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Severe Hypos & Exercise

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by adrian29459, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. adrian29459

    adrian29459 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Its not often I write on here, I was wondering if anybody else has experience of having severe hypos (where they collapse) during exercise or relating to exercise? I've been running for 7 years and a type 1 diabetic for 17, but I had my first ever outdoor severe hypo while exercising last week. I also have an insulin pump.

    I was running a 10k race like I do a couple times a month. Tested my blood 30mins before the race and was 6.7. I now realise this was a probably a little too low if I add in the exercise I had already done, running to the event and warming up for the event. I ate a glucose tablet and then saved the pack to consume while I run, a tablet each mile. Turn my insulin pump to temp basal 12%. Unfortunately after about 3 mile I found my pace dropping from 6:30, to 7:00, then 7:30. I felt the odd jolt and then minute later I wake in an ambulance, I've had my first seizure while running! I'm asking the other runners and ambulance staff, "has the race started?", forgetting I was on the starting line 30mins ago.

    I've had numerous seizures this year, one in March, April and May mainly from over-dosing/correcting and exercise.

    Have any of you had seizures due to diabetes hypoglycaemia? What is the best food to have if you feel low? Dextrose tablets? Lucozade tablets? Lucozade drink? I've lost a bit of confidence I used to have when I ran, now I fear a hypo if I run on my own.
     
  2. RuthW

    RuthW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't run and I haven't had a seizure in years (touch wood), but I do use a pump and exercise. From what you are saying your severe hypos are getting quite frequent, and you are not actually perceiving them coming on in time to stop them, so it probably doesn't matter what we use as hypo stoppers (for the record, dates, but I'm not running!). Have you considered a CGM? It sounds like you would really benefit from one. With the last run, you would have known which way that 6.7 was trending and you would have been able to head it off if you had CGM.
     
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  3. Scardoc

    Scardoc · Well-Known Member

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    From the brief description above it does sound as though you are very experienced at managing your diabetes and running. I've only ever had one hypo of any note when running but that was just a little light headedness.....which in reality was bad as I was careering down a hill!

    Also, if you're running at 6:30 pace then I'm going to assume you're pushing hard, harder than training pace, and as such, from my experience, you shouldn't be getting that low. Especially not when you're taking glucose tablets. I take a jelly baby every mile but normally stop at 5 in a 10K.

    I have absolutely no experience of pumps though. I'd suggest going back to square one and test test test. Run a mile at 6:30 pace and test before and after, then 2 miles etc and build up a picture of what's happening. I never do much before a race in terms of running there or warming up but at two a month you will know better how that effects you.

    Final suggestion, I used to get hung up on starting a run with a higher BG level but stopped that years ago. I am happy to run from 5.5 upwards but I need to know which way my BG levels are heading. I always test 30mins prior to running and them immediately before. It's simple and tells me whether I need to consider more or less jelly babies than normal.
     
  4. adrian29459

    adrian29459 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies folks! Having spoke with my diabetes team recently I have had CGM on my mind. I've become aware of a product called Freestyle Libre, a unit you place in your arm and lasts for 14 days providing wireless BG readings and direction your BG is heading. It's not something I'd want in my body 24/7 as the pump annoys me enough already. At £60 for the unit and then £60 for each 14 days set of sensors its not cheap, or is it available on NHS, but its certainly something I may consider as a one off for a big race.

    Thanks for you ideas Scardoc, I think I might go out for a training run sometime with my tester, I've never done it before so it'll definitely be interesting to see how varying paces can affect my levels. I also might consider more testing leading up to races, I just feel sorry for my sore fingers!
     
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  5. Scardoc

    Scardoc · Well-Known Member

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    It's a real pain, no question, as I had to carry water and try to clean my hands before testing as I'd been handling jelly babies during the run! I also hate stopping during a run for anything. However, after a couple of months of heavy testing the data was invaluable and I can pretty accurately predict my post-run level these days.
     
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  6. Bebo321

    Bebo321 Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @adrian29459
    Sorry to hear you've been suffering with Hypos.
    Take a look at this video as it might help you work out what's happening. You may also like to consider joining the Sporty Diabetic Type 1's FB group and posting the question. (Find through www.teambloodglucose.com)
    It appears to me that your BG drop is most likely to do with your insulin/eating regime before exercise. Always best to exercise as far away from insulin infusion as possible.
    TeamBG are doing a Parkrun Harrow on August 1st if you want to join in, or the Robin Hood Half marathon on 27th September.
     
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  7. adrian29459

    adrian29459 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the message Bebo321. I've actually just recently joined the FB group, seems a great place to find tips and advice on diabetes for all sports :) I'm doing the Great North Run in September so another half marathon might be too many but I'll keep that one in mind! I also love doing parkruns and I've done most in the north east, Harrow is probably a bit too far.
    Love the video, some very valuable basic tips, I'll try to follow them in future!
     
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  8. Andrew61827

    Andrew61827 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi Adrian,
    I'm 27 and been type 1 since 2000. In that time I've had countless hypo's resulting in seizures never going 12 months without one. Though fingers crossed I haven't had one since Feb and have a good Hba1c at the moment.

    Many of my hypos have been following (not immediately but maybe hours later) exercise as I was always a very sporty teen and this has continued. I did regularly run 10k's though like you had been somewhat put off my a minor hypo during/after or occasional a major one after.
    I'm now trying to get back into running as well as my regular football by doing parkruns. I tend to test before but now I wear http://www.decathlon.co.uk/700-high-visibility-cycling-gillet-id_8315743.html and in the zipped area I keep glucogel, I find just having one glucose tablet per kilometre isn't enough on a 10k.
     
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  9. adrian29459

    adrian29459 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andrew, glad I'm not the only one who suffers with severe hypos. But I hope that's it and you don't encounter any more!
    I don't do many runs over 10k but today I learned that I must be extra careful after long runs. Yesterday I did 9mi and today at work a low hit me really hard, it took a long time to get it raised back to normal. I forget how long distance can still affect levels 24hrs after running.

    I generally only need a tablet every mile, sometimes I can get away with less. I'm definitely going to purchase some glucogel, seems like the best option to avoid further severe hypos. Good luck on your running
     
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