Does anyone have suggestions for lows related to swimming?

Hey - would some of you please share what works for you with aerobic excercise? My 10 year old is having significant lows after his half hour swim lesson. So far we've come up with the following: if he eats dinner and takes one unit less than usual of Humalog 2 hours prior to the lesson - then eats a snack and checks BG right before he swims he does OK about half the time - but the rest of the time his BG drops just like it did before we started eating earlier and cutting down the insulin. He was diagnosed in December so we're really just finding our way - thanks for being here! - Heather

I have diabetes and used to swim. I would get low during practice as well, but the eating dinner before and snack seems like a pretty good idea. I always brought a gatorade to practice to have right by the pool just in case though. I hope that helps 

How long after his swimming lesson does he go low?  I find I usually go low a while after I exercise too, so I usually snack right after I exercise.  Carbs and a little bit of protein because the protein will keep blood sugars up for longer. 

My 7 year old is on a swim team 3 days a week and swims laps fr an hour each time and we are usually perfect.  We kindof have it down to a science though.  Your son is still in the honeymoon phase and thisis by far the hardest time to manage bloodsugars. Is he on a pump or shots?  I'll help you figure it out.


try lowering his insulin even more. maybe 2 or 3 units less would work better

Thanks Jewels - he's using syringes now - and we're hoping to switch to a pump soon. If you can tell me exactly what you do we'll try it - we're doing OK with everything else but this swimming issue is really hard to get right. Heather

Thanks to all of you who replied - I'm so glad I found this site. We're trying your suggestions and we really appreciate everyone who took the time to help - Heather

Ok, so truly think about the pump.  Exercise is so much easier to manage with the pump.  He could simply grab a sml snackand then disconnect and no lows!  Is swimming the same time of the day?  Is it close to an injection?  Remeber when the insulin peaks and ddeccrease the fast acting insulin.  Ifyou did decrease by 1 unit and he was still low keep decreasing by 1 unit at time until you achieve good results.  Emma usually eats a sml snickers bar disconnects and swims laps for 1 hour.  Then we give her .2 when she gets out of the pool and then shower- toal disconnect time is 1.5 hours.  No matter what her BS is she needs a small amount of insulin to make up for lost basal insulin or she will get high.  It is really alot of trial and error until you find what works for you. 

Ok the pump is sounding better and better. Sam just started giving his own injections which our clinic wanted him to do before getting the pump - and we go back in May so we'll definately work toward that.

Currently he eats a high protien dinner 2 hours before (so the fast-acting insulin is over when he swims) and takes one unit less insulin than normal for that meal - plus has a snack (@30 carbs) on the way to swimming - so I think tomorrow night we'll try decreasing the insulin by one more unit...

Thanks so much - the learning curve is huge but it's so great to hear from others who have figured out how to do this. I hope you and Emma have a wonderful day - and I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow night. Heather

Hi Jewels - still the same last night even though we lowered the dinner insulin by another half unit - my poor husband is getting a new gray hair every time he takes Sam to swim lessons! We're going to lower by another half unit (so two full units less than usual) on Tuesday and see what happens - meanwhile if you have any further thoughts we'll be happy to hear from you.
Thanks so much for your help - and I hope everyone at your house is well - Heather


Ok, yes just keep decreasing until no lows.  Take him down a unit at a time not by .5 until he is actually high.  Often I start Emma in the pool at 200 knowing it will be coming down.  This is his big chance to eat a small snickers or drink some juice- exercise has its rewards you see.  It is just a pain if it happens during.  That is why we love our pumps! Remember as well that your fast acting insulin is done peaking by about 2 hours but still works up to about 5 hours so it is still on board while he is swimming.  Is your lantus dose appropriate?  We always judged that by what the blood sugar is upon awakening in the am. Know you will figure this out.  It is sort of like a science experiment at times, isn't it?  Let me know.

All the best,


Hey Jewels - we got it!!! We ended up giving him 4 servings of carbs plus protien for dinner with 1 unit of insulin - then a two serving snack with protien right before swimming... he came out of the water at 95!!!! Thanks so much for your help. I'm keeping your name for future reference. I hope all is well with you and yours - Heather