Friday, October 02, 2009

Crossfit + Diabetes

I have become more or less an expert on Diabetes. Type 1 in particular i do know about type 2 but i do not know what makes a type 2 diabetic tick.
Sticking with what i know. A TYPE 1 diabetic has a lifelong difficult uphill struggle to maintain their blood glucose levels. Type 1 is "known" as and autoimmune disease. No one knows exactly what triggers someones body to turn on itself. These people have to act think like one of the most complex organs in the human body.
So what is the formula? How does a human being act like a human organ?
It is all about the trifecta - Diet, exercise, and insulin. Take one of those out of the mix and the diabetic will fail, or even die. But what if we took away insulin? But instead we replaced it with intense broad and general fintess.
Replaced it with a 500meter row 20 renegade push ups and another 500 meter row.
Or replaced it with murph, nancy, diane, fran.
Would these people help others live their life without insulin?
My vision is EMMA not taking 3 insulin shots a day. I see her sucking on a juice box after or before a WOD, ringette game, jazz recital.
I have read that a crossfitter with type 1 in the states along with his diet only needs one shot of a long lasting insulin a day. His carb intake is very low and his exercise is plenty instense everyday.
Would you do Crossfit not to have to inject yourself everyday?
Would type 2 diabetes be such an epidemic? Would we be fat? Would we die, loose a leg, loose vision?
It pains me that most type 2 diabetics can prevent this from happening to them yet they continue on uneducated, unwilling to be better, and unwilling to care enough. And where Emma has no fucking choice in the matter.

I really want to hear/see your perspective in this because you all of course are the real experts on this.
Let me know if i am way off or hitting the mark fully or slightly.
I need to know. I need to keep my vision clear.


bso said...

Hey Chris,

Well... the Type I diabetic needs to really manage that type of work very carefully. In general, I wouldn't see them doing Fran or 500m-renegades-500m very often at all. The reason is explained in this article:

As you'll see in that article, there is a lot of hope in what you can do with diet. And, although volume (# of repetitions) needs to be managed closely, there is always room for functional movement via powerlifting, weightlifting, gymnastics, etc.

Keep an eye on MovNat and CrossFitKids. Emma might not do much good for herself in the way of cranking out WODs for time, but she will thrive if she *plays* with this type of stuff... and play is what it's all about.

Chris said...

I disagree on this explanation somewhat - not totally and this is why... Exercise can do both to Blood can blow them through the roof or it can sink them to dangerous levels. Depending on the type of activity and what is going through the persons mind at the time and on the environment and surroundings of the individual will determine where the BS's go. Just from my experiences so far.
I understand that high intensities release glucose from the liver but more to zero levels in terms of a marathon runner or pro hockey player. This is why (this may sound weird) those are the only people who should be drinking gatorade. Otherwise those electrolytes and sugars are not being absorbed and replacing a certain much needed components to the liver but instead being absorbed in the blood stream at a dangerous level (in terms of blood sugars).
Ok it seems i am a little off track here.
So a diabetic needs to be in touch with thier body to be able to bolus PROPERLY after a high intensity work out such as a WOD. And I myself have NEVER been so in touch and in tune with my body since joining cross fit. It blows me away on how my mind reacts to certain activities done at the box in turn on how my body reacts to what my mind thinks of my body and so on.
So i hope as Emma moves forward she can experience the really good feelings that come from play, exercise, and hopefully one day Crossfitting:)
That was a really good article by Rob Wolfe. His 5th point was really interesting. Mapping is huge.
Ok i will stop here ...hope fully we can continue this conversation this weekend if i can make it in after a social on Saturday night.(i will DD so my wife can drink..yea good idea.)

But thanks for commenting and keeping the tumbleweeds from blowing through my blog.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bso said...

Chris and Shannon,

It's not so much about what *can* be done, but what is best to be done... and mapping can give you all the info.

I admit to knowing very much next to nothing on the topic, but as with everything I'd encourage you to try, map it out, and follow the results. Robb's leaning seems to be toward avoiding the ups and downs as much as possible while keeping a good level of fitness... so it's not so much about finding out what *can* be done, but rather what is *best* to be done.... e.g. I *can* stay up all night so long as I sleep from 6am - noon.....

Sorry... that's pretty much the limit of my knowledge on the subject... Robb's a very well-researched guy who's helped a lot of people... I'd encourage you to send him any questions down the road - he's busy but will usually reply to good, well-researched, questions.

Chris said...

Robb Wolf sounds like he's got outdated notions of what a Type 1 diabetic is capable of doing.

Yes, he's a biochemist, but it doesn't make him an expert at diabetes. He states that a Type 1 diabetic who runs an Iron Man most likely has a terrible A1C. Well, the more exercise a T1 does the BETTER. So T1's should never limit the amount or intensity.

If they desire to do it, then do it they shall....just as a non-diabetic can desire to do.

Read about Jay Hewitt:

Also, professional athletes who have T1 have a high intensity training regimen and their A1C's have been recorded to be excellent for what a diabetic is capable of having.

I don't see how working out at the intensity that Crossfit expects can be detrimental to anyone with diabetes...both Types 1 @ 2.

posted by Shannon @

Jamie said...

I am not familiar with any of this .. ?? But it's made my mind think really hard for a Sunday morning *yikes*.

I know V mentioned that when they met John Chick, he wears a pump and that guy is RIPPED - totally RIPPED. He was telling everyone that he mainly ate a lower carb diet. It's not like he's avoiding the shots, the dood wears a pump, so the health benefits must be there in eating lower carb meals (more protein, lower GI foods when eating carbs, etc.) - these guys have it all figured out. I also know that when friends of ours took part in the Cyclebetes this summer, Chris Jarvis was on the team (olympic rower) and he couldn't stress enough to the T1's that you HAVE to keep your sugars between 4-6 at all times - ALL times, even when working out. I wasn't there, so have no clue what his tips on doing that was, but being diligent and taking this on as a full time job would be the trick.

It's hard, hard work - and yes, you have to be sooo in tune with your body. I can't figure out my own kids body, I am not a pancreas. When she is active, her sugars tend to drop about 2 hrs AFTER she's done the activity .... being highly active in the evenings totally blows because that generally means a long night for me monitoring how big the drop is going to be - and it varies. The situation varies - before a dance recital she's so excited she goes HIGH, then dances her heart out and it makes no difference, her emotions have taken over and there's no drop. What she's eaten before the activity has to be taken into consideration too - and what about those "impromtu" activities when you've given them insulin, but if you had known they were going to be so active, you would have tapered it back - then you're dealing with lows later and juice boxes galore.

Fuckin' disease.

Sorry. I just am not a pancreas and honestly, these athletes that can figure it out I tip my hat to them cause it's damned hard!

Mike LeBlanc said...

Hi Chris,

Just found your blog. I'm also a D-dad, passionate about exercise(cycling, running, skiing, hockey, a bit of crossfit). I also have been wondering the exact same thing about my T1 daughter Adele (9 yrs old).I am convinced that the Paleo diet could only benefit blood glucose levels, but how do you convince a 9 year old that idea after she's been eating a "normal" (Gluten-Free, we both have Celiac Disease) diet since she can remember and wants so much to be like her friends? If it were me living with Type 1, I'd definitely give it a try. For now I think I need to be a role model for her and let her make that decision when she's older... But then again I'm like you and keep wondering WHAT IF?


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