Exercise-Avoiding Lows

I was curious of those who exercise and avoid low blood sugar?  How is it possible and what do you do to avoid it?


I will let you know what I have done which is, likely, the worst of the suggestions you will hear – but we have to start somewhere, eh? 

Keeping in mind that my insulin takes about an hour and a half to peak, I will either:

(a)   Set a temp basal for -35%  - to -50% starting about an hour before my workout and set to go back to normal about the time my workout ends and I drink water for my workout

(b)  Drop my basal by about 0%-10% and hour before my workout and take a somewhat carby recovery drink that I drink throughout the workout

(c)   Leave my basal alone, take insulin about 30 minutes ahead of my workout and use a more carby recovery drink throughout the workout

b is actually my favorite answer right now but I’ve been quite committed to each of the above and I believe multiple approaches have merit depending on what my body is doing and what I am trying to achieve.  That said, each of them took some time playing the fun game of “try this and see what happens” to get it refined to a point where I felt confident I knew my body would stay on target throughout my activity.

I expect we’ll hear quite some number of varied responses and I have to admit, I am glad you asked this, as I am curious what everyone else is doing!!!



EEEEK - Okay - and I forgot - major key to all changes I make - test early, test often...  Test before basal changes, during workouts (every 15-20 minutes) and after no more than 20 minutes between for 1-2 hours so you know what effect you are having with the changes you are making...  So working out without going low, yes… avoiding early Alzheimer’s – ummmm… maybe not so much *sigh*

I am still trying to figure this one out!  If I just think about doing yard work, I go low, not kidding! Before a workout, depending on my blood sugar, if it is between 150-200, I leave my pump alone if I recently had some carbs and always have candy just in case.  If my pre-exercise blood sugar is below 150, I drink a little juice and/or have cheese crackers and stop my pump until finished exercising.  This seems to be working for me.  I know it is suggested to lower your basal, but with me, that does not work (unless I lower it hours before).  This may not work for everyone, but so far it is working for me.   Oh, I was told by an Endocrinologist that you should not exercise if your blood sugar is real high, say above 350...it can actually make you feel worse, lower it by insulin first.  good luck.



I LOVE, LOVE to exercise. But, sometimes, I feel like Val. Where if I just look at the ellipitical machine, my blood sugar just DROPS. I get so pissed too! I test constantly but when I go to see my Endo's nurse practioner...her first response is: "Wow, you check your BS alot." I'm like "NO CRAP WOMAN!" You gave good advice...I just wanted to know if I was doing something unusual just to get a workout in. By the way, I like answer "b". I was just curious. I am like you, I am curious at what other folks are doing.

Val, I have to totally disconnect my pump as well when I do cardio. I can keep it on when I am doing strenth traning though. I have been on the pump for two years and I am still learning...Its as if I am my own science project-EVERYDAY :)

I used to have alot of issues with this too. I recently started dropping my basal down to 50% about 45 minutes to an hour before exercising and so far it works like a dream!

I also disconnect my pump while exercising (and usually for a half hour before), but beforehand I'll eat a Powerbar (my exercise is usually running or some other high intensity cardio) and only take insulin for half the carbs in it.  Works like a champ for me, since it has not only the carbs but some protein and fat, too, so I don't run low later on.