Question About Rapid Drops in Blood Sugar

Just wondering if anyone may have an explanation for the following:
This morning, I awoke and tested my BS. It was a little higher than my normal fasting BS level at 123. I then injected 8 u Lantus (basal) and went to get ready for work, no food and no exercise (other than climbing the stairs). After about 20 minutes, I started feeling low. The feelings progressed until I was shaky and having a hard time focusing. I went downstairs and tested again…34! Whoa, I felt fine 30 minutes earlier. I’ve also never had any problems with my meter. Does this ever happen to anyone else?

it could have been on the way down when you tested

I have read an interesting thought by Jenny regarding this:

"You may have mixed up the insulins, but you may also have run into a strange phenomenon I have heard about from a few Type 2s who don’t use bolus insulin at all. They report that they have occasionally injected Lantus and had it all hit at once. The mechanism isn’t clear, but it may have to do with injecting into a blood vessel. If Lantus goes into a blood vessel it isn’t delayed in its action but acts just like fast acting.

I’d suggest doing what the oldtimers tell us they were instructed to do: pull back on your syringe before you inject and if you see blood, pull it out and find another spot.

I did not do this yesterday with my R, but noticed blood in my syringe after the shot. Sure enough I ended up at 66 really fast, and I think it was because I hit a vessel."

Hi Summer,
Wow is that scary! I am glad you are OK. I get severe shakes at 60. I don’t think I could do stairs if I was that low. I have had some mid morning fast drops and the diabetic educator thinks it is when my Lantus kicks in. I shoot at night before I go to bed.
This week the Endo’s office has me on a Continuous Glucose Monitor. It starts beeping if I go below 80 which gives me time to check BS’s and respond. It takes a BS reading every 5 minuets. They will take the data, and try to work out a new insulin schedule for me. If you have any more trouble you might talk to your Doc about trying one out.
Holger’s info on hitting a blood vessel sure sounds like what might have happened to you. How soon do you eat after you shoot the Lantus? Do you use any other insulin?

I must have hit a blood vessel…that is the only explanation that fits. I’ve never been that low, so it just scared me. Right now, I can keep my BS levels under control using Lantus and diet, no fast-acting insulin, yet. I’m still honeymooning and making a little insulin myself. Thanks for responding. Have a nice weekend!

I received a new pancreas on June 17, 2008 after 6 years as a type 1 diabetic and I am doing great. I used to go low all the time when I was on insulin. I had no idea when it would happen so I had to quit driving upon diagnosis and the initiation of insulin therapy. And like your experience I would go low quickly. I was only on Lantus insulin. I just decided not to drive after wrecking my car several times. I’d suggest keeping your monitor handy while driving. Actually I used to use a continuous blood glucose monitoring device so you could get your BS anytime at the touch of one button. They are wonderful. The low blood sugars can happen at ahy time without warning so just be careful

I have learned that testing your sugar, injecting any time of insulin and not eating can be potentially harmful in that you can drop suddenly due to the amount of “leftover” insulin not assimilated yet. There is a drink called “Boost Glucose Control” that you can drink for the nutritional benefits if you’re not going to eat or drink a Glucerna Shake or bar. This might help if you don’t have time to eat. After haveing many lows, 20!!!, I pakd a small portable cooler and put a container of Minute Maid juice, yogurt, water, granola bar & almonds. If I’m driving and I start to feel shaky, I check my sugar first, then drink/eat some of these. Of course, I alway carry glucose tablets. They are a lifesaver. Lately I have been having lows in the middle of the night while I am sleeping- 38 - and am lucky to wake up. There is an organization call Dog for Diabetics in Concord, CA that are trained to smell the scent of Type 1 diabetics and will wake you or bark when your sugar is going low before YOU even know it! There is a long waiting list and I am on it. I feel I really need this because I just get too many lows and they are terribly scary.