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  1. #1
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Eating and cycling for a diabetic

    I am just geting back into road cycling after many years out of the saddle. I was diagnosed as a diabetic in August of 2003 and lost 2 of my toes because of it (didn't know I was diabetic til that happened). I have to watch my sugar intake, though I realize I will be burning it rather quickly while riding. DOes anyone have any advice for what to eat and drink for a diabetic, before during and after a ride?

    BTW...love the threads and all of the advice I have gotten after lurking about for 3 weeks or so....Just got a new bike (2005 Lemond Etape) and love it!



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    First thing youneed to do is talk with your doctor and a dietician. Do not collect $200, do not pass go until you have done this.

    My grandfather was diabetic, so I have some familiarity with how precise the blood sugar balance must be. Cycling should be great for your overall health and for the diabetes, but definitely get some professional input ont his issue.

    BR

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    I know quite a few low carb diabetics. it really heps them. some docs will help you there and some won't.

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    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I am curious that you didn't know you were diabetic. The way I understand it, there are some pretty noticeable symptoms, like being thirsty all the time, having to pee all the time, and generally not feeling very well. I'm not criticizing, but it's a pretty serious condition and it takes a while to get that bad.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveknight
    I know quite a few low carb diabetics. it really heps them. some docs will help you there and some won't.
    One of the things I have heard is great is th GI diet (GI standing for glycemic index) and the diet is really only phase one. Phase 2 is the lifestyle choice. Some of the books are very numbers based, and another guy has made it very simple: gidiet.com I am not a diebetic, but it was reccomended to me by one, and I can feel my energy and hunger stabalized.

    The whole gist is low non-natural sugar, and low processed. So lots of fruits and veggies, lean meat, and then "brown carbs" like whole grain bread, and brown rice, and wheat pasta, things made with whole wheat flour, and using substitutes for sugar like splenda.

    only know of the one diebetic who it worked for, but there are many claims on the website that diabetics have been able to move off of insulin due to the success of the diet. The numerical based versions are super scientific doctor reccomended programs, and this guys is more of a common sense approach. I think its great.
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    I've been a diebetic for 40 years and I can tell you don't ever ever go biking without something to deal with low blood sugar. I can have a BS of 250 and 10 miles into the ride be down to 60. I like to take the gel packs with me because they work quickly and are not to big. I've been fairly active all my life with backpacking, racing sailboats but never have I had trouble keeping my BS up other than riding bikes

    Thank care and good luck
    Guy

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    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbit
    I am curious that you didn't know you were diabetic. The way I understand it, there are some pretty noticeable symptoms, like being thirsty all the time, having to pee all the time, and generally not feeling very well. I'm not criticizing, but it's a pretty serious condition and it takes a while to get that bad.
    To cure your curiosity wabbit...Many people are not aware of the symptoms until they are diagnosed and then they say "Oh THAT'S what was causing that?!" I did not have any of the symptoms you mentioned, which is quite common. My "discovery was due to a popped blood blister that didn't heal, that I got while swimming, which became infected very quickly....A long story and I will spare you the details. Until that day I have always been very healthy, my doctor even commenred on that fact, never getting sick or feeling bad. With some people the risks are genetic and/or hereditary. After I was admitted to the hospital I found out that my brother (whom I don't get to see often) was diagnosed four years ago. He however was grossly overwieght at 6'4" 350lbs...I was 6'1" 218lbs and very active.

  8. #8
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rguysailing
    I've been a diebetic for 40 years and I can tell you don't ever ever go biking without something to deal with low blood sugar. I can have a BS of 250 and 10 miles into the ride be down to 60. I like to take the gel packs with me because they work quickly and are not to big. I've been fairly active all my life with backpacking, racing sailboats but never have I had trouble keeping my BS up other than riding bikes

    Thank care and good luck
    Guy
    Thank you rguy...I was hoping I would get some input from a fellow diabetic. I was not looking for overall dietary information. I follow a very strict, healthy diet, limiting red meats and fats and such as I have done for the past 3 years.
    I guess i should have been a bit more specific with my topic...I am sorry about that folks. I would like to know what would be best to bring with me on my rides...especially for drinking. I do quite well in the kitchen when I am home (at least I think I do )

    Once again, thanks for the info...i love these threads

    Brian

  9. #9
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    I was diagnosed Type II a couple of years ago. On oral meds up until last November when I was taken off of all meds.

    I take CLIFF BARS and CLIFF SHOTS with me on rides. They serve different purposes.

    One thing that would help is to know what meds you are on. Insulin injections or one of the oral meds? If oral, which one? (s). The meds you are on will also have an effect on what you "should" eat.

    Best advice was already given above: See your Doctor and dietitian.

