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Caching with diabetes


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i have been diabetic (type 2) for 7 years. i take insulin, actos, met, glocotrol. as a diabetic you will find that "spur of the moment" doesn't work so much anymore. altho being prepared will make life much better and it just takes practice. i keep a plastic bottle of orange juice in my purse, in the car, and in my geo-bag at all times. i hardly ever have to use them but it makes "spur of the moment" much easier. i don't know about other people but my blood sugar levels are very sensitive. you basicly have to exercise and eat exactly the same everyday, so if i am going to go caching, i won't exercise that day. the key word in diabetes in my opinion is "habit'. it will take time to remember, and take the time to actually do it, but being prepared is the best way to live with diabetes and live the life you want.

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I'm a type II diabetic and have been using insulin for three years and I hike alone in wild country For those on any bg lowering medication, the risk of a hypo always exists The important thing is to take charge of your condition and don't be afraid. Never go hiking without emergency sugary drinks and extra food, bread is good. A sugary drink will temporarily pull you out of an oncoming hypo but you must then consume some carbs if you intend to continue walking. Take emergency food, separate from your normal rations and get used to returning with it un-eaten. If ever find yourself needing to eat your emergency food because you already ate all of the normal rations, abandon the walk and get back by the easiest route.

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We both are type 2 as well and seeing the TBs on the website was the hitch that made us decide to go for this addiction.

 

One of us doesn't have many episodes of it dropping but still I try to keep a granola bar or something sweet in my pack (hard candies last the longest to keep). If you just stuff pockets try keep a bag of peppermints or other hard candy in your vehicle and stuff one or two in the pockets as well. Or get in the habit of carrying one or two in with your change.

 

I have always heard it is best to ingest the sugar slowly. Such as sucking on a candy but that information could be wrong.

 

We usually have kids with us on longer hikes and the backpack is a must to keep all the stuff they need so we keep it in the vehicle. If the pack is cumbersome keep it in the car but something with you as well.

 

There is this new mini testing kit out forget the name I am going to look into getting one of those for geocaching.

 

I am sure others mentioned what I did but that's my two cents

 

RCDispatchersx2

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Well I did go low Friday afternnoon while working outside the house, got to shaking so bad I could barely test and it was only down to 80.

Been in the 130's ever since, go figure. :(

80's are great! if you don't get down there much then it could affect you until your body is use to it. 130's ae ok but the closer to 100 the better! For some reason my metabolism runs crazy in the morning and by mid-morning 10-10:30 I am always in the 80's unless I have a heavy carb breakfast. I occasionally get the shakes when in the low 80's as well and just a quick little snack like an apple will usually set me straight. take care and keep caching!

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Well I did go low Friday afternnoon while working outside the house, got to shaking so bad I could barely test and it was only down to 80.

Been in the 130's ever since, go figure. :D

That's puzzling. It has happened to me too.

 

In fact I "went low" this weekend whilst sitting in front of this very computer basically doing nothing (actually reading forum posts- so this is still on topic :( ). It had been only one hour after eating a small cup of applesauce and 2.5 hrs after a late breakfast of biscuits and gravy. My morning test was 124.

 

I felt VERY dizzy. I got up and quickly "treated" first with a spoon full of grape jelly then immediately tested 131. The jelly had not had time to kick in.

 

The dizziness subsided in a few minutes and all is well. I really can't call it LOW for obvious reasons. I have had similar symptoms for years where I get dizzy and sweaty and it goes away after eating something sugary. This is the second time it has occurred when i had a BG meter available and tested slightly above normal immediately after treating the episode. (previous time was several years ago)

 

I still think it is diabetes related, but it is not low BG. It is too rare and goes away too fast to have it evaluated.

 

Has anyone else had this happen? Any ideas?

 

I have noticed almost all my lows come in mid morning. This was also always the time that I experienced "lows" before being diagnosed, which usually correlated with unusually sugary breakfasts or skipping breakfast.

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Yea 80's should be great. Last fall I was consistently around 100, even 95 sometimes. Then I caught the flu and it's stayed up ever since, never dropping below the 110's and going as high as 160. It was 125 that morning and dropped about two hours after I had a Philly Cheesesteak for lunch. I ate a small bunch of grapes and took it easy for awhile but it took a couple of hours to start feeling right again.

