A reply to dealing with my roller coast highs and lows

I recently replied to a post about eating too much sweets when they knew they did not need them. I just really wanted to record this for my own records because I made me feel good to see this written.

I was on this roller coaster for the longest time. There are a couple things that got me out of it (or at least I attribute to correcting the problem).

  1. Don’t get into the habit of correcting low sugar with something you secretly want to eat a ton of. Use those glucose tablets. I was always in the mind set of “why eat some sugar I don’t really want when I can just eat ice cream”. This usually causes you to eat too much sugar. Definitely avoid carbohydrates to solve sugar issues (always use simple sugars). They won’t bring your low up quick enough and you will definitely end up eating too much.

  2. If you use a pump, perhaps you parameters are out of whack. I was in a really situation for a while because I would over bolus, over eat (because I was sooo sooo low), over bolus, over eat pee pee pee pee, never ever sleep.

  3. And this is the dangerous one. Be comfortable with lower blood sugar. Background, I went to work in Norway, I was sooo excited. But they require very low HbA1C to work there. When my chance to stay working there was threatened by this, I went on diabetes lock down. I tried to push my limits on comfort with lows more and more. I monitored 10-20 times a day. I would get ridiculously meticulous about the bolus wizard on my pump. The result. When originally I thought my genetics made me more comfortable at 150-210, I was wrong, it was just my body was so used to higher numbers. Now I am normal feeling at 60-80. Now you ask. Why is this useful? Well, if you feel low and your normal feeling is high you have a tendency to eat a lot. If your normal is lower, you will have a tendency to need very little sugar to get back to normal feeling.

The last one you really have to be weary with. It takes time and work to get comfortable lower. But it drastically changes HbA1c and average mg/l and it generally makes you healthier and easier to control.

Good luck.

don - this is so helpful. your point 3 is so spot on. i feel like, in general, people eat too much sugar to correct a low. i have discovered, that for me, it only takes a tiny amount of refined sugar to get me out of the danger zone. So i eat 1 lifesaver if i’m a bit low, 2 life savers if i’m in the super danger zone. then, i eat something more complex to keep me up - like a couple of triscuits with nut butter. for me, that does it - and it keeps the swing to a minimum.

congrats on figuring this out! i’m working right now on being more comfortable a little lower. i would like to get my A1C down to 5.5. thanks for the inspiration.

It is sort of inconsistent whether I feel good low or not. The most important thing to remember is that, at least for me, it is the drastic changes that cause you to feel bad, not necessarily the blood sugar you are at when you get there. If I exercise or over bolus when I am expecting a high carb meal and I end up not eating as much. That drastic dive in blood sugar is not fun. But to answer your question lotsofshots , I would just push every day. I would test alot and have many correction bolus. It also helped that while I was in international countries I could email my numbers to my endocrinologist and he would help me tweek my bolus wizard equation. With about a month of trying to stay on the lowest range of feeling good I went from a HbA1C 9.6 to 8.2 . In a month!

Now to respond to Merileepearl , Thanks so much for making me feel like I am not putting others in danger by telling them it is good to be low. It really made me feel better. I guess I was worried someone would take my words out of context and go overboard. But that is exactly the problem with overdoing the sugar to fix a low. I know as much as anybody about sitting on the floor of my kitchen and eating an entire thing of icecream because I felt horrible. But I will also be the first to admit that I listened to my pump telling me not to bolus when I am low, and I would go back to bed, just to wake up again.

Be competitive with your diabetes. If you normally feel good at 180-220 and one day you are amazed because you test and you are at 80 and still feel good, don’t freak out and eat some sugar because you think you might eventually feel bad. That’s another thing I used to do.

Don, Thank you for all of this insight. You are absolutely correct. I am newly diagnosed T1 and my doctor told me the same thing. When I would be at 150, I would hurry up and eat because I was shaky and anxious, clammy etc…(just added unwanted calories). It has taken me a bit to get used to 100 -140 being ok…My body was so used to running over 300 for mons and me not knowing it. So, it makes sense that we have to give our body time to readjust and not “freak out” over a number. Now when I pull 100 I am thrilled and I can feel relaxed…My A1C went from 13.0 to current 7.2! Thank you again for this blog as I felt it really encouraged me.