Persistent Lows

Every time I test myself recently I am between 55 and 70. I am eating the same things and have actually reduced my insulin quite a bit but nothing seems to help. The only thing that is different is that a few days ago I drank a regular soda by mistake and went really high. Ever since then I have been going low. It has been 9 hours since my last shot of regular (3 units) and I don’t take any basal insulin. Any ideas or suggestions?


Your blood sugar is so close to normal already, I think it is possible that the rest you’ve given your beta cells over the past couple months has given them enough of a boost that you need to back off the insulin.

One guess might be that the high blood sugar from the soda for some reason turned your beta cells back on after you’d suppressed them with the injections, and now they are staying on. Why? Beats me. So much isn’t known about diabetes. But when you are going low like that you have to cut your insulin until it levels off. Remember, that R can last about 8 hours.

Another possibility is that you are going low earlier but your body is fighting the low via a counterregulatory response that is burning out.

Whatever it is, STOP the INSULIN until the baseline comes back to normal. Staying low all the time is dangerous and you don’t want to lose hypo awareness. Then when things stabilize, you probably want to be a bit more cautious with it.

It is a known thing that you can end up rejuvenating beta cells by giving them a rest for a while with injected insulin. But if they do get charged up again, well, you’ve just discovered why a lot of people with early Type 2 CAN’T take insulin safely. (I know you aren’t a Type 2, but your blood sugar response is more typical of very early Type 2 than of Type 1.)

Your body reacts differently on different days to the same things. Less stress, more stress, more exercise,less exercise it is hard telling what is causing it to happen. Some days you have highs, some days you have lows, some days you get the roller coaster ride of high to low.

Before you stop your insulin, you need to talk to you doctor. It isn’t smart to take the advice of someone that isn’t your doctor. He/she needs to know what is going on with you and your diabetes before you do anything. If you stop the insulin you could be at risk of going into DKA very quickly. Everyone here may know a lot about diabetes but everybody’s body is different. Some people are not Doctor’s here and aren’t specialist. Granted yes most of the time we know more about our own bodies and what is going on with the diabetes than our doctors, but you need to let your doctor know what is going on and let him/her make the decision about you stopping your insulin, not just someone in here, that says to stop it. I think people who aren’t doctors here need to quit telling someone what they need to do.

Thanks for your concern but in this case Jenny is aware of my situation. I don’t think she would tell just anybody to stop using insulin. I am very early LADA doing a low carb diet and with an intact second phase. I only use insulin as a way to try and preserve my beta cell function for as long as possible and to allow me to eat a few more things like fruit and yogurt and still stay in a normal BG range. When I drank the soda, I went up to 200 which is really high for me, but half an hour later I was down at 60. Most doctors wouldn’t have prescribed insulin for me but I was lucky to find an endo who believes that it is better to have completely normal BG if possible, which for me is between 80 and 110 at all times.


Yes. I have the good fortune to have met Libby in person and we had a long chat about her blood sugars. Very few doctors would have prescribed insulin for her as without insulin her numbers on the oral glucose tolerance test are completely normal as is her fasting blood sugar.

She is using insulin to turn off the autoimmune attack on her beta cells, but having done that, the beta cells might recover their health and that could make using insulin dangerous.

Really doesn’t matter if you have met her in person. You aren’t her doctor and you shouldn’t tell her to stop taking the insulin period. That is just wrong to tell someone to stop taking their medications without a doctor saying that. That would be like me posting I am having constantly low blood pressure and you telling me to quit taking my blood pressure medications without consulting my doctor. That could be very dangerous to my health. So unless I see a medical degree from you, I will continue to say it is plain stupid to tell someone to stop taking their medication without consulting their doctor.

I understand your concern over non-Doctors giving people medical advice. I share your concern in cases of children or recently diagnosed Diabetics who haven’t had time to educate themselves on the disease. But in this case, Libby is an adult who has been diligently educating herself on Diabetes management.

What’s great about this site is that some of the people on here are not just a little, but a whole LOT more knowledgeable about managing Diabetes than most doctors (including many Endocrinologists). Sadly, a medical degree doesn’t mean a persons advice on managing Diabetes is any good. I know this firsthand, as I’ve had plenty of bad advice from Doctors over the past 31 years.

Jenny (whom I don’t always agree with, but highly respect) is one of those people on here with a whole LOT of knowledge to share. And Libby is free to take or ignore Jenny’s advice. Libby, not Jenny or her Doctor, has to be the one who makes the hourly and daily decisions on her own care. Since Libby asked for advice or suggestions, Jenny was merely sharing her expertise with a friend. And that’s a helpful thing.

