In Medical/Injuries, Reference, Videos

November 05, 2010

Video Article

“If he can do it, I can do it.”

That’s what Steve Rodriguez of CrossFit Fort Vancouver wants diabetics to say after watching him work out.

Steve is a Type 1 diabetic who has set his eyes on competing in the 2011 sectionals, and he’s taking the “evidence-based results” of CrossFit to the next level with a logbook of his nutrition and blood-sugar levels before and after CrossFit workouts. He hopes he can share this information with the community to help fellow diabetics manage the disease while training hard.

Steve hopes to provide the motivation others need to commit to their fitness and nutrition, and perhaps he’ll even inspire a few to become elite CrossFitters. Steve wants to show them that it can be done: a diabetic can be a competitor.

7min 0sec

Additional reading: No Limits by Catherine Cochran, published June 21, 2010.

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28 Comments on “Competing With Diabetes—and Winning”

1

wrote …

wow that little girl totally ate it at 1:46 and nobody checked on her wtf.

steve what your doing is great. with a family full of diabetics, this might help nudge some of them in the right direction.

2

wrote …

This is awesome!

I got to visit CrossFit Fort Vancouver in July before the games, and actually got to get a WOD in there. Steve, you were there and I was chasing you the whole time during the WOD! Very inspiring, and very anxious to check out your blog.

3

wrote …

A type 1 diabetic Crossfitter myself. It's a stuggle to keep my blood sugars even close to normal if I don't eat more toward the paleo style. I also noticed (and was told the same thing by another type 1 at my gym) that the AMRAP style workouts, the really intense GO GO GO ones will cause blood sugars to go up, sometimes during the workout, sometimes after. I read somewhere that it is caused by the muscles starting to release their stored glycogen (?) on the long workouts, when your body has burned up the easily obtained sugars. You only have so much insulin on board (type 1's) to process the sugars in your body into energy during a workout and with the adrenalin and stored sugars being released, you end up with not enough insulin to utilize those sugars. And the Diabetic Solutions book said that when you're blood sugars go high, it takes extra insulin to bring it down...high blood sugars themselves create higher blood sugars (not sure on the reasons why). And with all the other factors affecting blood sugars, such as stess, hormones, exercise, sickness....it takes intense dedication and awareness to keep blood sugars in the normal range. I'm impressed with any type 1 diabetic that can train and perform as an athlete. That takes incredible focus and strength of will. Thank you Steve for taking the initiative and setting up a blog. Type 1 Crossfitters can feel a bit alone and oddball out here amongst the extra-fit.

4

replied to comment from Heather Ivy

Heather, your experience is like every type 1 diabetic's I have known. Shorter, more intense WODs send blood sugar skyrocketing. The numbers are unambiguous. Longer, less intense workouts will result in BG dropping, needing to fix with carbs to recover. (These are assuming that basal rates --- for pump users --- remain the same and pump remains connected; it assumes long-acting insulin, for those who inject, were not adjusted.)

I've known, and discussed this with, about 10 type 1 diabetic athletes, including a few I've run marathons with. For long distance running events, it's typical to jack the blood sugar up high before the event and let the event drive it inevitably downward, then try to save themselves with some glucose source.

For CrossFit WODs, the opposite: a bolus of insulin can be taken minutes BEFORE the WOD, and the lag in absorbing and responding to that insulin is more than enough to get through the WOD and not see BG drop until 45-75 minutes later. I would be shocked to see examples contrary to this, and I'd like to see his BG log.

Post-WOD nutrition is very challenging, in my experience. I cannot use a typical maltodextrin-mixed-with-whey-protein. Even if I take a large insulin bolus before the WOD, my blood sugar will be sent to 250-300 mg/dl if I drink a post-WOD recovery shake.... and it will stay there for ~2 hours. If I try to correct this, I will crash hard with a severe hypo, a couple hours later. A typical experience is doing the WOD at 6:30 a.m. and hitting the severe hypo at 12:00 noon.... that long of a lag, during which time the body seems to be insulin resistant. My only speculation is due to the stress response.

