When I do different types of excercise my numbers react in different ways. For example when i run it is immediate and when i ski it is both immediate and lasting up to 24 or so hours after wards. i try to start excercise a bit higher at say 200 ish but that doesnt seem to work all the time. i recently have been disconnecting from my pump while i excercise…good idea or bad idea? any other tips?
its such a pain in the ■■■ to have to stop excercising to deal with lows…

A normally functioning non-diabetic body kicks to 50% of its normal insulin output during exercise, so rather than disconnect, I would play around with different temporary basal rates (30%, 40%, etc). My endo says many people need to keep their temp rate for as much as an hour or two afterward, too, but I actually run high at an hour later if I do that.

I’m with Melissa, try using your temporary basal rates. Also, depending on the level I exercise, or the time of day, I will use the temp. basal for several hours. For instance, if exercising in the evening, I will cut my overnight rates. Another option is to sip on gatorade while you’re working out. I find if I disconnect I go high later, which defeats the purpose of working out.

Bad idea to disconnect the pump. Non-diabetics don’t disconnect their pancreas’.

The reason it’s a bad idea is because of the two hour peak time (give or take) of most fast acting insulin. Disconnecting your pump just before you exercise won’t have any affect when you exercise. But two hours AFTER you disconnect - - - NO INSULIN ON BOARD!! BG starts to rise, maybe precipitously. Possible ketoacidosis (It happened to me.)

So, as Melissa and Toni have said, experiment with reduced basal rates - starting an hour or two before you exercise.

Also take a look at Sheri Colberg’s book “The Diabetic Athlete” for some tips, as well as John Walsh’s “Pumping Insulin.”

Good luck,


Lyla: You need to watch your BG’s very carefully with exercise, as you have been. Different types of exercises have different effects – heavy cardio (like running) can bring you down during the exercise, but something else, like weight training, may not. You also need to watch for rises in BG right after exercise – that’s what happens to me. If I am low right after heavy cardio exercise, I rarely need to correct, because in 10 minutes I’m going to be fine again.
Play with your basal rates (but you may have a lag time between when your basal changes and when the change starts to take effect). I do a lower than normal basal from 1-2 hours before the exercise and then a higher basal during the hour immediately before the exercise and throughout the exercise. Complicated, but it seems to be working, for now.
I tried disconnecting the pump during the exercise, but it only made me go even higher when it was over.

thank you everybody!!! :slight_smile:

I talked with my doc about this a little recently. I notice that when I just do light cardio it is only immediate. When I lift weights though and workout heavy I can see the drop in BG for 24 hours. If you are really working the muscles they burn off their store of glucose and spend the next 12 to 24 hours replinishing that. Had a number of overnight hypo’s figuring that one out!

oh good to know…so what do you do to prevent those lows?

I disconnect my insulin pump when I exercise too, for a few reasons.

  1. To keep from going low since I am being active and not eating. I can stay in the gym for anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours, and I don’t normally stop except to drink some water.

  2. To keep from damaging it, since when I have worn it while using, for instance, the treadmill, it unclipped from the waist of my pants and fell onto the treadmill platform and was swiftly swooshed off along with myself to the floor. All I can say about that was “ouch.” I was lucky my set didn’t come out.

  3. To keep my set from coming out. See above.


Keep this in mind when you disconnect your pump.

Disconnecting does not have an immediate affect because of the two hour peak acting time of fast acting insulin. The insulin you are using at the time you disconnect your pump is insulin that was delivered two hours ago.

The effects of disconnecting will appear two hours later, after you’re done exercising. At that point you will be getting NO INSULIN for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how long you were disconnected. It’s a dangerous time and can lead to DKA. It did for me. So be careful.

There are ways to secure your pump to avoid damage or diconnects. A better clip. A strap used to hold an MP3 player. Tape. I zippered pocket.

Obviously, you can figure out what works best for you. I’m just passing on what happened to me.

These days, instead of disconnecting I lower my basal rate if I’m going on a long run (+1 hour) and I always carry a drink a fast acting carbs no matter how long I’m running, in case of lows. I also carry an extra meter - a One Touch Mini is ideal.

I normally walk for about 45 minutes in the afternoon and I had to play around with a temp basal. Right now i’m at -20% for two hours. and i end up running a little high at dinner. so i think i might do 1.5 hrs to see if that helps. Its all different. But that’s why the temp basal is there, so you don’t have to disconnect. Just try something and see if it works. Part of the trial and error! Good luck =)

Lululemon has sports bras with Mp3 pockets built in. These are awesome if you have a smaller pump, if keeps the pump very secure and out of the way during exercise.

I’m a dancer, fitness, pilates and yoga instructor, so I basically work out for a living. I generally teach about 6 hours of classes/day

I rarely disconnect when exercising. If I do it’s not because of BG it’s because I’m doing some crazy move or position where I just can not physically keep the pump secure and in place. I always reconnect asap.

The best thing is to do a temp basal rate as others have suggested here.

I also use some handy leg straps that fit perfectly under my flared yoga pants. I strap the pump just under my knee around my calf. This might be annoying if you are jogging though…as it might bounce against your leg.

most exercising makes my sugars drop so i disconnect. but swimming makes them go high

I use a Dexcom Continuous Blood Glucose system so I get pretty good information about the effects of my excercise on my BG. Before I begin excercise, I do a finger stick to double check my BP. Then, based on that reading and my past experience, I take a few glucose tablets and a couple of glasses of water before I begin.

I am about to share with you for free what cost me big bucks. I have started a new excercise program with the help of an excercise physiologist. My trainer has introduced me to Resistance band training. Once I started to benefit fron the program, I became motivated to find out as much as I could. Resistance bands are giant rubber bands, usually 41" in diameter, that are graded and color coded for the resistance they offer. The bands are made from super stretch synthetic rubber and are very durable. Resistance bands comes in a range of stretch resistance appropriate for very weak individuals to very strong professional athletes. The cool features about resistance bands are that they are inexpensive, easy to use, take very little space to store, and are very portable. You can take them anywhere you go. The range of excercises avaiIable with a single resistance band boggles my mind. It is possible to stretch and work all your muscles and duplicate the excercise routines of dozens of dedicated expensive gym machines. There are excercises for both cardiovascular conditioning and strength training from the same band. While I have been paying to learn the exercises and be supervised, the internet provides extensive free information, including sources to purchase the bands and demostration videos of the excercises on Youtube. There are many types of elastic resistance equipment available. I found I like the large circular bands. These are the simplest and most adaptable, in my opinion. For those of you who are very challenged, resistance bands can be used while lying or sitting down. Do not be detered by the many images of fit athletes demonstrating exercises with the heavier bands. This type of resistance has been used extensively in physical therapy for the elderly and injured, using the lighter bands and flat ribbon stretch bands. Google “resistance band training” and “flat ribbon stretch bands.” Also search Youtube with the same terms. Cheers