Here’s what I’ve noticed about my lifestyle as a Type 1 Diabetic as it pertains to consistent low blood sugars. The below are simply tips based on my own experience. These are not necessarily universally applicable:
- My blood sugar goes low when I eat junk food. – I always end up over compensating for my junk food habit too much with extra bolus insulin. I end up overshooting and my glucose levels crash into the bottom of the ocean. Therefore, junk food is bad. Period.
- When I ride my bike, all is well. – True story. When I ride at least every other day I am very consistent in my glucose levels and have much better days. This is a result of actually taking less insulin and controlling things more naturally.
- Take extra supplies everywhere. – I live in the south, as in Alabama. We never get “good” snow that is fun, but not threatening to our way of life. However, we received a snow storm a couple of weeks ago that amounted to total infrastructure meltdown. I was stuck in Atlanta at a friends house for three days. I almost ran out of OmniPods. I was really scared. Always take 3 times the amount of supplies you think you will need on a trip.
- I wear my CGM(Dexcom G4) all the time. It has become a major player in my life. It saves me from a lot of stressful and awkward situations. I can say it has saved my life. This is possibly my biggest tip….that is, to get one if you can, as soon as you can.
- Using my OmniPod Insulin Pump is probably my second biggest tip. Having an intelligent machine that can be agile with lifestyle and literally deliver insulin however and whenever I want is a game changer. I cannot imagine life without it.
Anyone else out there with any similar tips from their lifestyle?
Our local fitness facility is pretty stinking awesome. The above is the group cycling studio. If you have to submit yourself to an hour of physical punishment, this is the best place to do it.
It’s interesting though. Spin class, no matter which routine the instructor pursues, is much harder on my glucose levels than riding a bike on the open road. I mean, my blood sugar falls into the Mariana Trench. I think it’s the constant intensity of each course. It’s like a hammer pounding on your blood sugar minute after minute. Constant tension on your legs and big muscles in your legs equates to full on fuel burn.
I really end up having to dial back the insulin basal. Starting about 30 minutes before the class and trying to make sure my BG is around 190 or so, I dial back the temp basal by 50%.
Anyone else out there do spin class? Or do you have an exercise that is so intense your glucose levels fall off the cliff? Comments if so, please.
So, I’ve started a new exercise routine with a buddy. Cycling at 5:30AM. It’s been fantastic. Road bikes + lights + no traffic on the roads = awesome.
I basically wake up at 4:45AM, dial back my basal insulin rate on my OmniPod 50% for period of one hour. Then, I eat a ThinkThin protein bar and take off. I also drink a drink called Spark while on my ride to keep blood sugar up and steady.
Here’s the nerdy data from our ride…
I have an absolute addiction to this snack. It’s really a great source of energy and is delish.
ThinkThin bars have hit the health food scene with massive popularity. They are gluten free bars with high protein options. I only buy one flavor. CHOCOLATE FUDGE. I mean, come on people. How can you beat chocolate fudge? One reason why I love this bar so much is the texture. It has a soft, chewy texture like fudge should have. However, the taste is FANTASTIC as well. You don’t taste that chemical taste you get in a lot of other protein bars or weight loss snacks.
Prior to exercise, I’ll knock down a Thinkthin bar and dial my insulin basal back to about 50%, more or less depending on the strain of the exercise plan that day.
When my blood sugar is low, it’s a great snack too. Fast reacting because of the chocolate base, but really filling and long lasting too with the protein at 20g. It’s a 240 calorie snack, so you can’t eat 5 a day plus your normal meal schedule. I find them to be great treats in the hustle and bustle of a diabetic day or week. This is just one of many great tips I love to offer. If you want more access to this kind of information, sign up here!
Don’t forget to sign up for exclusive updates and great tools for diabetes management! Click Here!
It’s Time For Winter Riding
I love to ride my road bike. Simply love it. I love cycling for many reasons. Where I live, it’s starting to get cold and the sun is down too early for an evening ride. So, morning rides become a necessary reality. 6AM style. As a Type 1 Diabetic, this is a significant challenge because you have to work that much harder to maintain a healthy exercise routine that you are also passionate about. As you consider modifying your riding to cold mornings, here are some thoughts to help or inform you:
Gear Up, Layer Up
Winter, or cold weather riding, can be very fun and rewarding, if you’re prepared. If not, you’ll think you’ve been spun into some kind of phantom zone with General Zod(Superman reference). Riding in the winter with little sun light is COLD! Layer up! Be sure to have three layers on your torso, a solid winter Bibb that goes down to your ankles, winterized gloves, wool socks, shoe/toe covers and a head cover under your helmet.
Get A Group
If possible, join a group or recruit one. Groups can share the wind and reduce your exposure to the headwind you create for yourself. Riding in a slipstream makes everything better!
Light It Up
Not a cigarette…safety lights. The night before you ride, be sure to check your batteries. Visibility is poor in the mornings and people who are driving that early may not have had their coffee yet. Think for them…
Finally, if you’re a diabetic, it can be tricky to master your blood sugar for an early morning work out. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t manage it perfectly your first few attempts. Remember, patterns and fixed behavior are what allow us to dominate this disease. Patterns are created immediately. Use trial and error with a little discipline and you’ll get it figured out.
If you’d like to stay in the loop,be sure to join my list here.