Low Blood Sugar

Hello All!!

So I'm just looking for a little support and advice here :) I had my first low blood sugar attack. Of course it happend in the middle of class and at a time where I did not have any sugar on me, I have never had one before, but I should have expected this one since I was a little over zealous on my bolus. Anyways, I didn't feel anything for a while, then suddenly I felt dizzy and it all hit at once. I tested and I was at 55. Should I have felt it sooner since it was my first low and I've never been below a 97? Also, I am back to 124 now but I'm still a little shaky and nauseous and it has been almost 2 and a half hours, is this normal as well?
I don't want to call the on call Endo about a little nausea, so I'm hoping for advice or reassurance that this is all normal. Or as normal as a diabetic can be.....


I've come back from many serious lows of the years. They do take a lot out of you. I can remember calling in sick when I was still working because of how much energy is expended in a severe low.

I don't usually feel sick to my stomach but it does play havoc with the nervous system. For the symptoms you describe I would not likely call the doctor. You need to be the judge, however, and decide what's right for you.

Good luck and always carry a quick acting source of glucose with you! Are you wearing any medical alert jewelry?

Yes I have a bracelet on. I went to my teacher in class and asked if he had any sugar, he offered me his Diet Coke..... I have glucose tablets (which I took) and sour gummy worms (which I REALLY enjoyed) with me usually. I will have to remember to always have them around this time.

Yeah, you pretty much have to have sugar on your person all the time now (or very nearby, in a pack or bag or something.)

I'm glad you handled it very well. Good job! They can be quite disorienting and upsetting. Feeling out of it or kind of sick/washed-out afterwards is normal.

After I've gone really low, as soon as I knew I was solidly in the clear and not in any danger of dropping low again, I had to take a nap -- SOOOOOoooooo tired.

Question: Why is it that whenever a diabetic tells someone that we need sugar, they offer us a DIET soda? LOL! It's like they can't understand plain English. I've had this happen more than once. Their brain makes this leap: diabetic = diet soda. I've had to tell people three or four times in a row, "No, thank you, I need SUGAR now. Juice? Candy? Coke? Something with SUGAR."

Of course spouses and other family members get trained up quickly, but strangers are forever trying to get me to drink diet soda! ;0)

I know!! I was in full panic mode and so appalled that a University Professor offered me a diet soda when I said I was diabetic and having an attack. I'm thinking of registering diabetic with the school and having an informational meeting with all my professors. Seriously I could have passed out on his floor and he would have dumped sugar free crap all over me to help. I know they mean well, but he was just so unhelpful at that moment.

I'm glad that I am mostly normal when it comes to low blood sugars!! I was really energized after my attack (I assume it was adrenaline) but after that I just got a little terrified. This was my first real encounter with the scary negative moments of diabetes. Oh well! I guess you just have to move on and keep trying!

Very good idea to let your professors know. My husband's a professor & he's grateful when students share this kind of info just in case they may need help. Anything they tell him is kept confidential. He recognizes lows instantly from living with me:)

My first bad low sent me into panic mode. Heart was pounding, saw flashing lights, I was sweating & thought I'd pass out. Lows can manifest in different ways. The worst ones are when BG is dropping rapidly.

You did great!

It sounds like you did everything right (other than not having some sugar with you!) and it also all sounds like a typical/normal low blood sugar reaction. Lows are weird because it's never predictable when you "feel" them, regardless of how long it's been since your diagnosis. I've had quite a few totally sneak up on me and quite a few where I felt full-on symptoms in the low 60s. And I've been at this for 30 years! Just depends.

One trick: I always carry a little Gu packet (the gels that runners and other endurance athletes use) stuck down my bra. That way, if I a run to a meeting and forget to grab a snack, I always have something with me to treat a low. I work in a big office building and there have been a few times when I've been low enough to not be able to make it back to my office.

That sounds normal and I'm glad it worked out for you. Re MBP's suggestion, check the sugar on the GU packets if you use those as I don't find that maltodextrose works all that quickly? I have a bunch of those piled up from various races (they pass them out like treats...) but don't usually use them as I prefer high fructose corn syrup. I'd like to say I prefer glucose but well, I just don't. I use jelly beans. Initially I got into them for running but I've pretty much switched to them all the time.

