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Why does basketball make Arden's BG rise?

Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Why does basketball make Arden's BG rise?

Scott Benner

Arden brings the ball down the court, passes and looks for a rebound. (video)

Last week during Arden's quarterly Endo appointment I brought up an issue that I had identified but couldn't figure out. I explained to our nurse practitioner that when Arden exercises her BG falls. Riding a bike, running around, recess at school, really all of the her physical activities decrease her BG... except sports.

I, of course, am aware that activity can cause a decline in BG but our issue didn't seem to be following that "rule". It took me a while to be able to see past the expectation that physical exertion would decrease Arden's blood glucose level. Inexplicably, I was having trouble with her BGs actually going up during basketball games and practices this winter. When I finally thought back, I realized that I saw similar BG trends last summer during softball.

Our NP asked about Arden's level of competitiveness, as she spoke I began to understand what she was getting at...

Arden is a very competitive little girl, when it counts. That is to say that if she goes out back with her brother to shoot baskets her BG falls from the activity as you may expect but when she is in a game, when there is a score being kept and winners and losers are recorded - Arden's BGs go up.

I explained to our NP that Arden entered her last basketball game with a BG of 125 and that by the end of the game, just one hour later with no food or carbs in her system, her BG was 220 and climbing. I was bolusing during the game, which was nerve wracking when you consider that the expectation is that there will be a fall from the activity.

The NP described to me that this is a phenomenon that they generally see with boys, then she turned to Arden and said, "so, you like to win huh?". Apparently it's common for very competitive people to access their flight or flight response (also known as 'the stress response') during a sporting competition. Their desire to win is so strong that they feel the game on a different level. Adrenaline is released and their body prepare to battle as if they are fighting for their lives.

Next week when we arrived at the gym. I am going bolus as if Arden was about to consume a 15 carb juice box (the ones we use for low BGs). I'm confident that the insulin begins to act it will find a rising BG to tussle with, if I'm wrong... we'll just drink the juice. I'll report back and let you know what happens... Never a dull moment with type I diabetes.