Insulin rates & exercise

I'd stopped exercising in the past couple of years, but have become consistent about it (30 min/day) for the past few months. I keep lowering my basal rates and I'm still going low 2-3 times a day. I was on 13 units total basal a day before, am on 10 units total now and still having lows. I was told by a CDE today to lower the basals even more, trying 8-9 units a day. I'm on MDI, not a pump, if it makes a difference.

I guess I'm just surprised that a short (but pretty tough) work-out a day could lower my OVERALL basal needs (rather than just the bolus ratio for the meal before my workout). Has anyone else had a similar situation where daily work-outs lowered your overall insulin needs, rather than just after the workout each day. Thanks!

(P.S., Feel free to tell me that it's my pancreas working again, lolol)

I think that's a pretty common effect to get from daily exercise.  Exercise makes the insulin work more efficiently...or something like that.  Are you exercising the same time each day?

One of the benefits of exercise is the muscles will continue to use energy, and burn fat hours after you exercise. 

Thanks guys, I guess I missed that basic information. When I stopped exercising a couple years ago, it was b/c I was pregnant and way too tired, so I attributed the basal changes to the pregnancy...

exercise will affect your body more than 24hours after the workout, so you will notice lower BGs for at least a day, maybe longer. muscle strengthening exercises are going to affect BGs longer because they require more energy. cardio exercises will lower BGs a lot right away, but may not have the sustained lowering affects muscles work-outs do.

[quote user="C"]

muscle strengthening exercises are going to affect BGs longer because they require more energy.



I AM pretty proud of my biceps recently! (but, still working on those abs and triceps -- stupid scar tissue!) As soon as we finally have a Juvenation meet-up, I'll be sure to show them off, lol.
(I have a funny mental image of me in a wife-beater shirt showing up to meet you all.)



hahaha. wife beaters. that's regular redneck attire in iowa. :o)

When you exercise, GLUT4 transport proteins are brought to the surface of your muscles. These proteins can bring glucose into your muscles without insulin. They will sink back into your muscles at a different rate for every person, but over time with sustained exercise, more of them will stay on the surface - this is one reason that insulin resistance can be fought with exercise. 

Just a little physiology for you. 

So, does all this mean that if you skip working out you'll probably have high BG that day? (Talk about motivation to stick to it!) Or would you have to skip a few days for it to have an effect? Just wondering. :)

It depends on the person. Because I'm just getting back into running, on days that I run I tend to have lots of lows - I have to use temp basals of -50 for almost 24 hours after running to keep from going low, and even that isn't always enough. On days that I don't run, my basal rates are wonderful and I stay steady, but I expect that my basal needs will be lowered as i get more consistent with running. 

So, if I set my basals to be good for running days, and then didn't run, I would run high. But I know that isn't true for everyone.