Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
tlinford
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Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby tlinford » 16 Nov 2012, 7:56pm

Hi,

I am returning to cycling after a bit of a gap. I found out that I was type 1 diabetic in 2005, which was a bit of a shock! since then I have been very moderate regarding exercise. I also deal with inflamed joins...

I am finding that getting out 3 times a week to cycle 10 miles or so really good, but for blood sugar control and joins. My muscle memory is working a treat and I am dreaming about going further. Now this would be all very well, and my fitness and speed is improving quickly. but I am not sure how much I can set my sight to? I do not want to get carried away, have a hypo and and up in a ditch.

Can any one advise me what I can expect in terms of cycling for half a day, or a day with type 1 diabetes. I use an Insulin pump so if there in anyone with experience of this please could we have a chat about it?

Thanks,

Tim..

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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby eileithyia » 16 Nov 2012, 9:21pm

google team type one, they are an american based pro team who are predominantly type one diabetics, it seems from the quick google I did they have both facebook and twitter sites; might be worth getting in touch with them.
Many people continue in sport and have type 1 or 2 diabetes and cope very well, it obviously takes some adjustment and learning to understand the trigger signals of your own body response to what you are doing.
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby Vorpal » 16 Nov 2012, 9:37pm

One of my clubmates cycles with type 1. He's pretty cautious about his blood glucose level, eats and drinks frequently. He also carries a test kit and some emergency supplies. But I've seen him ride 60 miles, and I know that he and his wife do longer distances on their tandem.

Talk to your health professional, but barring other issues, there's no reason that you shouldn't do what other cyclists do. Exercise tends to lower blood glucose levels, and therefore regular exercise can be helpful. I would suggest that cycling most days might be more useful than 3 times per week.

Build your way up to it gradually, both for the sake of your diabetes, and your backside.

Good luck :D
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tlinford
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby tlinford » 16 Nov 2012, 9:49pm

Vorpal wrote:One of my clubmates cycles with type 1. He's pretty cautious about his blood glucose level, eats and drinks frequently. He also carries a test kit and some emergency supplies. But I've seen him ride 60 miles, and I know that he and his wife do longer distances on their tandem.

Talk to your health professional, but barring other issues, there's no reason that you shouldn't do what other cyclists do. Exercise tends to lower blood glucose levels, and therefore regular exercise can be helpful. I would suggest that cycling most days might be more useful than 3 times per week.

Build your way up to it gradually, both for the sake of your diabetes, and your backside.

Good luck :D


Thanks.

Your reflection about your friend with Diabates is helpful. One of the reasons I have not done cycling of so long, is that my lifestyle as well as illness has not meant I can do a daily routine. I am finding that the 3 times a week is working well so far. I am a father of 2 little boys 8 and 10, a mature student who comutes a 50 mile rund trip to Uni. A friend of mine is letting me have an old Brompton, so I will put in in the back of the car, to try to get out on it in between driving, reading and chasing after kids ;-) thanks again..

tlinford
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby tlinford » 16 Nov 2012, 9:52pm

eileithyia wrote:google team type one, they are an american based pro team who are predominantly type one diabetics, it seems from the quick google I did they have both facebook and twitter sites; might be worth getting in touch with them.
Many people continue in sport and have type 1 or 2 diabetes and cope very well, it obviously takes some adjustment and learning to understand the trigger signals of your own body response to what you are doing.


Thanks....

I found this link too, http://www.runsweet.com/Cycling.html

Think I'm getting there....

One of the problems for people with Diabates is fear. It's one thing to be armed with information, but given the variables, it can be quite scary not knowing if in your exuberance you might keel over ;-)

scotsmanincumbria
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby scotsmanincumbria » 16 Nov 2012, 11:17pm

THink what Sir Steve Redgrave has done in the world of rowing - He too is type 1 diabetic.