5

wrote …

Good to see some guys getting on and documenting the effect CrossFithas on Type 1 diabetes. I have had Type 1 diabetes since childhood and have been part of many sporting activities. I played senior football here in Australia and then did bodybuilding for a while and each showed major differences in my control. I have been doing CrossFit for about a year now and am a late starter to the paleo/zone diet. I consulted with many dieticians and medical professionals and it is amazing the different response you get, some even suggest that CrossFit is not good for diabetics and prefer long slow distance style activity. I created my own log for workouts and blood sugar levels and have been documenting them for quite a few months now and it is amazing to see the effects of different workouts. I am doing this in collaboration with my dietician just to prove to the medical community that other methods are available and can work. There a athletes competing at high levels and professionally in virtually every sport that suffer from diabetes and each has its own intensity level so therefore I see no reason why a person with type 1 diabetes cannot succeed in the sport of CrossFit. The differemce is that it requires a little more effort on its management. Good luck to all type 1 diabetics out there participating in the amazing sport and let it be known we are not alone and have a community within a community to ask questions, share experiences with and inspire great achievements. I look forward to reading your blog Steve and the feedback from others with our condition. Good work.

6

Tammi Byxbee wrote …

Inspiring and motivating video- I have been a Type 1 since age 5 ( I'm 41) and have been active in sports most of my life-Ironman triathalons, boxing/MMA, Kettlebell training, etc..and now enetering CrossFit Endurance and the regular CrossFit WOD's-it is so true that blood sugar levels improve, you need less insulin, and your immune system also grows stronger. Plus, you feel so much more energized. My physician is less skeptical now-the numbers don't lie and I get great results every time I get a checkup/physical. I look forward to seeing more athletes like Steve breaking new ground.

7

Ian Carver wrote …

Steve is a tp notch athlete and person whom we have had the pleasure of hosting in our box when he regularly visits the Sacramento area. I remember Steve telling me he was diabteic after we went over his health questionnaire, however, that knowledge and any concerns I had quickly dissappeared when I watched him work out with unbridled intensity and great athleticism, time after time. If people are concerned about the intensity level of workouts for folks with T1 diabetes, Steve is doing a great job of putting those concerns to rest!

Great work, Steve! We hope to see you soon! - Ian & Allison

8

wrote …

I also find the opposite on high intensity workouts. My blood sugar gets jacked up off of shorter more intense wods, the longer wods tend to lower my blood sugar. I was diagnosed at age 12 ( I'm 22 now) and I played rep hockey until I was 16, found that my blood sugar also went high when playing because of the adrenaline. I workout at CrossfitConnection in Burlington, ON, and if I get there for the wod and its Fran, just based on the adrenaline and stress my blood sugar is jacked afterwards.
Also I went to sectionals, then to regionals on my affiliate team where we qualified for the games. In all three competitions just based on adrenaline and stress levels due to competing (especially at the games), my blood sugar levels were extremely high. It affects performance, but I don't use it as an excuse, it's a learning experience. I'm also curious to find out about muscle cramping post workout. I have experienced crippling muscle cramping after a wod if my blood sugar is very high. All three times I competed my blood sugar was extremely high post-wod, and therefore I took insulin to bring it down, but as this happens I experienced horrible muscle cramping for around half hour to an hour, mainly in my vmo and quads, I assume it is because my muscles are losing glycogen and my blood sugar is being reduced at too high a rate after working out. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this?
Props to all diabetics out there who are Crossfitting. I don't know if anyone with type 1 diabetes has ever made it to the games as an individual competitor, but this is my goal. I went as part of an affiliate team, which was awesome, but I feel like if someone with type 1 diabetes makes it as an individual it would be awesome representation and motivation for other people facing disadvantages and illness who hope to compete at that level.

Andrew

9

wrote …

I have 2 words for Steve: THANK YOU!

I have been a Type 1 diabetic since the age of 12, I am now 26. My workouts, in the past were very bland....simple jogs, some situps, pushups and maybe some minuscule weight training. After my honeymoon period with my BS, my numbers started to change. They weren't as perfect as they were....and my workouts were giving me many lows, which in turn made me lose sleep for fear of not waking up if I had a big change in my BS overnight. In '07 my friend Dan introduced me to Crossfit. My first workout was Fight Gone Bad, and I fell in love....better yet my BS had significantly balanced out. WOW! Finally an exercise regime that changed my lifestyle in every way! I feel great, my BS is fantastic, I am more focused, my immune system is built up, and I am more awake (same results as Tammi). My doctors have also been very skeptical, and not overly supportive in these workouts....but like Tammi said, the numbers don't lie.

