Hypo Hangovers

I know that an awful lot of people with diabetes are either too young to have the experience, or are smart enough to have an occasional adult beverage responsibly. Those who have gone the other way once or twice know the feeling. Headache, dehydration, weakness, slight dizziness, nausea, etc. It is called a hangover.

Yesterday afternoon I had a hypo with symptoms on the more severe end of the scale. Super sweating, weakness, panic, disorientation, profound hunger, etc. Even though I followed the usual check BG/16 grams of carb/wait 15 minutes, recheck BG and repeat as necessary, this episode dragged on for longer than usual. It took nearly an hour to get back to 90 mg/dl. I managed to sweat through a t-shirt, shirt, sweater and all the way through to my sport coat. Even the cash in my wallet got damp. After it was all over, I started rehydrating, took a shower, got into some comfy sweats, added a couple of aspirin for good measure and went to bed to read and recover. My family was out of town so I was all alone to mange it myself.

That is when it occurred to me that the whole experience was like a binge/hangover at warp speed. From start of symptoms until getting into bed took less than two hours. Has anybody else noticed this? I wonder if hydrating like mad DURING a hypo like this would make the recovery easier, or would it make it take longer to get my BG back to ‘normal?’ Could it also be that sometimes when I have a gosh-awful hypo that I over-shoot the carb intake and head up to 200 and beyond?

I’d love to hear your comments and ideas on this.

I always thought of it as an adrenaline hangover…but I haven’t had one in a long long time… mostly from being hypo unaware…
Water would seem to help if you had become dehyrdated…I wonder too if your body wants more when it takes in a lot of glucose?
Usually I “chase” my glucose tabs w/ a glass of water I feel like it helps to dissolve it and get it down sooner…

I do think that overcorrecting can have a huge impact…because it’s going from one extreme to the next in a really short period of time… plus high tends to be dehydrating…

That’s a lot of sweating! How low were you?

It usually takes me about an hour to get back into range. It can take this long for a correction to take full effect & why I think people over-correct & end up high. Hard to be patient while our hearts are pounding & we’re feeling starved. I hate the panic feeling that accompanies lows.

The other thing about the 15/15 rule is that people don’t always know their correction ratio. I’m small & carb sensitive. One gram of glucose raises me 10 pts. If I took 15 grams, that would raise me 150.

Sweating that much you needed to drink a lot of water, so I wouldn’t think that made your recovery take longer.

Following the term ‘freak wave’ I call this phenomenon ‘freak low’. Statistically they appear very rarely - in 20 years I have experienced under 5. On NovoLog this just happened once and was less severe. Typicall is the following: I feel a low, I measure typically 45 to 55 and then I treat it with the amount of glucose tabs necessary. Normally I would get up now but in a freak low the BG will move slightly up and then it is starting to drop again (below 40). Here things start to get mental - staying calm is the top priority and eating more glucose. At the first time I freaked out after 20 minutes and asked my college to call an ambulance because I felt that I could not withstand longer. When they arrived I was back in safe levels. So know I just try to rationalize and relax. For one half of the freak lows I have no logical explanation. The other half was my fault: mostly insulins adding up, misjudgement of food or slow food, misjudgement of physical activity and its impact on the effectiveness on insulin.

I HATE those!! They don’t happen often…but when do, ugh! I often wonder how I can sweat that much. Total soaked and through layers and layers. Mine also has an odd smell to it. Almost an acrid smell. Yes, we can overtreat but I als think the liver kicks in and tries to help out. Too little too late. I call it liver dump. And my liver seems to dump for about four hours or so.

I also get freezing cold and the only way to warm up is hot shower. I would love to know exactly what is happening when all this takes place.

Ach. I get all of that too, the freezing bit does my head in, I call it the hypo hangover too Bizzaro! Hope you’re ok now :slight_smile:

The shorty version is that it is textbook shock + liver kicking in. The cold and clammy is what I forgot to mention, also. Really ugly, and once the seating stops a long, hot, drain-the-water-heater shower is the only way to get the body temp fixed. Had a hypo a couple of months ago and at the ER my temp was 94 - they freaked over that one.