AskNadia: How I Manage My High Blood Sugars During an Intense Workout

I want to share a success story with you. Dave, below wrote to me to tell me how he adjusted his blood sugars when he found his usual insulin dose was not working for him. When you read this, don’t assume the same principle applies to you. Everyone’s insulin dose is determined by their healthcare professional. Dave makes a good point. He has learned to adjust his insulin dosing based on his blood sugar reading. This level of diabetes literacy comes with working with your healthcare professional.

You don’t need to have a question to write to me. Diabetes Health is a community where we share our personal stories. Don’t ever doubt your success will become someone else’s hope.

Dear Nadia:

At the age of 62 ( 47 yr Type1), I started playing pickleball 3x/week for approximately 4 hours a session. To my surprise, I have seen my glucose levels rise from 100 – 120 mg/dL range at the start of the session to well over 300. By the time I took my standard 1 unit of Humalog insulin for every 20 mg/dL increase in blood sugar above 100, I had found ten units of insulin had no impact on bringing down my glucose levels down 2-3 hours later. I had to take an additional 10 unit shot to bring my blood sugars down. For me, the only way I’ve been able to manage this activity level for 4 hours is to take an additional shot of Humalog of 8-10 units after the 1st hour of playing pickleball or when my glucose level is approaching the 180 – 200 range.
My typical day is eight units at 6 am and then eight units if eating lunch. My insulin intake has now increased to take an additional 20 units of Humalog for the same time of 6:00 am to 1:00 pm when increasing my activity level, and my intake of carbs for all of this insulin has been maybe 15 grams for breakfast.


Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.


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About Nadia:
AskNadia (ranked #1 by Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2019 & 2017 by Healthline and with 24 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts have made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.
Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. Propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Under her reign- Diabetes Health magazine was named one of the top 10 magazines to follow in the world for 2018 by Feedspot Blog Reader

Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

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