day

    But in my opinion most diabetes problems are solved through a carb restricted lifestyle. Not zero carb or high carb. But LOW CARB
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  6. Maco

    Maco Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    48
    you really need to stop posting these opinions about low carb, type 1 diabetic problems aren’t solved by going low carb at all. It’s nonsense.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  7. Maco

    Maco Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    48
    @EllieM, are you On a pump? I am & also get the really big spike during weight sessions. I’m on the 780G so I can’t adjust my basal for workouts as I’m in automode so it does it all for me. If you are on a pump are you entering “fake carbs” for a bolus to counteract a rise during your workout
     
  8. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Likes Received:
    2,065
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Think about this for a minute.
    No limit?
    That is obviously ridiculous.

    First Internet hit says average 500 grams of glycogen is stored if not fasting/low carb:
    "Of this, around 400 grams, or 1,600 calories, are in your muscles and about 100 grams, or 400 calories of glycogen, are stored in your liver."

    As a T2 I get the exercise hit even when I am low carbing and mainly in ketosis.
    Possibly worse in ketosis.
    My theory is that I'm not burning glucose because I am burning ketones but my liver hasn't realised so it keeps chucking glucose into my blood stream.

    I am assuming that if a T1 is eating normal carbohydrates and matching with insulin then the glycogen stores will usually be full.

    Low carb/keto T2s will probably have shed much of the usual glycogen store - that easy 4 lbs you take off at the start - but there will still be stores because the liver has to create glycogen (gluco-neo-genesis) to feed parts of the brain and other bits and pieces which can't utilise ketones. Keto adapted people still have a BG level!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    2,030
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi Briony, how long after your exercise did it start to come down and what were your levels like in the following 24 hours or so? I think that everybody's glucose spikes when they do hard exercise (along with the release of other hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline etc) but the difference is that a 'normal' person's body will release the exact amount of insulin to bring it down (or to stop it going too high). I exercise a lot, nothing extreme, mainly running and if I run hard (for any amount of time) OR I run gently but for over 40 minutes, up it goes. Not by a lot but when I am circuit training (not often, mainly for work) I can guarantee it is going to shoot high. For me, it comes down again within an hour and is on the lower side for the whole of the day. I am prepared to put up with that because after months of eating carbs before exercise, eating carbs after, or taking insulin before or after, etc, I realised that all of those methods had a price to pay, ie I'd hypo every other hour following exercise. Now I know how my body is going to react so personally, I test before exercise and if its not too low to begin with, I just get on with it. I test after (thankfully the libre is great for this) and it shows the spike followed quickly by the drop and then quickly again by levelling out to what it started off as! It's definitely a personal thing to try and get right and yes, I wouldn't want it to spike into the 20s so I sympathise, hence me asking how long for. x
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    1,681
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Not on a pump, as I have problems finding sites for my dexcom, have skin allergy issues and I can "get by" with basal/bolus.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Medina27

    Medina27 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Okay. If you really believe restricting carbs isn't beneficial for diabetics then I don't know what else to say. You're entitled to your opinion as am I

    Yeah I know it sounds crazy. I got that info from this seminar below. The Professor at some point mentions how people can grow "livers down to their knees" from so much glycogen storage. Interesting stuff if you have the time to watch but it's quite long

    Sugar: The Bitter Truth - YouTube
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  12. Maco

    Maco Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    48
    For type 2’s obviously avoiding carbs can be massively beneficial, but for type 1’s we don’t need to avoid or restrict them. The main thing we need to know is how many carbs is in the meal we are eating. Last night for instance I went to the local fish shop & got sausage chips curry sauce & a bread bun (cheat meal). Using the carbs & Cals app i estimated around 150grams of carbs, I then ate a portion of sticky toffee pudding with cream for desert a following 35grams of carbs. So 185g of carbs in one sitting, I calculated the carbs took my insulin and my readings never went above 10 & I woke up this morning at 7.2. If you have a read on the diabetes uk page there’s a good read about type 1s and carbs, it quite openly says we don’t need to avoid or restrict them.

