Low Alert

I’m not sure if anyone can help with this or not, but I’m going to ask anyway.

I have a huge problem with lows. As in, I pass out a few times a week. I got the Dexcom, because I hoped it would alert me when I got low, especially during the middle of the night. Unfortunately, it only alerts me once every 30 minutes, which I can easily sleep through. I got the Dexcom about 2 and a half weeks ago, and I’ve spent several nights where I was just LOW for about 7 or 8 hours. I know it does an alert, but, when I’m low, I’m not going to listen to it if it just does a couple of beeps every 30 minutes. As it is, I just hit the OK button and go back to sleep. I tell myself, “Hey, don’t hit the ok button” (because, I think, if you don’t hit the OK button, it’s supposed to keep beeping, but I haven’t really noticed that), but I don’t really listen to myself when I’m low and asleep.

Anyway, my question is: does anyone know of a way to make it keep beeping (or to beep every minute or so) until your blood sugars are normal? I just keep falling back asleep instead of treating my lows when (if) the alarm wakes me up. Any ideas?

There is not really a way to make it keep beeping if you acknowledge the alarm. There is a solution for the “if” you hear the alarm though! There was a discussion here about a very loud alarm that also shakes your bed. Mary bought it for her daughter just for the Dex alarms. Here is the link to that discussion:


She said it works but the dog won’t sleep in the room with her daughter anymore!

Thank you! That is exactly what I was looking for.

How funny…poor dog. You know, not hearing the alarm is way not my problem. My Dex wakes me up off and on all night telling me I’m low. I wake up, don’t feel bad, test and I’m fine. I’ve got the alarm set at 70. I’m just usually higher when it’s in the low level than the Dexcom says I am. Many times when it says I’m high, I’m a good bit lower. Go figure. I think my “medical appliances” just like to talk to me during the night, lol.

Are they on the night shift and then sleep all day? Tell them you want them on the same shift that you are!

I need to get one of those because I sleep thru the alarms - for awhile, I swear I thought that the Dex thought “snooze” meant not alarming between midnight and 6 AM. My poor dog will freak. Last summer after I zonked out, the alarms were going off forever - he must have made a connection. The first night the alarms went off after the EMTs were here, he got up, looked at me and jumped off the bed then went under it. It was like oh no, here we go again. One other night I was laying on the couch and my Dex went off just as he put his foot on my stomach. The look on his face was priceless!

I am sure Mary will see your post & can give you more details about it. She said it is really loud - that is what I need. I sleep thru the alarms. Fortunately, my bad lows are usually during the day (although I have had a few at night).

That’s great. I just figure it’s a good think no one else lives here. I’d hate for them to be up all night as well. They laugh at me at work because I’m “always making some type of music or buzzing” so they say. Good thing I don’t mind being the entertainment once in a while. All in good fun.

I probably should have changed the pump to music - it was sometimes hard to figure out what was beeping at me. Music would be more fun. Fun is always good. One time after I broke my foot, one of the guys I worked with said the next office poll was going to be the date & body part of Kelly’s next injry. I had cut my hand and needed stitiches,then stepped on something & had a big hole in my foot then broke the same foot. My aunt didn’t think his comment was funny but I said it was better than crying about it.

I need to post on the Animas board but they called yesterdfay & sent me a new pump - now I have to send 2 back to them. I am going to stay on MDI for a little bit though but will have it when I am ready to go back.

Alright. I’m glad they sent you a new one. I can certainly understand you wanting to be back on MDI for a while. You’re right, at least you have it when you are ready to go back on it.

I know you need help to hear the alarms right now, but is there anything they can adjust so that you aren’t going low so often or so low when you do? That’s really frightening especially at night. I’m sure that’s probably a silly question. I’m really fortunate that I hear the buzzing. I keep my Dexcom under the pillow I’m not sleeping on and if it goes off, I hear it and the light usually wakes me up as well. Maybe I’m just a really light sleeper. Good luck.

I really did not think they were going to! I called the woman I talked to yesterday because they sent me everything - even a new remote. I don’t need that and don’t want to give up the one I have!

I have a big problem with overinjecting insulin. Why would I do that?!?! (a person might ask). Answer: I don’t know. I’m just terrified of high blood sugars and become incredibly anxious any time I’m above 120. Just now, I was 164, so I injected myself with 45 units in the muscle. Yes, I need help. But, until I get myself mentally straightened out, I’m hoping I can at least get the Dexcom to wake me up when I’m passed out.


Well, I have pretty high sensitivity to insulin, so me injecting 45 units in the muscle probably doesn’t mean as much as most people injecting 45 units in the muscle. It just means, in 20 or 30 minutes, I’ll need to drink a couple cans of Coke. But at least I won’t be high anymore. Dang, I hate diabetes.

Did you mean to say ‘low sensitivity to insulin’ ? How much is your basal?

Yes, that is exactly what I meant. (As I wrote that originally, I couldn’t tell if I’d used it correctly or not.) I do Lantus, somewhere between 50 and 110 units a day (I vary it quite a bit, depending on what I’m doing/eating). I’m pretty sure that’s more than most people take…

My basal is 15 units a day. Quite a difference.

What is your TDD?

I am not trying to be critical here, so please don’t take it that way. I know some people are more resistant than others and need more insulin. I just want to try & understand what is going on and maybe someone can offer some help.

First, a 50 point difference in Lantus is huge. Lantus is a basal insulin and should not be used to cover meals – you should not be changing that according to what you eat. I can understand cutting back some if you are going to be exercising more than normal, but still, 50 points is a pretty big difference. Have you ever done basal testing to figure out what your true needs are?

In Using Insulin, John Walsh suggests your basal be 45% - 65% of your TDD. I know that does not work for everyone and my basals are actually 40% of my TDD. If we used your basals being 40% (which would give you more fast acting) of your TDD and taking the 110 number, that would put your TDD at 275 units. The 275 less the 110 leaves 165 for meals. Divided by 3, that is 55 units per meal (can you tell I am a bean counter!). If you are taking 45 units for corrections, that is a very hefty correction.

I hate to say this but that bed shaker is not going to help you if you are ODing on insulin – which is what it sounds like you are doing. I understand the passing out – been there, done that. But I also was not taking massive amounts of insulin. You said you know you need to drink a couple cans of coke to counter-act the insulin. Why not cut back on the corrections and try to level things out?

I looked at your profile and saw you are in AK – I am guessing you probably don’t have the greatest doctors there. Again, I am not being critical because I live in a small town surrounded by med school flunkies! I have learned how to do this on my own (with help from my friends on the DOC), and really only look to doctors to write my scripts. I understand why your doctor is reluctant to let you have a pump – and believe me, I rarely agree with a doctor withholding a pump from someone.

Do you have Using Insulin? I would suggest you get that book.

I forgot to ask, since you are so insulin resistant, have you ever considered taking Metforim? Even though it is technically a T2 drug, there are T1s that take it because they are insulin resistant. You might want to look into that. I know there are also diets to help with insulin resistance, but I really don’t know much about them.

Carman, If I were you I would change your low setting to 60. Then you shouldn’t get any false lows, or at least not as many.