high activity = high blood sugar?

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Bruce posted on Tue, Aug 9 2011 6:13 PM



Has anyone else experienced this?  If I run 2-4 miles, my blood sugar increases requiring1-2 units over the next 2 hours.  If I work really hard in my yard (ex. splitting wood for 2-3 hrs), my sugar goes sky high into the 400's.  I don't understand what is happening nor do I really understand what to do.  One nurse educator that I talked to suggested I just 'not exercise as much' .  I don't want to do that.  I really enjoy it and take pride in working in my yard.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?  If so, can you tell me what is going on and what to do?


Thank you





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zrebiec replied on Fri, Aug 19 2011 10:39 AM

When you exercise your muscles, you 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 active muscles to provide needed energy. The end result is that glucose backs-up in your bloodstream, causing higher blood glucose readings.

I would recommend checking BG before, half way and after activity to identify the pattern. If BG increase with activity, I would suggested either cut on the snacks during activity or take a small correction dose (30-50% from total correction) to help prevent high blood glucose. Hydration (water only) is also important to maintain.

 Trial and Error is the principle method that I would encourage using.

Jackie Shahar

Director, Joslin Clinic

Exercise Physiology


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