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The Question
Fri Oct 11 12:10:02 UTC 2013

My blood sugar is rising during and after I exercise. I ride bicycles and use elliptical. Got lost and rode 25 miles about a month ago; sugar 180.
Asked By: kevinsbeard  
Category: Exercise

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Hypothyroid; Male; Type 1 diabetic on sliding scale Novolog and 12 units Lantus daily. Weigh 218, 6'3
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Expert Answers (1)
2013-10-25 13:13:07.0

Dear Kevinsbeard,

There are actually a lot of different reasons why blood glucose levels can go up with exercise instead of down. Not knowing more about your exact case than I do, I will just share some of them with you in general terms. For starters, doing more intense exercise causes a greater release of glucose-raising hormones like adrenaline and glucagon, which can result is a rise instead of a drop during an activity, depending on how long it is. Also, how much insulin you have circulating in your bloodstream during the activity affects your response; when you're doing intense exercise on only basal insulin, you may experience more of a rise than if you've eaten and taken insulin within the past 2-3 hours. What you eat or drink during the activity can additionally cause blood glucose levels to go up during and/or after you exercise. It also depends on what your starting blood glucose level is and whether you may have any ketones (indicating a relative state of insulin deficiency). Just give some thought as to which of these factors might be most likely to be affecting your responses.
Accreditations: PhD, FACSM
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Community Answers (1)
2013-11-05 12:28:35.0

I can confirm and add a bit to Sheri's response. My CGM has been helpful in informing me how to prep for my usual 2h tennis game Sunday mornings. If I start off ~80-120 mg/dl, I need 2-4 units to cover the rise that will occur 60-90 minutes into my game. If I'm higher, I need about the same to use the glucose I have onboard. Somewhat different story if I'm hiking, which is less likely to cause the increase (it does sometimes) but will decrease my BG over time, perhaps because hiking tends to not kick in the adrenaline that tennis does. Part of the lesson is that the CGM, if you can get it, can be invaluable for understanding this type of thing. Good luck.
Answered By: joecal

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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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