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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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  #1  
Old 25 Mar 2013
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Riding with Diabetes?

Some weeks ago I have been diagnosed with diabetes type 2. A good thing actually, as with taking 2 ea. 500 mg Metformin daily, eating well and exercising more my blood sugar level is quite good. I certainly feel considerably better!

This brings me to my question: in a training for diabetics I was told that on long range trips (driving/riding myself) I am supposed to check my blood sugar every thirty minutes and to keep it on a level of 150 mg/dl.

We had a lethal accident in these parts, a diabetic driver fell into coma while driving, which resulted IIRR in 2 persons killed. Maybe that´s why the doc came up with the idea of checking my blood ever so often while driving overland.

Now I have no problem with keeping my blood sugar level high but using my test kit every half an hour? What do you guys think?

Any experiences from fellow diabetics?
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  #2  
Old 25 Mar 2013
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I've been type 2 diabetic for years now and ridden loads of miles. I don't think you need to take blood readings every 30 mins! there must have been a misunderstanding.if you are only taking 2 x 500 metformins you have a problem using glucose in your blood -i.e its too high, the guy that fell into a coma would be hyperglycaemic type 1 probably and his sugar was too low.You soon learn to know when your blood sugar is high, - which metformin helps reduce basically- so as long as you eat sensibly, dink plenty of water you'll be fine.Its all different tho, bizarrely I can eat chocolate fine - it's carbs that do it for me, bread and potatoes my favourite foods d'oh!
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  #3  
Old 25 Mar 2013
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Totally agree with bikerz. I am type 2and was diagnosed some 6 years ago. I occasionally take blood readings - maybe one or two month and, in fact, my doctor recently asked me why, as a type 2, I am taking readings as it is not necessary.

Sensible eating and drinking is the key and I have completed many trips since being diagnosed even a 6 month round world in 2011 so keep taking the tablets and watch what you eat and you will be fine.
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  #4  
Old 26 Mar 2013
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Since you were recently diagnosed, I'd check 3-4 times a day just to make sure that the dose of pills is getting you where you need to be. Every 30 minutes is crazy and expensive. The 150 mg/dl seems high also. Running around like that and your A1C is going to be above 7 (high) when they do your blood work. I usually feel best when my level is running 100-110. Real high or real low levels doesn't feel good to me.

After a while, you'll be able to feel when you are high or low. I've was diagnosed 10+ years ago and can usually guess within 10 points what my meter is going to tell me.

Eat right, stay hydrated. As with Bikerz, startchy carbs get me. Dehydration does it too. Find out what foods run up your sugar levels and aboid them as much as you can. If you are overweight, try shedding a few pounds and see if you can't get off the meds. I dropped 22lbs in the past 3 months and 8've been getting some lows that are concerning me... Lows make me fell really funk, cranky and almost hallucinate (feel like i'm moving when I'm not for example). Seeing the doc Thursday to get a blood work and maybe back off on my meds.
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  #5  
Old 26 Mar 2013
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Thanks guys, for your giving your advise. I think you summed it up very well.

All the best and stay safe!
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  #6  
Old 26 Mar 2013
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You just about got the lot there. I'm 67 and have had it some time. No problem two tablet's a day and right as rain.

Did you know that by the time you are 65 more than half of male's have type 2 diabetes. That shocked me.
John933
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To buy petrol in Europe. Pull up at station. Wait. Get out a 20 Euro note, then ask someone to fill up the bike. Give person money. Ride away. Simple.
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  #7  
Old 27 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete3 View Post
Some weeks ago I have been diagnosed with diabetes type 2. A good thing actually, as with taking 2 ea. 500 mg Metformin daily, eating well and exercising more my blood sugar level is quite good. I certainly feel considerably better!

This brings me to my question: in a training for diabetics I was told that on long range trips (driving/riding myself) I am supposed to check my blood sugar every thirty minutes and to keep it on a level of 150 mg/dl.

We had a lethal accident in these parts, a diabetic driver fell into coma while driving, which resulted IIRR in 2 persons killed. Maybe that´s why the doc came up with the idea of checking my blood ever so often while driving overland.

Now I have no problem with keeping my blood sugar level high but using my test kit every half an hour? What do you guys think?

Any experiences from fellow diabetics?
I'm a Registered Nurse, a Diabetic and a long distance motorcycling enthusiast.

