Hypo Unawareness with Illness?

I’ve never had this happen before, so I’m not sure if this is something that’s somewhat common or not.

I’ve been sick for a week now (I think just a cold, but it’s a pretty bad one). My sugars aren’t high though - in fact, they’re running lower than normal and I’m happy with my overall control. However, I’m experiencing lows randomly (I can’t find any pattern, rhyme, or reason). I’ve always felt my lows while in the 60s, sometimes feeling them in the high 50s or even the low 70s.

The lows I’ve had this week are not being felt or caught until I’m in the low 40s to mid-30s. This is really worrying me, and I’m so scared of having a low bad enough to lose consciousness. (Which has never happened to me in over 18 years of diabetes). In addition, these lows are hard to get out of - I’m having to correct with 45-70g (yes, you read that correctly) to get me out of them! Usually I can correct with 2 glucose tabs (8g) and be fine. So this is really strange. I’m wary of cranking back my basal because I don’t want to run high the rest of the time, and like I said, there’s no pattern to these lows that I can find.

Is it somewhat common to experience hypo unawareness during illness, or is this something I may need to consider as a new long-term problem?

Why don’t you set up another basal pattern that is a little lower, especially during the nighttime. My Dr. has always told me he would rather I not wind up low, and run a little higher during illness. I just then check my sugars more often both day and night, and use correction bolus depending on what food/drink I am able to eat.

i agree with korrie…dial it back a bit temporarily.

I wouldn’t do anything drastic while you still have the cold. Illness can effect BS in different ways. I usually go low also when I get a cold. Just test more often to make sure you aren’t going too low. It is probably just a temporary situation.

I agree with Korrie and the others.

I have set another set of basal rates where I drop my nighttime by a tenth of a unit. It’s enough to make me feel comfortable about going to sleep. I use it after really bad lows and when I have my period (esp since I am hypo unaware and am training the cat to wake me when my CGM first starts alarming… not 20mins in!).

You can go back to the old rates when things straighten out. Also, I have noticed my rates need to be “tweaked” about every 3-6months anyway.

I have had this happen several times in the past. I had to scale back my basal rates, test more frequently and one time I also added in a small square or two of chocolate about every hour to hour and a half. Sounds crazy but it worked and I was happy too. :slight_smile:

Feel better soon!!

I find the comments of others interesting… I’m the exact opposite. My sugars are actually significantly higher when I have a cold or flu, and it is a nightmare to get them down. I’m not sure of the mechanics of why that is? Maybe the white blood cells are using the glucose? Or i’m thinking if your coughing/throat infection and nasal infection, your body is using all the glucose to heal itself, and that’s why some go low? I suspect.

I’m usually high when I’m sick, so that’s part of what makes this whole thing strange for me.