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    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baj32161
    To cure your curiosity wabbit...Many people are not aware of the symptoms until they are diagnosed and then they say "Oh THAT'S what was causing that?!" I did not have any of the symptoms you mentioned, which is quite common. My "discovery was due to a popped blood blister that didn't heal, that I got while swimming, which became infected very quickly....A long story and I will spare you the details. Until that day I have always been very healthy, my doctor even commenred on that fact, never getting sick or feeling bad. With some people the risks are genetic and/or hereditary. After I was admitted to the hospital I found out that my brother (whom I don't get to see often) was diagnosed four years ago. He however was grossly overwieght at 6'4" 350lbs...I was 6'1" 218lbs and very active.
    That's very interesting. I have known of a couple of other guys who were like you. ONe of them didn't feel that bad either, and he certainly wasn't overweight or out of shape. In fact he was a skinny guy; but I think his father had it.ANd my own father was never overweight and was also skinny and became diabetic as well, although he was in his 60s. Heredity is definitely a factor with autoimmune conditions. I worry about diabetes as well, you never know. I had the same thing though, with a thyroid condition. It started about 1998-99 and I started putting on weight, and had other symptoms and it was the same thing with me. I got tested and it was "oh,that's why I put on 15 pounds and couldn't get rid of it!" and other symptoms which are not very dramatic, like aches and pains and muscle cramps. Well who doesn't have those?

    One thing for sure, the atkins diet is useless. Especially if you're active- the diet is really designed for couch potatoes and is not recommended for diabetics. I know of a few cases where diabetics managed to get off meds with diet and exercise. However, until your blood sugar is under control, be careful about crashing and losing skin! If it happens and it's bad enough get to a hospital right away.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

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    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbit
    That's very interesting. I have known of a couple of other guys who were like you. ONe of them didn't feel that bad either, and he certainly wasn't overweight or out of shape. In fact he was a skinny guy; but I think his father had it.ANd my own father was never overweight and was also skinny and became diabetic as well, although he was in his 60s. Heredity is definitely a factor with autoimmune conditions. I worry about diabetes as well, you never know. I had the same thing though, with a thyroid condition. It started about 1998-99 and I started putting on weight, and had other symptoms and it was the same thing with me. I got tested and it was "oh,that's why I put on 15 pounds and couldn't get rid of it!" and other symptoms which are not very dramatic, like aches and pains and muscle cramps. Well who doesn't have those?

    One thing for sure, the atkins diet is useless. Especially if you're active- the diet is really designed for couch potatoes and is not recommended for diabetics. I know of a few cases where diabetics managed to get off meds with diet and exercise. However, until your blood sugar is under control, be careful about crashing and losing skin! If it happens and it's bad enough get to a hospital right away.
    Thanks Wabbit. I am aware and very conscious of falling and cutting myself...that is how I got into the fix I am in now (cut foot that didn't heal). It is interesting to note that my brother and I are the only diabetics in my family, so go figure, eh?. Ideally my docs want my weight down to around 180-185lbs (I am now at 205) and I think cycling will be a GREAT way to achieve that goal. I used to ride quite a bit when I was younger, up to 250 miles/week, but that was about 20+ yrs ago.

    I do agree with you about the Atkins, as well as othert high protein/low carb "diets." It should be obvious to most sensible people that eliminating carbs from your diet is not the answer. Getting off of your butt and exercising will do much more for you than a fad diet (as we have been told for the past 40 years or so). Afterall we don't see top or even mid-level athletes, especially cyclists and runners using low carb diets to stay in shape. This is all a product of the American sedentary lifestyle. I have been to Europe 4 times in the past 7 years and the Europeans are laughing at us over this nonsense.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by baj32161
    I do agree with you about the Atkins, as well as othert high protein/low carb "diets." It should be obvious to most sensible people that eliminating carbs from your diet is not the answer. Getting off of your butt and exercising will do much more for you than a fad diet (as we have been told for the past 40 years or so). Afterall we don't see top or even mid-level athletes, especially cyclists and runners using low carb diets to stay in shape. This is all a product of the American sedentary lifestyle. I have been to Europe 4 times in the past 7 years and the Europeans are laughing at us over this nonsense.

    Brian
    The basic low carb idea is how we evolved. It is the way quite a few humans live. Or if they eat more carbs it's not the junk carbs that most Americans eat. Yes working out hard you need some carbs.
    But it has been all of the low quality sugars and carbs that have been in the americanís diet that made diabetes what it is today.
    No junk food (always high in carbs and lousy fats) and hard work is the most important things. Low quality carbs starve the body as they contain so little in the way of nutrition. Want to talk to people that do this go to alt.support.diet.low-carb and talk to real people and some actual athletes and people with diabetes.
    Most low carb diets limit junk carbs and not regular good carbs. Does a little research before you make judgments?
    If you cut out all processed foods low quality carbs wheat and corn and sugars and starches in the typical American diet I think most people would loose weight just from that. Plus working the body hard as it is meant to be worked.

