Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low After Physical Activity?
Low blood glucose is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl if your meter measures whole blood, or 80 mg/dl or below if it measures plasma glucose (a plasma blood glucose of 90 mg/dl or below with symptoms is also a sign of hypoglycemia). One of the most common causes of low blood glucose is too much physical activity. In fact, moderate to intense exercise may cause your blood glucose to drop for the next 24 hours following exercise. This post-exercise hypoglycemia is often referred to as the "lag effect" of exercise. Basically, when you exercise, the body uses two sources of fuel, sugar and free fatty acids (that is, fat) to generate energy. The sugar comes from the blood, the liver and the muscles. The sugar is stored in the liver and muscle in a form called glycogen. During the first 15 minutes of exercise, most of the sugar for fuel comes from either the blood stream or the muscle glycogen, which is converted back to sugar. After 15 minutes of exercise, however, the fuel starts to come more from the glycogen stored in the liver. After 30 minutes of exercise, the body begins to get more of its energy from the free fatty acids. As a result, exercise can deplete sugar levels and glycogen stores. The body will replace these glycogen stores but this process may take 4 to 6 hours, even 12 to 24 hours with more intense activity. During this rebuilding of glycogen stores, a person with diabetes can be at higher risk for hypoglycemia. Here are tips for safe exercising. Guidelines for preventing exercise related hypoglycemia Check your blood glucose before exercising to make sure your blood glucose is sufficient and/or consume an appropriate snack. Avoid exercise at the peak of your insulin action. Avoid late evening exercise. Exercise should be completed 2 hours bef Continue reading >>
Don’t Sweat It! Exercise And Type 1 Diabetes
The benefits of exercise are wide ranging. Regular physical activity can help people manage their weight, sleep better, reduce the risk of some diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and heart disease, and improve overall quality of life—among other proven benefits. People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) can gain the same benefits from exercise as anyone else. Yet studies show that many people with T1D do not engage in regular physical activity owing to a fear of hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood-glucose levels. Exercise scientists and athletes with T1D alike say that people with T1D can exercise safely and effectively. It’s a matter of observing how your body responds to exercise, learning to balance insulin, food, and physical activity, and using research-supported strategies to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia during and after exercise. Managing hypoglycemia associated with exercise Sheri Colberg-Ochs, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, has both professional and personal interests in understanding the risks and benefits of exercise for people with T1D. As an exercise physiologist, Dr. Colberg-Ochs studies the relationship of exercise to diabetes and lifestyle management. She has also lived with T1D for 44 years, while staying fit and active. Dr. Colberg-Ochs notes that the risk of hypoglycemia during and after exercise can be managed. “There’s not a tried and true method that works for everyone. It’s very individual, based on the type of activity and your normal diabetes regimen,” she says, “but you can certainly reduce the frequency of hypoglycemia that’s associated with being physically active.” The risk of hypoglycemia is affected by the type, duration, and intensity of physical activity. Aerobic a Continue reading >>
Why Is My Blood Sugar High After Exercise?
When you have the excess of glucose in your bloodstream that does not get absorbed by the insulin secreted by your body, the condition is known as diabetes. Diabetes can lead to severe consequences like degeneration of internal organs, but if treated at an early stage will cure quickly. Why it is that blood sugar level increases after you exercise? If your body triggers low amount of insulin, then the presence of other hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, glucagon will collectively trigger the liver to release the glucose into the blood and thereby increases the blood sugar. The hormones influence the breakdown of fat into smaller and simpler particles. The other thought process says that the hormones trigger the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream while exercising. The level of hormones in the bloodstream may result from glucose to enter the blood. For people who are not athletes, high-intensity exercise is not required for controlling blood glucose level. In fact, more easy and light exercise will work if preferred. The high-level activity might result in muscle injury and other fatal consequences. What tips should I follow while exercising, so that to keep my blood sugar under control? If you have settled your mind for exercise, there are some considerations that you must follow. Think about all the enjoyable activities you did in the past. Yoga, swimming, dancing, gardening, jumping, and kickboxing (might be). Anything that will raise your heart rate will do well. Continue the practice of these activities. Let your doctor know when and what exercises you are doing. He will check and let know if you need to change your meals and medicines. If you are given insulin, might be the time can be rescheduled. Checking your blood sugar in between ex Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes And Exercise