Lows, especially if you are not used to them, can have a real impact on your body and take some time to recover from. What happened is normal. I used to get so cold that I had to take a burning hot shower to warm up.

Please, carry something for these times--there are lots of posts around here, but juice boxes, jelly beans, skittles, lots of ideas. I have a small gladware container in my purse with skittles, so I always have that available. And let people around you know, so they can help if needed. Key friends at school or the profesors, whatever works best for you. I mean, I even tell my hair dresser!

The first "low" is a frightening experience. There are all kinds of varieties of lows: some come out of nowhere and hit like a freight train, others hit really slowly and are easy to treat and recover easily. Sometimes the cause is easily identifiable, i.d.: missing part of a meal after bolusing. Those you learn from and can often avoid.

I've noticed that a "freight train low" is first discovered with very rapidly escalation of symptoms and a very low BG. I treat those more strongly - especially when I am alone. Those tend to wipe me out for a day or even two. It helps to keep stashes of sugar all around the house, car and other places. I ALWAYS keep at least one glucose gel tube with me and rely on the stashes as needed. I also keep meters stashed in various places - kitchen, bedroom, etc. so I don't need to hunt one down when I'm feeling gackish.

One approach that helps is to always try to anticipate what might start one and to avoid those circumstances.

You did good and I hope that having treated your first one gives you confidence for treating the next one.

I am a paramedic an have ran on many many many diabetics and happen to be one myself. Nausea and shakiness is very common even 2 hours later in some people. I myself don’t have nausea but I do feel shaky sometimes for a few hours. It’s adrenaline that you body released to try to stimulate yor liver to release glycogen. Once you have calmed down and gotten some rest that and the nausea should go away. Additionally, when I first started having lows I never noticed. I have always had to be in the 50s or 40s before I felt any adrenaline release.

My first hypo was terrifying. I had no idea what was happening, and the look on my parents faces as all the blood seemed to rush out of my own just made the experience nightmarish.Luckily, it happened while I was in the hospital within 10 minutes of my first insulin injection.

Over the years I've just learned that the only person you can really depend on, other than close friends and family members, to help in a situation like that is yourself. Others are well meaning, but unless they have to deal with it on a daily basis, they have no idea.

It's definitely a good idea to let as many people who may find themselves in a situation to help know as possible. Most of my co-workers know and, more importantly, all my students know. My first hypo in front of a class of high schoolers was precious. I had kids reaching into their backpacks for everything from actual candy to bags full of Hot Cheetos. I looked down and my desk had transformed into a snack bar. I even had a kid offer me a handful of Ricola cough drops.

It gets easier, but always be prepared, even in classroom full of students. =)

Good idea on letting people know. At my last job at the airplane factory, I gave two co-workers a brief run-down. In my case (T2 on MDI) if I pass out it is 99.99% likely that I'm hypo (and not hyper or DKA.) I told them, "If I start acting weird or look like I'm about to pass out, dial the factory health services and immediately give me some sugar: REAL soda or juice, or if I look like I can chew OK, one of these dextrose tabs from my bag. It has to be SUGAR because I'm experiencing low blood sugar from too-much insulin."

I made them both promise they wouldn't let anyone pour a diet soda all over my face!!!

Then one of my co-workers developed gestational diabetes and had to inject insulin, so she and I watched over each other until she left on maternity leave. It was really nice having another insulin-using diabetic in the same room with me all day. We were forever encouraging each other to test or calling out our results to each other from across the room: "98" "Yeah!" "212" "Uh-oh"

By the way, when you work in the largest factory ON EARTH they have their own EMS and paramedics, which can be nice. They're right there on-site, no traffic to hold them up. They're also tall, fit and gorgeous (!!!) but that's for another blog.

Now that is creative use of our go-everywhere pockets!!!

I love it!

When I was an avid salsa and swing dancer, I put my car key on a diaper pin (the semi-locking kind) and pinned it to one side of my bra. On the other side I tucked my ID and cash for the door and for bottles of water. If I was meeting a date at the dance, I'd ask him to keep my change in his pocket, but I always had my car key and ID on me. That way I never had to worry about a purse when I was on the dance floor.

Using this very useful garment for Gu never occurred to me, but I like it! I worked in a HUGE factory on my last contract. Having Gu with me when I was the equivalent of four or five blocks from my desk would have been a very good idea.