Daisy Mae's swimming BG thread

I am not a good example because I entered puberty a few months ago. I am growing a lot so I change all the time.

But sports changes my basal all the time. If I have a practice a day for 4 days, then stop swimming for 2 days, at the end of the second day I need to increase my basal 10-15%. If I have a hard 2 hour practice after no swimming for 2 days, I typically drop my basal 10% etc. When I go to a long practice break I need about 20% more basal. Sports causes changes all the time, unless I have the same practice at the same time every day, which never happens.

I never talk to my endo before I change my ratios or my basal. I would have to call her twice a week I think. But she knows I change it without her: she told me I should.

one thing i can say about my swimming: i do go at the exact same time every day of the week. but its true about not swimming every single day every day of the week. sometimes life just gets in the way and i miss a day in the pool. thats when i notice the most changes.


Unless you’re doing the exact same thing every day.

It is based on so many things. Not only on your exercise today, but yesterday and the day before. And also how much glycogen restoration you are doing. Lot’s of things!

But everyday I do different things. I get different amounts of sleep, or get different amounts of exercise. Some days are glycogen depletion. Some days are glycogen replenishment.

So it is never the same for me.

Who wants “same”?
“Same” is boring!

Well, we don’t make changes to basal every week but i look review his numbers two to three times a week and if we haven’t changed something in about 2 or 3 weeks, that’s usually when the control starts to deteriorate. Usually, however, we’re only changing one setting every few weeks. So recently i brought back Samson’s evening post-sleep high basal to account for growth hormones. Then a few weeks later I extended his higher afternoon basal by half an hour. Mainly tweaking around the edges.

Our son is a toddler though; he gets sick about that often, he has growth spurts, and sometimes he just doesn’t eat very reliably, which throws off his basal. Probably you could get away with less?

eric, and anyone else w/ experience out there, yesterday after much deliberation, i lowered my overnight basal as well as making a very minor change in my I:C ratio (from 8.5 to 9.0 beginning at 7pm , when i typically eat bfast). this morning i has one low at 5am ( bg 58 and i took 2 gtabs and went back to sleep. when i woke up for bfast, i was 97 and 2.5 hours post, my bg was 90. 3 hours post bfast my bg was 91. so this seems to be an improvement. i think i might lower my overnight basal from midnight to 3am by.25/hour from .60 to . 575 and see what happens tomorrow. i am keeping a sharp eye on this and documenting EVERY single change and how it effects my day.

also, today i will not be swimming; it is my husbands and mine wedding anniversary and we are too busy for me to get to the pool. so i am eager to see how this “recovery” day effects my bgs today and how i respond to them tomorrow.

and yes, i believe that this swimming and the muscles i am gaining are effecting my insulin sensitivity.

so yes, eric, i am becoming Wonder Woman w/ sports car speed. and i want to empathize again that i am not a competitive swimmer. i can go the distance w/ ease, but i would classify myself as a moderate speed swimmer. so i have another question for all who are still reading about my experiments: what glycogen (etc) am i using for this type of exercise? muscle or fat storage, or both?

and, what is a typical day like for you w/ regard to your exercise routine? just curious. :sunny:

You are using both muscle glycogen and fat. It isn’t one or the other, it is how much of each. Generally that is what people use all the time, the question is how much of each. The more you go from slow and easy to harder and more difficult, the more you move from fat to muscle glycogen.

To get a good idea, we would need to know what your heart rate is while swimming. And then there are some formulas that would give you an idea where you are on the scale.

This little picture helps to understand it:

And you can read all about it here:

I generally wait many hours after I have eaten lunch so there is no IOB, but before dinner.

I don’t have typical “days”. I try to exercise different heart rate zones throughout the week. So it is more likely for me to have a typical “week” rather than a typical “day”.

So I might have 1-2 long runs, a few runs with speed intervals, a few medium length runs, a few recovery runs. I try to hit all the different heart rate zones, from 1 (“this is easy, I can do this all day”) to 5 (“I’m about to die”).