During activity, injected or pumped insulin cannot be 'shut off' like the body's own insulin, so too much glucose is taken up by both muscle contractions and the high levels of insulin, says Sheri R. Colberg, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. To avoid hypoglycemia when doing physical activity, monitor your blood sugar before and after exercise. Here are some other guidelines from Colberg and the American Diabetes Association: Eat a small carbohydrate-containing snack before exercising if your blood glucose is 100 mg/dl or lower. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes before starting your activity. Eat a snack if you plan to exercise for more than 60 minutes, plan to do a more intense workout than usual, or if the weather is warmer or cooler than usual. Always carry a small snack that's high in sugar or carbohydrate. The average 150-pound adult needs 20 grams of carbohydrate for every half-hour of moderate exercise. Some snack choices include sports drinks and gels and easily absorbed carbohydrate sources, such as jelly beans and energy bars. Watch for symptoms of hypoglycemia during exercise. If you feel weak, lightheaded, cold, or clammy, stop and check your blood glucose. If it's low, treat it with a pure source of glucose, such as glucose tablets or gel. Become familiar with the ways different activities affect your blood sugar levels. Measure blood sugar before and after exercise. Keep a written record of what the activity was, how long you did the activity, what you ate, and blood glucose levels before and after. Over time, you'll better understand how activity affects your blood sugar levels and insulin doses. For insulin pump users, lower basal insulin if you're planning more than 90 minutes of activity. Shorter bouts of e Continue reading >>
About High Blood Sugar After Exercise
Exercise is a key component to managing diabetes. It helps you to shed extra pounds and lower your blood glucose level. Regular exercise will help you to avoid serious diabetic related complications. While exercise can make your blood sugar levels drop too low, it can also cause it to increase. Given this it is important to understand how your body responds to exercise by testing your blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise. This will help you learn how to eat and exercise at a level that works for you. Video of the Day When you exercise, your body needs to provide energy to your cells. This energy comes from glucose that is in your bloodstream and stored in your body. To use the glucose, you need enough insulin. The American Diabetes Association states that in the case of type 2 diabetes, insulin is not available because the body does not produce enough or you are unable to use it properly. This can lead to complications when exercising if you do not take the proper precautions. In most cases, the reason your blood sugar levels rise too high after exercise is because they were too high before you started,according to the John Hopkins Diabetes Center. This is especially true if your pre-exercise reading is more than 250mg/dL. The center suggests taking two readings before you exercise. One reading should be 30 minutes before activity and the other right before you start. John Hopkins recommends that “A safe pre-workout blood glucose level is between 100mg/dL and 250mg/dL.” You should not exercise if your general reading is 300mg/dL or higher, your fasting reading is over 250mg/dL or if your urine test is positive for keytones--a byproduct of fat metabolism. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse states that if your level is just slightly high Continue reading >>
Why Do Blood Glucose Levels Sometimes Go Up After Physical Activity?
When you exercise your muscles need more glucose to supply energy. In response, your liver increases the amount of glucose it releases into your bloodstream. Remember, however, that the glucose needs insulin in order to be used by your muscles. So if you do not have enough insulin available, your blood glucose levels can actually increase right after exercise. Basically, stimulated by the demand from your exercising muscles, your body is pouring glucose into your bloodstream. If you do not have enough insulin available to "unlock the door" to your muscles, the glucose cannot get into your muscles to provide needed energy. The end result is that glucose backs-up in your bloodstream, causing higher blood glucose readings. Here are some tips to safely exercise: Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. If you are over the age of 35 you may need a stress test. Pick an exercise that you enjoy. Check your blood sugar before and after exercise. Do not exercise if your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl and you have ketones. If your blood sugar is over 250 but no ketones are present, follow these guidelines: Type 1: If blood sugars are 300 or more, test within 5-10 minutes of begining exercise. If your blood sugar is dropping, you may continue. If it is not dropping, stop exercising. Type 2: Do Not exercise if blood sugars are 400 or more Plan exercise to prevent low blood sugar reactions. Exercise 1 to 1 ½ hours after eating. Always carry a carbohydrate snack (juice, glucose tablets, etc.) with you. Drink plenty of fluids. Wear shoes and equipment that fit well. Find more information about physical activity and diabetes in Staying Healthy with Diabetes – Physical Activity & Fitness available from the Joslin Online Store. Continue reading >>
8 Blood Sugar Questions
We often have the same repetitive questions arise around blood sugar, so we've collected a range of them and put together some short answers below. 1. What should my fasting blood sugar levels after exercise be? Firstly, you may be a little confused here, because your fasting blood sugar is a measurement taken 8-10 hours after you’ve eaten, for example, when you first wake up in the morning. It's strongly recommended that you eat something before you exercise – if you don’t you won't have enough energy to exercise and you also put yourself at risk for hypoglycemia – low blood sugar. Healthy fasting blood glucose levels are between 70-100 (3.9-5.6). Some guidelines say 70-110 (3.9-6.1) and more liberal goals for those who've had diabetes longer are sometimes slightly higher at 70-130 (3.9-7.2). The aim for blood glucose after meals, including after exercise, is below 140 (7.8). Anything below 70 should be treated as hypoglycemia. When it comes to exercise, always check your blood sugar prior to exercising. If it is lower than usual for you or lower than 100 (5.6), have a small snack. If you feel dizzy or shaky after exercise, again, it’s important to check your sugar levels. You may just be tired from a good workout, but if blood sugar is low, it is important to treat. 2. My doctor says I have normal A1C but high blood sugar. What does that mean? It’s hard to know without seeing your specific numbers. There are several tests to consider when it comes to diabetes. I suspect that your 3 month average A1C may be in range, but you're having high and low daily readings. Unlike daily blood sugar readings, A1C is not really something that needs to be measured each day as it takes time for dietary and lifestyle changes to reflect in the results, which is why a 3 mont Continue reading >>
Can I Exercise With A High Bg?
