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Taekwondo gradings and high blood sugars

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by LilaE, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. LilaE

    LilaE Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    I'm interested to know if anyone else on this forum practices a martial art and how they deal with the gradings (or if anyone has any ideas to help!)

    In Taekwondo, the gradings are basically around a 2-3hour session where you are called up in groups to be assessed in front of the Grandmaster, the rest of the group grading and your instructors. An assessment involves things like choreographed fighting patterns, sparring drills and free sparring. Though I can keep my Libre and insulin pens etc near me in a bag when I am observing the other groups, there's little time when it would be very possible for me to take injections and sometimes I cannot be near my bag as I'm in the middle of being assessed or we are having a group lesson at the end of the grading. There is often lots of etiquette as well, and though my instructors know I may have to deal with something related to my type 1 diabetes, it still feels a bit taboo to leave the grading room or to stop the Grandmaster while he is giving you a lesson because you feel unwell..
    My problem is that the stress of it, alongside having to do quite intense physical exercise, makes my blood sugars go very high and they are very hard to make come down. However, I'm worried if I took too big a correction dose then I may go hypo and that would be worse in this situation (especially, of course, if I am in the middle of my assessment).

    I've attached a photo of the morning from a grading I had today which started at 10:00am and finished at 12:30pm

    I'm on MDI, so If I increased my basal by the amount necessary I think the rest of the day I would be hypoing a lot. But perhaps a mixture of a higher basal and more aggressive blousing would be the answer? Just interested especially to know if anyone else deals with similar situations where you are assessed on physical activity, away from your kit and feeling stressed!

    thanks! x
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    I have a vague feeling that @Mbaker might have relevant experience (apologies if totally wrong on this).
     
  3. Mbaker

    Mbaker Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    This is tough one for a couple of reasons firstly the fight or flight, I had began a draft response as I still practice Karate everyday (for those who don't know Taekwondo is the Korean version of Japanese / Okinawan Karate). I stopped drafting when thought about your Type 1 circumstances as I do not feel qualified enough to answer. However I saw @Diakat tag, and thought stop being such a wimp.

    The difficulty is that our type of martial art taps in the fight of flight system when faced with the challenge of sparing - for example adrenalin will raise (stress), this will lead to increased demand and use of blood sugar (I love a spar it engages so many instinctive systems). It is also an all over body workout covering most muscle groups with the forms (Kata's in Japanese), again these are not as stressful, as the sequences are predefined, but effort is high especially on contraction of muscles.

    Every May I have an opportunity to go boot camp for 5 days of 2 x 2 hour sessions per day, I was able to fuel this on 2 meals a day, and the second ,meal always involved 2 significant proteins. That's just me as a Type 2, your concerns I would suggest are more detailed.

    Not a direct answer but this response in another thread by @helensaramay is a good place to start as Rugby is extremely explosive at the top level, and cross referencing with the cycling could help with strategies employed for eating and covering with insulin https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/type-1stars-r-us.150597/page-1079#post-21566
     
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  4. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hello @LilaE As you've rightly pointed out the stress plays an important part in regards to your response with your blood glucose levels, this is quite a difficult aspect of exercise to manage. I've attached here a link to Runsweet which is a diabetes/sports site dedicated to helping people in their associated sport, they have a section on Martial Arts which is quite useful: http://www.runsweet.com/diabetes-and-sport/martial-arts/

    My personal approach with any form of exercise is to avoid hypos, this does mean that if necessary I run higher then correct afterwards when my body has relaxed and I am in a better position to manage and control insulin/glucose to remedy. I prefer personally to do it this way as it means I can focus on the exercise without the stress of worrying about an impending hypo. The obvious downside is the effect of hypers on my body, however managing a hypo is more stressful as it means stopping what i'm doing. Hopefully the article will give you some useful pointers to consider with your insulin dosing in regards to this.
     
  5. LilaE

    LilaE Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thank you Mbaker! Definitely agree with you on fight or flight, it can make it very tricky to account for. I will check out the link to threads you've added and I hope your training goes well!!
     
  6. LilaE

    LilaE Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thanks for this! Definitely helps to know there are others in the same situation. I agree that hypos have a a stronger negative effect on training than a hyper and I also do tend to allow it to run a little high if I am unsure during class then correct afterwards as well. I think hopefully with more gradings, I will become a little less stressed each time and find my blood sugars behave a little better too!
     
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  7. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    @LilaE My 7 year old just gained her green tag belt last night. She had to do some sparring. It was quite funny to watch, but it is early days.

    She isn’t diabetic but until recently ate an awfully sugar / carb rich diet which we have tackled after taking on board lchf type of advice.

    Interesting point @Mbaker made on the fight or flight mechanism.

    I realise this doesn’t answer your question but it is interesting to read your opening post, all the same.
     
  8. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Maybe be a bit more laid back about it?
    A grading is not a contest, it is not a fight, it is merely an assessment of your progress. You are either ready, or you are not.
    Consider sparing less a gladiatorial encounter, more a chance to interact in a display of ability and courage.
    Perhaps if you discus this with your sen sei when you have the result of this grading and ask what you should do if you do need to get to your kit next time. It is only fair that you do your grading at the height of your abilities, so that a sparing partner is not left wondering if they succeeded only because of your need for insulin, or glucose.
     
  9. bmtest

    bmtest · Well-Known Member

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    I am able to pass advice put it may well be out time and place but I practise Shotokan Karate in late 1970s and during 1980's I used to rush home for tea and eat at arounf 17:30 on bus at 18:00 hours arrive at dojo 18:20 and eat a full mars bar. The session was 2 hours long very intense and in summer we ran round city centre in bare feet and trained in local parrk with the usual knuckles on concrete.

    I may have well been hypo or high blood sugar but the training was that intense you could not tell as you sweated like a pig anyway .

    Gradings were similar to your a grand marathon event you always have to err on caution so blood level higher than lower it will not do you any harm.

    My advice is do what you can get away with without being a nuisance in my day they would not have known what a diabetic was and I never told them the doctors did not want me running on streets in bare feet.

    You will never get control perfect but you need to be hitting session on a static reading for best results and your body gets used to it you dont just do a session you train and prepare to go the distance. When I was in running club I made sure before joining I could do 6 mile with just a lucozade sport and back up of dextro tablets and some nights we did half marathon training but I commenced with static blood sugar of 10 but sometime if higher you can start off very groggy as it is high but on return to base its about 7.
     
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