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    Senior Member Bontrager's Avatar
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    I can't over-stress the point about checking your feet before and after every ride. Get a mirror and inspect both feet before and after. Go to your doctor if you have ANY open sores or blisters. I'd recommend seeing a Podiatrist regularly and letting him know about your bicycling activities.
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    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    When first diagnosed, I was put on Glucovance. After diet and exercise brought my weight down about 60 pounds, I was taken off meds. Cycling seems to have dramatically different effects depending on meds.

    When on Glucovance I really had to worry about bonking (low blood sugar). I generally tested before departure and ate an appropriate amount of carb. For me, eating about 30 grams of carb per hour of strenuous riding seemed to be about right. I always tested after a ride as well. I also carried a tube of glycogen around for emergencies.

    I certainly agree with above posters who recommended a dietician and chat with your doc. I believe you'll find the advice to be highly individualized.

    Lastly, please carry obvious identification which will let emergency medical people know you are diabetic.

    Oh yeah, now that I'm off meds, I ride until I feel tired, hungry or thirsty and take appropriate action. Not worried about bonking anymore. Seems that only happened when I was on meds.
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    I have insulin resistance. I plan to reverse it before it ever reaches diabetes! I'm too scared of needles to be a diabetic!

    Since the diagnosis (8-12 mos. ago) I have lost 57 lbs. I have 35 left to loose. But my Weight Watchers diet is not working for me anymore!

    So I've switched over to the LA diet. The problem with that is they don't tell you that you must purchase their food if you want the diet to work. They really don't explain well enough how to make it work w/o their food. I'm frustrated.

    So now I'm in the market for a new diet. I'm thinking of the Meditterranian Diet.

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    Be Ready, you can't reverse it. Your diabetic! Those who require injections aren't the only ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lsd87
    Be Ready, you can't reverse it. Your diabetic! Those who require injections aren't the only ones.

    Nope, that is where you are wrong. This condition is reversable according to my research. No. I'm not diabetic.

    It's good that Lance Armstrong did not listen when folks told him it was over.
    You gotta have faith.

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    Be Ready

    You might try taking Chromium supplement. I inject insulin and it absorbs better when I take it. Somehow chromium helps the cells use insulin better.

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    Fight the good fight
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    Quote Originally Posted by rguysailing
    Be Ready

    You might try taking Chromium supplement. I inject insulin and it absorbs better when I take it. Somehow chromium helps the cells use insulin better.

    I'm right there! I take about 120 MG in my vitamin suppliments.

  20. #20
    Friar UziBeatle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsd87
    Be Ready, you can't reverse it. Your diabetic! Those who require injections aren't the only ones.

    For Type II (Late onset) diabetes it can be 'reversable'. REversable in the sense one can do away
    with the need for oral meds. I can only speak from personal experience and I must be one of the lucky ones.

    May 2004 I was diagnosed diabetic by my doc when we noted I had a blood sugar of 340 during some
    blood tests we had done checking up for another illness I had gone in for.

    Long story short. I'm 49, 6'1", and weighed 295 pounds. He put me on Avandamet which I took for
    4 months. SInce the stuff was so damn expensive I began to cheat on the dosage, (cutting tabs in half).
    I used my fathers blood sugar tool to monitor my blood sugars...

    I finally whined enough I supposed and the doc said I could switch over to Glyburide ( a MUCH cheaper oral alternative). After reading the warnings on the drug info pamphlet I worried about hypoglycemia, as Glyburide is not nearly as user friendly as Avandamet types. So I decided on my own to try without meds for a while and just maintain with my NEW exercise and improved diet. Well, here it is February and been off the oral meds since October 2004. (main motivation besides worrying about Diabetes was the cost of Avandamet, 130 plus dollars a month....)

    So, while I 'd agree it's not 'reversable' but it is possible with proper diet and exercise to get off the meds.

    I still moniter my blood surgar a few times a week and just passed my AC1 long term average with flying colors.

    My non professional advice to anyone on Type II medical therapy is to talk it over with the doc, you
    may be one of the lucky ones too.

    Oh, final p.s. the only forbidden sweet I cheat with to date is bitter chocolate from Wal Mart. Hehe.

    Luck.

  21. #21
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I've worried about Type 2 since my dad has it, but I recently did a blood test with fasting glucose, cholesterol, etc, and my glucose is bang on normal! Phew. As you get older you think of this stuff. All the other stuff is normal, including my thyroid hormones. I have hashimoto disease but since the first abnormal test in 2002 when it was diagnosed,all the tests since then have been normal, except for the antibodies. But that's permanent. No meds!
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I hope that everyone who reads this will get their fasting blood sugar checked. It's a cheap and easy test, and is often free at screening clinics at malls, etc. Like some others here, I had no idea that I was diabetic until I had a routine check. I lost weight, ate better, and started exercizing (mostly cycling, of course). I still get my blood sugars checked regularly. They have been normal now for about 4 years. I still consider myself a diabetic--a recovering diabetic, that is.

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