TeamWILD’s HQ is in Denver so many of our team activities take place in the mountains (at least it seems that way to those of us from lower elevations). CampWILD is in Boulder in June, “foothills” I hear, but they looked mountainous to me in March. Our own Marcy Robinson offers some tips on managing your blood sugar and exercise when you’re not accustomed to high altitude.
Everyone reacts to altitude differently and therefore you just have check more often and drink plenty of water so that dehydration doesn’t add to the mix of high blood sugars. If you are coming from sea level? (or lower altitude) then initially your body will sense that as a stress and your BG’s will increase/be more insulin resistant (elevations higher than 5,000 feet are considerably more of an adjustment to the body and it’s somewhat linear as to the amount of stress increasing with the altitude). However, everyone eventually adapts, it’s no longer a stress and your blood sugars will come down as the insulin resistance from the stress hormones subsides. There is no way to say if this is going to be on day 2 or day 5 - it’s up to your body and unique variables at that time. If you are exercising then initially that will negate some of the insulin resistance but after your body adjusts then the exercise will increase your insulin sensitivity since your body has to work harder at altitude for any given effort and then you’ll be reducing your insulin.
In summary: Check often, drink your water and be prepared to make adjustments!