Today during my long run, it got me thinking about some tips that might be helpful to some diabetic runner and non-runners. Here is the beginning of a series of quick tips about Running and Diabetes.
Tip #001: Learn from a Low
It can be scary, during a low episode and you most likely need to take care of it fast. When dealing with a low sugar, take note about how much you eat to adjust, how long did it take to raise your sugars to normal levels and last but not least how did you feel during the episode. For me, I have learned a lot about how do I felt during those episodes. Although not that common lately, I used to over-correct (with food) because I was feeling so hungry and could not really think about anything else other than eating, that I could continue to eat forever.
My go-to food to correct a low overnight is cereal. I used to start with 2 servings of it with milk. But when I was done eating those, I would eat some more soon after, because my thought process mode was in a reactive mode rather than thinking mode. Which it was causing high sugars after, even with adjustments. Since then, I have learned to wait and figure out how much do I really need to tackle the low sugar, preventing overeating (Unnecessary calories) and a later spike in my sugars.
- Check your sugars, if you do not have a CGMS use a meter. Take note about how you are feeling with the readings.
- Start to take notes about how does the correction food react. This is very individual, so it will be unique to you.
- How long does it take? 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes?
- Pause after consuming the 1st food correction (That is why number 2 is very important to understand)
- If some time has passed and additional food intake is necessary, then adjust and take additional notes.
The more you know how you react, the better will be for you to manage your sugars. Similar goes for situations in a run. If you use gels, like I do, figure out how long does it take to raise your sugars. If you are having a low, take the opportunity to learn more and how to addressed in different situations. It will pay off during an event or race.