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 »

Hiking the West Highland way

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by Wooly123, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Hi all, im 32 and I have booked to do the west highland way in April over 6 days with my boyfriend and a bunch of our friends. My hba1c is 7.3 and I’ve had diabetes since I was 7. My control isn’t bad but it definitely could be better. I find it hard to predict the affects of exercise on my sugar levels at time so I do struggle with night time lows and highs frequently if I’ve been jogging. I can’t possibly do much more testing as I already test a minimum of 10 times per day if I’m exercising or driving. I can’t really get help from a diabetes team as I moved to Scotland in March last year just before covid-19 hit so even though I have been referred as a new patient they have told me I won’t be given an appointment as I’m considered a ‘routine outpatient’ and in the pandemic they are prioritising emergencies only. I was thinking I could contact my former consultant in London and see if he would still be able to guide me or maybe insisting to the Scottish NHS that I am an emergency. Anyway I guess that’s a separate issue.

    I will be the only diabetic in my hiking group and they really are a fantastic bunch of people but I’m worried that the trip might be spoilt by the fact that I’m diabetic and really don’t want to be a burden or struggle through this. I am also not happy about the lack of bathrooms at some the accommodation as sugar levels can sometimes mean more toilet breaks!

    Does anyone have any words of wisdom? Am
    I worried for no reason? Has anyone done a weeks worth of hiking before or the West Highland way perhaps? Should I stop being such a big sissy? Haha
     
  2. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,023
    Likes Received:
    10,948
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hi @Wooly123 ,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Words of wisdom?
    Testing testing testing. You could invest in a sensor like a Freestyle libre to help monitor your BGs on & for the duration of the activity? All you need is an NFC enabled phone & the Librelink app.

    I'll tag in @Juicyj , who i believe from memory has done a bit of hiking.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Wow! That sounds amazing.

    Consultant-wise, I would push to talk to some one. Not least because I think a Libre would be really really helpful and I thought (but someone will correct me if I am wrong) they are more commonly prescribed in Scotland than England.
    Libre 2 are just starting to be seen in the wild and may be more common by April. They have the added advantage that they will alert when your blood sugars get too high or too low.

    I have not walked the West Highland Way but I have been on a some walking holidays for 1 or 2 weeks and managed my diabetes.

    I carry hypo treatment close to hand at all times and something to snack on to maintain levels in my pocket. I found something like the trail mix with coconut and dried fruit in really useful.
    When in the gym I would add a small amount of fruit squash to my water. Not very much but enough to maintain my blood sugars. I have not tried it whilst walking but it may be useful.

    When walking for a few consecutive days, I found I needed to reduce my basal. I did it gradually based on what happened overnight. After 10 days walking in the Himalayas, my basal was reduced to 10% of normal.

    Toilet-wise, I confess to "going in the wild" if necessary. It is not lady like but hopefully, they are plenty of bushes around to crouch behind. Needs must and the like. Take wet wipes to clean your hands afterwards. Don't worry about your friends, they'' probably appreciate the odd break.

    Above all, have fun, don't stress and have an amazing time.

    And don't forget to pack waterproofs :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks, I would love the Freestyle Libre but from what I hear it’s quite expensive which we can’t really afford at the moment but will look into it further :)
     
  5. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,635
    Trophy Points:
    198
    It sounds great and I am envious as have been watching the scenery on a Channel 5 train journey programme!
    I think the libre will be fantastic tool against hyos given that its quite hard to test when on the move. I would consider just getting a 2 week free sample or pay£58 if you can.
    I do plenty of walking and find steady, slow state cardio drops my blood sugars whereas doing push ups or running up a hill shoots it up.
    You could work out how much you drop in 1 hour if you're the same and plan to start out with your bg that much above such that you end up in the right place blood sugar wise. Time for experimentation but expect to mis calculate and ensure the others have easy to access packets of raisins, mini cookies or whatever you need.
    As you know going to high won't help either as your blood sugar will keep on rising beyond a certain point (mine is about 15) and you'll definitely be pee ing for Scotland behind those gorse bushes as well as feeling rough.
    I am also an advocate for low carb so keep an even keel as often its the mis tming of jabs versus carb amounts that can cause issues if you've already got a good basal rate. I don't know if this is feasible when self catering though so its up to you.
    Adam Brown gives good advice in Bright Spots and Landmines (google for a free e-book) though he's more of a cyclist but that's low intensity endurance exercise too.
    Enjoy and don't be afraid to say to your friends if you're struggling and need to test/snack/jab as they will want you to enjoy the walking too and will be in awe of what you have to do to keep on top of your diabetes.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,023
    Likes Received:
    10,948
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Yeah, If it's any consolation. Being T1 they knock off the VAT.

    I wish i had one back in the days i was backpacking India or traipsing around Ireland with a ridge tent.
    If you can manage to acquire one.? Plant it a couple of days prior to the start of your adventure..
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Ushthetaff

    Ushthetaff Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    123
    I’ve did a bit of hiking aa few years ago , I tended to keep my blood sugar s abit higher than normal when I did it , as being a bit high for a few days wouldn’t be the end of the world plus it keeps hypos out of the way as when your hiking hypos will spoil your trip and affect distances you can walk.. Try and test as much as you can I agree with @ Jaylee a libre would be a great addition to your kit as well as long acting carbs , I made a fruit cake Before I went was great with a strong coffee and kept my energy levels up, I live in Scotland so have traveled near the West Highland Way , if you’re in the Glencoe area the red squirrel camp site is an absolute must as is the nearby Clachan Inn . Have a great trip when it comes , don’t stress and enjoy the beautiful Scottish countryside.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks, I think it’s worth me pushing to get an ‘emergency referral’ it’s so I can get to speak to someone about the Libre. I was reluctant to in the Summer time as was made to feel as if it’s not urgent but it’s dragging on a bit now and I feel us diabetics still need the support BEFORE it becomes an emergency. I think you are right, they do seem to be more common in Scotland as I was asked if I was already using one when I registered at the GP.

    Wow as low as 10% of your basal? I take 10 units of Levimir in the morning and 10 at night so not sure I would only take 10% of that, but was thinking to do half a full dose on the first day and see how that goes.

    Thanks for the advice and I will have to get it into my head that we will just have to “go in the wild” when it comes to toilet breaks most definitely need waterproofs in Scotland too!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks Nicole, will definitely call my GP to push through my referral now as everyone seems to be saying the same thing about the Libre. If I can’t get a Libre in time will look into to getting a free sample or short term one, which I didn’t know existed! Excellent suggestions
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks Jaycee. Will definitely be trying to get a Libre one way or another now. I kind of gave up hope on getting one when my referral got postponed but I now feel motivated to speak up to the doctors and actually ask for what I need now or buy a small amount for the trip
     
  11. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Sorry your name got spellchecked Jaylee!
     
  12. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks, great advice. Will try to keep my blood sugar a little higher than usual when setting off as exercise always me low in the later part of the day. I will do all I can to get the Libre now! We will be going through the Glencoe area but I think that was the night we managed to book a decent hotel. Will definitely be looking forward to it more now after such great tips
     
  13. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,023
    Likes Received:
    10,948
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Lol, don't worry. You got this trip. Owned... :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Wooly123

    Wooly123 · Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks, already feel so much better about it
     
    • Like Like x 1
  • 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