That should give you some encouragement!!
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby al_yrpal » 16 Nov 2012, 11:30pm

Gosh, just read this http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-dia ... lin_pumps/ . I am type 2 and have no issues with 6 hours in the saddle in any sort of terrian but having read about pumps it seems very complex to control your condition to me. You are right, only someone with the same severity of diabetes already using a pump would be able to advise you. Cycling can demand almost no effort alternating with periods of quite significant effort with long steep hills and how you can control your glucose levels accurately over long periods faced with that I cannot imagine. Sir Steve can test himself at the end of a short race and dose accurately, but a long cycle ride lasting hours when you have to take nourishments periodically is another matter. Perhaps one day there will be intelligent self modulating pumps with continuous glucose monitoring built in.

Best of luck, and respect for your cycling efforts.

Al
Last edited by al_yrpal on 16 Nov 2012, 11:54pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby Vantage » 16 Nov 2012, 11:42pm

Hi tlinford
I have had diabetes type 1 for 34 years and used an insulin pump for 1 year until the buggers took it off me (financial issues).
Depending on what model pump you use, there may be an option to temporarily reduce the basal rate (long acting insulin dose) whilst you cycle. This will help reduce the chances of hypo, but will require some experimentation to get the amount right.
Keeping some sort of energy drink on-board (PSP22, High-5 etc) helps with glucose control although I personally find that Boots Glucose C Powder does the same job for alot less money and is easier to measure, 25g = 25carbs and so on. Simples :) I also keep a bag of Jelly babies (short acting carbs to bring me back from a hypo) and a couple cereal bars (long acting carbs to keep me from hypo) in the panniers along with the test kit.
Bring a spare insulin pen and 2 needles incase a crash pulls the canula out.
Bill


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hercule
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby hercule » 17 Nov 2012, 9:39am

I've had Type 1 diabetes since 1996. Having been very active all my life, it came as a great shock and I recall being very cautious about what excercise I would do, constantly worried that I'd end up in the ditch unconscious with a hypo. At that time there didn't seem to be much information easily available about diabetes and excercise. The following years have been an "experiment of one" to find out what works best for me. My main activities have been running and cycling: cycling on the whole is a lot easier to manage as it's easier to carry round lots of food and testing equipment, and doesn't have such high metabolic demands as running.

I would recommend two books: "Think Like a Pancreas" by Gary Schnieder is the best general guide to managing diabetes; and the latest edition of "Diabetic Athlete's Handbook" by Sheri Colberg is excellent on managing diabetes for all kinds of excercise situations. I bought it this year and learned a lot!

Don't be hobbled by diabetes. In some ways (though I'd far rather not have it!) it has heightened my experience of life. You need to be highly self aware, and you have fine appreciation of the value of excercise that "healthy" couch potatoes don't have. In many ways I'm running and cycling for my life!

In the last few years I've done 3 hour plus fell races and 90 mile (recumbent) bike rides. I'm hoping to do an ultra marathon (60km) next year....

tlinford
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby tlinford » 18 Nov 2012, 12:22am

IrishBill76 wrote:Hi tlinford
I have had diabetes type 1 for 34 years and used an insulin pump for 1 year until the buggers took it off me (financial issues).
Depending on what model pump you use, there may be an option to temporarily reduce the basal rate (long acting insulin dose) whilst you cycle. This will help reduce the chances of hypo, but will require some experimentation to get the amount right.
Keeping some sort of energy drink on-board (PSP22, High-5 etc) helps with glucose control although I personally find that Boots Glucose C Powder does the same job for alot less money and is easier to measure, 25g = 25carbs and so on. Simples :) I also keep a bag of Jelly babies (short acting carbs to bring me back from a hypo) and a couple cereal bars (long acting carbs to keep me from hypo) in the panniers along with the test kit.
Bring a spare insulin pen and 2 needles incase a crash pulls the canula out.


Great to hear from someone who has the illness. I am sorry to hear that the buggers took your pump away. I have had my pump for 3 1/2 years, I am due a replacement one next year! I hope they don't stop me having one because of financial constraints because the pump makes such a difference to me.

