Exercise is important for good glucose control and overall health, but it can also cause low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, if safety precautions aren't taken.
How to stay safe:
Use your meter. Check your blood glucose before, sometimes during, and after activities to learn your body's usual responses to exercise.
Carry carbs. Always carry glucose tablets, gel, or another fast-acting carbohydrate on your person when you work out to treat a low.
Be on the lookout. You can develop a low for up to 24 hours or more after your workout. Your meter is your best friend when it comes to learning your unique responses.
Learn the signs and symptoms. Experiencing a low during exercise may result in different symptoms than you're used to. Learn to recognize your signs of lows.
Be part of a team. Let your teammates or fitness buddies know what the signs of hypoglycemia are, and how they should be handled.
Wear visible medical identification. It's inexpensive and it could save your life. Bring a cell phone with you during outdoor exercise for added safety.
Talk to your doctor. If you being a new exercise program or start to be more regular with your activities, you may need lower doses of your diabetes medications to prevent lows.
Reviewed by Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD, FACSM 7/13
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