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[IP] High BGL during exercise


Exercise can most definitely cause highs!  (This was just discussed a few days 
ago, in fact.)

During a workout such a football, the body needs energy.  The source of this 
energy is, of course, carbs.  Insulin is used up quickly, resulting in not 
enough insulin in the body to use the carbs.  This low level of insulin in the 
blood plus the body's need for energy triggers a release of glucagon.  Also, 
adrenaline can do the same, as can endorphines, all of which result from 

One the body releases glucagon, there isn't enough insulin in the body to use 
this sugar, so the BGLs shoot up.

The nurse/educator I saw before going on the pump talked about this.  She 
actually said the biggest mistake most diabetics make is to DECREASE their 
insulin prior to exercise in order to avoid a low.  But, actually, she said 
that in some cases you actually have to INCREASE your insulin dosage in 
 addition to eat additional carbs. The additional insulin is to ensure the body
can utilize the carbs...and the carbs are the energy source to help avoid the 
glucagon release.

 Now, there is a learning curve here, because not ALL exercise types suffer from
this problem.  For example, a very quick/short workout would less likely have 
problems versus a longer workout such as your son's football practice.


>My son, age 13, not on a pump yet, takes Humalog and Lantus.  His numbers 
> have been all over the place. He plays football and works out for 2 hours a
> His usual readings are 250+ an hour before practice.  He takes H to cover 
 >his high BGL but his numbers are skyrocketing during his practice. He usually
>tests 1 hour into practice.  We were just at the DR.  We will increase his 
 >Lantus by 5 units tonight. The Dr. is a bit baffled by the high numbers during
 > practice. He thinks it could due to adrenaline. I'm looking for info. from
>seasoned athletes who work out for long periods of time that may help.  
>Lynn S.
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