At your stage, you're still coming to grips with the disease, and what things affect your blood sugar levels, taking regular sugar levels is an important tool, as long as you take head of what happens and when, and after eating or doing what.

Once you've been a few months and have found your bloods stabilised, you could get away with daily readings or less.

I take my bloods first thing in the morning, and that's the time when you are going to get your real BGL picture. If the morning blood is under 7 mmol/ltr or under, and I'm feeling fine, I don't bother taking it again that day. Make sure you pay attention to your diet, and get at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise ( off the bike), and you'll be fine. I'm about 6 moths post diagnosis now, and my blood sugars are pretty consistently in the 6-7 range.

I consistently ride 1000 klm+ days, and not having a lot of problems.

I do however carry a glucose source with me just in case I have a hypo, but have never had to use it.

Now the diabetic tips according to Stormboy: Stay away from sugar as much as possible (naturally), ditch the white flour, stick with Wholemeal rye that sorta thing.
White rice is death to your diet. But, Basmati rice is low GI. Drink plenty of water, and I mean at least 2 litres of water a day (more when exercising). Make sure you are adequately hydrated before taking your BSL, otherwise you'll have a higher reading.
Don't be afraid to have a "day off", every now and again.

Keep us up to date, I'd be interested in hearing how you're going. Need any further tips, send me a PM.


Chris.
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  #8  
Old 30 Mar 2013
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John933,
I am 50 ... ... but diabates gives me a chance to grow as a person so I am not complaining.

Stormboy,
thanks for your thoughts and considerations. Eating well and exercising are indeed on top of the list of my priorities. In our group of diabetics the most members do not seem to be able to get away from (bad) carbohydrates. How wierd is it sitting under the poster of a diabetic foot and telling that as a diabetic you are not able to quit eating those two plates of homemade noodles every day ... :confused1:

To me, it is not a big deal as my wife does already eat low carb and she is more than happy to have me along on the same diet. We both carry pacecounters and try do walk at least 6000 steps a day. That means about an hour´s walk. On weekends it is considerably more, during the week it might be 5000 paces a day or less (depends mostly on the weather).

I am going to keep you updated. Thank you again for sharing your experiences.
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  #9  
Old 31 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete3 View Post
John933,
I am 50 ... ... but diabates gives me a chance to grow as a person so I am not complaining.

Mate, I'm 53 and funnily enough, I've begun to think that diabetes is the wake up call I needed to take charge of my life and improve my health. I'd already given up the evil weed, and was feeling better, but spent a lot of time sedentary in front of the computer and the idiot box, wishing I had the energy to do all the adventurous things I saw everyone else doing.

My wife forced me to go and see a doctor and do something about myself.

Once I'd realised why I had felt so crap for so long, I picked myself up, researched as much as I could, (from both a medical and wholistic point of view), started eating better, started exercising (which for the first week or so was painful and uncomfortable), and generally took responsibility for my own health (mental and physical).

A few months down the track now, and I feel absolutely sensational, still eating correctly, still obsessively reading food labels, still exercising (and loving it), I can do a 1200 kilometre day on the bike now, and be ready to ride again as soon as I get off. I've started Kayaking, I've resumed scuba diving. Everything is better.

I wish the same for you. Good luck and be well.

Chris.
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  #10  
Old 8 Apr 2013
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Chris,

thank you very much for your thoughts and kind wishes! I see diabetes as a chance for a second, better life, too.

Take care and see you on the road some day!

Peter
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  #11  
Old 20 Apr 2013
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You are right that it is a good thing that you got diagnosed. I find that the medical community does a pretty poor job at this, and most people that get diagnosed have already had it for years. Testing a few times a day is warranted when first going on medication to find out how your body reacts to the medication, changes in diet, and exercise. But after that, checking every thirty minutes seems very excessive. Your blood sugar level has to be extremely high before you are in danger of passing out, not likely if you are on medication and don't go on a massive sugar binge. Low blood sugar is more dangerous, but also not likely with metformin and eating regularily. There are other medications that do present a risk of low blood sugar, so beware if your doctor changes medication as the condition progresses. Also keeping your blood sugar above 150 while riding seems high. Most people will feel low blood sugar level long before it is a problem, just make sure you have something sugary handy in you tank bag if needed. I'd also talk to another doctor. I find that if you ask 10 different doctors about diabetes, you'll get 10 different recommendations..
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