Working out does what?

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I read an interesting article last time, which I received in my inbox from MySugr, about high blood sugar and exercise, and I was like: omg I am not the only one experiencing this!

Let me give you some background: I had no insulin on board. My blood sugar was around 10-11.No ketones. It was not perfect but at least good to workout with since I am less likely to have hypos. I started working out on the elliptical machine and then I was seeing on my Dexcom that my blood sugar was going up. Hm okay? I decided not to inject insulin because I thought that I might get low and I was going to wait for my workout to do the trick and lower it. I finished working out. I was at 11 going high and not coming down. Okay, let's eat then and put insulin. I put the normal amount of insulin ( even though I am supposed to put around -30% of my bolus after exercising because a low can happen a couple of hours later). So I did that and I went up higher. That was weird. I knew that high-intensity exercise can raise the blood sugar cause I used to do kickboxing but I did not know that elliptical can also be considered as intense ?!

When I received this email, I was so relieved. As I said, I knew that exercise can have the opposite effect on the blood sugar but it was weird cause normally it goes down with the same routine of exercise I usually do. 

But then I remembered that I incorporated a lot of muscular movements to work on my calves. I guess that yes, I can consider this as an high-intensity workout. And maybe it can be caused by the fact that I did not have insulin on board, which I thought at first was good cause I thought: hey no IOB, no low risk!

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What happens during a high- intensity workout and why does it raise the blood sugar?

According to an interesting LIVESTRONG  article, "exercise can stimulate the liver to release extra glucose into the bloodstream, due to an increase in adrenaline. When you exercise hard, your liver will try to make more glucose to help you keep up. However, if your body can not use the glucose it will begin to accumulate in the bloodstream. ”

''When you exercise, your muscles need more blood and oxygen to perform, in addition to the increased need for glucose. This means that the blood vessels that supply your muscles are stimulated to bring more blood and glucose to the area''

This is why it is important to stop exercising when you are getting too high.

But do not worry, it is better to go a little high than not to exercise at all. As mentioned in the MySugr article, exercise is an important tool in your diabetes management, and you will benefit from it in the medium or long term. 

-Judy