Glycogen release?

I exercise in the morning. I walk for 1 hour at 4 mph. The exercise lowers my blood sugar, but not dangerously. Within an hour after exercise, my blood sugar climbs to 200-250 mg/dl. Is this due to the release of glycogen?
Instead of lowering my insulin intake by exercising it increases the intake. Can this be fixed?
Thank you in advance for replies,
Mary Anne

I walk 45 minutes and my blood sugar will go down some but mine does not go up. Your experience is unusual.

Yes, with the proper dose of insulin just prior to the completion of, or right after exercise. I’m a type 1 and when on a pump it’s pretty easy for me to fix post-exercise highs, but when on MDI it was a bear. Good luck!

For the last 4 years I have done a lot of hiking and what I’ve found to work for me is:

  1. reduce basal by ~50% beginning about 1 hour prior to hiking
  2. monitor bg’s with CGM–such a helpful device for this sort of thing!
  3. if I begin to get a bit lower than I want to be during the hiike, I suspend basal (and maybe pop a few Skittles depending)
  4. When returning from hike, sometimes my bgs begin to climb and thats when I make sure to resume normal basal rate and often give a SMALL bolus to keep things level. The main reason I’ll begin to rise after the hiking is because I have been keeping myself safe by running a lower basal rate for roughly 2 hours. The CGM data (I view in either on my receiver or my watch) allows me to get ahead of any bg excursions before they become problematic.
1 Like

Congrats on adopting such a great health habit.

Not sure, but common reasons for morning blood sugar elevations are due to an increase in insulin resistance. This resistance is often marked with increases in the hormone cortisol and signaling that prompts the liver to release glycogen.

I suspect it can be fixed. Since our glucose metabolisms vary from person to person, the best way to discover what could work for you is to personally experiment.

For example, if your post-exercise rise usually climbs to say, 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) at 60 minutes following your morning exercise, you might take a pre-emptive insulin dose to address that peak. I would try to deliver the insulin about 90 minutes before the expected peak glucose.

It will help if you keep some good records when you do this. The variables to check will be the pre-emptive insulin dose size, timing, and the eventual glucose peak. The beauty of n=1 experimentation is that your findings will be customized to your body.

I’ve read some reports of people who find their morning blood sugar is much better behaved if they eat a small meal or snack with appropriate insulin dose and timing. My body doesn’t work that way but I suspect this is true for some people.

Shorter answer - I believe you can fix it but you need to figure out what your body needs. The answer lies within you and is waiting for you to discover it.

Now I realize that some people’s metabolic issues are intractable and complicated by a variety of factors. But many of us have found the personal experimentation tactic to be a potent tool to discover techniques that work. Good luck!

1 Like

I remember this occurring some time ago. I read about it happening to runners during races. Your body can be releasing sugar for use in the run and you do not need it and since you do not have insulin to eat it up it stays.
However it may go back to a lower number in a 1hr. I would keep checking to see before I would dose for it. Also are u eating before you run? A little protein and carb. Is your sugar a little high before you start Watch what happens to your sugar on non exercise day.

A hr. at 4.0 that is great

from the internet

Exercise can trigger the body to release stress hormones, like adrenaline which stimulates the liver to release glucose or cortisol which makes you more resistant to insulin. And strenuous activity, especially competitive sports, triggers increased stress hormones, in which case blood glucose usually increases (at least temporarily).

Yes it can be fixed.

Can you give some background info?

T1 or T2?
What kind of basal are you on?
What type of diet are you on?
How strenuous are your walks? Is that 4 mph fairly easy for you?
Is it before breakfast?