Advise Please - Blood sugar spikes during athletics!

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Advise Please - Blood sugar spikes during athletics!


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Old 01-01-2012, 10:20   #1
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Default Advise Please - Blood sugar spikes during athletics!

I would love to hear from someone who has had similar problems. I have a 14 year old daughter that plays basketball. She does not experience what I call the "normal" results of a diabetic that is extremely active. Instead of her blood sugar levels dropping while involved in a game, her's spikes, and rather quickly. She is in good control any other time and if she is just active in normal play activities, etc., she does fine. But during "performance" during a game, or at early morning practices, we battle the blood sugar spikes. Her doctor says that it is the hormone that releases during the adrenaline and performance. Also, they don't know why it happens in some people and not most, but we are having a really tough time controlling this. I would love to hear from someone who experiences the same. Any input would be welcomed, even if it is just similar experience.

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Old 01-01-2012, 11:06   #2
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I would love to hear from someone who has had similar problems. I have a 14 year old daughter that plays basketball. She does not experience what I call the "normal" results of a diabetic that is extremely active. Instead of her blood sugar levels dropping while involved in a game, her's spikes, and rather quickly. She is in good control any other time and if she is just active in normal play activities, etc., she does fine. But during "performance" during a game, or at early morning practices, we battle the blood sugar spikes. Her doctor says that it is the hormone that releases during the adrenaline and performance. Also, they don't know why it happens in some people and not most, but we are having a really tough time controlling this. I would love to hear from someone who experiences the same. Any input would be welcomed, even if it is just similar experience.
During play, does she take anything like sports drinks or gels? I assume not.

The issue is discussed in Dr Richard Bernstein's book, "Diabetes Solution" (page 215 in my copy). He considers it unwise to exercise when blood glucose exceeds 170 mg/dL as the exercise will actually cause an increase. He does say that the number varies with the medication taken and is quite individual.

Unfortunately, his book doesn't offer a simple solution to the issue but it does appear that as your doctor says, it's an issue for some more than others.

John

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Old 01-01-2012, 15:03   #3
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I am a type 2 and do not take insulin but have similar problems when I exercise. My doctor also told me it was the actions of hormones like adrenaline or cortisol. What happens is your body tends to classify exercise as stress and produces too many stress hormones. These stress hormones signal liver to convert stored gylcogen into available glucose. This is the Fight or Flight syndrome you normally get if you are being chased by a tiger. I find shorter workouts work best for me and I usually try to eat a small carb/fat snack about 10-15 grams right before the exercise. Sometimes for a longer exercise session or a normal tennis match I will have to eat something in between sets to prevent a huge spike. Diabetics on insulin can sometimes adjust their insulin depending on bg spikes or bg drops. There is a book by Dr Sheri Colberg. I think it is called the Diabetic Athlete or something similar. Her advice is mainly for Type 1's like your daughter. She also has a good website
Dr. Sheri Colberg | Author, Fitness Expert, Diabetes Expert, Researcher, Lecturer

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Old 01-01-2012, 15:27   #4
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During play, does she take anything like sports drinks or gels? I assume not.

The issue is discussed in Dr Richard Bernstein's book, "Diabetes Solution" (page 215 in my copy). He considers it unwise to exercise when blood glucose exceeds 170 mg/dL as the exercise will actually cause an increase. He does say that the number varies with the medication taken and is quite individual.

Unfortunately, his book doesn't offer a simple solution to the issue but it does appear that as your doctor says, it's an issue for some more than others.

John
Nothing taken. And yes, it isn't good to keep exercise going with high blood sugars. Thanks so much. I will have to check into the book. I wasn't aware of the book and appreciate this info so much!

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Old 01-01-2012, 15:33   #5
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I'm not a type 1 or on any meds but I have the same problem. My BG spikes 100 pts when I run or play tennis, then will crash down 40-50 afterwards. I wish I could say "and this is what fixed it" but I ended up quitting both.

