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Managing Diabetes On The Bike

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by ade2020, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. ade2020

    ade2020 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi All

    I am wondering how fellow cyclists manage their diabetes while out on a longer ride 3 hours plus.

    I am aware you should be stopping to check your BS every 20-30 mins especially if like me your newly diagnosed and still getting used to managing your BS on an ordinary day to day basis.

    Have you set up alert reminders either through an app that partners with your bike computer ( I use Wahoo Elemnt Bolt) so having a reminder pop up would be very useful as easy to forget when in the zone.

    Also is it best to eat every 30 mins on slow release carb snack. Lots to learn and take in, also my diagnosis explains why I have found my rides harder than usual over the past year or so.
     
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  2. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This guy is a cyclist and gives a useful guide on managing bgs during exercise. I'd get a cgm to make the regular testing easier assuming you are type 1 right? It is a free e book here or you can get a hard copy on Amazon. Lots of other tips too.
    https://brightspotsandlandmines.org/
    Personally I would drop insulin rather than constantly snacking but that's as a female trying to remain lean! Past 1.5 hours cycling you may well need carby snacks unless you are used to eating less carb (fat burning adapted).
     
  3. ade2020

    ade2020 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi Nicole

    Still waiting on my GAD test blood test that will determine my type???

    Have been looking into cgm but libra shop closed to new customers at present. I am experimenting with my insulin to see what happens with my bs to my partner's annoyance as she reminds me diabetic nurse and dr advised not to but how else do I learn. I may only need background insulin instead of before meals insulin or Visa Versa.

    It's all a bit of an experiment more do when exercising.

    Thank you for your advice and will look up the book.
     
  4. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Libre can be bought directly from pharmacies without prescription if you have a compatible phone.
     
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  5. ade2020

    ade2020 Type 2 · Member

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    I did not know that. Thanks
     
  6. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have a compatible phone (like me), it comes with its own reader anyway.
     
  7. ade2020

    ade2020 Type 2 · Member

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    Do you need to put an armband or tape around it in case it falls off while riding?
     
  8. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had to do this, it sticks on very firmly with its own plunger. I think some people secure it even further with a variety of tape though, I run a lot and it hasn't come off yet. No harm in using extra tape though (you can buy some made specifically for the job) when you're biking.
     
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  9. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not from a chemist as far as I know. That’s just the sensor not the reader. Readers only available from Abbott I think.
     
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  10. Rosco55

    Rosco55 Type 1 · Member

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    Hi
    I road, track and trail ride. Diagnosed T1 13 years ago. Currently using Omnipod. For a 3 hour road ride I decrease my base insulin by 85%....usually 45mins prior to setting out. Sometimes require a carbo top up in last hour. Depends on intensity of ride, terrain etc. Am careful post ride in case of hypos. Eat carbo meal within 90 mins of exercise end to meet glycogen window. Seems to work OK for myself. Everyone is different. Trial and error.
    Ross
     
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  11. ade2020

    ade2020 Type 2 · Member

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    I'm getting to grips with my diabetes now, type to have just needed background insulin 5 units morning and evening.

    The more exercise I do though I don't need any insulin as my body seems to burns off carbohydrates and DN advised that I don't take insulin before going on a ride. Usually need jelly babies to maintain my sugar levels on a longer or more intense effort.

    So if I exercise a lot more regularly I am hoping I will not need insulin if system self regulates.

    Watch this space
     
  12. MarkHaZ123

    MarkHaZ123 · Well-Known Member

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    I tend to always eat something like toast or crumpets before going out on the bike. I don't have any insulin with this meal and I always take jelly babies, cereal bars and gels with me. I tend to stop every 15 miles or hour for 5 minutes and have a little snack

    I haven't had issues whilst out on the bike but Iv had issues after when Iv got home and had a bath I end up in hypo

    Iv just started with the libre this week so I'm hoping it will help on the bike. It helped with football on Wednesday night and also yesterday when I was out on the drink for 15 hours

    I'm doing the coast to coast for charity next week from Morecambe to Bridlington so it will be interesting to see what the libre is like doing that

    I think just keeping plenty of stock on you and having things slowly should help
     
  13. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I note that you are showing up as Type 2 but you are recently diagnosed and taking insulin so perhaps T1?

