T Nation

Dangers Of High/Low Blood Sugar Levels In Regards To Bodybuilding?

I’m a Type 1 insulin dependent diabetic, and have been for around 15 years now.

I got interested in health, fitness & bodybuilding to try & better control my diabetes over the years.

I’ve never really known how high & low blood sugar levels can affect your body, in regards to the way it looks. I read somewhere the other day that having high blood sugar levels can result in your muscles appearing smoother & less defined due to increased water retention. That is obviously something I don’t want to happen.

Therefore, if you guys know of any other dangers of having very low or very high blood sugar levels, I’d love to know. In regards to bodybuilding of course, not diabetes itself, which I’m already aware of.

Many thanks guys.

High BS levels cause diuresis, not water retention.

That’s basically going for a p*ss more often right?

Yes. Once blood sugar levels rise to a level too high for the renal system to reclaim all of it, the excess escapes into the urinary tract–ie, the kidneys start to ‘spill sugar.’ Because water follows solute, the net result is an osmotic diuresis. This is why poorly/uncontrolled diabetics urinate a lot, and complain of excessive thirst.

It’s good to see another Type 1 diabetic lifter trying to figure this stuff out. I myself was diagnosed in Sept 2013 at the age of 31. Having been training for a few years, I was already aware of the role carbs, protein and fat play in nutrition and once I figured out how insulin worked, it was kind of second nature to apply that knowledge to controlling blood sugar levels.

I am a bit confused on your question. Are you asking if there are any special considerations needed to train, or whether or not there is any aesthetic difference between a non diabetic lifter and a Type 1?

I have seen no aesthetic difference in my physique that wasn’t planned. If anything, I stay leaner because I have to control BS levels and can’t “indulge” as often as I used to. Overall, I stay close to summer bodyfat levels all the time now. That is more a result of clean eating and conditioning work than anything else though.

While I would not wish this disease on anyone, I must say it has been fascinating learning how insulin and food work in the body first hand by manually controlling it.

I am no pro, but would love to offer any advice on the subject if you have any questions that are more specific.