    It’s like anything in life, eat them in proportion. If you are fit & healthy but started to eat 200/300grams
    Of unclean rubbish carbs you’ll gain weight. I know of a few bodybuilders who are type 1 who compete professionally & they have to eat 500grams of carbs per day in there ‘off season’! Now look at them lads they are in the shape of there life’s, 14/15/16 stone with a tiny amount of body fat. If your interested google a man named Anth Bailes or Jason Poston, both IFBB Pro bodybuilders with diabetes. Them lads eat massive amounts of carbs
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,619
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Good training effort. Your liver obviously needed to drum up some glucose quickly so at least you know you were doing all out!
    This happens to me and what you do depends on how near to a meal was it? If near reduce carb at that meal or add bolus but ensure you then do the HiiT quickly to avoid hypos and don't start exercising if your blood sugar is below 4 (you probably won't want to).
    What happens afterwards? Do you drop over the rest of the day? If not you will need to treat the spike.
    Lastly can you add in some steady state gentle walking and stretching to take things down.
    If you don't have time or its just before a meal you could take more bolus or cut carbs.

    I find exercise does make diabetes a little more complicated but am sure it is worth it to prevent weight gain, heart disease etc. as long as those spikes don't go on for a long time or lead to over corrections/hypos.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. PaulAshby

    PaulAshby Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    81
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Wow, how much insulin did you give yourself before you started exercise?
     
  15. jaywak

    jaywak Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    103
     
  16. jaywak

    jaywak Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    103
    A good thing about eating food like that and in them sort of portions you won't have to worry about long term complications .
     
  17. oldgreymare

    oldgreymare Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    241
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Sadly, I cannot agree. Been diagnosed T1 12 years, only last 18 months using a CGM. Pragmatically I may well be a "double" diabetic - low food intake (of any type!), low stress, low exertion and only slow long duration cardio exercise and my BG profile looks good and indicative of an insulin sensitive T1. So in theory able to handle using appropriately measured carbs/insulin dosing.

    BUT any high intensity exercise (and I SO need this to combat my osteoporosis and keep muscle mass) easily sends my BGs soaring (to 20's). As do ANY carbs within 3 hours of my dawn phenomenon. Both can take a long time/extra insulin to resolve. I also need to bolus significant amounts of insulin for protein. I cannot ignore any indications of insulin resistance.

    Diabetes is such an extremely complicated disease for all - there are no black and white rules - we all need to work out what works for us individually.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. Maco

    Maco Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    48

    Totally agree, everyone that’s diabetic is different.

    It doesn’t matter if your diabetic or not, high intensity activity will spike your blood sugars. I lift weights 6 days a week and regularly see numbers of 16/17 but I’ll always drop naturally.

    Unlike you I don’t need to bolus for any protein & I eat large amounts of it. 2/3 Protein shakes per day that have 25-30g of protein per shake, high protein meals such as chicken, turkey, mince etc etc. Lunch & dinner normally have 60-70g of protein just in the meat alone.

    What would you consider low carb? What I may consider high or low carb could be the complete opposite to you. Low carb days for me are between 120-150g of carbs, high carb for me would be 200-250g of carbs. Everyone’s opinions and thoughts are different. I can eat as many carbs in a day as I want, I know my insulin ratios & have them dailed in pretty tightly so aslong as I take the insulin to cover it & pre bolus I have no issues.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. oldgreymare

    oldgreymare Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    241
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I am mostly low carb (30-50g) as it is the only way I can keep levels mostly in range, occasionally maybe 100g a day, but then need much higher insulin ratios and can take a couple of days to get stable levels and back to my lower ratios. I'm sure I could tolerate more carbs if I was constantly physically active, but I'm not a natural exercise bunny!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

    Messages:
    18,425
    Likes Received:
    27,562
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hi, what type of exercise is ' intense', as your 23.9 is horrendous, not judging at all, I've had some bad ones, but that must be worrying for you and frustrating too.
    I tend to go hypo with exercise. I hope you can get it sorted out so you can enjoy your exercise without the worry.
    Take care.
     
  • 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