Finally Steve has done something that I think a lot of us Type 1 diabetics have thought about! Tracking our disease with the Crossfit lifestyle. This couldn't be better a forum for all of us to talk openly about our own experiences. So thank you again Steve....I will be following the blog!!!

Let's prove those doctors wrong :)

Cerri

10

wrote …

Andrew, can you attach some numbers to "very high" blood sugars? Either mg/dl or mmol/l.

Are you using a pump? What kind of insulin? Have you used or experimented with a CGMS?

There are very mixed guesses about what's causing cramping. It would be likely to result from hypoglycemia. In fact, a common treatment of muscle cramping is an IV of a high-dextrose water solution, where the sugar in the water seems to help, compared to IV saline solution. So... your case seems backwards from this observation.

At least -- I have a recommended treatment, which is to drink pickle juice (vinegar also works), only about 1-2 ounces should be necessary. The relief is immediate, about 30-45 seconds.

If it's resulting from high BG? I can only speculate --- my wild-ass guess is muscle glycogen depletion, coupled with water moving from the muscles (and all cells) into the blood, because the blood has such a high concentration of sugar (and we can assume muscle glycogen stores are depleted, which can be a lot worse if you've had recent hypo episodes, or are following the paleo diet in a way that is depriving your muscle glycogen stores --- possible in a T1 diabetic who has gone hypo lately).

This is similar to the difficulty you experience focusing your eyes when your blood sugars are high --- it's due to the sugar concentration making it difficult for water to move across cell membranes. Terms like hypertonic, osmotic pressure, and molality are all relevant. There may be another factor at play, and most people would say something like "magnesium" but the Mg explanation isn't sufficient, IMHO.

* * *
I was DXd in October of 1993, I've now been a type 1 diabetic for 17 years. I've been using Medtronic-Minimed insulin pumps, off and on, since 1996. I'm currently using a Paradigm 722, with Novolog (Novorapid in EU/Asia) insulin. I've also used NPH, Regular, Lente, UltraLente, Humalog, Lantus and Levemir insulins with multiple daily injections, as recently as 2009.
I use an AccuChek Aviva glucometer, NOT by choice. I check my BG 8-10 times per day.

Here's the Money Shot: My average BG is 130, my Standard Deviation is 57. These are not great, but not horrible.

On strict paleo diet, I've achieved avg BG of 115... with a standard deviation of 29. That's damn good.


* * *
I would be interested in seeing the same basic information on all type 1 diabetics. In the past I've had a forum for these; currently I do not.

11

wrote …

By the very poor, standard "performance metrics" of diabetes: I have an Hba1c of 6.3, which is good. This metric is pathetic. It's like measuring your fitness by asking what percentage of the day you are not sitting down.

CrossFit gives us different performance metrics by which we gauge fitness, and in fact gives us a model which all diabetics should be using to engage in the performance art of balancing our blood sugars. By giving standardized measures of work (that's what CrossFit workouts are), it creates a sport of fitness: we have benchmarks by which we can compare our performances. We use these between people for competition and motivation, and we use them for ourselves to gauge our individual performance and improvement.

We could bring the same to diabetes: aiming at a target blood glucose of 90 mg/dl and to minimize standard deviation in blood sugars. With clear performance metrics, we can see who has the the truly "fittest" diabetic performance --- who best maintains blood sugar control. And with clear metrics, and thus an inarguable measure of who is doing it best... we can start to examine how they do it, hopefully providing a model for measurable, repeatable success as a type 1 diabetic.


This revolution of diabetes performance metrics, needs to start with Standard Deviation of blood sugars. Our glucometers should tell us our AVG BG, and our Standard Deviation automatically, and we should all know these numbers. The value or integrity of these numbers needs to be maintained by checking BG every 2 hours -- not on a schedule driven by need (suspected hypos or highs), but a schedule which ensures a fair statistical sampling of average blood sugar.

12

wrote …

Cash,

this may be too public, but why do you check your BG 8-10 times a day? You hint that it's for statistical validity. Otherwise, it seems unnecessary since you give the impression that you have everything under control - despite not always maintaining your sugars in the perfect range (which you said you can do on a strict paleo diet).

Why do you think HbA1c is a pathetic metric?