    Anyway, as a T2 on a ketogenic diet all that carbohydrate stuff passes me by.
    I cycle fasted or with coffee, butter and cream as "breakfast".
    Being in ketosis generally means that you can ride for hours without needing anything but hydration, but you do have to eat eventually. :)

    Freestyle Libre is a very useful tool.
    I bought mine from Asda pharmacy until I made it to the top of the waiting list for Abbott and now I order it on line.

    I'm not sure if we have T1s on a ketogenic diet who also cycle; hopefully someone will turn up to advise if this is an option.
     
  14. ade2020

    ade2020 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi

    I'm definitely type 2, and since I've upped my miles on the bike I have not needed any insulin at all. I had to keep topping up on the jelly babies during a 2.5hr ride this evening as I basically didn't eat the correct slow release carbs and my BS went to 5.4 when I got through the door and I then ate my dinner even had a brownie and spiked to 8.7 then went down to 6 half an hour later.

    The key is exercise along with low carb diet, although I do eat some carbs without any detrimental fluctuations in my BS levels.
     
  15. Ray B

    Ray B Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi
    I have Type 1 and I obviously am baffled when ketones are discussed in a positive way. I have always believed ketones to be a killer in diabetes as they form a poison in your body and are meant to be avoided at all costs?
    As I say my knowledge and experience is of lifelong Type 1 over 74 years and I know how knowledge develops and changes.
    Any way in terms of managing 8 hour rides, I would generally reduce my quick acting by half and enjoy porridge and whole meal toast. On my longer rides there have been stopping points along the routes where bananas and cakes etc have been available. Jelly babies are my backup carbs and testing blood sugar goes hand in hand. You will develop an awareness of dropping sugar levels over time and as such do the test. It can be confusing at times because natural growing tiredness does feel similar to onset of hypos. In my experience.
    Enjoy your cycling and don’t be afraid to take on usual challenges.
    I must just add that my longer rides have been with family members which also helps.
    Good luck
     
  16. Ray B

    Ray B Type 1 · Active Member

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  17. prestonmike1

    prestonmike1 · Member

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    If im going out for a longer ride, i'll usually eat a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast about 30 to 45 minutes before setting off and wont take any insulin for it, that usually gets me through the first 90-120 minutes then i'll top up with a gel or some haribo
    as others have suggested, getting a freestyle libre has made monitoring during exercise so much easier, its definitely made my life so much better while out on the bike, you can see what direction your levels are going in so if you see it going down quickly, you can stop for 5 minutes and have something to eat then check again, with the finger pricks, you dont know if you are going up or down
    some people have mentioned going keto and not eating any carbs, but if i did that my levels would drop low within an hour of cycling so for me personally, i would never do that, but everyones body reacts differently so you need to work out what works best for you
     
  18. MarkHaZ123

    MarkHaZ123 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm back to working out what is best for me again

    I commented on here around March time when I had found the right way to do things but lately I'm back to square one with going low

    Left this morning at 7.7 after having 3 slices of toast with peanut butter. I stopped after an hour or so and was dropping so had half a cereal type bar and a couple of jelly babies. Stopped an hour later and had dropped into hypo range so had another bar and also jelly babies. Got home and back into the red

    The heat is really killing my blood sugar levels at the moment. Its the same for work aswell. The only thing that seems to work is using powdered energy drinks and sipping them but them aswell as jelly babies just make me need the toilet all the time.

    I am managing to ride still, did 52 miles today but I'm eating more on the way round due to the heat just to get through. I don't take insulin before hand except my levemir but I take half of that


    If anyone knows of foods to try that would be great. Iv tried cereals, porridge, pasta and toast Screenshot_20200525_133815_com.freestylelibre.app.gb.jpg
     
  19. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Are you following up those low readings with a fingerprick?
     
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