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Question:

From Conway, Arkansas, USA:

I have type 2 diabetes, my blood sugar is in control with a low carb diet and oral medication, and I am a strong backpacker/hiker. if I Should I take any special precautions while hiking at higher elevations in the Colorado Rockies next week?

Answer:

Because hiking, particularly at high altitude, is strenuous exercise and burns significant calories, you will want to increase your intake of carbohydrate before and throughout this activity (particularly as you note that you follow a low-carb diet). You don't specify which oral hypoglycemic agents you are on to manage your type 2 diabetes, but realize that any medication in the sulfonylurea class will increase your risk for low blood sugars.

Carry plenty of carbohydrate sources and snack frequently to replenish energy and prevent hypoglycemia. Frequent blood sugar testing will assist you in preventing this as well, and will provide you will some interesting exercise blood sugar "data" to review with your physician/diabetes team after your hike. As a backpacker, you are also aware of the importance of hydration throughout the hike. Most importantly, enjoy your hike in the Rockies!

DMW

DTQ-20020807135832
Original posting 16 Aug 2002
Posted to Exercise and Sports

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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