Blood Sugar Levels

Hey everyone,
I just ran across this site and was wondering if anyone could help. My Grandfather, who is a diabetic just moved in with us. I’ve been trying to feed him healthy, well balanced meals and noticed that his Blood Sugar Levels have been very low more than 3 X in 1 1/2 wks. Can anyone help with what I’m doing wrong. Should he be getting more of something or less of another? He has Hospice, and they WILL NOT help as far as this goes. They keep telling me not to monitor what he eats, to let him have whatever he wants. He knows when his levels are too low and it scares him. Can someone give me some basic guidelines to follow as far as his meals go? Thanks so much.

Welcome to TuDiabetes Gabi! I’m glad that you found this community.

How low were his blood sugars? Did you measure them? Is he taking medication/insulin for the diabetes? I’m guessing that he is on insulin since he has type 1-- which types of insulin?

If he is taking insulin, then it may be an option to give slightly less insulin with the meal. Lows can often be caused by taking too much insulin for the amount of carbohydrates in the meal.

If his blood sugar is ever below 70, then he should have 4 oz of juice, 4 oz regular soda (NOT DIET), or some form of candy (around 15g of carbohydrate) IMMEDIATELY. Then it is usually good to have a 15g snack, like half a sandwich to prevent him from having another low.

Hope this helps!

Hi Kristin,
See that’s what a dummy I am about diabetes. I didn’t know the type. It’s actually a type 2. I had to ask, after I read your reply and knew he didn’t take insulin. He does take a pill though. His level this am was 60. I gave him oj right away, and had to give hime another glass 30 min later because it still wasn’t coming up. The second glass did the trick. I just went up and gave him a snack. Thanks for your help.

You’re not a dummy! I knew NOTHING about diabetes until I HAD to learn!

Going low is a much less common experience when someone does not use insulin. If he continues to have lows, you might want to increase the amount of carbohydrates that he eats at meals (even just by a small amount).

Sometimes other medications that he may be taking could cause the lows.

For a good guide for how to treat lows, click here.

Whenever you have questions, turn to us! There are many people in this community with lots of experience living with diabetes! Your grandfather is lucky to have you!

Here is a link with some reasons why your grandfather might be having low blood sugars.

Thank you soooo very much. You have been so very kind and helpful

Though I am a pediatric endocrinologist but I looked after my father when he was diagnosed with diabetes type2 in his seventies. The endo put him on 2 types of tablets daily and a diet, but he developed many hypoglycemic attacks and his blood pressure will come low. I decreased his medication slowly till stopped it. He is doing well on diet only, for 4 years now. Please ask his doctor to check him. My auntie died in hypoglycemia in her seventies because she did not see her doctor after first visit when prescribed her oral drugs.

Wow, thanks Sohair, I wondered about the pills possibly being the cause, because they just put him on them the day we brought him to live with us. Due to the lack of care he was receiving from my elderly grandmother, his doc wouldn’t release him from the hospital to her.

Hi Gabi.
Since the Hospice is taking care of your grandfather I am assuming he has cancer. Does he? If this is correct, you will not want to keep him on as correct a diet as usual. He should be taking in as many caloies as he can comfortably take. It might be easier for him to eat a little pudding which you can enrich with a a little half and half so he can get a few fats into him. I would make it for him and not buy the already made ones. He may be able to take about 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time. If he can do a small half a sandwich that is really good. It may be that the doc will let him take a half a tablet of his diabetes meds instead of a whole tablet. But increasing his intake in small bits at a time is the best way to go. For a person with cancer, he will need all the intake he can comfortably take, but don’t worry if he can’t manage a well balanced diet. If he stops wanting meats it is understandable. If he can take a little protein drink that will be good also. If he can manage something every couple of hours even if it is nothing more than 1/4 cup it will help keep his blood sugar levels up. Myabe the doc will let you stop the pills altogether. Whatever the choice, my best to you.

Thank you Saundra,
Yes he does have cancer. However, they are not treating that. They feel at his age its best to just make him “comfortable”. Luckily for us, so far his appetite is still pretty good. He does eat 3 well balanced meals and an evening snack. But the pudding and protein drink is a great idea for when that does happen. Thanks!!!