I've read that it's not good to exercise with a blood glucose of 250 or higher. Do you still burn calories when you are this high? Sometimes after exercise I'll test and my blood glucose has gone up, and I wonder if my workout was all for nothing. Continue reading >>
Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
Exercise And Blood Glucose Levels
Exercise is good for you. It’s good for the heart, good for losing weight, makes you feel better (really — it releases endorphins that elevate mood), and it’s good for blood glucose — well, sort of. It is good for blood glucose, but it can be tricky at the same time. So today I’m going to talk about how to deal with blood sugar when you’re exercising so that you can minimize the negative effects and enjoy the positive. OK, let’s start with some basics. Aerobic exercise, or cardio, is what we call activity that requires “the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart,” to be delivered to working muscles. A general rule of thumb is that aerobic exercise is achieved when our heart rate and breathing rate rise in a sustainable way (in order to maintain this pumping of oxygenated blood — the heart rate to circulate the blood, the breathing rate to increase the oxygen intake). Anaerobic exercise occurs when the activity is simply too much for the heart rate and breathing to keep up with, causing you to become out of breath, and it includes activities such as sprinting and weightlifting. Here, we’ll be talking about aerobic activities, such as swimming, running, or dancing. So, what happens with aerobic activity? First, it lowers blood glucose. Why? Because the muscles are working harder and they need energy. The glucose in our blood is energy for our cells. Insulin is the hormone that transfers the glucose from our blood to our cells. So when we Diabetians exercise, we often “go low.” This is because the glucose in our blood is quickly moved into our cells, but the insulin in our blood is still active. Unlike non-Diabetians, the insulin we’ve injected doesn’t go away once the glucose has been moved. It keeps moving glucose out of the blood (and out Continue reading >>
7 Things You Need To Know About Exercising With Diabetes
If there’s one thing people with diabetes know, it’s that regular exercise requires more than just discipline and hard work. Mismanaging your blood sugar, diet and exercise intensity levels can have adverse and unpredictable effects on your body. This month, we spoke with Dr. Jonathon R. Fowles, an exercise physiologist at the Centre of Lifestyle Studies at Acadia University, to help answer some common questions about exercising with diabetes: 1) How often should I exercise? “Regardless of whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the CDA recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise,” Fowles says. “You should be combining both aerobic (running, swimming etc.) and anaerobic (resistance training, weight lifting) activity.” 2) What are the benefits? “People with type 2 diabetes can expect to lower their AIC levels after a couple months of meeting the guidelines, and drastically reduce the progression of their diabetes, as well as their cardiovascular risk,” Fowles says. For people with type 1 diabetes, Fowles says the benefits are a little different. “The combination of exercise with insulin can be quite dramatic. People with type 1 diabetes should communicate openly with their diabetes educator or physician, to learn the interaction between exercise, food and insulin," he says. “The evidence isn’t quite as strong for glucose regulation for people with type 1 diabetes, but it’s definitely beneficial for their cardiovascular risk reduction, overall health and quality of life.” 3) Why is anaerobic exercise important? While the treadmill or tennis court may be tempting if you’re looking to lose weight, Fowles says building muscle is essential for all people with diabetes, especially as they age. “Most of your blood glucose is Continue reading >>
Exercising With Diabetes: Is It Better To Eat Before Or After Your Workout?
