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Re: [IPk] Athletes on Pumps
This is what I have found personally about sport and pumping.
If I am doing intensive exercise of less than 2 hours' duration, I
switch off the pump approx. 30 mins. before exercise (assuming my BG
is normal). I also need 10-15g fast acting carb just before I start.
For more than 2 hours' duration I need to either take a small bolus
after this time, or reattach the pump at approx 1/3 of the normal
At the end, I need to check my BG about an hour later. Sometime si
need a bolus of about 1 unit (if my Bg is rising), sometimes I
don't. That is very hard to predict.
If I am doing less intensive exercise but for a longer duration,
e.g. 4 hours of dancing, I follow the same procedure but instead of
disconnecting, I run the basal at approx 1/3 of its normal rate,
starting from approx. 1/2 hour before, and returning to the normal
rate approx 1/2 hour before the end.
One thing i have noticed is this. If you disconnect for say 2 hours,
when you reconnect, it will take time for the insulin to get into your
body, since there has been nothing going in for 2 hours. So, you may
need a small bolus. Sometimes hti sis counteracted by the fact that
you need less insulin for a while after you have been exercising, but
sometimes it isn't.
Competitions is a whole different kettle of fish, because of the
"unknown" factor and the stress factor. I compete in dance
competitions (ballroom and Latin American which last about 12 hours
(noon to midnight). Though it may not sound very strenuous, believe
me, just a 3 minute competitive jive will leave anyone
knackered. Multiply that by the zillions of heats and events and you
have a pretty energetic day.
Adrenaline runs high all day, starting from about 7am when we
leave. Stress can be very sudden and unpredictable. And the whole
structre of the day is quite unpredictable, since you might end up
competing once or 6 times in each event, depending on how well you
The combined effects of the stress, adrenaline and exercise mean that
I actually tend to stay on my normal basal rate, but if I eat, I take
about 30 percent less bolus than I would normally. By around midnight
when things are running to a close I tend to run low as the adrenaline
is wearing off and tiredness is setting in (I've had some nasty hypo
experiences as a result). I test a lot all day and keep the Coke
Similar principles apply to something like a football match, though to
a lesser degree becuase I suffer less from stress there and the level
of activity and stress is more predictable).
Hope someone finds this useful.
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