I will ponder your reply, and plan to carry things with me. I don;t want to get too technical with carb drinks, but perhaps this would be a big help. I the moment.my rides are light and I am noy carrying anything much with me. I think I will need to do things differently if I want to go further, thanks again.

tlinford
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby tlinford » 18 Nov 2012, 12:29am

hercule wrote:I've had Type 1 diabetes since 1996. Having been very active all my life, it came as a great shock and I recall being very cautious about what excercise I would do, constantly worried that I'd end up in the ditch unconscious with a hypo. At that time there didn't seem to be much information easily available about diabetes and excercise. The following years have been an "experiment of one" to find out what works best for me. My main activities have been running and cycling: cycling on the whole is a lot easier to manage as it's easier to carry round lots of food and testing equipment, and doesn't have such high metabolic demands as running.

I would recommend two books: "Think Like a Pancreas" by Gary Schnieder is the best general guide to managing diabetes; and the latest edition of "Diabetic Athlete's Handbook" by Sheri Colberg is excellent on managing diabetes for all kinds of excercise situations. I bought it this year and learned a lot!

Don't be hobbled by diabetes. In some ways (though I'd far rather not have it!) it has heightened my experience of life. You need to be highly self aware, and you have fine appreciation of the value of excercise that "healthy" couch potatoes don't have. In many ways I'm running and cycling for my life!

In the last few years I've done 3 hour plus fell races and 90 mile (recumbent) bike rides. I'm hoping to do an ultra marathon (60km) next year....


Thanks for your reply. It is interesting to hear from someone who had similar experience to me. I have been scared to go to far. I will look up these books.

The year I found out, 2005, I was diabetic I had just run the Edinburgh Marathon. So I kind of crash landed after finding out I was ill. I also found out, about a year later, that I have an inflammatory joint thing going on, so running is out of the question now, but the bike is something I am able to do.

I know what you mean (I think) when you write about running for your life, I think I got into running because the daily runs was masking the onset of the diabetes for about 2 years!

I feel encouraged, and am finding out how to go further, so will give it a go.

Sounds like you have made the adjustment well... keep running and cycling!

Ta..

hercule
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby hercule » 18 Nov 2012, 7:57am

It was really running that made me go and get the diagnosis. Whilst with hindsight I'd had the signs for a month or so I put them all down to stress. Then I ran a race that I'd done repeatedly for years, always putting in a good time. I came last, by a considerable margin. The penny dropped and I went to see my GP the next day.

Of course, a couple of years later I had to go back to the race and restore my track record!

tlinford
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby tlinford » 18 Nov 2012, 9:39am

hercule wrote:It was really running that made me go and get the diagnosis. Whilst with hindsight I'd had the signs for a month or so I put them all down to stress. Then I ran a race that I'd done repeatedly for years, always putting in a good time. I came last, by a considerable margin. The penny dropped and I went to see my GP the next day.

Of course, a couple of years later I had to go back to the race and restore my track record!


Cool. I was feeling really rough, and put it down to work stress. I wasn't cycling, or had time to do so, so started a lunchtime run which lead to me feeling awesome. It became a bit of a live joke at work. (IT analyst at the time), save the difficult questions until after lunc, then through them at Tim... It was amazing the stuff I could do after my run! It was just I had dropped by blood sugar to normal!

Ended up running the Edinburgh Marathon in 4.5 hours. given I am a short-bottom I was happy with that. it was when I rested afterwards that by blood sugar ceiling'd and I ended up a bit of an emergancy, whoops!

Are you using an Insulin Pump, or do you manage with pens?

hercule
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Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby hercule » 18 Nov 2012, 2:23pm

tlinford wrote:Cool. I was feeling really rough, and put it down to work stress. I wasn't cycling, or had time to do so, so started a lunchtime run which lead to me feeling awesome. It became a bit of a live joke at work. (IT analyst at the time), save the difficult questions until after lunc, then through them at Tim... It was amazing the stuff I could do after my run! It was just I had dropped by blood sugar to normal!

Ended up running the Edinburgh Marathon in 4.5 hours. given I am a short-bottom I was happy with that. it was when I rested afterwards that by blood sugar ceiling'd and I ended up a bit of an emergancy, whoops!

Are you using an Insulin Pump, or do you manage with pens?