I now do strength training. It doesn't mess with my BG and I enjoy it. I know, not really an option for a young athlete!

I wholeheartedly believe it's due to messed up adrenal hormones. The same issue causes me to have very high blood pressure when stressed, then completely normal BP the rest of the time.

Keep looking, I hope your daughter finds an answer!

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Old 01-01-2012, 15:35   #6
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[quote=jwags;70177]I am a type 2 and do not take insulin but have similar problems when I exercise. My doctor also told me it was the actions of hormones like adrenaline or cortisol. What happens is your body tends to classify exercise as stress and produces too many stress hormones. These stress hormones signal liver to convert stored gylcogen into available glucose. This is the Fight or Flight syndrome you normally get if you are being chased by a tiger. I find shorter workouts work best for me and I usually try to eat a small carb/fat snack about 10-15 grams right before the exercise. Sometimes for a longer exercise session or a normal tennis match I will have to eat something in between sets to prevent a huge spike. Diabetics on insulin can sometimes adjust their insulin depending on bg spikes or bg drops. There is a book by Dr Sheri Colberg. I think it is called the Diabetic Athlete or something similar. Her advice is mainly for Type 1's like your daughter. She also has a good website


I hadn't heard of the Flight syndrome, but good point. And the information you just provided may be the answer I have been looking for all along, thank you!!! I have felt so helpless when it comes to being a help to her in this. I am going to the website, and, get her book! Thank you so very much!! (had to remove the web link to reply, because I am a new member I am not allowed to submit with a link, but copied it to my email)

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Old 01-01-2012, 15:40   #7
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I'm not a type 1 or on any meds but I have the same problem. My BG spikes 100 pts when I run or play tennis, then will crash down 40-50 afterwards. I wish I could say "and this is what fixed it" but I ended up quitting both.

I now do strength training. It doesn't mess with my BG and I enjoy it. I know, not really an option for a young athlete!

I wholeheartedly believe it's due to messed up adrenal hormones. The same issue causes me to have very high blood pressure when stressed, then completely normal BP the rest of the time.

Keep looking, I hope your daughter finds an answer!
Thanks for the input. It really helps to hear from others that are experiencing the same problem. And so sorry, you felt you had to stop this exercise and find another. That's what I was afraid might happen with my daughter. I am going to get the book that was recommended and do some research, see what can be done, if anything. Thanks so much.

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Old 01-02-2012, 01:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valos3942 View Post
I would love to hear from someone who has had similar problems. I have a 14 year old daughter that plays basketball. She does not experience what I call the "normal" results of a diabetic that is extremely active. Instead of her blood sugar levels dropping while involved in a game, her's spikes, and rather quickly. She is in good control any other time and if she is just active in normal play activities, etc., she does fine. But during "performance" during a game, or at early morning practices, we battle the blood sugar spikes. Her doctor says that it is the hormone that releases during the adrenaline and performance. Also, they don't know why it happens in some people and not most, but we are having a really tough time controlling this. I would love to hear from someone who experiences the same. Any input would be welcomed, even if it is just similar experience.
Many diabetics, regardless of Type I or Type II experience the same, as do most non-diabetics.

The difference is a non-diabetic has the insulin-response AND insulin-sensitivity to manage the glucose released for the sport/activity.

It's a natural hormonal reaction to supply glucose during exercise - how much depends on 1) the intensity and 2) the individual and 3) available glycogen stores.

For Type I's the issue is that when you have a hormonal release of glucose, you don't have insulin to manage it and thus the levels stay elevated. I'm pretty sure this is why many Type I's that are athletes use both CBGM and a pump.

For Type II's the issue is often insulin-resistance, often accompanied by decreased insulin production. We get the glucose, our body provides insulin, but it's either too-resistant (and/or not enough insulin is released) to compensate well.

The only solution I've found personally as a Type II is to keep my glycogen stores low. I do this by exercising regularly and maintaining a low-carb diet.