Most diabetics are not as vigilant with their self-care as you. HbA1c gives an indication of what level the sugars have been at over an intermediate time frame (3 months). Measuring a patients blood sugar only gives information for the immediate blood sugar. Akin, to brushing your teeth right before a dental visit - it won't hide the cavities! I'm not aware of any alternatives to the HbA1c for it's purpose. And the only indications of long term diabetes are often irreversible complications - retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy - that develop over years...

13

wrote …

Cash Reynolds- By very high I mean between 20-30 mmol/l. It's definitely caused by stress and adrenaline before competing. I wouldn't say my case is backwards, I tend to get the cramping when my blood sugar is very high, but that's when it's on the way back to normal. When it's up around 20-30 I take humalog and when my blood sugar is decreasing is when I experience the cramping. It's just inevitable it seems that I'll experience cramping when my blood sugar has gone that high because it has to come down. As for insulin pumps, I've tried a few different models over the past 8 years or so, most recently a couple of years ago. I take Lantus in the morning and then humalog if/when needed throughout the day. I had trouble with insulin pumps on account of my low body fat (4%), there weren't enough sites on my stomach to choose from and I kept kinking the tube and disrupting the flow of insulin. I haven't yet experimented with constant glucose monitoring systems, but am interested to try so I could map the trends pre and post wod.

I agree that it's the glycogen depletion that causes the cramping, I eat paleo pretty closely, but post workout I will eat a decent amount of carbs mainly from sweet potatoes and sometimes even bread, like a pita or maybe a sandwich. I haven't tried pickle juice yet, but I definitely will next time a go to a competition, I have one coming up next month, hopefully that helps. I keep pretty good care of my blood sugar, test around 4-6 times a day, so hopefully I can track some of this to try and figure out how to best prevent it. I really appreciate the feedback.

Thanks,

Andrew

14

wrote …

I am a type 1 as well, and i tend to find my blood sugar drops regardless of the length of wod. I havent had many wods go over an hour, but from fran to murph, my blood sugar drops. I am not sure why my body is different, if anyone has any ideas please let me know. I eat a "paleo" diet, I do cheat sometimes, but not too often. I tend to ony cheat when I crash, and need to bring my sugar levels back quick. I have to take a high carb protien drink (muscle milk collegiate or similar) for my body to regulate, otherwise i need to start with a blood sugar of 180-250, which isnt too good on the body. Yesterday I dropped from 121 to 71, after a 1 mile run. I dont drop that much if I jog, but if I try for a new pr, it tend to drop a lot.

On another note, being a type 1 diabetic should not stop you from anything, as Steve said, too me its really just an incoveince rather than a show stopper, yes you have to take some extra steps than normal people, but it also gives you more of a incentive to stay paleo, and to not miss a wod, etc. I have been crossfitting since 2005, and still have occasionaly problems with my sugar levels, if its a wod that i have not done before, but it never stops me from doing a wod. Maybe you have to check your sugars mid wod, yes it will hurt your time, but it will help you from crashing, or going to high.

Thanks,

Ryan

15

replied to comment from Matt Solomon

Matt, as you said, the HbA1c gives an approximation of average blood sugars over a roughly 120 day period, with greater weight to the most recent 30 days. The test gets fooled by high blood sugar spikes that are corrected within a few hours; it only indicates that blood sugar levels have been generally elevated. And yes, the HbA1c gives data that is very important to know (if we don't know better, more particular data).

If we want to defend the value of the HbA1c metric, we're going to have to pull out some telling conditionals: IF a diabetic is not logging his blood sugars reliably... IF a diabetic is not measuring blood sugar frequently... THEN the HbA1c metric has some use. Basically, it helps you see that a non-compliant and frankly lazy, probably stupid, at the very least ignorant diabetic, has seen a high frequency of high blood sugars.

Those conditions should help to introduce some of the problems. If you work in the health care field, your context may be part of the problem. If we regard patients as foolish dependents, then we need diagnostic metrics that regard them as passive bodies. HbA1c fits the bill. Thus, it is a scalable metric: we can apply it as a protocol across the entire population of health care workers and patients, in every kind of setting.

This approach is irrelevant to someone like myself, who is competent and willing to go beyond merely surviving and avoiding complications. I want high functionality. I want health completely unmarred by a disease that, in theory, is manageable. I am not unique, and I'd bet more than 75% of type 1 diabetics are like me and are willing and able to do better management especially if their health care teams could pull their heads out and give them better guidance: guidance designed for excellence, not for scalable administration upon non-compliant idiots.

