Wednesday, February 11, 2009

When The Food Just Won't Digest

Ever encounter a situation where no matter how many carbs you take in, your blood sugar just won't respond the way it is supposed to? I'm still trying to get a grip on this phenomenon but because it happens so rarely I can't totally grasp what causes it.

Wednesday was speed work day, with 2 miles of my goal marathon pace, then 4, 1 mile tempo pace repeats (about 30 to 40 seconds faster than goal pace) followed by 2 miles of marathon pace. I knew I'd need a decent amount of glucose on board for this run but nothing prepared me for the amount of food I'd have to eat right before it! I was a little low at 1:30 pm for lunch with a blood sugar of 71, so I had chicken with rice and a big chocolate chip cookie (training allows such delights!); I calculated 80 grams of carbs and bolused accordingly. an hour later I turned my pump down to 40% basal rate and had a clif bar (42 grams of carbs), at 3:30 I headed out for my 15 mile drive to the only flat stretch in Charlottesville and took in about 100 grams of carbs via my nutrition mix. However, when I got out of my car my blood sugar was just 108! I felt like my blood sugar was high, but my meter wasn't showing that - 2 more finger pricks confirmed a blood sugar below 115. Since I was training with a friend going home wasn't a real option.

So I did what any insane person would do, ate half a clif builder bar, 3 luna slices and a Gu - all in about 50 grams of carbs and waited until my bs started to trend up. After 7 minutes my blood sugar was up to 130 and I knew I had enough carbs digesting to make it through a Russian winter without eating so I headed out for my run. I finished my run with a blood sugar of 65 and was probably lower than that at points during the tempo intervals but know that my blood sugar reading wasn't indicative of the glucose in my system. An hour after my run my blood sugar was 240, so at least some digestion finally took place!

I have yet to figure out this absorption rate issue, I was well hydrated, hadn't eaten anything overly fatty over the past few days and there were no environment issues to speak of. I guess sometimes my stomach just wants to take the day off.


Kim said...

so you finally bought your own GUs? Should I bring some of mine for you to eat this weekend? How about some chocolate chip cookies? Or peanut butter balls?

Scott K. Johnson said...

That must have been frustrating! Don't really have any good ideas on why it might happen, but am very interested to know what you learn.

Clara said...

At a waterpolo game the other day, about 20 minutes before playing my BG was low, so I have about 30 g carb, and it went up to 114. 5 minutes before playing it went down to 89 without me doing anything to cause it to, then refused to go up past 110 for 20 minutes, and then randomly shot up to 200... I don't even know. I have really only just started paying attention to how the foods I eat effect my BG, not just how much insulin I need.

Andy G said...

Read up on gastroparesis - I've had similar symptoms and they are scary and frustrating. Dr. Bernstein writes about tests that can be done (R-R interval study) - also there are some exercises you can do to aide in digestion - chewing gum helps and sucking your gut in as far as you can and then pushing it out ( a yoga exercise) also works - do as many reps as you can.

Rather than eating, drink a liquid with carbs if it happens again - when you eat a lot of food the stomach / intestines might have a hard time moving it through your system.

Hang in there - good luck.

Joshua said...

Did you go through a "honeymoon" period when you got diagnosed? I did and it was about 3 months after i was diagnosed and i didn't need any insulin for about 3 weeks. Weird. I know that doesn't fit with your description in this post but it made me think of it. I do have this "no digestion" happen at times though and I usually stop my pump until I see some movement on my CGM in the right direction, up.