The other thing I've noticed during my own testing is that I tend to use that glucose QUICKLY. When I'm maintaining moderate output, I usually only go up to about 120-140 (from 6.5 - 7.8 on the non-USA scale) after a release of glucose, and I burn through it in about 5 minutes and then dump again. A really good (meaning long, gradual) cooldown helps restore my levels to normal, and minimizes further dumps of glucose into my system.

However, if I'm doing very strenuous exercise (say a sprint-to-the-finish or weight-training-to-fatigue) I can go up into the 180 (10.0) range, give-or-take. The problem with going into the 180's is that at that point I've actually FINISHED whatever I'm doing, and my muscles aren't needing the glucose any longer.

The key then is for me to do some moderate exercise that burns what's in my system, but not enough to cause another release. It's a really tricky balancing act, unfortunately.

The other unfortunate part is what works for me doesn't necessarily work for others... but I find everyone's input and experience helped me figure out my own needs, so I'm happy to write a small book if it helps others.

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Old 01-02-2012, 02:16   #9
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Originally Posted by beefy View Post
Many diabetics, regardless of Type I or Type II experience the same, as do most non-diabetics.

The difference is a non-diabetic has the insulin-response AND insulin-sensitivity to manage the glucose released for the sport/activity.

It's a natural hormonal reaction to supply glucose during exercise - how much depends on 1) the intensity and 2) the individual and 3) available glycogen stores.

For Type I's the issue is that when you have a hormonal release of glucose, you don't have insulin to manage it and thus the levels stay elevated. I'm pretty sure this is why many Type I's that are athletes use both CBGM and a pump.

For Type II's the issue is often insulin-resistance, often accompanied by decreased insulin production. We get the glucose, our body provides insulin, but it's either too-resistant (and/or not enough insulin is released) to compensate well.

The only solution I've found personally as a Type II is to keep my glycogen stores low. I do this by exercising regularly and maintaining a low-carb diet.

The other thing I've noticed during my own testing is that I tend to use that glucose QUICKLY. When I'm maintaining moderate output, I usually only go up to about 120-140 (from 6.5 - 7.8 on the non-USA scale) after a release of glucose, and I burn through it in about 5 minutes and then dump again. A really good (meaning long, gradual) cooldown helps restore my levels to normal, and minimizes further dumps of glucose into my system.

However, if I'm doing very strenuous exercise (say a sprint-to-the-finish or weight-training-to-fatigue) I can go up into the 180 (10.0) range, give-or-take. The problem with going into the 180's is that at that point I've actually FINISHED whatever I'm doing, and my muscles aren't needing the glucose any longer.

The key then is for me to do some moderate exercise that burns what's in my system, but not enough to cause another release. It's a really tricky balancing act, unfortunately.

The other unfortunate part is what works for me doesn't necessarily work for others... but I find everyone's input and experience helped me figure out my own needs, so I'm happy to write a small book if it helps others.
Thanks for your input. I have received info from a number of people and the thing is, so many are affected differently. For instance, I have three kiddos...2 of which are type 1 diabetics and both respond completely different, and always have. Both diagnosed at same age, but one is a boy and one a girl. My son was so much easier to manage during athletics. He played soccer and we had to "feed" him before strenuous activity. With our daughter, that is the problem...still have to feed but have to watch sugars from skyrocketing and that is our dilemma. But have gotten some great input that will help, I believe. Just have to be in experimental mode for a bit to see what works best for her. Surprisingly, I haven't gotten the help I need from her doctor.

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Old 01-02-2012, 11:50   #10
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Thanks for your input. ..... Surprisingly, I haven't gotten the help I need from her doctor.
I wish I could say that your surprise is a surprise to me. I've only enjoyed this condition for 18 months now and the one thing I have learned is that doctors who actually are on the ball with diabetes are few and far between. You have my sympathy, but not my surprise.
John

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