How low do you go?

Hi all,

I have a question. I'm pretty sensitive to lows. However since being diagnosed this June, I am noticing that there seem to be a fraction more experiences now where I don't notice till I'm really, really low. This just in the last few days.

I know you can develop insensitivity to lows over time. How long did it take for those of you who don't feel them as early on before you REALLY don't feel them early on anymore? I just warned my husband that the time may not be too far away that I could drop and he could be pouring oj down my throat.

A little bit freaked out right now...

For me, the difference between feeling lows & not being aware of them is how quickly I’m dropping. With slow lows, I don’t feel them as acutely. I’ve felt dreadful in the low 60’s & fine in the 30’s. Like everything else, it’s variable.

Experiencing this for just a few days isn’t anything to worry about. Don’t freak out.

The trick is, of course, is to test frequently & correct lows immediately. Frequent lows decrease awareness. People can regain their sensitivity to lows by having BG run a bit higher.

To answer your question, it was before the two year mark when I started noticing lows less.

Listen to this podacast.

These guys are great.
Alot of good tips in all their talks.

I found TuD from listening to their show.

Hmmm. Thanks for this, Geri! Definitely correct the lows right away. It’s just that today’s and Saturdays totally caught me off guard, usually I can detect things falling rapidly before it gets too bad…

I am noticing that there is a monthly pattern to this so far, you probably understand where I’m going with that. Highs about a week before, then days before rapid drops. I notice you’re on shots too - does having a pump improve the possibility of detecting lows earlier? Just curious. It will be a while before I’ll be eligible for a pump I gather, since my diagnosis was just a few months ago. Not that I definitely want to go on one, but wondering if a pump setup provides more of an advantage in terms of detecting rapidly falling BG…

Thanks Michael! I shall have a listen.

I hear you, sister.

A pump won’t have any effect on detecting lows earlier, or how many lows you have. Don’t know if you’re using Lantus, but I had awful afternoon lows using it.

Yeah I am using Lantus, but the lows always come in the evening. Again, rarely but definitely about this time. Well good to know the pump is not an advantage. I’m fine with shots and to tell the truth, I’m not sure I’d really want to know so much about everything that’s going on every moment, lol! Ignorance, or some of it anyway, can be bliss…

I almost brought up a similar topic on this. I still might. Something like, “how low, is too low??”

But after reading how a bunch of people on Tudiabetes get to 50 or 40 or 30 I was like “WHAT?”

When I get under 65 or 70 I feel REALLY weird. As soon as I get to about 50-60 I start seeing monsters and flashing lights and can not hear anything that is real. I never tested under a 55ish, then… I was at 41 one time in my sleep. That is the ONLY time I have had the paramedics come to help ever. Since a family member noticed I was sweating and unresponsive and mumbling in my sleep. Ever since that happened I have (been scared to go low!) and wondered about people talking about going as low as 25-50 and just being kinda disorientated. Like I said, if I’m under 65 or 70 I feel like the dentist just gave me nitrous.

I guess it’s different range for different people.

That’s certainly true, and for highs as well. Today I was at 55 and feeling like I was going to pass out, but I’ve been between 40-50 before and not passed out (felt extremely shaky). You should have seen me fumbling with my lifesavers.

On the other end of the scale, the day I was diagnosed I was walking around, a bit sleepily granted, with a BG of over 400 with the finger prick test. The blood sample later showed that I was actually over 600. I have no idea how I was walking around.

One of these days, death will catch up with me. Sorry I know, morbid.

I’m more scared of the lows than the highs. I know they are both just as evil in the end.

I feel better when I’m going high, even if too thirsty. Feel scared when I’m going low though.

yes, a high for me sometimes when I don’t test for a few hours I don’t even notice. And it can be a surprise when it is high on my meter. But a low is SO impossible for me to ignore. I could never go 70-60-50 without noticing. I don’t need my meter for that. That night when I was 41 was probably the most embarrassing, scary, point of my Diabetes life. It was also a point where I said to myself I need to take even better control than I had before. But at the same time, highs will hurt you slowly and silently going undetected.

If u are using pump the good thing is you can different profiles in a day. As far as the lows are considered it depends

  1. body weight: People with higher body weight have greater sensitivity to lows.
  2. over a period of the body gets used to what it sees as the new normal. The only way to come out of it is maintain higher BS for a few months and then u will regain the sensitivity to some extent.

The morning lows are common with people who have had been taking Insulin for 5 or more years. One way to avoid is by taking a cup of milk, a fruit like apple before u hit the sack and then probably another glass of milk right after u wake up.

If u are having evening lows then trying having some salad about 3-4 hours after u have ur lunch or a glass of milk is good if u r busy with ur day schedule and do not get an opportunity to take a break.

lantus and basal insulin(in case of a pump) are supposed to meet the basic insulin requirements when we are fasting. These insulins do provide much steadier profiles compared to the earlier generation of insulins, but in terms of absorption rates they are not the same as the insulin produced by our beta cells.

I’ll take a high over a low any day. Lows give me a feeling of panic. It’s an actual physiological response, not an emotional reaction. Often, that’s my first clue before the other symptoms hit.

I agree.
Yes, frequent lows decrease awareness. I had this problem in late 2009 and at the beginning of 2010.
My endo told me to run higher for a period. I had a strong insensitivity to lows so he said to try not going under 150 in that period.

Mine too – panic!

Hard to describe this to other people, isn’t it?

Well… A pump won’t have any effect but it can helps you to increase stability with a good BG mean and so you can improve lows awareness.
Here in Italy a “hypoglycemia unawareness” is one of the possible requisites to be “a candidate” to have a pump (it’s covered by the National Healt System so you must be “a good candidate”).

doesn’t it kinda feel like nitrous at the dentist when it reaches a certain point? I thought it was bad in the 60’s but when I finally got to the 40’s it was a whole different (scary) world where I couldn’t imagine going in the 30’s…

It does! Never thought of this before & you’re right.