I realize that but Jenny stated STOP TAKING YOUR INSULIN. She shouldn’t be going around telling people to stop taking their medications. And I know the doctor’s give bad advice as well, but they are the ones with the degree. I have been to 4 endo’s in 18 months because I can’t find one that I trust. I keep going back to my gp as he has helped me more than any specialist. I just don’t think that anyone should tell anyone else to stop taking their medications regardless of how much they know. This is a group for support, advice, etc, not for telling people to stop their medications. I also know that most of the time we are the best specialist on our own disease as we are the ones dealing with it , we are the ones researching treatments etc. Telling someone to quit taking medications is not sharing expertise period. Everybody’s body reacts differently to the diabetes so what works for one person might not work for another person, that is where the advice comes in, sharing what has worked for you. But telling someone to stop taking their medications isn’t good advice, it is just plain stupid to tell someone that.

I am just going to shut up on this issue since it appears that everyone thinks Jenny is a specialist in diabetes, just because she has done research. I have done research as well into diabetes so I guess that makes me a specialist to. Libby I hope things work out for you. I just find it wrong to be telling someone to stop taking their insulin when they aren’t your doctor. I have had many days where I have been low for a week straight, but yet I call the person I trust (my doctor) for advice instead of taking the advice of someone with no medical degree when it comes to stop my medications. Asking for advice is one thing, but telling someone to stop taking a medication is totally different. I guess I just have different opinions from someone else. It seems to me like you don’t trust your doctor Libby or you would be going to him to let you know what to do, if that is the case you need to find someone else.


If your doctor is so knowledgeable about insulin, why is your A1c a dangerously high 7.5%? This is fully 1% higher than the target that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has been calling for for the past 4 years. It is above the level that the ADA recommends, and the reason it recommends a 7% target is that over 7% Type 2s overwhelmingly develop retinal problems leading to blindness. A 7.5% A1c represents an average blood sugar that is around 185 mg/dl.

This chart shows you why the 7.5% A1c is so dangerous.

The ugly truth is that unless you learn how to dose your insulin on your own, which is what most Type 1s have to do, but few Type 2s realize is important, you will never be able to get good control, because the effort needed to fine tune is extremely time consuming and doctors don’t have that kind of time, so they settle for “good enough” rather than best.

With diabetes, the difference between “good enough” and “best” may boil down to survival.

I’m not sure why you are getting so emotional about this whole exchange. My suggestion to Libby was to cut back on the insulin until she stopped having prolonged periods of blood sugars in the dangerously low zone. If your doctor tells you that it is safe to spend many hours in the 50s, I really think you need to look for a new doctor. Most doctors consider a blood sugar under 80 in a person taking insulin as one needing immediate correction, and quite rightly. Prolonged exposure to low blood sugar can cause serious problems.

I am allowed to adjust my insulin accordingly, but I never stop taking an insulin without checking with my doctor first and I have had to stop one before because it was causing to many lows until I went back up to my baseline. I am allowed to adjust my insulin on my own by up to 5 units, anything else and I have to call my doctor. I call him and tell him what is going on and suggest what I think I should do and he tells me yes or no and he has never once said no I can’t do that. I do my research just as you do, but I DO NOT tell anyone stop taking something. It is stupid to stop taking insulin and not checking with your doctor first. You know you could possibly say that to someone that is a newly diagnosed diabetes and you don’t know them or their story and cause a lot of damage if they decide to listen to you. I have no problem with you giving advice, I had a problem with you telling someone to stop taking insulin. As I said how would you feel if you told someone that that you didn’t know and they went into a coma and died? And my A1c before the 7 was 6.1. It is so high because I had surgery and then had complications with infections. And I do know that prolonged exposure to low blood sugar can cuase problems. You didn’t suggest you said “STOP the INSULIN” I would appreciate if you would keep your mouth shut about my diabetes when you don’t know what is going on in my life or my body. My blood sugar stays within normal ranges 90% of the time. And if it does go to low I know how to handle it and I get it up almost immediately or I go to the e.r. So unless you know me and my life and my body SHUT UP ABOUT MY DIABETES. All you are is a know it all who thinks she has the answers to everything. “If your doctor tells you that it is safe to spend many hours in the 50s, I really think you need to look for a new doctor.” If you really don’t know me and my situation you need to shut up cause you know nothing. From now on I am not going to reply to anything you post to me. If you want to talk to me email me, I am not going to make this into public anymore because know you have made it personal by trying to tell me what to do with my diabetes when you know nothing.

Dear Friends:
I would like to remind everyone what is clearly stated in the Terms of Use:
"All the information, commentaries and reviews presented in are meant as a reference only. They are not intended to replace professional medical care.

Before making any decisions related to the management of your diabetes of the diabetes of someone in your care, make sure to consult with your network of medical professionals."

Therefore, nobody should take the comments from another as medical advice: they are information and it is each member’s responsibility to take it and process it as a responsible adult whatever that implies.

It is clear that this discussion thread has derailed too, so I will be closing it to any more comments: let’s please keep our cool and avoid any further personal confrontations that don’t lead to anything positive.