Pre Diabetic runner (Read 524 times)



    I need help! I have been running for a couple of years, but I have been diagnosed as pre diabetic since January, I see that things have changed since I have been diagnosed. I used to tolerated energy gels and blocks very well, but now when I eat them, I have very bad cramps, making me go to the bathroom immediately. I am taking a medication called Metmorfin. I ran a halfmarathon yesterday, and I had a very hard time finishing, I did not have gels because of the problem I have mentioned previously, so I decided to take crackers. Well that did not work. My energy levels were super low. My question is: what are other options for energy gels or blocks that a pre diabetic can eat? crackers seemed to be very light, I was not able to recover or gain energy from them, I felt super weak. Also, I did not take my medication. What should I do? I love running and after yesterday, I am feeling pretty down, not sure If I should keep doing it....


    A Saucy Wench

      Talk to you doctor about the issues you are having.  My guess is it is more to do with interactions with your medication than being "pre diabetic" specifically.    I've been prediabetic for years and it doesnt make gu's/gels off limits, although I dont tolerate them when NOT working out.


      Exercise is one of the best things for diabetic so work with your doctor to find a solution.  It could be your metformin dosage needs to be adjusted.  - Are you monitoring your blood sugar?  Have you talked to you doctor about the fact that you want to do endurance training and events?  Managing of blood sugar can be done, it just may take more pushing from your side to have the doctor/endocrinologist etc help you find the solution. 

      I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


      "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

        There's a "Diabetic Runner's" forum that may be valuable for you.  Some of those people may be able to guide you well with their experiences and help you as you talk to your doctors.


        I'm not sure what you mean by "pre-diabetic".  Not sure that's a term.  Since you're on Metformin, I'm guessing you're actually "diabetic".  But, I'm not a doctor.  

        I am diabetic, but I haven't had a bad blood test in 10+ years.  My pancreas doesn't work properly, but diet and exercise works for me and keeps me healthy.  When I started running, I was on Avandamet (which is a combination of Avandia and Metformin).  Eventually, I went to only Metformin, and now I don't take anything.  I hope I can delay bad blood results for years by being active.


        Running is good for you!  Don't be discouraged with the challenges you're having with gels.  It's a challenge that you'll need to figure out, but I think that running and activity is the key to your future health.  


        As Ennay said, it may have to do with your Metformin.  You'll get it figured out. 


        2017 Goals:

        #1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours). 

        #2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

        #3: Prepare for 2018

        12-week layoff

          I will echo Ennay, and say to check with your doctor.  Perhaps a few sessions with a dietician would be in order.  I have had pre-diabeties since before I started running, and sometimes I don't notice at all, and sometimes it creates havoc with my running for weeks at a time.  Usually the havoc is caused by ramping up speed and/or mileage, or trying to cut calories in an effort to drop body fat.  Since you just ran a half-marathon, I am assuming you ramped up mileage. 


          I am not on any medication for my "condition," since running and eating right keeps it under control, so I don't have any experience with how food and the meds interact.  I do know what works for me: for pre-run snacking, try a combo of protein and carbs...something like peanut butter toast, or eggs with cheese grits.  (I'm Southern...can you tell?)  Usually before a long run, I'll have pancakes with peanut butter and light syrup, topped with blueberries and walnuts.  It's a pain to have to get up early and eat a full breakfast, but I have found that I cannot finish a run if I start on an empty stomach.  That's also why I find it better to run in the afternoons; morning runs don't really work for me. 


          When I'm dropping during my runs, I will often drink a little milk, wait 20 minutes or so, then head back out.  Usually that will do the trick.  I run on the treadmill a lot, but I have had my share of trudging back home for two or three miles because I've not had the steam to run back after my blood sugar dropped.  Just play with different foods until you see what works...but try adding protein for sure. 

            I am not a doctor or dietician either and I certainly don't want you to take what you read on the internet or hear on a podcast as gospel.  And this doesn't really specifically address your running issues.....and check with your medical professionals, but....


            I found the timing of you posting kind of ironic as I just finished a run this morning listening to a podcast called Marathon Talk that might be worth listening to.  They interviewed Tim Noakes a South African professor and author of a book called The Lore of Running.  He is also pre-diabetic and has revised his eating habits away from sugar (obviously) but also away from carbohydrates and has some defiinite health benefits by adding more protein to his diet.  Cutting down or eliminating carbohydrates contradicts a typical American diet and (from what I've heard) also contradicts some of the current dietary recommendations for diabetics.  He did say in the interview that with the changes in diet that he's made and the positive impact it's had on his health he needs to revise that chapter his book.


            What if found interesting about the Marathon Talk interview was that Noakes had very similar conclusions and recommendations to what I've heard before on a local podcast that I've listened to for a couple of years. Nutritional Weight & Wellness has weekly a podcast at

            www.weightandwellness.com  and has an archived show from just a couple of weeks ago on Type Two Diabetes.  Their main focus is how what we eat impacts our overall health.  


            I wish you luck in taking on your diabetes, but you're already dealing with one of the hurdles that I would guess most Type Two Diabetics need to address, and that is exercise!  Congrats on that and best wishes.

              You might want to listen to this interesting interview with Tim Noakes:


              (Interview starts about 43 mins into the podcast).