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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

Filtering by Tag: Basketball

Sports Induced Adrenaline

Scott Benner

Feed the adrenaline bolus.JPG

It that time of year, basketball and other indoor running sports are in full swing. Diabetes common sense dictates that an hour of running could and likely would cause a drop in your child's blood glucose level. Some of you, heck - most of you, probably have that exact situation going on. Basketball, soccer and other running based sports probably have you checking BGs, whipping out juice boxes and worrying during early morning games in gymnasiums all over the world. 

But if you have a very competitive child... you may be experiencing rising BGs that are impossible to trace. This is the case for Arden. During basketball practice last week her starting BG of 130, never moved throughout the almost ninety minute practice. Arden ran drills, shot the ball and played defense at practice speed (Slower than in a game) without experiencing a change in her BG. As it turns out, when the scoreboard lights up, Arden wants to win, and she wants to win enough for her fight or flight response to kick in. 

I've devised a plan in which we bolus at the beginning of her basketball games in the amount equivalent to what a juice box would require. Most games, I can keep her BG around 180, but last week it jumped up to over 200 and caused me to have to bolus again during the game. The problem we run into with covering adrenaline is this... As soon as the game is over, the adrenaline disappears, and Arden's BG quickly begins do drop.

Waffle.JPG

That's when the adrenaline bolus needs to be feed, luckily Arden is particularly hungry after she plays. This week she fed the bolus a waffle.

You can really see what I'm talking about in the DexCom image above. Arden woke up at 8 AM and I gave her a small correction that didn't do much by the time the game started at 9 am. By the end of the first quarter though, I had to give Arden a huge correction bolus (Big for her, 1 unit) to combat the significant rise (Her DexCom arrow was straight up). By the time the game ended and we sat down in a diner, Arden's CGM was reading 140 with an arrow straight down, I still bolused for half of the waffle, and as you can see Arden's BG was 101 and steady as we left the restaurant. Be aware that these mornings need to be tracked closely in the hours that follow, because after all of the insulin and food finishes, you never know which way BGs are going to go.

Please also keep in mind that the amount and severity of the adrenaline fueled rise will vary from person to person or it may not happen at all. It really does depend on the individual's level of competitiveness, for some children, basketball may react like other exercise. Arden's team lost on Saturday, but she scored all eight of her team's points. You should see her go, she definitely plays with adrenaline! 

Tech Note: Don't forget that the DexCom G4 signal seems to become amplified in some gymnasiums. You may be able to keep the receiver with you as your child runs up and down the floor without losing connectivity. It works for us. I even gave Arden a bolus with her OmniPod PDM this week while she was playing in the game.

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.