Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Diabetes and hard (physical) work

Today I spent about six hours working at the barn. As a type 1 diabetic, this is something I really have to be careful about, because the exercise makes my blood sugar drop.

I've been more active lately, so I've been having to tinker with my insulin doses a little. Usually when I become more active, my Lantus needs dip for a short while, then come back up and settle back where they were before. I think this is because the exercise changes my metabolism, which changes how my body processes sugar.

The other thing I have to make sure of is that I run my blood sugar a bit high before I go out to the barn. If my blood sugar is on the low or normal side, I'll eat a snack; if I'm eating a meal, I'll take a little less insulin than I normally would.

I also try to always bring my glucagon kit with me when I'm doing something that could make me crash. I didn't today, but I should have. For example, if I go for a bike ride I stick it in my handlebar bag.

It's important to remember that activities such as moving furniture — or, in my case, mucking manure and moving mulch at the barn — are just as active as going to the gym and working out, and therefore can have just as much of an effect on your blood sugar.

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