 

Cat, don't know what to say. I remember even as a subteen kid if i went to long without eating I would go weak as a kitten but as soon as I'd eat I was ready to tackle the world again.

How's your blood pressure running? Perhaps it's dropping suddenly and causing you to feel dizzy.

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This was also always the time that I experienced "lows" before being diagnosed, which usually correlated with unusually sugary breakfasts or skipping breakfast.

Some possible issues.

 

First, yes if your body isn't accustomed to it, then you will get hypoglycemic reactions in the 80s. The lower limit for normal is stated as 90 for good reason. A well-running body will start releasing several hormones below that point to 1) force the liver to give up some of its stores, and 2) make you feel even hungrier so you will eat. Since epinephrine (aka adrenaline) is the primary of these hormones, the sensations of a low are similar to the fight-or-flight response.

 

Second, many diabetics notice that fast-dropping bg will cause hypoglycemic symptoms, and this is recognized by the medical community. I personally have never noticed this. However, again, low bg is not the only condition which causes the body to release the hormones which cause the symptoms.

 

Third, type 2 diabetes is often associated with reactive hyperglycemia. In fact, it's quite common to have symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia in the years preceding a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Normally you eat food, your beta cells release insulin, your bg returns to normal. The way reactive hypoglycemia works is that the beta cells release too much insulin, and bg drops below normal. Why this happens isn't clear -- maybe bg goes too high or stays high for too long as a result of the developing insulin resistance and causes the beta cells to overreact, or perhaps the beta cells just have a demented response. :( No one really knows, but the link between reactive hypoglycemia and diabetes is clear.

 

Edward

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Yea 80's should be great. Last fall I was consistently around 100, even 95 sometimes. Then I caught the flu and it's stayed up ever since, never dropping below the 110's and going as high as 160. It was 125 that morning and dropped about two hours after I had a Philly Cheesesteak for lunch. I ate a small bunch of grapes and took it easy for awhile but it took a couple of hours to start feeling right again.

 

Cat, don't know what to say. I remember even as a subteen kid if i went to long without eating I would go weak as a kitten but as soon as I'd eat I was ready to tackle the world again.

How's your blood pressure running? Perhaps it's dropping suddenly and causing you to feel dizzy.

Never thought to check BP, and the machine sitting right there.

 

I am on BP meds and have a known problem with postural hypotension at times. I have considered that this could be a plausible explanation... perhaps caused by quick, small head movements whilst looking from keyboard to monitor and back because i don't type worth dirt.

 

I did have it happen a few weeks ago whilst driving and trying to look up some hard to read information on my on-board computer (like a dumb***). This required really quick glances at the computer and back to the road with head movement and focus changes from near to far.

 

I am tending toward that explanation.

 

(The key to successful "distracted driving" is to keep the distractions VERY short anyhow. I have decided that when i need small print information in the future, i am definitely pulling off regardless of the effect on productivity.)

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Second, many diabetics notice that fast-dropping bg will cause hypoglycemic symptoms, and this is recognized by the medical community. I personally have never noticed this. However, again, low bg is not the only condition which causes the body to release the hormones which cause the symptoms.

 

Third, type 2 diabetes is often associated with reactive hyperglycemia. In fact, it's quite common to have symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia in the years preceding a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Normally you eat food, your beta cells release insulin, your bg returns to normal. The way reactive hypoglycemia works is that the beta cells release too much insulin, and bg drops below normal. Why this happens isn't clear -- maybe bg goes too high or stays high for too long as a result of the developing insulin resistance and causes the beta cells to overreact, or perhaps the beta cells just have a demented response. :( No one really knows, but the link between reactive hypoglycemia and diabetes is clear.

 

Edward

Second: Perhaps the fast dropping does explain my 130 "low." Could also explain the experience I recounted above in the "driving" situation too I suppose. This gives me a talking point for my upcoming meeting with the diabetes educator. Thanks

 

Third: This is the explanation my doctor gave me several years ago.

