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Cycling with diabetes

Crouching PeekyCrouching Peeky Posts: 90
edited January 2013 in Road beginners
Hi all,

I am a type 2 diabetic and it is mainly controlled with diet but on occasion with tablets. Are there any other riders here that are type 2? I was wondering how this would impact riding. My riding consists of an hour commute each way currently, but I hope to sign up to a cycling club soon but I'm not sure how, if at all my diabetes will impair my ability to ride longer distances.

Thanks in advance

CP

Posts

  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    Me, got diagnosed with diabetes, when on a medical to see if I was ok to start riding a bike! Just turned 40, was 17 stone just about.

    Diet and exercise controlled. now 11 stone 9 and can do 100 milers and daily commute. At your current state it will not impair at the least, just be careful not to overdo the "energy bar/drinks".

    I use an energy bar each hour of riding, and it doesn't tend to spike too much. I don't use the drinks though.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    I'm type 1 and other than being something else to think about, it hasn't afected my cycling at all. As type 2 cycling will be a massive benefit for you. It will help improve your cardiovascular fitness, help you maintain a healthy weight and is generally good for fitness. I'm not sure how type 2 medication works, but if the tablets have a similar effect as insulin then I guess there's an increased risk of "bonking" (blood sugars getting too low and having a crash in energy / loss of cognitive function at worst). Just carry some energy tablets / gels / sweets. Importantthing will be to get a feel for how many calories you are burning and avoid the temptation to over eat with energy products, as the guy above has said. Best of luck with the cycling and the diabetes!
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    the tablets extract insulin out of your pancreas, they can't send it low like insulin can. (I am pretty sure they cannot induce an Hypo)
  • BigMat, one of the tablets I occasionally take is Gliclizide, this basically give the pancreas a kick and tells to to produce more insulin. My bloodsugar has crashed in the past after taking these. I'm concerned about this happening on a bike.
    Hopefully, the extra exercise will mean I'm no longer required to take these.
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    Never heard of that one Peeky, maybe that can give you that effect. Eating a small bar each hour for long rides maintained my blood sugar at acceptable levels. (took my monitor out for a few before and after tests)
  • philwintphilwint Posts: 763
    Type 1 here, and as BigMat/zx6man say, with type 2 it should just help you loads.

    For me I've found that a 50% recommended mix of SIS Go at about 500ml per hour on the bike leaves me with about the same blood glucose I started with. But yes I always carry emergency glucose tablets to be on the safe side.
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Great thread as my son is diabetic and at 17 is a lot fitter than me but just diagnosed with type 1 I was unsure what to do, wether he can come out with me but its looking good.
    Living MY dream.
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    Have a look here for a racing team that only has riders with diabetes http://www.teamnovonordisk.com/ formerly called Team Type 1.
  • philwintphilwint Posts: 763
    VTech wrote:
    Great thread as my son is diabetic and at 17 is a lot fitter than me but just diagnosed with type 1 I was unsure what to do, wether he can come out with me but its looking good.

    Get him on a DAFNE course asap (your local diabetic centre can sort this), it is a brilliant, almost life changing learning experience imo. And make sure he asks specifically about exercise.
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    philwint wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Great thread as my son is diabetic and at 17 is a lot fitter than me but just diagnosed with type 1 I was unsure what to do, wether he can come out with me but its looking good.

    Get him on a DAFNE course asap (your local diabetic centre can sort this), it is a brilliant, almost life changing learning experience imo. And make sure he asks specifically about exercise.

    Never heard of that but il google now and ask as we have regular meetings at the mo due to how new the diagnosis is.
    Living MY dream.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Insulin dependent type two here, I also take Gliclizide, so bonking is reallly easy :shock:

    You need to work out how many grams of carbs per hour to eat to maintain your blood glucose level by experimenting with a known route and a glucose meter. Always allow extra for hills/headwinds.

    Advice is to never exercise if your BG s falling or below 100mg/dl (5.5m/mol) and avoid starting exercise if above 180mg/dl (9.9m/mol) as both of these will cause problems.

    As an example (I realise we all respond differently to food) I eat every three hours (meal or snack) anyway and on a ride I eat 10grams of complex and simple carbs ie a homemade energy bar every hour. I weigh 55kgs.

    Try to avoid 'sprint finishes' at the end of a long ride as this will cause adrenalin rush which will raise glucoze levels without eating.

    Hypo'd a few times on the bike the only real problem is the confusion caused by the lack of glucose to the brain meant that I didn't know which side of the road I should have been on! So always a good idea to ride with someone else and get them to ride behind you so they can see if you start to behave strangely.

    Do you think I should change my name from team47b to teamvelhonordisk47b :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    Loads of good advice above, although I'd say its maybe a bit over-cautious. Team NovoNordisk won't get far if they avoid sprinting! I do find intense racing is more problematic than long steady stuff due to the effect of adrenaline, also there is always a risk that you check your blood sugars on a ride and if they are in range conclude you don't need to eat - remember your body needs fuelling even if your blood glucose level is good so sometimes you will need to eat and take on insulin mid-exercise. It is tricky to balance but its something you can learn and shouldn't prevent you from doing anything - I have done marathons, Alpine sportives, hill climbs, road races, crit races, 10 mile time trials, all without any diabetes related issues (let's ignore the "racing incidents", downhill crashes and generally getting dropped!)

    DAFNE course is good and there is a wealth of information re exercise and diabetes available.
  • Thanks all. Some great things to take on board.

    Now to find a club with a beginners/fat bloke section :lol:
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Cycling with Type 2 is no issue at all (IMO), if you are sensible, it won't hold you back at all, I race with Type 2, and have done TT's up to and including 12hr's, it's never been an issue.
  • jp1970jp1970 Posts: 134
    On a slightly separate thought make sure you have some sort of Medical ID/wrist band to alert medics your Type II. My wife brought me a ROAD ID bracelet just in case i end up in a ditch !!!!.

    As with most sports you need to understand how your body reacts with the level of exercise you imposing on it.. I have found that it's best take some food on board (banana and a few slices of malt loaf (with choc spread !!)
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    ...and the effect of exercise can lower your glucose levels anytime up to 15 hours after the exercise has finished, so always worth testing with your meter when you wake up the following morning when your numbers can be at their lowest anyway.
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • VelonutterVelonutter Posts: 2,437 Lives Here
    jp1970 wrote:
    On a slightly separate thought make sure you have some sort of Medical ID/wrist band to alert medics your Type II. My wife brought me a ROAD ID bracelet just in case i end up in a ditch !!!!.

    As with most sports you need to understand how your body reacts with the level of exercise you imposing on it.. I have found that it's best take some food on board (banana and a few slices of malt loaf (with choc spread !!)

    Yep some good points JP, I'm a Type 2 and now am on just 1000mg of Metformin a day, just eat a natural balanced diet and you shouldn't find it messes with your cycling too much.

    The only thing I avoid like the plague are gels and sugary foods at cake stops, I then get a sugar spike and feel like death warmed up :cry: as an alternative the Shotblocs work quite nicely.
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