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Gardening Hypos

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by FUD, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. FUD

    FUD Type 1 · Member

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    I’m relatively fit and undertake endurance activities with no problem, just monitoring and eating fast/slow carbs along the way.

    However when I cut the grass my sugars always drop considerably, I usually have to pre-empt it and have a brew biscuit halfway through.

    One doctor said it’s due to the excercise pushing the lawnmower, but I don’t accept that. Another said it was to do with a ‘calming’ affect which drops the levels and sometimes blood pressure.

    I thought it maybe a reaction to grass pollen. The last time I did it there were literally clouds of pollen, and my sugars dropped. It took about 10x the amount of fast acting carbs I normally need to recover from the BS drop.

    Anyone else experience this?
     
  2. Muneeb

    Muneeb Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Slow passed activity, even such as walking is known to drop glucose levels in a lot of people. Pushing a lawn mower around will have a similar effect I would have thought if not more of a drop.
     
  3. jackois

    jackois Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Low impact exercise, walking, gardening, golf and the like always have a lowering effect my my blood sugar. To the point whereby, having had 40 grams of carb for breakfast can be dealt with by an 40 minute stroll. I'll, often, take myself off for a 10 minute walk if I mis-calculate my rapid acting,rather than a correction dose.

    It can be a nuisance when playing a round of golf as I need to constantly top up with snacks to avoid low blood sugars... and erratic golf as a consequence.

    Higher impact exercise usually raises my sugars initially due to glucogen demand from the muscles initially, followed by a drop after exercise is finished as the glucogen supply is replenished.

    You aren't alone and may find it worth seeing if the effect from mowing the lawn has the same effect with just walking.
     
  4. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Do you prefer to cut the grass on a certain day or time of day?

    Its still physical activity, which you may not consider the same as planned exercise and so don't make and adjustments....

    I almost always go low when doing the grass.....and for some reason, I never plan ahead.....;)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    Thankfully, I do not have a lawn so cannot repeat the experiment on myself.
    However, like you I am pretty active.

    Given you undertake endurance activities, I would be surprised if the exercise itself was the cause of your lows.
    Grass pollen is an interesting theory. Do you suffer from hay fever? I wonder if it is the impact of any anti-histamine.
     
    #5 helensaramay, Dec 14, 2018 at 9:15 AM
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  6. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    I also have the same issue with gardening and mowing the lawn, not sure if it's a combination of exercise and concentration, I know with shopping I am also prone to going low because I have to remember what I need and where to find it, we often over look the amount of glucose our brains need rather than the physical exercise, not sure about grass pollen having any effect on glucose levels though that sounds like a long shot theory.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Chris Bowsher

    Chris Bowsher Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    my insulin changes from 1u/10g to about 1u/40g when i am gardening.

    so yes it has a big impact.
     
  8. evilclive

    evilclive Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily gardening, but I'm always surprised how much a pottering around day consumes (more sugar/less insulin), even if the pottering is fairly gentle. I do lower insulin compared to a work day, and I also don't mind the opportunity to eat :)
     
  9. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    High intensity exercise pushes BGs up; low intensity exercise drops BGs.
     
  10. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    I have the same problem. Much to my surprise I've started going hypo a few times whilst using the lawnmower. Now I ensure my BS is a bit on the high side before starting.
     
  11. slip

    slip Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I thought I was alone with this, obviously not then! Like @novorapidboi26 planning on mowing the grass never enters my head.

    It's interesting to see what other peoples take on it is? mowing isn't that physical especially with a self-propelled mower and if I just walk around the garden as if I had a mower in front of me wouldn't produce the same effect - much like walking the dog doesn't really drop me as much.

    Interesting, I won't say fact, but theory I guess: Why does cut grass smell? to attract predatory animals to frighten off the herds of herbivores feeding on the grass!
     
  12. Dodo

    Dodo Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    For some reason gardening has always brought on a hypo. I don’t mow the lawns but just weeding, planting, etc., seems to lower my sugar within half an hour.
     
  13. FUD

    FUD Type 1 · Member

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    I’m don’t have hay fever. Sounds like a few have the same then. It’s just the amount of fast acting carbs I needed last time to counter it, usually it’s just 2 jellies and a biscuit. But the last time it was 2-3 snack bars and about 20 jellies to get me back up! I also play golf occasionally and test, usually need a snack bar and 2 jellies half way round.
     
  14. jackois

    jackois Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I used to be the same , ate my way around the golf course. I found that I could reduce my basal significantly without rising through the night, and by using slightly more fast acting through the days I wasn't playing, stay away from going low during a round.
     
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