My method for preventing post-low highs (from overeating for the low)

When I get exceedingly low (for me, that’s more rare, now that I wear a CGM) I might eat the proverbial “everything but the kitchen sink” as I give in to the compulsion to eat a ton of carby items. To reduce the likelihood of going too high, sometimes once my head clears, I will calculate how many excess carbs I ate (ie, the carbs eaten that were more than what I should have eaten for the particular low) and then bolus one half of what I’d normally bolus, for those excess carbs. That technique has served me well.

NOTE: I don’t follow the above technique if I’m very active, such as in the middle of yard work (which can take me hours to complete).

As always, YMMV, but at least consider trying it if you find yourself going far too high after you give in to the cravings from severe lows. I don’t find myself with much craving if I’m in the 50’s or 60’s. For me, a severe low is below the mid 40’s. Everyone is different in how their body reacts so just let this be a general guide.

SIMPLE EXAMPLE:

  1. I:C ratio is 1:10
  2. I ate 100 carbs but should have eaten just 30 carbs
  3. 70 extra carbs divided by 2 = 35.
  4. bolus would be 3.5U
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Great idea! I don’t have a lot of lows (that I know of), but when I have those really severe lows, it’s hard not to clean out your entire refridgerator and cabinets in the brain’s mad rush to get more carbs!

I’m going to try this (if I can remember) next time it happens.

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I just take insulin for any carbs I eat beyond those I expect to need to treat my low, and I know other longtime T1s who do the same. Generally works out well, but I have to take the insulin while still low to prevent a spike.

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I do the same if I over-treat a low. As soon as I see my BG start to come up, I’ll bolus the full amount of insulin for the excess carbohydrates I ate. If I think I’ll have another low for some reason, then I’ll do a half-bolus.

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I enter my low BG into my pump and then increase carbs until BG correction insulin and carb insulin are the same; maybe add a bit more carbs if BG is falling rapidly. If I want to eat more, the pump calculates insulin for extra carbs so I bolus at the same time I eat.

My tactic for a bad hypo is less a matter of calculations, which I’m really not capable of in that state, but just a trick for staving off the EAT NOW OR DIE! craving. This first occurred to me back when I was on MDI, pre-CGM, when I was much more prone to middle-of-the-night lows, and I noticed the jar of peanut butter next to the one of honey I was about to dip my tablespoon into. It occurred to me that PB is pretty low carb in itself, but as a bulky, sticky kind of gloopy substance, a big spoonful would give my EAT EAT EAT!!! impulse something to work on while the honey was doing its job. KInda like driving a Ferrari into a deep mudhole. Of course it’s also going to slow the sugar absorption, being pretty high fat, but I generally find I can go back to bed with a low as long as I know I’ve done something about it. My experience is that once it turns around, the shakes and craving fade quite rapidly even before my BG comes back up into normal range. As long as it’s headed the right direction my adrenal system seems to relax. And if I keep gobbling carbs I’m going to spend the rest of the night on the roller coaster, so this works for me.

Another strategy I’ve found works, especially for middle-of-the-night lows, is to have glucose tablets and gel right near my bed. I hear of lots of people going to the kitchen to treat lows—or being unable to get to the kitchen to treat lows. I’ve never relied on going to the kitchen to treat lows, and because of that, I’m not surrounded by food and tempted to eat it all while I’m low.

Of course, it does still happen where I find myself treating a low, still feeling terrible, and eating a bunch of additional food that I didn’t need. But it’s the exception rather than the rule for me.

My Skittles are in a small ziplock container on my nightstand. I was quite low for a long time last night because: A) my wife slept in the family room last night due to constant coughing and she is the one that generally alerts me to my lows, and B) because I didn’t know she had moved from the bedroom to the family room in the middle of the night, I didn’t relocate my receiver from my waistband (where it is muffled by the covers) to my collar. Eventually I woke up from the low but not before I already had some central-vision blindness. I wolfed down about 20 skittles and then decided to also eat a fruit cup of diced peaches with added sugar. I leveled off just over 100. Crisis averted, and as soon as the doctor’s office opens I’m calling to get her squeezed in to be looked at for this much-worse-than-a-cold illness. No fever, but she keeps choking on phlegm.

The biggest mistake I make is assuming “more = faster”. I get so anxious when I take a few glucose tablets and don’t see an immediate response I assume I haven’t taken enough, take more, and go unreasonably high as a result. I try to discipline myself to wait 10 minutes after taking a dose before taking more.

Today while sitting in the room waiting to see my Endocrinologist I started to crash. The PA who was doing the routine blood sugar check asked, "Have you eaten today?? " I said no lunch, as I didn’t have time. She offered crackers which I turned down. As soon as she left the room, I pulled out my trusty sandwich bag full of Werthers Vanilla Cremes from my purse. I got very anxious and overate 3X what I should have. I then beat myself up later wondering “why did I eat so many”. I am now trying to get the high BG down!!! You would think after 40 years of this, I would know better???

There’s a product developed to help with this problem. This is it:

It apparently doesn’t blast your sugar sky high in the aftermath. I haven’t ordered any yet, but will do so soon…

I also have everything on or in the nightstand. I don’t want to go downstairs and get the dogs fired up and never know what I will eat with a low blood sugar mind. Juice boxes, glucose tablets, packages of crackers with peanut butter. All right there. My mini kitchen!

It looks like a great option! My favorite Glucolift tablets are not in stock. Only questions and couldn’t find it on the website, is how many carbs per packet?

Have a plan and have it nearby works every time. The refrigerator is not the answer in the middle of the night when going low, tired and not able to think straight. The nightstand with measured dose available and pre-planned for a low will save having to correct from a high or worse yet roller coaster ride for the following several hours and then feel lousy next day recovering from episode.

overpriced product that is wholly unnecessary. Save your money.

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Agree. Looks like ground up glucose tablets at a very high price. I can do that in my mouth and down with any liquid I choose (which is what I do!). Carry them conveniently in the 10-tablet tubes. I buy a 50-tablet bottles and refill the tubes. I’m sure you could do the same thing with skittles for even less.

Let us know how it works please.

I just have to get some first! I am in Canada so it takes a little more patience. But I will see if I can get some. I have suffered from low, then high, then low, then high! It’s enough to drive me batty! :laughing:

That could be but I have suffered through way to many rebound high blood sugars to not give a simple item a try. It’s not $50, so I will look at the ingredients first and see if it offers anything different. I find the products being produced these days can be quite innovative. :slightly_smiling_face:

innovative in a way to take one’s money unnecessarily. but it isn’t my money so I only offered up the fact that those types of products are truly unnecessary and a waste of money. If money is irrelevant, then no need to think about it. :slight_smile:

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