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I was going to ask about the BP issue as I had a few bouts with that when 1st diagnosed. The doc put me on a BP med to help protect my kidneys but it was drving my BP too low so I got off it when I got my fasting numbers down to 100. MY BP was always normal to begin with but the doc didn't think I would take losing weight and changing my diet seriously so wanted to do something to help protect the kidneys. Seems a lot of people don't want to change their lifestyle.

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<bump>

Thanks for the advice from all that have responded both here and privately. I think this is a very worthwhile thread even if only remotely cache related. Thanks to the mods for leaving it open.

 

personal update:

 

I am now on metformin alone (no glyburide) and my numbers are not quite as good on average yet (but gradually improving). But Praise God! I'm not going low anymore.

 

The lows were coming way too frequently and I was almost constantly in a daze and dizzy before i quit the glyb/met on my own a few weeks ago. I couldn't stand it anymore. I met with the educator a couple days later and she agreed that I should be on met alone. Doctor concurred a few days later.

 

So, way cool. I can walk a half a mile down a trail without worrying about getting hauled out on a stretcher or some such thing. i even swam a whole mile a few days ago (first time in about 2 years).

 

The meeting with the diabetes educator and dietitian was one of the best experiences I have ever had with a medical person and very worthwhile.

 

The carb counting plan and meal schedule is very simple and seems to be working pretty well. Believe it or not, the hardest part is finding ENOUGH carbs each meal. I often HAVE to eat a sweet something to make my quota for the meal.

 

Now if only I had TIME to get out and find some caches. ;)

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So, way cool. I can walk a half a mile down a trail without worrying about getting hauled out on a stretcher or some such thing. i even swam a whole mile a few days ago (first time in about 2 years).

 

The meeting with the diabetes educator and dietitian was one of the best experiences I have ever had with a medical person and very worthwhile.

Congratulations! on making enormous progress toward a treatment and life style that fits YOU ... the combination being, if anything, more important than either part alone.

 

And yes, CDEs are usually a great resource for diabetics.

Now if only I had TIME to get out and find some caches. :(

Yep. People sometimes ask about the restrictions diabetes has placed on my life (and I'm type 1, 40 years duration as of last August). I tell them that the main restrictions on my life have been time and money. Diabetes has trailed somewhere in the distance.

 

This is not to say that health doesn't cause major restrictions; I've seen such in my own family. And some people react very poorly to diabetes despite their best efforts. But for most, diabetes is a manageable condition.

 

Edward

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I have Type II for a couple years now...I first took Actos but stopped after a friend died from taking pills for about 10 years (liver damage)...so now I go to wallmart and buy that injectable Relion Type "N" and "R" insulin to use (No Prescription Needed).

 

When I go Geocaching, I always carry a tube of those Glucose pills to chew on...just in case. I keep it in my camera pouch...that I take with me on all the caches.

 

And I did not even know that there was non-prescription Insulin. You learn something every day.

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I was told about a year ago that I was a type 2 but do not take any meds just changed my diet and started excersizing. I have not gone too low that I have ever found. I have been out for 4 hours hiking while I was geocaching and totaled over 8 miles total distance and did not have any problem. I always take some carb bars or a protein bars with me for when I start getting weak or tired and eat one and can go a lot longer. The main thing to do is be able to tell when you are getting low and do something about it. I make sure to get something to eat when I am filling up my water bottle, it has become second nature now, if I have nothing to take with me I will stop at the store on the way to my first cache. I think that if you are out hiking and eat something even if you are not low it will not cause you to go high becasue you are excersizing anyhow I think I would rather go to 200 than 50. I never carry my tester maybe I should but I never have.

I when was a Scout Master in the Boy Scouts and went to summer camp for 10 years I had an assistant that was a type I diabetic and she handled it fine she always had a small juice with her when she felt like she was getting low.

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I was told about a year ago that I was a type 2 but do not take any meds just changed my diet and started excersizing.

Which is far and away the best treatment for type 2 anyway. It may not last forever -- many type 2s tend to lose the ability to produce insulin over a period of years -- but exercise in particular, and diet too, treat the root causes better than any available drugs.

 

I never carry my tester maybe I should but I never have.

