Exercise and blood sugar readings

I signed up for a 8-week exercise program that’s run through our health region. I met with a kinesiologist today to get my baseline readings, which frankly were depressing. I told her one of the problems I’ve been having is going low during a work-out then having to eat or drink and nulling all the calories I just burned. She told me that I shouldn’t begin exercising until my blood sugar is between 7-14 mmols (126-252). She said if it’s lower then that you’ll risk having a hypo and if it’s higher than that you risk getting ketones.

Anyone heard of this? Have you had trouble keeping your blood sugar in a good range?

Do you think a kinesiologist has any competence to know whether a t2 can go low through exercise? If you can get your blood sugar below 60 mg/dl, I’ll pay you $5. The only way I’ve ever been able to hypo is by exercising with certain tempos after eating in a way that generates a reactive hypo. Basically, all type 2s still retain a normal strong counterregulatory response that will keep you from going low. Go on insulin and all bets are off, but don’t worry about it.

If your blood sugar is too high, you may have a risk of ketones. But I have to tell you again,circulating insulin protects you against DKA. If you are on insulin all bets are off. On insulin,if you exercise with high blood sugar and you have low levels of insulin you have a risk of DKA.

Sorry, I should’ve been more specific. I’m on insulin right now.

So Type 2’s on orals don’t have hypos?

Hi Kelly.
Type 1 here. I haven’t had trouble with lows during exercize, unless I had IOB (insulin on board). I drop low after exercize, not during, so I cannot comment on that.I am not sure if there is a minimum glucose level, but I know minimum level is below126 mg/dl (7 mmol).

John Walsh’s book “Using Insulin” indicates that the range of optimum sugar levels is 65 - 180 mg/dl (3.6 - 10). He also says the Max it should be is 250 mg/dl (14 mmol). I know from experience that exercize above somewhere between 235 and 250 mg/dl will raise my blood sugar level.

I totally recommend a type 1 getting either John Walsh’s book Using Insulin and/or Gary Scheiner’s book “Think like a Pancreas.” I think Walsh explains the exercize-blood sugar relationship in better detail, but they both explain it. I got them both from www.amazon.com. I read Think like a Pancreas first, and it changed my life. I like it better, because I read it first, so it had the first chance to affect my diabetes management.

Type 2’ do have hypos. I am one of those. I am on oral meds only and I am still trying to figure how to excercise so that I dont go low and I dont put back the calories I just burned off. I take metformin about 1000 to 1500 mg a day. If I dont go out to excercise between 180 and 200 I will come home with a normal reading but anythin below 120 to 150 wont work. I have had instances where I went out at 150 and in 30 minutes I was in the low 70’s. I have gone from 220 down to 70 in a 20 minute bike ride.

I like to ride a bike for about an hour so I have to check the levels 30 minutes into the ride. I am working on figuring out what I can bring to keep me going me at about 100 to 120. Because if I dont come back at 120 i’ll tank in 20 minutes at home if I dont get some carbs in. I have tried protein only and no good. So I think I need a mix of carbs and proteins but I still test a lot to figure out that combination. I started taking G2’s from gatorade. Its 10 grams of carbs. I am seeing if that will sustain me. The verdict is not out yet.

I am heading to see a new dietician tomorrow to to see if they can help out with this.

If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me a message

take care

ok, so I have overgeneralized improperly as wil and you have pointed out. Clearly on insulin, you need to worry about hypos. And as wil points out, there are some oral medications that can cause hypos for t2s, particularly Sulfonylureas and the newer drugs Starlix/Prandin. But if you are a type 2 on metformin, with few exceptions, serious hypos are basically not going to happen. You may drop below 70 andif you work really hard you can get down into the 50s (and I have), but your body has a strong counterregulatory response. Now that being said, since you are on insulin, this is a different story.

A good reference for how to deal with insulin and exercise is from our fellow member Sheri Colberg who has a good book “Diabetic Athletes Handbook.” You can also read guidance on her website (www.shericolberg.com). The basic recommendation would be to start your exercise with some insulin on board and your blood sugar above something like 100 mg/dl and “rising.” So my suggestion, exercise within an hour after a meal, or have a snack (10-30g carbs) and a modest bolus to “cover” the snack before workout. In my case, I’ve always liked taking a protein shake since it is slowly absorbed. Assuming you are still hypo aware, you can eat a few “smarties” should you start to feel low. A roll of smarties is 15g glucose. Eat only enough smarties to restore your blood sugar levels and it won’t have any effect on your calories burned at all. Some people also like to carry around a regular gatorade, but you have to be careful you don’t overdo it.

Now on the ketones, if you have insulin on board, you are unlikely to get ketones. Again, ketones would occur if you exercised while having an elevated blood sugar and no/little insulin. I am sure you are not going to do that.

Hey kelly
Thing to remember with diabetes especially type 2 and both bcs and wil touched on this is that it is an experimental disease, you do not just check the effects on sugars after you eat a meal but pre and post workouts as well. I normally test pre and post workout. lately I have been doing my diabetes management solutions project. and I have been going as low as 73 post workout, which I don’t consider a low. my ranges go from 125 pre to 70 post, and I do 1hr to 1.5 hour cardio sessions and 1.5 hour strength training sessions on alternating days.I have been a type 2 for going on 12 years now and I honestly cannot tell you if I have ever gone below 70 but that"s just me and I am on Metformin, now wil is on metformin too and he said he has lows. All I can say is test to create a basal line your body will react different to let say cardio workouts as opposed to strength training. If you are getting consistent lows after a particular workout then eat a snack before then. As far as the highs go anything above 250 and you will have the ketones if you workout with it. good luck

I’m an “other” type diabetic currently on Metformin, priorly on Levimer. While on Levimer, I had to eat a snack of 7 carbs or more before and after exercise to keep from going too low. On Metformin, I don’t go too low but feel I need to eat something with protein after exercising, such as bacon or cottage cheese, to take the edge off an intense hunger feeling. Exercise always brings my bs down.