Why does exercise cause blood sugar to go up???????

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 4/7/2010 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi to all,
Today i went for eye screening then walked to coffee shop afterwards walked to car park then went to peaks shopping had lunch then went home i did my blood sugar and it was 23.7 ugh thought exercise supposed to bring it down not up oh but then i did not have time for breakfast could someone please explain the above as i do not get what has happened with my bs.???????? and why.
I find it hard to understand the reasoning for the above enlightenment please.mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 4/7/2010 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   

Yes, I would like to know also why after I check immediately after exercising I am 10 points higher that when I started ...



Lanie G
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6024
   Posted 4/7/2010 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't worry. It's normal.  Moderate or strenuous exercise causes the body to release its hormones into the bloodstream as a response so the body can use this energy.  A non-diabetic will release small amounts of insulin and this will keep the blood sugar from rising too much.  In a type 2, the blood sugar will initially rise, too, but take a longer time to even out eventually - not as fast as a non-diabetic because we don't produce a lot of insulin or maybe we can't use the insulin effectively.  So, after brief strenuous exercise, you'll see blood sugar spikes but if you engage in prolonged activity, you'll see the blood sugar come down.   I never test after I exercise because I realize this is a temporary spike.  This is not a reason not to exercise.  Remember that prolonged exercise will help you keep lower blood sugar levels, and help your lungs, heart and circulation.  This explanation was restated from Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard Bernstein.
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by exercise and a low/no carb diet

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 4/7/2010 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Do you let yourself get dehydrated? Remember to hydrate while you're doing vigorous exercise.

Mine is always at least 10 points lower after I exercise.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 4/7/2010 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Also, to compound the confusion, often times when you exercise in the morning the lowered blood sugar effect may not show up until late afternoon or evening. Exercise enhances your body's ability to utilize your own insulin but exercise is a complicated mechanical action involving several body functions. To simplify the raised blood sugar thing you should know that exercise eventually causes the liver to produce a hormone called glucogon that stimulates the release of stored glycogen (super sugar) we keep in our livers.

Think of it this way. You are running across the fields to get home. You use up most of your available blood sugar and your muscles ask for more. The muscles don't know how long they are going to work so they send out the "high demand" order. Rather than telling your body to stop and munch some carbohydrates for a quick energy burst you go to your stored glycogen in your liver and get some of that out of the bank. Wooosh! Lots of available blood sugar circulating around. But then you get home... and you haven't used up all that sugar... There you are! High numbers.

This is a really unscientific simplified version but it sort of explains it in regular people language. Hope this helps.
~ Jeannie
Moderator for Fibromyalgia and Diabetes

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 4/7/2010 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Sometimes when we are new to exercise, our body does interesting things to maintain the status quo because change in and of itself is considered bad by the body. Like water, our body has it's own understanding of level. Often times excess sugar is the blood is stored in the liver, where it remains until your body is low on sugar and your liver then coverts the stored sugar into sugar and releases it into the body. All diabetics are familiar with the dawn effect. Think of that, then imagine exercise being the trigger for that release of sugar into the blood.

Insulin is what helps your cells digest sugar for energy. In type two diabetics your insulin does not work as efficiently in the process. When you exercise you are creating a natural situation whereby your cells need the sugar and the insulin can be more effective. As your cells use the sugar in your blood, your liver starts to convert the stored sugar to maintain your high blood sugar level.

This happens for a while for two different reasons. The first is that your body needs to adjust to the demands of exercise and the new rigors of managing blood sugar levels. When you exercise you help your body use insulin more efficiently. Think of that as tuning an engine. It is kind of like changing the rotor, wire and plugs. The second reason this happens is most diabetics have problems with liver function because they develop fatty liver, a disease whereby your healthy liver cells turn to fat. In this state the liver does not store sugar well and it is more likely to convert stored sugar when not needed. As you exercise (and omega 3 helps here) and get your blood sugar under control, your liver will actually regenerate and store sugar more efficiently. If you have fatty liver and don't act to take care of yourself, it can lead to cirrhosis.

Personally I had fatty liver disease for over 14 years. The condition is now starting to be recognized as a precursor to diabetes. In the past two months my hepatic numbers have all normalized and my doctor is pretty sure my fatty liver has almost completely reversed itself. When I exercise I am far less likely to see jumps in my blood glucose levels because my sugar storage mechanism is health. I hope this explanation helps. You should google "dawn phenomenon" to learn more about this process. Once you understand that, everything else starts to make sense.


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