Diabetes and exercise

I exercise pretty regularly during the week and the majority of the time I take off my insulin pump.  Immedietely after I return home I put the pump on and check my sugar.  SOmetimes It's gone into the 80's but sometimes it goes into the 200's.  Has anyoe else had issues like this?  Or what do you do with your pump wnen you exercise?  Do you keep it on?  Sometimes hours after I exercise my sugar will go up for no apparent reason.  Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions about this.


For the most part if I'm not doing any contact sports I leave my pump on.  Running included.  I consider taking my pump off if I will be doing a stop and go activity like frisbee or soccer.  For me I go low when I exercise.  For you I would check before exercising and bolus the insulin that you will miss during the time you have your pump off.  For example if you're going to miss an hour of insulin whatever amount you would have gotten in that time bolus before you do the activity. Try it let me know how it goes.

Hi Katelyn -  It depends upon what exercise I'm doing.  If its tennis or basketball, I take it off,  if I'm just in the gym or biking I will leave it on.  I prefer to leave it on b/c I feel like I have more energy with it on - getting the insulin to move the sugars into my system.  I also have different levels for different sports - when I'm biking, I need very little insulin and normally stay low even if I'm eating a lot of carbs along the way.  If I'm lifting weights, the adrenaline will kick the blood sugar up. You'll have to narrow it down to the types of exercise and how that exercise effects your bs levels and adjust from there.   I will say that the mornings after exercise, no matter what it is, I will be lower than usual (I usually workout in the afternoons) and I adjust for a lower basal to make sure I don't go too low.    I kept a list for a while to guage where my bs was per activity and duration.  It really helped me narrow it down.  Best of luck to you.


It is tricky because it may depend on what type of exercise you are doing and your blood sugars ahead of time- so it depends.

Sometimes I keep my pump on (for cycling) and I take it off for kickboxing.  You could be going high after a workout for a couple of reasons:  missed basal  or adrenaline.  I am not a doctor or anything, but I will just share what I have learned.

My blood sugars tend to go high after a workout when I do anaerobic type of exercising where my body releases too much adrenaline or when I take off my pump for an hour and then not having the basal for an hour catches up to me later (usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours later)  so I try to limit the time amount of anaerobic exercise and when I take off my pump and put it back on, I try to bolus right away maybe 1/2 of what I would have gotten when it was on.

I have different strategies for different things.  Like I will tell you what happened yesterday.

Note: I take my blood sugar before and after class .

I did my normal one hour of spinning (cycling class)  For this class, I have figured out that I keep my pump on with all of my same rates and eat a balance bar right before class (22 carbs) and I don't take any insulin for it.  Sometimes in the middle of class I have to pop a glucose tab or two.  This usually works really well because the carbs get me through class and it has some protein in it to help sustain me two hours after class so I don't crash low. 

BUT yesterday, the instructor did almost all sprinting so my workout was so anaerobic that my blood sugar was high for a couple of hours after class- like 245.  I had to give myself insulin after class!  Be really careful about doing that!  It was so anaerobic or we did so much sprinting where I knew my body was releasing adrenaline and was thinking to myself, I bet I am going to be high and sure enough I was!  Adrenaline  works against your insulin.  So it probably would have been wiser for me to just do a workout where I was consistently in my target heart rate zone instead of taking it anaerobic so long.

That is just one example.  The best thing is to keep a log of when you are exercising and figure out what strategy works best for you.  Like the one for cycling USUALLY works for me, but it didn't quite work right yesterday, but that is the way it goes- at least my heart got a good workout and I didn't pass out on my bike.