I'm using insulin pens: Novorapid three times a day and Levemir at night. I've been using the four-times a day injecting regime for about 12 years now, and it came as a revelation compared to the previous twice a day combined insulin regime, allowing a lot more flexibility.

I looked into pumps when I'd read in the books mentioned above the potential flexibility they afforded. I've still not discounted the possibility and will probably talk to the diabetes team when I next go for my review. Not sure how they would work with running, though: I always run, and often bike, with a bum bag full of emergency rations, phone, pertex top etc, and I can see that might interfere with the siting of the infusion cannula. But others must do it too, so it must be possible. In long fell races keeping up my blood sugar is often a challenge, especially as in the later stages I don't feel like eating. On the bike I can however eat away quite happily. Indeed on my recumbent trike I usually munch away at fig rolls whilst pedalling along: not needing to worry about balancing makes things much easier.

I know you came here looking for the experience of others, but I'd be most interested I how you find the pump...

Personally I've got no problem injecting myself with insulin, I just wish the continuous glucose monitoring devices would progress a bit. I think they would make a big difference to helping people understand and control their diabetes.

tlinford
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Joined: 7 Sep 2007, 4:01pm

Re: Cycling with Type 1 Diabates: Insulin Pump.

Postby tlinford » 18 Nov 2012, 3:09pm

hercule wrote:
tlinford wrote:Cool. I was feeling really rough, and put it down to work stress. I wasn't cycling, or had time to do so, so started a lunchtime run which lead to me feeling awesome. It became a bit of a live joke at work. (IT analyst at the time), save the difficult questions until after lunc, then through them at Tim... It was amazing the stuff I could do after my run! It was just I had dropped by blood sugar to normal!

Ended up running the Edinburgh Marathon in 4.5 hours. given I am a short-bottom I was happy with that. it was when I rested afterwards that by blood sugar ceiling'd and I ended up a bit of an emergancy, whoops!

Are you using an Insulin Pump, or do you manage with pens?


I'm using insulin pens: Novorapid three times a day and Levemir at night. I've been using the four-times a day injecting regime for about 12 years now, and it came as a revelation compared to the previous twice a day combined insulin regime, allowing a lot more flexibility.

I looked into pumps when I'd read in the books mentioned above the potential flexibility they afforded. I've still not discounted the possibility and will probably talk to the diabetes team when I next go for my review. Not sure how they would work with running, though: I always run, and often bike, with a bum bag full of emergency rations, phone, pertex top etc, and I can see that might interfere with the siting of the infusion cannula. But others must do it too, so it must be possible. In long fell races keeping up my blood sugar is often a challenge, especially as in the later stages I don't feel like eating. On the bike I can however eat away quite happily. Indeed on my recumbent trike I usually munch away at fig rolls whilst pedalling along: not needing to worry about balancing makes things much easier.

I know you came here looking for the experience of others, but I'd be most interested I how you find the pump...

Personally I've got no problem injecting myself with insulin, I just wish the continuous glucose monitoring devices would progress a bit. I think they would make a big difference to helping people understand and control their diabetes.



No problem about asking me stuff about pumps. I get the pump through the NHS which is great. I went onto the pump because I have an inflammatory condition which varies my insulin sensitivity, A LOT. The pump took a bit of setting up, but basically I have 4 Basel zones, different rates at different times of the day. I also have programmed patterns for 'feeling [inappropriate word removed]' days, which irons out the insulin without me breaking my head with mental calculations, I set to my patter and tell it how many carbs I'm going to eat and it calculates the insulin and says "are you sure.... Are you really sure?" I can take anything between 80 units and 190 units (combined) insulin a day! Which freaks most people out when I tell them about it! 190 units a day would kill most people so I understand! The cycling means I have had days when I have doused as little as 60 units! Makes a big big difference...

Currently, when I go t on my bike I reduce the Basel feed to 20% I have felt this would not be enough if I want to spend longer on my bike. I am learning from talking to people that this is right, that I will need to feed as I go. I really don't like the idea of stick testing every on our on a bike though! Maybe I just need to learn to stuff fuel in every hour and test a bit more often?