I’m on day 2 of the Paleo challenge, and so far, my blood sugars are cruising pretty low. Which is great. Hyperglycemia, (high blood sugars) can cause all sorts of terrible things to happen in the body of a diabetic, including, Wiki said; “kidney damage, neurological damage, cardiovascular damage, damage to the retina, or damage to feet and legs. Diabetic neuropathy may be a result of long-term hyperglycemia.”
That’s some pretty scary stuff. There was a point a few months ago when I was having 20’s pretty frequently. For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, blood sugars means the amount of sugar in your blood. I like to keep my blood sugars between 5/mmol and 9/mmol. 20 is way too high, 3.9 is pretty low, but it should be monitored to make sure it doesn’t drop any lower. Anything lower than a 3.1 is too low and should dealt with immediately. That’s how it works for me, anyway.
Having been much more active in the last few days than I have been, I’ve noticed that my blood sugars have been on the lower side of normal. Today, after lunch, it dropped to 2.8 so I had myself a banana. I’ve been avoiding sugary fruits because I’m trying to lose weight, but when the blood sugars drop, I need sugar, ASAP. I’d much rather eat a banana than white refined sugar.
I read a really interesting article by Robb Wolf that discusses type 1 diabetics and crossfit workouts. As a diabetic, it’s better for me to focus on strength training than high intensity cardio because during a high intensity workout, the liver releases a lot of glucose, which messes with my blood sugars. When they get too high, I would does myself with some insulin, but later on my blood sugars would drop too low because of the excess insulin and because the workout brings the sugars down for hours afterwords.
Looks like walking is my new best friend for cardio. Along with weight lifting.
Also, Robb Wolf wrote this but I definitely think they are good rules to live by to help my diabetes:
1-Eat a ketogenic diet. Use the Zone calculator to find your block numbers, then use 42 ways to skin the Zone to bring your carbs to below 50g/day for men, 30g for most women. Adjust fat upwards appropriately for calorie maintenance and when you need to up calories overall for maintenance. I’d add the additional caveat to make this a gluten/dairy free paleo diet. We have seen instance of people REVERSING Type 1 diabetes with a paleo diet because they put their autoimmunity in remission.
2-SLEEP. Screw up your sleep and you are killing your insulin sensitivity. This goes for everyone but especially for the Type 1 diabetic who will battle to keep blood sugar levels normal/low.
3-Chill out. Stress messes with insulin sensitivity AND it releases sugar from the liver. Don’t do it.
4-Ttrain Smart. I mentioned some examples above. Lift heavy, then sit on your ass. Repeat. Intensity (in the puke on your shoes sense) is what drives hepatic glucose release. Take a walk for some “cardio”. Be content with being able to lift a house and have 5% bodyfat, but a shitty Fran time.
5-Train Dumb, but map it. Most of you are CrossFiters and thus, will ignore the most important part of this (number 4) because you will DIE if you do not see God during a WOD. Fine, I’m not going to argue with you on the topic, it’s your life, but at least use your head. Start the intensity low (this may mean stepping back a little…you can do it) and mapping your blood glucose response after various WOD’s. How much does Fran elevate your numbers? Helen? Filthy Fifty? You need to build an inventory of what WOD’s do what to you. Then…hope for the best, because every time you do a WOD like this things are different. And you may have a dramatically different response than you might have guessed…hence, recommendation number 4.
Alright, so I have my plan. Eat paleo. Reduce carbs. Focus on strength training. Sleep more. Do different workouts and watch how they affect my blood sugars.
One more thing, I’m pretty excited about the lows only because it means I might start reducing my long acting insulin! Less insulin means less weight! (Please know that I have an appointment to see my family doctor soon and that I’m doing everything real slow, nice and easy so I don’t end up wrecking my body.)