The HbA1c can be administered by health care teams on a population of passive bodies. But if we stop our protocols because doing better would require patients to actively measure their own BG frequently, and actively pursue difficult dietary options, and even to manage their own insulin therapy... then you've just limited your care protocols to the bottom 10% of the population and you have abandoned people who can achieve SO MUCH BETTER.

* * *
Where is the damage coming from? Yes, in part from uncontrolled or chronic high BG. That is page 1 of being a diabetic. It doesn't address the bulk of us who are doing much better than merely avoiding chronic hyperglycemia. Let's speak to the diabetics who want to do better.

The damage is coming from poor control of blood sugar. The tell-tale sign is the "rollercoaster", the tendency for blood sugars to careen upward, and then careen back downwards. If you want to help the bulk of the competent, intelligent, self-managing diabetics, you need to have a metric which captures this story.

So yes, I assume that diabetics are measuring their blood sugars frequently. For type 1s, this is necessary, and common. If you are coming from a context of taking care of type 2 diabetics.... that's a different kettle of fish (and one that is already selected for not caring very much about their health).

Frequent blood sugar measurement is necessary for type 1s, because they are managing their blood sugars from hour to hour by self-dosing insulin, thus frequent changes in blood sugar are the rule. Most people will also point out that the process is dangerous, as severe hypoglycemia can be life-threatening, and at the very least, can leave one dysfunctional, leading to other life-damaging problems.

Most type 1 diabetics start with a target blood sugar, and attempt to maintain this level, by correcting for the food they eat, and by maintaining a basal rate of insulin.

Standard deviation of their blood sugars tells the rest of the story, to those who understand how the numbers work. We only need to see that the diabetic is checking blood sugar frequently (so N = 5 or more per day), and we need to see N greater than 30, and what STD DEV tells us is this: Does this person have control of his blood sugar?

It tells you how frequently the person is going hypoglycemic, without the lengthy perusal of time-plotted charts of individual BG metrics, which in a health care context, always requires the Endo or Diabetic Educator to pore over... including the obstacles of having glucometers that can transfer data to computers, etc, or photocopies from log books that are then transfered over to a legible or plottable format.

STD DEV tells you how often their BG deviates, and how great the deviations are. It tells you their range, in combination with the AVG BG.

Most diabetics don't know the units for their blood sugar metrics: whether mg/dl for those in the USA, or mmol/L for most of the rest of the world. They don't need to know exactly how STD DEV is calculated or exactly what it means. It's a hell of a lot more meaningful than HbA1c, that's for sure. They only need to know what good numbers are.

I believe it is helpful to understand how poorly standard health care approaches work for individual people who are focused on excellence. For those of us living with type 1 diabetes, we must go well beyond the simple protocols meant to be deployed to millions upon millions of faceless collective... akin to the USDA's nutritional pyramid.

If the USDA's nutritional pyramid is the health care system's guide to health and preventative care... How does that compare to what CrossFitters are doing? Only a person who knows and understands CrossFit can really grasp the difference, and how great it is.

My approach to diabetes, in comparison to the standard protocol, is analogous to the difference between CrossFit and the USDA's nutritional pyramid.

16

replied to comment from Andrew Schizas

Andrew, 20-30 is freaking HIGH! My god, that's awful. Are you running fairly normal blood sugars the rest of the time? I have seen my BG go into the ~20 range from workouts. And yes, you're absolutely right about the stress & adrenaline.

I feel sick with hyper-BG symptoms as soon as I get above 13-14, and unfortunately, most of the last 8 months of testing with post-workout recovery shakes has done that to me regularly.

I understand about the difficulty with pump infusion sets. I bend the canula way too often, it disrupts the insulin flow, and about 1/3 of the infusion sets, when I remove them, bleed profusely and leave bruising. I don't have your 4% body fat though. Most people consider me ripped, but I have pockets of fat exactly where I inject or put my infusion sets.

17

replied to comment from Ryan Kiernan

Ryan, I think yours and Steve's experience is fascinating.

We might be able to resolve our different experiences if we looked more closely, like what your experience is with really stressful events, or asking questions about your "dawn phenomenon" which should be your body's response to cortisol & waking in the morning.