Happy Anniversary! Have fun today!

we decided that we hate fancy restaurants and we hate getting dressed up unless its mandatory, we didn’t want to exchange gifts or cards…we just wanted to pig out on burgers, fries and guacamole w/ chips. and thats exactly what we did and it was a F-ing blast. i am on a 3hour dual bolus of 25/75 covering 75gms carbs. this formula at this restaurant usually works well for me. i am just letting go and trying not to panic or ruminate about whether i gave myself the “perfect” amount of insulin or not. today is for enjoyment and gratitude.

AND, of course, i am wondering how this fuel will fuel my swim tomorrow :blush:.

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OMG. today was very weird and unusual for me. i don’t understand why it happened the way that it did, but i know that you will have an answer, so i am going to lay it all out for you.

no overnight lows (yay) woke up at 111, ate breakfast, 2.5 hrs later bg was 124, then after 4 hours, back down to 104 (yay, again; lowering those overnight basals and the morning I:C ratio worked)

but here’s what i cannot wrap around my head:

prep for swim at 11:30am turned off pump (0%) and waited 2 hours for all insulin to have gone, leaving me w/ no IOB. my bg was 104. 1 hour later, my bg had climbed to 128, then at 1:15 to 149, then at 1:45 (pre-swim) i was 175.( i had not eaten ANYTHING)

i jumped into the pool. tested 1/2 hour later, at 2:15 and my bg had CLIMBED to 187
2:45 bg 141
3:15 bg 147
3:30 bg 163 (???) got out of the pool and gave myself 2 units manually, then walked home briskly (15 minutes)
4:30 bg 150.
swimming a total of 1 hour 45 minutes plus walk to gym and walk back (total 1/2 hour) total time off the pump 4.5 hours.

i am confused as to why my bg was high after all that swimming. what does seem good and perhaps telling is that i did not crash at all. (yay) but why so high after all that exercise? is it from the burger i ate yesterday? i did everything the same as i did the past times i swam.

please help me make some sense out of this. on the one hand, i feel like i have failed myself, and on the other i feel that i found some secret on how to maintain an even kiel bg.

awaiting answers eagerly. thx everyone, daisy mae (AKA DM)

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PS: there is nothing wrong w/ my insulin or my pump. I just tested again (only 1/2 hour later) and my bgs were down to 97. hoping i don’t crash and that i did not over due my manual bolus of 2 units before i left the gym. its all such a crapshoot for me; i never have much of an idea or a system for how much insulin i need to replace to account for the time off the pump.

any suggestions on that? i will keep my fingers crossed that i don’t crash down into the 30s :wink:.

Haven’t read all this thread, but

My understanding is that this is not true—exercise allows your skeletal muscle cells to uptake glucose independently of insulin, through another mechanism, with contraction/exercise and insulin having additive effects on glucose metabolism. If you google skeletal muscle insulin uptake and GLUT4, you’ll get a lot of hits on the topic, including studies showing exercise-induced absorption in the absence of insulin.

hi @cardamom, it’s definitely true that skeletal muscle can take in glucose in the absence of insulin during exercise…I guess the question is how much? It would be great to see studies that can quantify the magnitude of this trend.

DM, what’s troubling you?

DM, this is wonderful and exactly what you want, and is exactly what I would expect after you have been fueling your body sufficiently!

Between the time you turned off at 11:30am and that 163 BG, you were off the pump for 4 hours. Being 163 after all that time, that is no surprise there!

Now that you can see how you can do it without dropping, you may think about starting a little lower. You might need to do some preemptive basal tricks. We can go over that. Would you be comfortable starting a little lower now?

That is awesome. Did you eat when you got home?

If you were able to eat after your swim, it sounds like a perfect day - you didn’t drop 100 points, you ended at 97 a few hours later. That’s really wonderful.

yes, definitely, i would. this seems so crazy. why these results today and not the days before? is this all food/fueling related? IYHO ?

and PS: i hit the sweet spot with the “replacement” insulin bolus post swim. never crashed :blush:.

