Hypoglycemia and exercise

If hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is experienced during or after a workout, it should be treated immediately. This involves taking at least 15-20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate such as:

Hypoglycemia and exercise

Blood glucose levels should be tested after 20 minutes, and the treatment repeated if they haven’t returned to normal. Do not resume exercise until blood glucose returns to above 100 mg/dL.

If hypoglycemia occurs regularly during exercise, it may be necessary to adjust medications or the exercise regimen, or to simply eat a small snack before working out.

When to see a doctor

It is advisable to consult a doctor before beginning any new workout program.

A doctor can advise on the impact of medications on blood sugar levels during activities, and can provide a target range for blood glucose levels during workouts. They may give advice on the best time to exercise, based on the patient’s individual schedule, meal plan, and medications.

A doctor may also perform a physical check-up, looking at:

  • heart health
  • blood pressure
  • diabetes-related complications

Depending on these complications, it may be advisable to avoid strenuous activities, or specific sports.

When to see a doctor
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