I'd really like to understand it better! It would be fun to have a camp for all of us to get together, workout together, and compare each other's methods, tricks, symptoms, etc.

18

replied to comment from Cash Reynolds

I currently reside in the Midwest (Illinois), I would be stoked to have a camp to discuss what others do to maintain their blood sugar levels.

19

wrote …

Hey everyone thanks for the comments. My blog will be us shortly. It's taking time to input data, but should be up and running this week. It's nice to see how many Diabetics are out there giving it their all and not giving the normal of excuse of, "I'm Diabetic I can't do that".

After I post my blog I will put the link on this comments section as well. Please feel free to voice your opinion on my blog and let me know if I should add something or if anything can be improved. I enjoy the great ideas and hope to utilize my blog not only as a spot for diabetics to go, but anyone that is interested. I'm hoping to build in a forum's page on my blog as well so we can keep ongoing conversations about anything and everything! Everyone take care and thanks for all the comments and feedback, great stuff.

Ian / Allison - Thanks for the kind words. You two are classy people with a great Box! Keep up the good work. Might be seeing you soon!

20

wrote …

Wow. I thought I was alone out here in Great Lakes. Totally fucking up my blood sugars with these W.O.D.'s. I've been Type 1 since I was 28 days old and I'm 23. Ill get back to ALL of you guys soon. Sincerely. Thank You. You guys may have just saved my life.

21

wrote …

Cash,

Thanks for the thorough response (and discussion). As an in-training doctor, the overwhelming majority of patients with diabetes have type 2. And they are nothing like you: Enthusiastic, energetic, and motivated to live beyond avoiding complications. You probably aren't like all people with type 1, as Crossfit self-selects (or develops?) positive character traits.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, self-selects for apathy. (No, not everyone, but in general.) It's frustrating for them, for doctors, and for health budgets.

Your idea about monitoring standard deviations is quite clever. I am certainly no expert in the field, but the idea never crossed my mind or come up in my readings. It certainly would give an accurate picture. Implementing a program like that, or anything that requires significant effort, is challenging in so many ways. In fact, if that was considered "standard", countless patients would give up and do nothing. In real-life, the "best" guidelines are the ones that brings about change to the most people. Setting lofty goals may work for a few, but if it leaves too many behind it has failed. This is a never ending debate in public health fields - that approach, or moving the whole population a little bit in the right direction. Anyways, this is getting off topic.

I love that Type 1 Diabetes isn't a barrier to Crossfit.

And Cash, if you ever feel like volunteering your time, consider inspiring type 1 diabetic kids to go above and beyond!

22

wrote …

Cash,

Great story and thanks for sharing.

Very inspiring!

Steve

23

replied to comment from Cash Reynolds

Cash- The rest of the time I run fairly normal blood sugar. I'm a university student so my sleeping patterns aren't the best and it tends to affect my blood sugar. My HbA1c is usually between 6-8, I agree that it doesn't reflect the extreme highs that are quickly corrected because if it did I'm positive my A1c would be higher. My blood sugar doesn't get to 20-30 unless I compete or maybe when I'm sick. I really don't know how I can prevent it from rising that much on account of my adrenaline before competing. Thanks for the input.

24

replied to comment from Heather Ivy

Heather,
I'm a type 1 diabetic doing CrossFit in my third trimester of pregnancy. For an explanation on the blood sugar spikes during an intense workout, read my article from the June Journal, No Limits (linked above under additional reading). I highly recommend the insulin pump for type 1 diabetics, especially those doing CrossFit. I do the same thing Steve does with regard to recording blood sugar readings pre and post WOD and then you can program your insulin pump to change your intake based on the results.

Good luck!

