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How do you treat lows?
2 months ago  ::  Jan 11, 2015 - 11:24AM #15
Posts: 2

I've had type 1 diabetes for 15 years -- that's about how long it took me to realize the ADA and Joslin (not to mention, my dovtor who goes by the ADA and Joslin!) don't know the first thing about diabetes management! On what planet would you tell a diabetic to eat candy or crackers to treat a low blood sugar? On what planet would you tell a diabetic to treat a low blood sugar with glucose tabs, or worse yet, sugar cubes and packets of honey?! None of them actually have diabetes and none of them know squat about living with the lows and highs that come with it. Before I tell you how I treat my lows, I need to ask: Why are you getting so low so often? If you eat a healthful diet and are physically active all day, I'm assuming you're taking too much insulin for your particular lifestyle. And, the question of age comes up, too. When I was in my 20s and 30s, my blood glucose was normally on the high side, again, because I went by what the ADA, Joslin and my doctor recommended and it nearly cost me my vision! Now that I'm 40 and eating better (I quit all processed carbs, preserved foods, packaged foods, frozen foods, convenience foods, fast foods, junk foods, fried foods, and even "healthy grains") and exercising more, I finally see the errors of my (old) ways. The key to good diabetes management and to prevent the yo-yo effect (high, low, then high again), all you really have to do is eat right (and not too much), exercise (not like mad) and watch the insulin intake. If you're still taking the same amount of insulin you did years ago, it might be time to change the dosage. Personally, I went it alone. Unless you have my self-discipline (and balls!), I don't recommend you try this without your doctor's approval. Tell your doctor exactly what you eat and how much you move and he'll tell you how much insulin to take. In the past 14 months, I was able to wean myself off regular insulin (fast-acting) and cut half my intermediate-acting insulin, too. It took some doing and a lot of adjusting on my part, but I got through it unscathed. You, however, should do this under the guidance of a doctor! I used to treat low blood sugar with junk food, and kept eating until the jitters went away. That was a bad idea because several hours later, I was soaring with the birds! These days, I have a lot more patience. I only eat the 15-20 carbs necessary to treat my low and stop no matter how I feel, trusting it will resolve itself within 20-30 minutes. Overtreating is one thing, but what you treat with is something different, entirely. No matter what anyone says, your best bet is to eat a healthful diet, and that goes double for treating low blood sugar. Just because you happen to be low, doesn't mean you can eat crap to compensate! Not too many people understand that because they panic when they're low. Don't panic, and always keep a healthy snack nearby. Healthy snacks include: natural raisins, fresh fruit like bananas and oranges, even kiwis, pineapple and persimmons when in season. Never treat with sugar cubes, honey, candy or artificial foods like glucose tabs because these foods are harmful to your overall health and can lead to serious complications down the line, even if they save your life in the moment. But, the best thing you can do is avoid the lows by adjusting your insulin according to your eating habits and lifestyle. The better you eat, and the more you move, the fewer lows you'll experience and in time, you'll be able to cut out the extra insulin, like I did! (And remember, your female hormones effect your blood glucose, too, so be careful on those naturally low days due to an estrogen spike!) Take care and happy new year!

4 months ago  ::  Nov 01, 2014 - 7:55PM #14
Posts: 6

Eating better will help control the fluctuations of your blood glucose levels, and in turn reduce the amount of insulin you need. Simple Carbs are mostly sugar anyways, and the less sugar in your diet the better!

4 months ago  ::  Oct 30, 2014 - 3:50PM #13
Posts: 1

I need help with this scenario:  I'm about to sit down to enjoy a good, low-carb meal, but my meal is late and my BG is about 50.  Now what?  If I eat as planned, it'll take about an hour until I feel well.  If I take a fast-acting sugar, it may not be absorbed quickly if I eat at the same time.  Do I take a fast-acting sugar and wait 15 minutes before I eat my meal?  Kind of a bummer if I'm at a restaurant with company and my food is getting cold.  Thanks for any replies/answers!

5 months ago  ::  Oct 16, 2014 - 8:20AM #12
Posts: 4

I got with banas, apples and milk because - just like you mentioned - it's tasty, easy to obtain and works fast. Truth is I keep some sugar cubes in my bag and even in my jacket's pocket but that's just in case of emergency. But I suppose you can never be too careful.

