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From Maryland, USA:

Our 9 year old daughter is heavily involved in gymnastics. She works out 16 hours a week and we are having a hard time regulating her sugars. We lower her insulin before she goes and she eats while she is there, but every once in a while she still is coming out very low. Please respond with any suggestions.


First of all, you left out some pertinent information. You did not mention blood glucose monitoring before, during and after your daughter's gymnastic sessions. Blood glucose monitoring before, during and after her gymnastic sessions is the key to preventing hypoglycemia. In addition, you did not mention your daughter's insulin regimen as well as the time of day she engages in gymnastics or the length of time of each session.

Hypoglycemia is frequently brought on by physical exertion and is a result of increased insulin sensitivity and depletion of glycogen stores. Hypoglycemia can be prevented by supplementing snacking before, during and after activity depending on the nature of the activity (i.e., short duration and low to moderate intensity or one hour of moderate intensity) and its timing relative to the individuals meal and insulin schedule and knowing what their pre-exercise blood glucose reading is.

Ideally, exercise (gymnastics) should be performed at the time of day that is most convenient for your daughter. However, because exercise can potentiate the effects of insulin, hypoglycemia during or after exercise is a definite risk. It is important that your daughter's gymnastic session does not coincide with periods of peak insulin absorption. If this is the case, there may need to be an insulin adjustment made. It is important that you speak with your daughter's physician about these hypoglycemic episodes with regard to gymnastics. He will be the appropriate individual to make any changes in your daughter's insulin regimen. It seems that there may need to be some fine tuning done with her insulin, food and exercise regimen. Documentation of pre, during and post exercise blood glucose readings can be of benefit to your daughter when making these changes. This will enable you to see actual patterns that will help you and your physician make appropriate changes for avoiding hypoglycemic episodes.


Original posting 27 Sep 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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