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Speaker Announcement #3

Are you aware of your blood sugar while exercising?


Often, after weight loss surgery, people who had diabetes, go into remission.

However, some people, particularly post op roux en y gastric bypass patients, have issues with blood sugar going in the OTHER DIRECTION -- LOW!  (Waves from the hypoglycemia bench! We are working on T-shirts!)

"Oh, I don't have a problem with hypoglycemia, I'm just fine."

Hypoglycemia causes symptoms such as - and in RNY post ops - very often AFTER EATING - how do you feel about 45 - 90 minutes after your meal?

  • hunger
  • shakiness
  • nervousness
  • sweating
  • dizziness or light-headedness
  • sleepiness
  • confusion
  • difficulty speaking
  • anxiety
  • weakness

Much of the advice given to diabetic patients can be useful for those of with low blood sugar problems.  Like:  how to deal with blood sugar and exercise.  Many of us have problems exercising or exerting -- we find that once we get moving -- we get CRASHING, fast.

Here's a quick article from the Joslin Diabetes Center about exercise and glucose control, bold-face type is mine -

"People with diabetes understand that physical activity is essential to leading a healthy life. It is an excellent tool for achieving weight loss, better glucose control, and cardiovascular health. Before you start any new program, however, you must visit your doctor so that he or she can review your plan.

Once your health care team approves your new exercise routine, it is important to follow a few guidelines:

  • Snack first. Physical activity can lower blood glucose, so if you plan to exercise and take insulin, you must test your blood sugar before working out, and possibly also eat a light snack as well. Some good pre-workout snacks include a banana and a serving of peanut butter, an apple and a serving of cheese, or a small juice box. It is recommended that you see an exercise physiologist, however, to see what the right plan is for you. (Exertion can lower blood sugar in a non-diabetic as well, and testing before moving is probably a good idea, and eating a snack might also be effective in maintaining your blood sugar while you are moving.  While a banana or fruit juice might cause a worse problem in someone with post RNY hypoglycemia, a slice of whole grain bread with cheese or peanut butter might NOT.  It's trial and error here.  Personally, I have to eat. while. moving.  Err, drinking works, something like THIS.  And, I often feel woozy while moving, and I have to stop and take a break just to make sure my head is still on.)
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol without food intake can lead to hypoglycemia and adding exercise further increases the risk of low blood glucose. In addition, if you have alcohol with your meal after physical activity, keep in mind that it will lower your blood glucose along with medication and any physical activity in which you have engaged.
  • Test glucose often. The best way to figure out how your body reacts to a new exercise plan is to test your blood glucose (sugar) before and after you engage in physical activity. Record all of the results, and make sure to bring them with you to the doctor if you have any problems trying to balance diabetes and physical activity.
  • Get into a routine. Since physical activity significantly influences your blood sugar, establishing a regular time for exercise is crucial to keeping your blood glucose in your target range. If you plan to exercise in the evening, be aware that physical activity in the evening could mean low sugar overnight. To ward off a hypoglycemic reaction in the night, be sure to have a snack before going to sleep.
  • Skip hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms after exercise. These activities all cause increased heart rate, and could lower blood glucose even after you stop exercising.  (Agreed - drowning is not cool.)

I will add - carry a medical ID - although I have always been horrible about doing so.  It may be necessary someday.



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