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yes. had a nice hearty dinner. yummy. and we were planning on walking to chinatown tomorrow morning for breakfast. there is this dish called CONGI that is basically a rice stew (i get chicken in mine) and this greasy baked bread that you soak in it. i love it; unfortunately, we have to drive a friend to the hospital during that time, so we cannot go. i will miss the long walk (its supposed to be 95 degrees in the city tomorrow) and i will deff miss the CONGI. another time. i thought that the CONGI would be a great meal for fueling up.

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You didn’t swim yesterday, and you have been building up muscle glycogen stores by eating a big meal and not swimming. So instead of your body sucking every last bit of sugar out of your blood and you dropping 100 points, your body was able to use the muscle glycogen - the carb storage!

That is why I have been telling you to carb up!


thanks for getting me there. in reflection, it was a wonderful day. also, as you already know, i dont swim on saturdays, so tomorrow will be a good day to fuel up and re-coop.

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There is really no significant ability to do that. If you look at the context of the thread, when she is talking about a 100 point drop, it’s clearly insulin that is doing that. Any T1 can try as hard as they want to exercise their way down from a high BG, but it doesn’t work without insulin in any significant way.

Glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) is the insulin-regulated glucose transporter found mainly in the skeletal and muscle system. A lot of the things you google for that subject are non-scientific - like that thing by that Quoreshi guy, or people trying to sell books or pills.

If you go through the progress of the post, you can see what has happened as she has dropped her basal prior to exercise. She is no longer having the 100 point drops. That was the basis for my comment. Any drops caused by anything other than insulin and exercise in this post are trivial compared to the effect the insulin was having.

I think the biggest proof that there is no way for glucose uptake to happen without insulin is just to look at the current research pathways for a cure.

Harold posted this recently:

It is telling that none of the current research pathways involve doing glucose uptake using a transporter without insulin.

I think if there was any validity to using a transporter that does not require insulin, someone would be researching it as an avenue for a cure!

i read the article and what appealed to me the most as far as medications to help T1D was the Glucose-Responsive Insulin aka “smart insulin.” if i got it right, it seems almost like a cure.and if i misunderstood, please let me know; but of all the other “curing” options, this seemed like it would be a dream compared to all of the methods i have tried in all my years of being T1.

(and when i was first dx, i was taking beef and/or pork insulin R. there was nothing like Lantus, or Tresbia, Novolog or Humalog etc. and your entire life depended on the insulin peaking time. also, BG meters were enormous and the wait time was something like 5 minutes to get a reading…and also, carb counting was always a crap shoot depending on BG at the time of pre-bolus testing and the estimated carbs you thought you would be consuming. i was passing out right and left. my life to me was completely misunderstood, overly complicated and confusing. )

today, i am on this site discussing how to use my insulin pump, bolus for insulin, and go SWIMMING :smile:. life is a charm: EXPERIMENT & EDUCATE.

YAY :sunny:


eric, i have been battling all day, trying to bring my very uncooperative bg down from 200. keep giving myself insulin through my pump w/out any result. finally, 1/2 hour ago, i caved and gave myself a manual injection with a shot. now i am playing the waiting game to see if my BGs come down. (if they don’t, i may just change my infusion site or use an elevated temp basal of 120%)

i have been nauseated all day, even despite carbing up; will this effect my swim tomorrow?

looking fwd to hearing back from you,

Daisy Mae


I look forward to Eric’s answer for you. But I feel compelled to answer since we have so much experience with extended highs and sports. I would expect that what happens today will have little effect on what happens tomorrow. We have battled highs all night many times, and then my son has competed well the next day. In my experience I would say what happens in the preceding 2 hours would have the most effect on your swim.

Hopefully Eric has a better answer than I reasonably quickly.

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