5 months ago  ::  Oct 13, 2014 - 6:04PM #11
Posts: 9

With these high levels - insulin! Is her doctor aware of how high her blood sugar is? She is at risk of ketoacidosis and should check for ketones. You can buy ketone test strips at any pharmacy without a prescription. She should pee on the strip and if it changes colors she needs to speak to a doctor asap. If it turns purple she needs to go to the hospital. The headache and uncomfortable stomach are signs that she may be developing ketoacidosis and that is NOT good. When all this settles down she MUST make arrangements to work on her diabetes issues with an endocrinologist. A general practitioner is not sufficient with these high levels.

6 months ago  ::  Sep 08, 2014 - 12:25AM #10
Posts: 1

After much trial and error, I have found that skittles are the best way to combat low blood sugar with almost exact math.  Each skittle is 1 GC (gram carb) and for me 1 GC, bring up my BS 3.  So if I am at 50 and want to get to 80, I eat 10 skittles (10(skittles) x 3 (# per 1GC)=30). Its almost perfect science.  Also, skittles have a little bit of fat in them so they keep your BS where you have brought it up to and dont drop back down like some other high sugar candies ie gummi bears etc.

I hope this helps, I used to ravage my whole fridge until i felt the feeling of the low subside.  Now, I know exactly what to do.  You can even pre-portion them so whe you are really low and disoriented it is easier to do the math.

1 year ago  ::  Feb 05, 2014 - 11:35AM #9
Posts: 1

I've had t1d for 41 years.  When I was a kid and experienced lows, I ate anything and everything in the refrigerator or cabinet I could find to nosh on until the hypoglycemic symptoms subsided!  Along the way I learned how wrong THAT was!  I have been using glucose tablets for years.  i should own stock in the manufacturing companies since I go through them so quickly! Recently, I've found that glucose tablets don't work very well, nor very quickly.  I can't figure out why they aren't raising my blood sugar very well when needed even though I take enough to raise it to 100!  I have resorted to using juices that are sold in those teeny packs, ea. box has about 15g CHO.  If I am going to continue being active afterwards, I drink two of them and add a protein such as a cheese stick or a spoonful of nut butter.  Sometimes I get it right.  Sometimes I don't.  Glucose tablets work sometimes, sometimes they don't.  I've got to say that is a recent change.  It used to be very predictable using glucose tablets when needed.  If bg was in the 40s' or 50's I'd take about 3 or four tablets and I'd be back up to 100 or higher.  Not so anymore.  Yet if I take 1 when I'm in the 65+ range, bg will shoot up to 130 or 140!  I think it's crazy.  Probably hormone related.  I'm in the age range for hormone fluctuations..... 

1 year ago  ::  Dec 07, 2013 - 2:47PM #8
Posts: 1,884

I use glucose tabs when I am below 60, and some candy when 60-80. I carry a tube of glucose tabs everywhere I go, and I have a tube at arms reach at night. I like jelly beans if my low is not below 60, they work very fast. A glucose tab usually raises my BG about 15 points, so I can determine how many tabs I need to raise my BG to about 100. That is how I avoid a high BG after treating a low.

1 year ago  ::  Dec 06, 2013 - 2:36PM #7
Posts: 352

Glucous tablet user here. I have also used juice or fresh fruit to bring mine up depending on how low it was at the time. Once in a great while I will have some candy, but I find when I do that, I spike, then fall again. So that isn't an option to often.


1 year ago  ::  Dec 05, 2013 - 9:57AM #6
Posts: 18

Type 1 30 Yrs. In my earlier years with Diabetes I would treat my lows with Cookies Soda candy and Just about anything loaded with sugar, and of course I would spike real high afterwards because I didn’t understand counting Carbs and what I should be using to treat my lows. What works best for me now is 100% real juice, Grape is my best weapon. Now that I have an Insulin Pump and CGM I can see my lows coming so I'm better prepared to treat, and I now know how many Carbs to consume so that I want yo yo up and down. Take care of yourself and test often !     Ronbo

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