Whether it’s best to eat before or after a workout has been debated for decades, and the decision becomes even more complicated if you have diabetes. “For someone with diabetes, they not only have to think about fuel for exercise, but they also have to think about glycemic control,” says Monet S. Bland, a clinical exercise physiologist and diabetes educator with Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Exercise impacts your blood sugar, so you need to make sure your levels aren’t too high when you start exercising, but also not so low that they’ll plummet during your workout. So while a study published in November 2010 in the Journal of Physiology found that not eating before exercise helped people burn fat, people with diabetes need to maintain blood sugar levels, and should plan to eat before, after, and sometimes even during exercise, Bland says. That’s the general recommendation, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to keep an eye on how your body responds, since “some people are more sensitive to the effects of exercise versus others,” Bland says. Not sure where to start? Bland recommends working with an endocrinologist or an exercise physiologist to establish blood glucose targets and an exercise plan that’s safe for you. No matter what, you’ll want to check your blood sugar before working out so you know how to fuel up. Your goal is a level greater than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — but always skip the workout if your blood sugar is at or higher than 250 mg/dL and ketosis is present, or greater than 300 mg/dL without ketosis. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your blood glucose targets before and after exercise. The Best Pre-Workout Snacks Your best bet is eating a balanced meal an hour to an hour and a half before your Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise
When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. It’s also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain your blood glucose level through medications or insulin, if necessary. If you stay fit and active throughout your life, you’ll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range. Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease. Exercise has so many benefits, but the biggest one is that it makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly (insulin resistant). In either case, exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down. If you’re insulin resistant, exercise actually makes your insulin more effective. That is—your insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use the glucose more effectively. Exercise can also help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. People with diabetes are susceptible to developing blocked arteries (arteriosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong. Plus, exercise helps you maintain good cholesterol—and that helps you avoid arteriosclerosis. Additionally, there ar Continue reading >>
Exercise For Diabetes Control
By the dLife Editors In case you haven’t heard: Exercise is really good for people with type 2 diabetes. It helps control blood sugar levels, increases energy levels, improves heart health, and promotes emotional well-being. Barring other medical complications, the majority of people with diabetes can and should exercise for diabetes control and for better overall health and well-being. How does exercise lower blood sugar? Exercise lowers blood sugar in two ways: First, exercise increases insulin sensitivity. This means that your cells are better able to use available insulin to absorb sugar from the bloodstream to be used as energy for your body. Second, exercise stimulates another mechanism that allows your muscles to absorb and use sugar for energy, even without insulin. Not only does exercise lower blood sugar levels in the short term, but exercising over time also contributes to lower A1C levels over time. How important is exercise? Leading a sedentary (or inactive) lifestyle is one of the major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, and the high incidence of obesity and overweight among people with type 2 is also highly correlated with inactivity. Starting a workout program can lower body mass and consequently decrease the insulin resistance of type 2 diabetes; studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes who exercise regularly have better A1c profiles than those who don’t. Along with medical nutrition therapy, exercise is one of the first lines of defense in type 2 diabetes control. In addition, exercise is a key tool in preventing one of the leading complications of type 2 diabetes—cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that regular activity lowers triglyceride levels and blood pressure. How much exercise do you need? The American Diabetes Continue reading >>
11 Exercise Tips For Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise is sure to be on your to-do list if you have diabetes. Get started with these go-to tips: 1. Make a list of fun activities. You have lots of options, and you don't have to go to a gym. What sounds good? Think about something you've always wanted to try or something you enjoyed in the past. Sports, dancing, yoga, walking, and swimming are a few ideas. Anything that raises your heart rate counts. 2. Get your doctor's OK. Let them know what you want to do. They can make sure you're ready for it. They'll also check to see if you need to change your meals, insulin, or diabetes medicines. Your doctor can also let you know if the time of day you exercise matters. 3. Check your blood sugar. Ask your doctor if you should check it before exercise. If you plan to work out for more than an hour, check your blood sugar levels regularly during your workout, so you’ll know if you need a snack. Check your blood sugar after every workout, so that you can adjust if needed. 4. Carry carbs. Always keep a small carbohydrate snack, like fruit or a fruit drink, on hand in case your blood sugar gets low. 5. Ease into it. If you're not active now, start with 10 minutes of exercise at a time. Gradually work up to 30 minutes a day. 6. Strength train at least twice a week. It can improve blood sugar control. You can lift weights or work with resistance bands. Or you can do moves like push-ups, lunges, and squats, which use your own body weight. 7. Make it a habit. Exercise, eat, and take your medicines at the same time each day to prevent low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. 8. Go public. Work out with someone who knows you have diabetes and knows what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. It's more fun, too. Also wear a medical identification tag, or carry a card that says you Continue reading >>