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Old 01-26-2006, 01:53 AM   #1
Adam Grant
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Any type 1 diabetics into crossfit here? I'm placing this in nutrition because as a diabetic I feel lost when others discuss insulin spikes and glycemic indexes in relation to diet.

All I really know is that insulin turns food sugars into something the body can use as fuel. The insulin I take 'peaks' at certain hours- should I exercise in order to make sure there isn't a bunch of sugar floating around in my body to be stored up as fat?

It's all very confusing. I feel that my diabetes is keeping fat deposits on my body no matter how hard I exercise or how sensibly I may eat.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:32 AM   #2
Mark Gebhard
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Disclaimer: I am not a diabetic, a doctor, or any type of expert.

The first thing to understand is the interaction between insulin, blood glucose, and food. When you eat food, it is digested and passes into the blood stream as glucose. The timing and amount of glucose generated depends on the glycemic index (or more accurately the glycemic load) of the food you ate. Obviously this raises the blood glucose level and in a healthy individual the body would respond by releasing insulin. Insulin is a signaling hormone which tells cells in the body (including both muscle and fat) to take up glucose from the blood. In Type 1 diabetics, little or no insulin is produced so the blood glucose level stays elevated, which causes long-term damage to many different organs and means that cells don't get fuel. Conversely, if too much insulin is taken, blood glucose drops too low and causes insulin shock.

My understanding of Type 1 diabetes is that it's a constant balance of maintaining glucose levels in the correct range. There are at least a few different ways that insulin is administered and I'm not really familiar with them, but the concept is the same; when glucose is high take insulin, when it's not don't.

Now to your question, and unfortunately the part you're better off asking a doctor about. Supposedly in the hour or two after exercise, insulin causes muscle cells to take up glucose much more than fat cells. So you might try exercising before one of the larger insulin peaks. Another thing you could do in general is to eat foods with a low glycemic load (the Paleo diet is great for this). This will keep your blood glucose level on a more even keel and in the long term may reduce the amount of insulin you need to take.
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