Friday, August 3, 2007

Fatigue & Low Blood Sugar

I've encountered more lows than I'd like to admit from workouts this week. My lunchtime bolus hasn't been as effective for whatever reason so this has made me more hesitant to adjust the basal rate on my pump pre workout. For a lift I like to reduce my pump to 70% an hour before I begin and for a run I drop my pump to 20% to 40% (depending on distance) an hour before I run. However, this week my lunch time bolus has had me at 160 to 170 2 hours after eating rather than the 90 to 100 I'm accustumed to. Rather than giving a correction yesterday when I was at 158 2 hours after eating I waited, 30 minutes later I tested and was down to 97 - going to have to talk to the CDE about this situation.

Back to the workouts, because of the higher blood sugars I've been bolusing for my clif bar and then going to the gym, after my run on Tuesday I was down to 68, my lift on Wednesday I dropped to 62 and yesterday after my run I dropped to a very scary 48. Yesterday was by far the worst of the lows and I still feel like a zombie because of it. My ironman coach wanted me to run 10 minutes at an incline of 1% then increase the incline gradually up to 7% over the next 6 minutes - I was supposed to run at a conversation pace (about 9 min miles for me). Normally this run wouldn't be an issue but yesterday I was laboring like a wilderbeast trying to escape a pack of lions. I assumed it was due to a couple nights of pretty bad sleep and continued to struggle through the rest of my run. About 22 minutes into my run I felt like I switched the lower half of my body with the Aflac Duck and waldeled through the last 8 minutes at a 9:45 min/ mile pace (returning to a 7% grade). I made my way back down to my locker for my post workout test and was scared as hell when I read that my bs had dropped to 48.

For every workout I leave a carb gel of some kind next to my meter in case I'm low at the conclusion of my exercise - thankfully I had one yesterday. A hammer gel and 6 oz of OJ later I was up to 110, I guess no matter what my bs is pre-workout I need to reduce my basal rate to avoid a situation like this one again.


Chels said...

Sometimes when you're working out you don't feel "low." But if you start feeling funny or you realize something is off from normal, definitely stop your workout and test. It's really hard to maintain tight control during workout hours. Also might not be bad to run around 150 post-work out, because you may drop later.

You'll figure it out! PS I have my appt at Columbia on the 20th at 1:00 so may run into you.

Tom said...

When I first started working out with the pump, I had very similar experiences to you. It turned out that the best thing for me is to reduce my basal to 50% for about an hour before working out and then taking my pump off for my workout, which includes weights and running and lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour total.

I eat a banana without bolusing right before I start my workout and I now generally don't end up lower than 60 after my workout or higher than the low 100's.

Don't get discouraged. You'll figure out what works for you.

Anne said...

yeah, it can take some time to figure it out. I would suggest always carrying sugar with you.. I always have about 5 GU's on me because I have had a low that required that many!! I also almost always bring my meter with me, unless I'm out for less than 40 minutes. It's sort of a pain to lug it around but to me it's worth it.

When I got into the thick of my ironman training, my total daily insulin was reduced by about 40%. If you are increasing the amount of exercise, you may need to readjust yours.

Wingman said...

Anne, Tom - Thanks! For runs of less than 45 minutes I take my pump off and for lifts I always take my pump off; really haven't gotten into the full IM training yet and had a better control of the bs the past few weeks - I think the past couple days have just been poor planning on my part and not adapting to the situation.

Chels - Looking forward to meeting you, I need to find your e-mail address again so we can coordinate!

Bernard said...


When I was playing racquetball on a regular basis I got into the habit of dropping my basal rate by 75% about 90 minutes before I was due to start playing. So I turned it down for about a total of 60 minutes. I also liked to start with a slightly higher BG value and sometimes consume Gatorade about 10 minutes before starting.

But as Anne says it'll take time for you to figure it out.

Dying Water Buffalo said...

On to more important things, like, what flavor hammer gel did you have, and how did you like it?

Also, did you know hammer gels are sugar free, so they won't really affect your bs?

I prefer to think of you "Fat man shuffle" and not aflack duck waddling.

Wingman said...

Water Buffalo - as those of us who have done the approaiate amount of research into Type 1 diabetes know it is the amount of carbs in a product that affect our bs and not the amount of sugar :)~.

By duck wadling I meant to say my feet felt like they were 1,000 pounds and splashing onto the treadmill, not that I was going slow.