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  #1  
Old 08-21-18, 07:23 AM
Jowsepi Jowsepi is offline
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Low blood sugar

Asking for a friend.

I have a friend who has a daughter that is running cross country this year. She gets low blood sugar. In the middle of a race she got low and didn't finish well. Mom was asking if she would be allowed to take gel or something from her mom during the race to replace the sugars?
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Old 08-21-18, 07:45 AM
CC Track Fan CC Track Fan is offline
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I don't know the answer to the question I am sure someone else that posts will.

But if it not allowed you can ask for a medical waiver for it to be allowed.

My son gets migraines and is very light sensitive so we have had his school AD ask Dale Gabor for a waiver to allow him to wear a billed cap during the races and he had no problem giving him one. My son shows the starter his waiver before the start of the race.
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Old 08-21-18, 10:11 AM
Altor Altor is online now
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Right or wrong, I would tend to allow it with a simple doctor's note, the same as an inhaler. Make sure the doctor specifies something to the effect of "Susie needs to carry this with her during competition." To be sure you don't get any pushback, it might be best to obtain a note like this, then take a picture of it and the gel pack to be carried and have your coach/AD send it to Dale Gabor for his approval. Then, your coach can present both the doctor's note and Dale's response to the referee before the race begins.
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Old 08-21-18, 10:14 AM
Altor Altor is online now
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Also, the doctor's note does not absolve Susie or her mom of interfering. If mom is going to hand it to Susie during the race, she needs to make sure neither interfere with other competitors.
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Old 08-21-18, 02:17 PM
Percidae Percidae is offline
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Gels are not the way to go. Best bet would be pre-mixed sports drink. Gels need to be digested, sports drinks do not (assuming an empty stomach). Having said that, I don't know what special medical condition your daughter has or how long she would take to run the 3.1 miles so your Dr. should be the ultimate authority here.
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Old 08-21-18, 02:51 PM
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Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery is offline
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The good thing about XC races is the start time doesn't deviate much from what is published as opposed to track races when runners sometimes have no idea when they can expect to run an event that's not one of the first 2 or 3 in the meet.

That being the case, my question would be: would consuming a gel at a specified time before the start of the race (15 min? 30 min?) be enough to get the runner through the race? Most gels instruct you to consume the first one 15 min. before the activity and then every 45 min during the activity. I'm not familiar with the condition of the runner in question, but there may be no need for any aid to be administered during the race itself. Wouldn't hurt to inquire about special dispensation for ICE though. Just throwing this all out there in case the the problem can be remedied with a more simple solution, but as others have already stated, consult the doctor.
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Old 08-21-18, 07:26 PM
galesxc galesxc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Percidae View Post
Gels are not the way to go. Best bet would be pre-mixed sports drink. Gels need to be digested, sports drinks do not (assuming an empty stomach). Having said that, I don't know what special medical condition your daughter has or how long she would take to run the 3.1 miles so your Dr. should be the ultimate authority here.
This is right on...

To be digestible and yield usable fuel, the gel must first be diluted to ~4% in water... requiring about 20 oz of water. Even then, the process takes 30min or more, or doesn't occur at all until after the stress of the race has passed.

The carb(sugar) concentration in a typical sport drink is about 6%, so a slight dilution and you have digestion-ready fluid. Still, the process yielding burnable fuel takes longer than the remainder of the race and taking on the sweet fluid in the hour before a hard effort can lead to side stitches for some runners.

My understanding that in normal conditions, a runner regularly eating three solid meals per day and snacks as desired, will carry nearly 2000 calories of ready fuel in their bloodstream and liver... for a relatively small, but efficient runner, that's enough to cover 20ish miles.... certainly more than 3.1 miles.

All said, I'd be tempted to try a peanut butter sandwich and some sport drink 3+ hours before the race... but I'd also be inclined to present this scenario to a doctor.

I also agree that consulting a doctor is
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Old 08-22-18, 07:23 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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I don't know the specifics, but I suspect it will take trial-and-error before coming to a solution that works for your friend's daughter. No one solution works for everyone.
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Old 08-22-18, 08:04 AM
Percidae Percidae is offline
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Another thought occurred to me about this. How do you know her blood sugar was low in the middle of a race? Did she stop and check it? Was it checked immediately after the race? There are many reasons why you may bomb out in the middle of a race, the first of which is being under trained. Next would be poor race strategy. Since this sounds like her first year in the sport, these reasons should also be considered. If this is only happened on race day and not during workouts I would not immediately suspect low sugar unless there is solid empirical evidence.
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Old 08-25-18, 04:36 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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My assumption is that the girl is diabetic if they know her sugar levels drop in the middle of a race. How else would they know that? But, if that is not the case and they are just making an assumption because she loses energy in the middle of the race, it could be Iron issues. It's such a fine line, especially for girls, where their Iron numbers are. My daughter would run a mile and then like hitting a brick wall would almost look like she was giving up and quitting. Took us 3 years to figure it out and it was like turning on a light switch. She was fine in track for 2 years, but CC was a head scratcher. Then her junior year in track she looked OK in the 1600, but could not come back in other races nearly as strong as she did in previous years. After that season we just happened to have to switch doctors and while going through a check up we explained her situation. He did blood work and then put her on birth control pills and BAM, she was reborn.

We just knew it had to be Iron. I had her on supplements and special drinks and blah blah blah. Simple thing like birth control pills to regulate her period was the ultimate fix. The thing is that Iron numbers for just walking around can be perfectly normal, but not for a runner. And, each individual has different numbers that work. Hemoglobin levels. Ferritin levels are all critical and different from individual to individual. My daughter had a very specific range where if her Ferritin was at one number she was fine and just one below that and she struggled. Others on her team in college had much sloppier ranges and ranges that needed to be much higher or some that could be a little lower to be in the sweet spot. So, Iron is a big thing.

Low blood sugar was suspected and we did have a doctor give us a test kit that we used for a few weeks, but that did not seem the cause.

I was questioning her competitiveness.I know coach Howard was questioning his training of her.

I would have all girls checked periodically for Iron. It was an easy fix and had we known earlier what we were doing, it could have prevented 3 years of struggle. It was just dumb luck that it was figured out. A doctor that knew what to look for and how to remedy it and just the fact that I was at the appointment and brought it up when he asked if there were any issues. "yeah, she can run 5:00 for 1600 meters, but can't break 19:00 in Cross Country for 5k. What's the deal with that doc?" Other doctors looked at her numbers and said, they were within the range and normal.

It's easy and complicated at the same time. This kid absorbs Iron easier than this kid, or in this form better than that form. I read nutrition book after nutrition book. We were doing all the right things except she needed to get on birth control to regulate things and then her body absorbed iron better and retained it better and just smoothed it all out.
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