As a type 2, you have to make your own judgement call on that. Many type 2s are sufficiently stable that once they learn their own responses, they don't need to test constantly.

 

A type 1 (like me) is in a different position. Though I hiked for many years before home bg testing became available, I wouldn't consider it now. Taking the tester is trivial compared with the alternatives. But the non-diabetic public sees what type 1s do -- which is most visible due to the need for more intensive treatment -- and assume that it applies to all diabetics.

 

It's important to remember that type 1 and type 2 diabetes are TOTALLY different diseases except for the common secondary symptom of elevated bg. Evaluate your treatment needs based on your individual responses and the fact that you have type 2 diabetes (not just "diabetes").

 

(And BTW there are at least 40 much less common varieties of diabetes mellitus, not to mention diabetes insipidus, which doesn't even involve sugar in the blood. Confusion reigns if you don't look at the individual.)

 

Edward

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If you are looking for carbs to fill out your numbers than you are probably still having too many carbs in your diet. What are your ttotal carbs for the day suppose to be? I try to eat no more than 30grams/meal and 10-15/snack so I am running under 150grams/day.

 

If you are askng me my meal plan is

 

Breakfast 45-60 g Carbs

Snak 15-30 g

Lunch 45-60 g

Snak 15 g

Dinner 45-60 g

Snak 15 g

 

So you can see I should have between 180 and 240 g a day according to my diet plan which I still have here at work and home. Some of the values are apple or orange about 15g. I have 3 different carb bars I use at work, they have 11g, 21g and 25g. So if I don't bring a piece of fruit with me to work I eat one of the higher ones in the morning and the lower one in the afternoon. I will admit I don't worry about the carbs too much when I am out walking around geocaching because I figure I am working off a lot of sugar in my 4-6 hours and I need some extra. When I have been out for a long time I may eat two of my bars but when I get home my readings are never above 150 usually they are around 90-100 so I must be doing something right. I know my A1C is high right now probably high 6's maybe even low 7's instead of 6.4-6.5 because I am not excersizing enough becasue of the winter and road construction around my office which has been going on since school was out last year and I am not walking at lunch as well as some other commentments in my life just seem to keep getting in the way.

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<bump>

Thanks for the advice from all that have responded both here and privately. I think this is a very worthwhile thread even if only remotely cache related. Thanks to the mods for leaving it open.

 

personal update:

 

I am now on metformin alone (no glyburide) and my numbers are not quite as good on average yet (but gradually improving). But Praise God! I'm not going low anymore.

 

The lows were coming way too frequently and I was almost constantly in a daze and dizzy before i quit the glyb/met on my own a few weeks ago. I couldn't stand it anymore. I met with the educator a couple days later and she agreed that I should be on met alone. Doctor concurred a few days later.

 

So, way cool. I can walk a half a mile down a trail without worrying about getting hauled out on a stretcher or some such thing. i even swam a whole mile a few days ago (first time in about 2 years).

 

The meeting with the diabetes educator and dietitian was one of the best experiences I have ever had with a medical person and very worthwhile.

 

The carb counting plan and meal schedule is very simple and seems to be working pretty well. Believe it or not, the hardest part is finding ENOUGH carbs each meal. I often HAVE to eat a sweet something to make my quota for the meal.

 

Now if only I had TIME to get out and find some caches. :laughing:

 

That's great news!!

 

Being able to reduce the meds needed to get control is good but what is really great is the fact that you aren't having problems with lows as much now.

 

My CDE was great too at explaining things.

 

Also remember to plan for the unexpected!!!!!!

 

I recently got caught having to spend the night out at a cache and it was good I had extra meds and food with me for that night and the next morning. I needed them!!

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We go caching all the time with my 10yr old Type 1 son. Our caching bag has 2 compartments. One for swag and the other for all the diabetes supplies!!

 

We just did a trial of a continous glucose monitor. This thing takes a reading every 5 minutes. Next time we are going on a big hike I really want to try this so we can catch him before he does drop to low.

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If you are looking for carbs to fill out your numbers than you are probably still having too many carbs in your diet. What are your ttotal carbs for the day suppose to be? I try to eat no more than 30grams/meal and 10-15/snack so I am running under 150grams/day.