-Catherine

25

wrote …

M/ 36/ 132 lbs / 5'-6"
I have been a type 1 diabetic for about 11 years now. I am an identical twin and my twin brother has been a type 1 diabetic for about 23-24 years now. I have his errors and mistakes to learn from, so I take it VERY seriously and am blessed to have a support system around me. I am also very scietific about what are the causes and effects and how exercise and specifically what types of exercises have what kind of effects as well as food, sleep, stress, etc.
I am a level 1 CF trainer, and discussed my findings with Coach Glassman about 2 years ago. I am very happy that another CrossFitter, who is a type 1 diabetic did the same and is now posting his results.
I had a little bit of confusion about a year or so ago, regarding my blood sugar level maintenance, so I basically documented EVERYTHING I ate, all my WODs, etc. I found that with HIGH intensity WODs like Cindy my blood sugar levels would become elevated post WOD where as Higher weight WODs with larger rests do not have a similar effect. I don't change my workout intensity to minimize my blood sugar level, but rather I would not be alarmed to begin a WOD like Cinfy or Murph or Mary if my levels were at 80 or so, where as if I was at 80 or so and was going to do a longer WOD like 5 x 1 of OHS, 5 x 1 of FS & 5 x 1 BS increasing weights with each rep then I would definitely bump up my blood sugar level pre a WOD like that.
I was surprised with those findings, but they were very interesting. I am kind of shocked that there's no study of intense exercise and its effects or rather to speak more to CF verbage, that there's no discussion of the different effects of different pathway exercise routines have on blood sugar readings and therefor desired pre and post WOD meals.
I ZONED VERY intensely for about 6 months as a true test to see if the food alone change would really have an effect on my results. I DID find about a 20% increase in my results with a pretty strict adhearance to zoning. OBVIOUSLY my insulin intake levels dramitically dropped since I dramatically reduced my carbohydrate intake... those are directly related so that wasn't sooo shocking or even surprising really, but what was pleasantly interesting and good to confirm were the different glycemic indexes of carbohydrates and their effects on my energy and blood sugar maintenance... I think that the term "brittle" diabetes is too often thrown around where eating isn't consistant and the glycemic index of carbohydrates is all over the place and all the coorelating causes or impacting stresses are not properly taken into account. It would be nice to know that I better not take too much insulin since I'll be dropping naturally due to that WOD or due to the naturaly effects of being nervous to make a big presentation and obviously test at a higher frequency as well to minimize any complications. TESTING and checking to see what the causes and effects of all components of our lives are key to understanding how to properly maintain and thrive as a diabetic. IT IS HARD and ANNOYING, but it sure as hell beats the alternative. I actually think that being a type 1 diabetic could actually make me healthier life long, since I'm so much more aware of all of the things that I put in my mouth and my exercise etc. and I don't take what other people for granted. I test and check this stuff out for me. We're all individually and as such almost nothing will be exactly the same for another person.
Feel free to reach out to me and I am interested in comparing and asisting to both help CF diabetics as well as the diabetic community at large... we should all SHARE and all grow together.
Regards,
Anton

26

wrote …

Hey, is there any sign of that blog yet? Flailing over here in the UK with a lack of support and a bunch of nurses and dieticians who just don't get it!! :)

27

replied to comment from Cash Reynolds

Does anyone on here have a continuous glucose monitor (“CGM”)? I highly recommend it. I have one and now have access to a lot of data! The CGM updates your blood sugar every five minutes, so it is pretty easy to perform trend analyses. Your standard deviation is based on 288 readings per day (rather than 8-10, which isn’t a great sample size). It also has the capability to link up with your computer and record all your readings. I now have an online database that has a record of my blood sugars, food / bolus diaries, workout logs and can chart all of these relationships. It is awesome. After two weeks of data, I was able to really dial in my basal rates. As you probably know, the only downside to the CGM is that it lags real time readings by 20 minutes. This is not a big deal as I am mostly concerned with monitoring changes. I am a numbers nerd so I love having access to all this data.

I’ve had diabetes for 22 years (am 28 years old) and a combination of Crossfit / Paleo has resulted in awesome control. My A1C is around 6.0, I use hardly any insulin (relatively of course) and my blood sugars are pretty much flat. I don’t really experience any significant highs, except after O-Lifting (as the neurological system is taxed in these movements). I tend to get highs if I do not eat a post-workout recovery snack, as the body begins the break down fat and release sugars. As mentioned above, I have a pump and I disconnect prior to WODs. I take a small bolus before and a small bolus once I reconnect and am usually good to go.

Good to see all the postings on here. Awesome community.

Ken P.

28

wrote …

I am 52 and have had Type 1 diabetes since age 41. (Thank you gene pool, from all of us!) Anyway, can anyone comment on the relationship, if any, between blood sugar control and stamina? I read somewhere that poor control has a negative effect on stamina, and good control the opposite.

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