A Tale of Two Lows: Diabetes Blog Week Post # 2

From Don’t Fear Diabetes

(see post # 1 here)

Entry 2 in my participation in Karen’s Diabetes Blog Week 2010,

Diabetes Blog Week 2010

Tuesday 5/11 – Making the low go. Tell us about your favorite way to treat a low. Juice? Glucose tabs? Secret candy
stash? What’s your favorite thing to indulge in when you are low?
What do you find brings your blood sugar up fast without spiking it too

Wait, do you want to know my favorite way to treat a low, or what I use to bring up my blood sugar without spiking it too high? Because
they are not the same thing.

I should note that what counts as a low has changed for me over time. When I was first diagnosed, sometimes being in the 80s would
feel low. In fact, for years it usually did. Now I know that what
feels low really depends on what your average is. When I first went
low carb and dropped my BGs to between 80 and 100 on average, I felt
weak for a few days. I thought something was wrong with me, and I
almost gave up the diet. But now I’m adjusted, and I feel great at 80,
just like a non-diabetic would. I don’t start getting jittery until
60-ish, and thanks to my lower basal rates and my Dexcom, I rarely get
there anymore, which has been a real joy. But when it happens, you
need to be prepared.

I am a big believer in glucose tablets. They’re tough to beat in terms of quick, accurate, portable, and stable doses of fast acting
carbs. I have some by my bed, some at my desk, in my kit, my gym bag,
my car, my wife’s car, my golf bag, the bag w/ my surfing gear, etc. It
very easy to stash them all over and know I’ll never be caught low
without anything to treat it. And with my Dexcom, I usually don’t let
it get that far. If I’m at 70 and slowly trending down, I can crack a
tablet in half, eat that, try to find a protein snack in the next 30
minutes, and not worry too much. There are a few things I never liked
about Glucose tablets (artificial colors/flavors, harsh acidity when
eating multiples, etc). More on that soon.

The other side of the coin is when I’m more interested in using a low as an excuse than I am treating it accurately. Nothing is quite as
predictable in my system as plain glucose, so if I eat anything else to
treat a low, it’s a bit of an indulgence. Which is awesome, because I
love indulging. In that case, some favorites are: fresh squeezed orange
juice (valencias!), strawberries or figs if they’re in season, or
something with chocolate (or possibly a combo). I know that chocolate
is NOT a good way to treat a low (cocoa butter=fat=slow absorption of
carbs=longer time spent low=more risk of going lower+longer time to
recover) but sometimes bad decisions are made for the sake of
indulgence, and justified with self-pity for having to deal with
hypoglycemia in the first place. C’est la vie. Did I mention that
chocolate was delicious?