Monday, November 1, 2010

What to GU with a MiniMed Insulin Pump

My question today is to GU or not to GU? And similarly, if you're a diabetic on an insulin pump, do you run long distances with your pump or without it?
When my son was put on an insulin pump earlier this year, his endocrinologist suggested that he remove the pump while participating in sports. After further inquiry, I decided maybe I ought to try that on my runs, especially on the longer distances. I'd been having trouble with lows three or four miles into the run, ate something (usually fruit snacks) and then checked my blood sugar after the run, usually finding it within normal range. The problem came an hour or two later when my blood sugar seemed to skyrocket.
So lately I've been running without the pump, but I've also been careful to start out at a slightly high BG before running (or eat something before leaving), still having a snack during the run depending on the number of miles, and I haven't been having as many high readings after the run. The problem then becomes when and how much to eat during the run and what about the lack of insulin for two hours or longer?
Recently I completed my second half-marathon. The first was a year ago. I wore my pump with the full basal rate, ate fruit snacks every three miles and ended with a reading of 115 (just about perfect!) only to have it go over 300 a couple hours later. This year, I ran without the pump, had a GU at 5 and another at 9 miles and ended within three minutes of the previous years' time, but feeling much worse and with a BG of 192 which then came down nicely when I bloused and resumed insulin.
Therefore, my question stands—what do other diabetic runners do to reach that optimal balance? Perhaps 40-50% of the basal rate and fewer carbs—maybe only one GU per race?