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Old 06-01-2014, 12:20 AM   #1
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Blood sugar and exercise

I started taking kung fu about six weeks ago, and shortly after starting the classes, my doctor put me back on Metformin. I'm eating low carb as well, but I'm not strict about counting carbs. I have not been eating sugar, starches, or grains. My diet has consisted of vegetables, meat, and dairy since early April, though I will eat berries and nuts a couple of times a week.

My problem is that I occasionally get blood sugar crashes during class. Suddenly I break into a cold sweat, get shaky, dizzy, and nauseated. Then I feel faint and grow pale. My husband always brings fruit to class in case that happens, so eating a piece of fruit or a granola bar will fix me up. But I don't want to make it a habit. I have strictly avoided grains and all fruit other than berries, but I panic when I get a crash. I had a Clif bar this morning during class at 47 g of carbs. It was an especially grueling three-hour specialty class, and I was scared of having an episode. It's embarrassing to have to sit out for a while as I wait to feel normal again, while everyone else keeps working their butts off. And I don't like telling people that I'm a diabetic. I did tell my instructor, just so he would know what was going on.

Does anyone have advice on how to avoid this issue while staying low carb and away from energy bars, etc.? I know I'm still trying to stabilize my blood sugar, and that may be why I suddenly feel so sick. What can I do to keep from having hypoglycemic episodes during exercise while still avoiding high carb snacks during class? Thanks for any words of wisdom.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:09 AM   #2
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Good luck because I never was able to resolve this until I stopped listening to those who said exercise wasn't effective unless I hit my target heart rate. Yeah...all that did was get a reaction like yours. I learned through experience not to exert myself to that level.

Kickboxing has always fascinated me, so once I hit my goal weight and kept my BG's stable and was off all meds, I decided to try it thinking I'd have different results now that I wasn't insulin resistant.

Nope...same problem. Exercise will help lower your blood sugar short term which is why so many docs tell diabetics to exercise. Extreme exercise will lower it even more.

My .02...if you intend to continue, I'd eat some carbs before your class.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Aomiel.

I guess I need to talk to my doctor. I avoid this because I don't really think my doctor cares. I was diagnosed with type two diabetes nearly five years ago. At the time of my diagnosis, I started exercising regularly at the gym and never had this problem. Then I quit for a couple of years. This crashing is new to me and makes me nervous about all exercise. I really love kung fu and I think it is helping me overall, in a variety of ways, so I plan to keep going.

I guess for the time being I will just eat berries and yogurt before class. It's better than a high carb energy bar.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:22 AM   #4
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It's most likely the result of the metformin. It's making you less insulin resistant so the effects of diet and exercise will be more effective (or cause crashes because they're being so effective.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:12 PM   #5
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You need to check your BS level before you exercise. You are probably experiencing low BS or low BP. The blood sugar tester is far more portable than blood pressure. When you exercise you burn sugar and fat which will lower your blood sugar. Eat some fruit before exercising if your BS is too low. What is too low? You need to learn what is too low. If it is 100 before exercise and you get dizzy that is too low, right? I would also check your BP at a free machine.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:09 PM   #6
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Thanks, oldtimer and Aomiel. Yes, I know I need to check my BS more often. I probably need to start taking my meter to class and work with me. I do have a BP monitor at home as well.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:51 AM   #7
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From my own experience I know my blood sugar can drop during and after a workout. Now I don't do anything as extreme as you do, I wish I could but even after an hour my readings can go from beginning reading of 90 to an after reading of 65. After an hour or so my numbers will be close to normal.

So maybe if you did a beginning reading, a reading midway and an after workout reading for several workouts you could see how your body is reacting. Good luck.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:16 AM   #8
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I am just the opposite. Exercise causes my blood sugar to rise.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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I am just the opposite. Exercise causes my blood sugar to rise.
I am the same, Babsy. I mentioned it to my doctor and she said this was normal. Immediately after exercise, my BS is higher, but it quickly comes down. I don't know the exact details, but I think your liver releases sugar because of the stress that exercise places on your body. I'm sure there are people on this board who know the specifics.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ronnie51 View Post
I am the same, Babsy. I mentioned it to my doctor and she said this was normal. Immediately after exercise, my BS is higher, but it quickly comes down. I don't know the exact details, but I think your liver releases sugar because of the stress that exercise places on your body. I'm sure there are people on this board who know the specifics.
I mentioned it to my doctor as well. He asked if my heart was ok? I had a stress test and it was fine. Dr Bernstein talks about it in his book. Something about your muscles releasing glucose or glycogen or something.
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