 

If you are askng me my meal plan is

 

Breakfast 45-60 g Carbs

Snak 15-30 g

Lunch 45-60 g

Snak 15 g

Dinner 45-60 g

Snak 15 g

 

So you can see I should have between 180 and 240 g a day according to my diet plan which I still have here at work and home. Some of the values are apple or orange about 15g. I have 3 different carb bars I use at work, they have 11g, 21g and 25g. So if I don't bring a piece of fruit with me to work I eat one of the higher ones in the morning and the lower one in the afternoon. I will admit I don't worry about the carbs too much when I am out walking around geocaching because I figure I am working off a lot of sugar in my 4-6 hours and I need some extra. When I have been out for a long time I may eat two of my bars but when I get home my readings are never above 150 usually they are around 90-100 so I must be doing something right. I know my A1C is high right now probably high 6's maybe even low 7's instead of 6.4-6.5 because I am not excersizing enough becasue of the winter and road construction around my office which has been going on since school was out last year and I am not walking at lunch as well as some other commentments in my life just seem to keep getting in the way.

Actually, I think the post was directed at me.

 

I am following the dietitian's recommendations. I count carbs on a "serving" or "choice" basis... 1 "carb" = 15-20g total carbohydrate. Based on this assumption, various foods are rated for "typical" carbs... i.e. a slice of bread is 1, a small potatoe is 1, meat don't count at all... anything with less than 6g is considered "free" (in moderation of course). For example, a McDonald's #1 (big mac) then counts as 5 carbs- 3 for the bun, 2 for the fryes (assuming SMALL fryes- so i have to throw a few out).

 

I get:

breakfast (4-5)

lunch(4-5)

snack(1-2)

Dinner(4-5)

bedtime snack(1-2)

 

Which makes approximately an 1800 calorie diet. if the amounts are roughly translated into real grams, I get between 210-380g/day.

 

I was doing quite a bit less before i met with the educator. I asked about a 1200cal/day diet based on a menu i "stole" from a local hospital and was told i would not get along well at that level.

 

When I was "winging it," I tended to cut way back and adjusted how much i took in based upon my readings. I was told never to adjust based on the readings but to kep the intake on plan. The educator said the problem is that the liver tries to compensate for the big swings and actually overcompensates, making the swings worse.

 

What we are shooting for is constancy, more so than the absolute level, in order to keep the liver quiet. This is what the metformin does also.

 

Graphing the readings is really cool. I can see the big swings getting smaller even though the absolute numbers are a bit higher than i like to see. I was also told not to set too lofty goals... I am pretty much on track and it takes time to get things where they should be, and it might not even be possible to get "normal"readings over-all.

 

It will be a constant challenge, but at least the fear of lows is gone now (for now anyway). That was the really big caching issue.

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Also remember to plan for the unexpected!!!!!!

 

I recently got caught having to spend the night out at a cache and it was good I had extra meds and food with me for that night and the next morning. I needed them!!

Fortunately my condition is not so severe that I cannot go several days without meds.

 

I figure the worst it can be missing a day or two is that I go back to where i was in October when I didn't even know I had a problem. (for now anyway)

 

If I was seeing untreated numbers over 200, i would be a little more concerned.

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I believe this is the one we are going with:

 

Dexcom

 

Here is the one we just finished the trial on:

 

MiniMed

 

Both are great products. Its amazing the amount of information you can gain from these units. We learnrd how certain foods would affect his blood sugar. We could also time the insulin doses better to time the effects of the insulin with the affect of the food hitting his system. I would highly recommend one!!

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How much carbohydrate to eat, especially for type 2s, is a religious argument. Let it get started here and the mods will have to shut down the thread. Take that one to one of the diabetes boxing rings. For here, let it suffice that you have to figure out what works for you, which is very likely different from what works for the next person.

 

Continuous monitor: I've been using the MM one most of the time since last May. When it's good, it's very very good, and when it's bad, it's horrid. Very useful but still very experimental to my mind. Be glad to talk about it elsewhere; it's getting too far OT for here. I would not recommend it to most type 2s; the effort and expense are not justified.

 

Edward

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