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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

Am wondering if one of our resident experts will have more of an idea than me on this one....I am bouncing with energy at the moment (YAY...dog is hiding as he doesn't want another walk :) )....but *cue violins* whenever I exercise my BSLs go up up and away....

Here's my question.... I started at 6.4 this morning and then went for a walk and now I am a glorious 9.4 on the glucometer....

I am supposed to keep my blood sugar levels down right? so does it make a difference if I get to 9.4 by eating sugar or by exercising.....Is it the same BAD....does that make sense? Does exercise spiking me on the meter have the same effect as if I had eating something to spike my meter, on my body....?

Or is it a good spike? if there is such a thing??

Should I avoid exercise??

Any help would be appreciated!

Thankyou!
 

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Try testing your BG during the walk. You may find that it is dropping low so your Liver is compensating by releasing Glucose from its Glycogen stores. If that is the case you might try a snack before your exercise. For me some nuts and or dark chocolate does the trick.

For me it seems to be intense or long duration physical activity that does this... a gentle walk does not.

In any case you can be pretty confident that physical activity has many benefits besides lowering BGs, and that the net effect on the available Glucose is reduction; as you are not only burning Glucose (and Fat) with the activity but your body will also need to replenish the Glycogen stores in the Liver and skeletal muscles. That is one to watch as you can still get lower BGs many hours after activity.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
HI Frank

Thankyou so much for replying....I was feeling a bit on my own there :)

Someone else mentioned the snack before exercise thing over the weekend but it didn't seem to work for me..... But I will try to test while walking and see what my BSL is up to...

Just reread your post... haven't tried the chocolate before walking...could perhaps work...

If anyone has the same problem I can keep this thread updated to see if it works out...

Thanks again Frank :)
 

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No worries :)

Just a thought where I note you said
I started at 6.4 this morning and then went for a walk and now I am a glorious 9.4 on the glucometer
...Was 6.4mmol/L your fasting BG and if so did you then go walking without eating breakfast?

9.4mmol/L seems to me like quite a spike just from walking and I wonder if perhaps there was an element of Dawn Phenomenon in there as well... in that your BG may have been heading up even before the walk?

Also was this a one-off or do you see this pattern often?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
6.4 was my fasting BG and then I ate a few pistachio nuts and a quarter of an apple....I can usually tolerate all of these really well with no problems...

I walked with a dog and an 8 year old so not a ferocious pace but for about 30 mins....

This happens every time I exercise...BGs go through the roof....
 

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did you test immediately after walking? try testing again an hour later to see if it's still elevated.

It's been a while since I last took a physiology class, but blood glucose levels going up is probably normal in response to increased demand by your muscles. Muscle cells metabolize glucose for energy. Exercise increases this demand so the body will draw upon glycogen stores within the muscle tissue and in the liver, converting it to glucose, and therefore increasing blood glucose levels.

If you test an hour or so after your exercise, you may find that your blood glucose level has gone back down to normal
 

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I also elevate my bg during exercise. With walking it only goes up 20-30 points but with high impact aerobics it may jump 50-60 points. I have tried everything. The way it was explained to me was that at a certain point during exercise your body interprets exercise as stress and produces stress hormones to deal with the stress. These hormones signal liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose. It is the same principal as Fight or Flight. Sometimes working out in smaller increments of time works. Sometimes taking a break halfway through exercise and doing some cool down stretches may help. Sometimes eating a small lower carb snack halfway through may help. Drinking water may help, too. If you let yourself get dehydrated your bgs will go up. My bgs stay higher for 1-2 hours but then go down much lower. My doctor told me not to be concerned since exercise is so good.
 

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I also elevate my bg during exercise. With walking it only goes up 20-30 points but with high impact aerobics it may jump 50-60 points. I have tried everything. The way it was explained to me was that at a certain point during exercise your body interprets exercise as stress and produces stress hormones to deal with the stress. These hormones signal liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose. It is the same principal as Fight or Flight.
yes, that is EXACTLY what's happening, it's extremely common for everyone, not just diabetics. Unfortunately, our inadequate insulin response and/or insulin resistance means this isn't managed by our systems like in non-diabetics.

Sometimes working out in smaller increments of time works. Sometimes taking a break halfway through exercise and doing some cool down stretches may help. Sometimes eating a small lower carb snack halfway through may help. Drinking water may help, too. If you let yourself get dehydrated your bgs will go up. My bgs stay higher for 1-2 hours but then go down much lower. My doctor told me not to be concerned since exercise is so good.
What worked for me was to KEEP AT IT.

A few things to know:

First, If you've exercised for at least 30-40 minutes at a moderate or higher pace (to be honest, 45-60 minutes minimum is better for most of us), your metabolism will CONTINUE to burn higher for at least another hour, and maybe even longer. As such, your body will BURN that excess glucose much faster post-exercise than when you've been sedentary - so it's not as scary as you think.

Second, when you exercise at a moderate or higher pace for a minimum of 30-40 minutes (again, longer is better) every day, the body will get more used to this, and it will start to dump LESS. Once it realizes this is a regular occurrence, rather than a 'Fight-Or-Flight' situation, the response is lessened.

When I first started exercising at a harder pace I'd jump from a 6.5 (117) to a 10.0 (180) in the first 10 minutes... Now that I do this same exercise on a DAILY basis, I don't spike at all until I drop under 4.0 (72) and only spike up to about a 6.5 (117) at the highest. The funny thing is, LOTS of testing has shown that my body now does these little dumps about every 7-8 minutes during moderate-to-intense exercise. Even with 3+ hour long bike rides, the release of glucose into my system is now ONLY what my body really needs.

Everyone is different, but my advice is to:
  1. CONTINUE to exercise, even with the blood glucose spikes;

  2. Try to maintain 45 minutes or more (you may need to work up to it, and that's ok, we all start somewhere) in order to maximize your metabolic increase and;

  3. Do your BEST to do this on a daily basis. (Although I take EVERY Sunday off, so I only do 6 days a week - we should all do at LEAST 4 days per week, more if you can.)

  4. Meals/Snacks Post-Exercise are your BEST time for a protein shake... First, if your glucose IS high, you'll really minimize spiking, and second - you NEED to get some protein into your system QUICKLY post-exercise (by quickly I mean almost IMMEDIATELY) to maximize muscle gains and strength increases. (For me I have a protein shake within 10 minutes of completing my workout. I do put about 1/2C of frozen berries into mine, but that's something people should test to see if they can handle.)
See how that works for you - over time you may be impressed with the results.
 
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I gotta tell you beefy.... You are the Cats Meow!!!

What a great reply :)

This morning I skipped breakfast before my walk...not intentionally but because I ran late....Daughter, dog and I went to school and then dog and I took the long way home....

I had brekkie as soon as I got in....quarter of an apple and leftover taco mince....and I tested at 7.4 2 hrs later.....which considering I started my day at 7.3 is the best result yet!!

I'm so glad I get to keep walking...It may not be too far right now but I have to ease the dog and I into it ;) also I have so much extra energy that if I have to give up walking...dear hubby may never be able to leave the house for work ;)

Seriously though, I have never enjoyed exercise... EVER...It's always been an ordeal, a trial...something to get through...but now... I love it.... It's amazing how changing my entire diet has such a flow on effect...

Thanks again Beefy for the excellent post and the time you took to write it and share!! It is appreciated!!
 
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