Insulin Pump and Activity

Just throwing a question out to any "pumpers".. When you have a game or practice, or other physical activity, do you disconnect your pump/suspend it?
I have the ping and I almost always take it off, because the activity lowers my blood sugar so much.

I'm new to the site, and any answers are much appreciated. Thanks!

I'm new to the site too. I don't have a pump but have been wondering what it is like to have one. I'm still not sure if I should get one because I'm not sure I would want something on me constantly. Can you tell me what's it's like to have a pump?

Of course!

Can I just ask- did you look into the information about different pumps? or try any of them on? Because when I tried an empty one on for a day or so, it felt like the weirdest thing in the world. I got used to having it on me so quickly though.  I have the ping, so it has tubing and sits in my pocket all day, just like my phone

No I havnt tried them on before. My mom looked into them and found one that didn't have tubing which I thought would be the one I would prefer. I guess I just don't want people to be able to see that I have a pump. And if you play sports than do you have to take it off or is it always on you until you need to replace it? Also, what is it like to sleep with one?

Okay, I'm pretty sure I know the one you're talking about..the omnipod?  I can tell you right away that having the tubing isn't nearly as bad as it sounds though! A lot of people say my ping looks like an "old-school iPod".

The one without tubing, in my opinion, was a bit too big to have in one place, but I'm sure they'll be getting smaller; and once it's on, it's on until you change the site days later. As far as I know, they're all pretty easy to hide :)

As for sports with the omnipid, it stays on. What sports do you play? I know of a girl in my pump class who played basketball with it.  I think you only change it every few days, when there isn't insulin left in the cartridge.

Only once in a while I'll notice my pump at night.  I've found a spot where I can just clip it to my pants and it's like it isn't even there. The only problem I've faced is when the low cartridge warning goes off and wakes me up hours early for school, but this only happens to me because I forget to fill it occasionally.

Yes I believe it's the omnipod. For sports I play soccer and golf. I'm not sure if I'm going to do any others though. I remember when I was first diagnosed just over a year ago the doctor was talking about the omnipod and it should get get smaller as time goes on just like you said.

Thanks for the info on pumps... Gotta get to bed its late on the east coast

No problem! If there's anything else you were wondering about, just ask. I'd love to try and help

Hey, Hannah. What I do with my pump depends entirely on what I'm going to do physically. The only time I leave my pump on is when I sense a surge of epinephrine, in which case I usually have to inject. Other than that, I disconnect. Typically, I disconnect at least a half hour before my workout, sometimes an hour. I eat a low to medium glycemic meal 1.5 to 2 hours before exercise, then disconnect roughly an hour later, then consume the appropriate number of carbs roughly 30-45 minutes later, then exercise roughly 15-30 minutes after that. The real variable for me is how much I need to eat before exercising and I've found I need anywhere from 0-45 carbs for a 2 hour anaerobic workout. The great thing with the pump is that when you disconnect you're no longer giving yourself insulin. However, novolog, for instance, peaks around 1.5 hours after going into your system, so I try to eat on the earlier side and disconnect as early as possible.

But to address your situation... regarding your lows I would make sure to (1) disconnect on the early side, making sure that boluses have already peaked before exercise, (2) eat a balance of low glycemic food, such as oatmeal, and high glycemic food, such as fruit, (3) drink something like gatorade, which gets the sugar into your body almost immediately, throughout your workout, (4) check BG levels more than once before exercising so that you can identify trends and predict your future BG levels...unless, of course, you have a CGM, in which case you're all taken care of.

If you have any other questions, feel free to send them my way!

Thanks so much! I've never thought about taking in a certain number of carbs before exercise.  And I'll definitely have to try disconnecting earlier

If you want to look more into what you should be eating before exercise, check out page 29 of Sheri Colberg's book Diabetic Athlete's Handbook. She provides a very detailed chart that tells you how much you should eat based on three factors: your blood sugar before exercising, the duration of the workout, and the intensity level of the workout. For instance, if your sugar is 140 and you're going to be performing a moderately intense workout for 45 miinutes, the chart recommends 10-30 grams of carbs. Obviously, there are other factors, like sex, age, body composition, etc that will determine exactly where you'll fall in that range. But I think it's pretty useful. Of course, you won't have to refer to it at all once you're more experienced, but it's probably the best place to start. I don't think there is anything comparable online...though I didn't look much lol cheers

I'm older, but disconnect from my pump if I'm swimming or running or something else where pump can be dislodged.  I don't like golf but like to hit balls at the driving range and have no problem leaving pump on.  

Think the tube pumps are actually less obtrusive than an OmniPod.  The Omni's are so big and can't be detached.  You can request a free sample from their site and see what you think.

Thought I'd hate being "connected" to something but I adjusted to it after about a day and it typically doesn't get in my way.  I use a Minimed with the short tubing. Overall the quality of life is SO much better with a pump.  Would never go back to shots.

I'll check out that handbook! Thanks for all the information, Elie

Oh, okay. That makes me feel better, jennagrant; I wasn't sure if anyone else took their pump off every time during activity. Thanks for your input!

i have had the pump for 7 years best thing i have ever done i am 16 and am extreamly active... i usually disconnect for games but keep it on for practices... you should really invest in one if you are debating wether or not too!!!! best invention

Hannah, I think there are a number of questions you have to answer:  How does your body react to exercise?  Do you eat before exercise?  How long is the physical activity?  Those are just a few.

In my case, I've pretty much taken the pump (Minimed) off while working out, as long as it's less than two hours from start to finish.  However, I'm starting to train for lengthy bike rides where that won't be an option, because I'll still need to deliver some insulin during the ride.  So I'm learning to adjust my basal rate on the pump so it delivers a much lower amount, while still giving me what I need during the ride.  And, of course, I'm learning how best to wear the pump while on the bike!  It's a work in progress.  Good luck!

StephenS, keep us posted I am a late onset type 1 recently diagnosed,  we knew to press for the antibodies test because I am a endurance rider/racer on both MTB and road cycles.  I would love to hear updates as you find ways to work your pump into rides of 50 -100 miles.  I do not have a pump, yet, but I have no idea how I will be able to compete in 6 hour MTB endurance races without one.

I always disconnect my pump when doing sports even during practice, but i dont suspend it. Physical activity brings your sugar down, so I don't need the extra insulin after. I also don't use the "caps" they give you in each new infusion set (for the Minimed pump anyway) because I always lose them!!