T Nation

Diet and Exercise for Diabetics


I’m new here and I’m trying to help out a type I diabetic with her exercise and diet to better control her blood sugar (250-475 usually).

As far as diet goes, I don’t know a whole lot. I know there’s good carbs and bad carbs and can show her examples of each, I know that the insulin shots are basically the only chance she has to absorb carbs, and I reccomened that she start keeping a log of her diet and insulin levels to see if she can find out what wors best for her and how different things she eats affect her.

For exercise, here’s what I came up with as a starting point so far. I’m thinking low intensity (raising Blood Pressure too high or causing the body to release too much glucose could be problematic), make sure to take the shot in a non exercising muscle group, and trying to keep the exercise regular and to do it as often before meals as possible (which would lead to shorter bouts as she doesn’t have a lot of time to fit it in). If she hasn’t had an exercise test I’m going to reccommend that too since her bl glu levels are so high, and would normaly be a contraindication if not for the fact that they never drop lower and no exercise isn’t really an option.

are my exercise assumptions correct? anything to add?

Being a type I diabetic myself, I feel as if I have a lot of experience which may be beneficial. Before I go into diet and nutrition, it sounds like the insulin doses being given are (far) too low -or- the woman your concerned about needs to get more of a handle on just how many grams of carbohydrates she is consuming. You mentioned using shots, so what insulins is she currently using (humulin, humalog, novalog) ? Also, what is her diet like currently? If you give me some of that information I feel like I can offer some valuble insight.