Hi all- I am relatively new to pumping and I have always stayed away from the gym because I would constantly get low sugars. I am told pumping can greatly reduce lows while exercising. Any recommendations on how to adjust basal rates when exercising? I am extremely sensitive to physical activity, even just walking can give me a low! Thanks-
When I do any cardio I just take the pump off. If I am going to do something really intense I lower the basal about 45 min before. Remember everyone is going to react differently .
I don't actually take my pump off but turn it down. There's a very useful chart in "Think Like a Pancreas" that I used to get some suggested %ages to set the pump to. I know I've seen it online but haven't found it for a couple of years so I took a pic:
I've found, through practice while running since December 2008, that I can get about 1/2 hour/ 3 miles out of 8-12G of carbs. For 3 miles, I generally have a glass of skim milk to "cover" it and just run and think that works well for me but, unfortunately, everyone is different and the only way to really know is to test your BG. For an hour in the gym, I would try maybe 40%-50% of the regular rate and see how that works? I agree with Mike M that turning it down ahead of time can also provide a boost to your BG. Another way to get BG up is anaerobic or strength exercises, e.g. lifting weights. If you do that first and finish with cardio, it might balance things as well. It's all sort of trial and error but, as they say the first step is the hardest. A tip I got from Jerry Nairn in the "Diabetics who Run Marthons"(who's in the Diabetic Athletes Handbook and has run > 50 marathons w/ T1) group is that Race Ready shorts have a handy mesh pocket that will hold a One Touch Ultra Mini perfectly which is very handy for working out. http://www.raceready.com/
You need to get the Diabetic Athlete's Handbook and read it cover-to-cover.
Depending upon how long you exercise, you can completely remove your pump while your working out. i sometimes don't wear mine for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, although it's not recommended to keep it off for more than an hour. in addition to taking it off while exercising, you could also reduce your basal for 1-2 hours prior to exercise as well. or you can continue to wear it but reduce your basal while your exercising. there are many different ways to get around this; you just have to experiement with it and see what works for your body, because as you know, what my work for me may not work for you!
i go to the gym at least 4-5 times a week, so if you have any more questions or if i can help, please let me know.
Thanks I really appreciate it. Before I started pumping I tried exercising regularly but gave up on it because no matter what I tried, my sugar would go low and I’d be forced to eat and that got aggravating. I started pumping in December and told myself come march I would try to figure out if I could exercise without the lows.
i also eat a protein bar that has about 18 carbs in it before i go. but i bolus for it because unlike you, my sugars tend to go up now when i exercise. i've actually started wearing my pump while exercising too, but just turn down the basal by about 20%. i usually do spin and body sculpting classes; pretty regiorous workout. however, when i just walk or hike, that's when i tend to go low. it's all a guessing game! i've been on my pump now for almost 2 years, but i'm fairly new to T1 - diagnosed only 3 years ago at the age of 48!
Ok so I know I posted this over a month ago but I just today decided to get back into going to the gym. My starting sugar was 102 and I did 30 minutes of a walk/run on the treadmill, nothing remotely intense, although I’m out of shape so any activity is somewhat intense for my body I guess. Anyway I have a cgm and I watched the sugar continue to drop immediately. By the time I was done my sugar was 46. So my question is, what do you like you starting sugar to be? I don’t really want to eat before I go because I’m trying to lose some weight but I fear ill never escape the lows while exercising unless I intentionally start with a high sugar and that doesn’t seem healthy either.
Did you ever try turning down your basal ahead of your workout?
No I haven’t reduced my basal at all, but here is the thing- if I start my workout and my sugar is normal then isn’t it going to go low regardless of the basal?
I think everyone’s just a little different, but, as a long-distance runner and Omnipod user, here’s what I do:
I decrease my basal by 50% for double the amount of time I’ll be running. For example, if I anticipate running for one hour, I’ll decrease my basal rate by 50% for two hours. If I happen to run for longer, I just have to tweak the decrease during the run. I usually don’t worry about canceling the temp basal if I run for a shorter time.
I usually drink protein right after a long run, so I bolus like I normally would.
It’s all about finding out what works for you!
Late reply here but for me if I don’t put my temp basal at OFF or zero insulin while bike riding hard for an hour or heavy cardio my bg definitely bottoms out. Sometimes with that I still go under 70. I watch the Dexcom, and like others try to either carb higher prior or temp basal a little prior.