"Severe lows"

I have been monitoring the diabetes OC for a couple of months now, and have seen a lot of people talking about their “severe” lows. I have been a type 1 for 36 yrs and have had lows in the 60s, 50s, 40s, and even some 30s. I have never passed out, cried, gone bizerk, started screaming at my friends, committed a crime or watched an episode of Dancing with the Stars! I simply get “the feeling” and either 1) go to the M&M jar in the kitchen if I am at home, 2) walk down to the vending machines (snickers!) if I am at work or 3) stop at the next gas station or party store and buy a candy bar (again, snickers!). Am I just lucky, or are there others that don’t get “severe” lows.

31 yrs T1 and I’ve never done any of those things you listed either (except for watching Dancing with the Stars). However, I did have one unusually severe reaction when I first went on Lantus (after having used Lente for years). My thought processes were clearly very hindered and I failed to recognize the signs as I normally did. No passing out, but it was a shocking experience after 25+ years as T1.

And then one time while running in college I didn’t have sufficient carbs with me. By the time I got to my apartment I was quite dizzy, and probably close to passing out.

I get down as low as the 30s and don’t really have those symptoms either. I have difficulty performing tasks I normally would do easily but other than that, I don’t go postal. Only time I am really effected by severe lows is if I am sleeping when I hit the lows. Then its time for 911.

Hi Rick! I’ve been a T1 for about 21 years and, wow, you sound pretty lucky to me. Wish my body didn’t scream at me every time my sugar dropped below 80 or above 130 mg/dl. I am very jealous :). I never screamed at friends (but have screamed in my sleep due to lows), committed a crime or watched Dancing with the Stars… but the rest of them have happened. Only completely passed out once about 19 years ago, that was scary enough an event to only have happen once.

I consider myself pretty lucky as well. I like to tell my husband how easy he has it since I dont get violent. My severe lows at most make me cry. I also get a little stubborn, “Dont tell me what to do!!” when he gently reminds me to drink the soda or eat the glucose tabs…

I’ve got 33 years behind me and fortunately have never passed out. Because emotions run high with me even when I’m on target, they seem to get worse when I’m low.
I am quite amazed that you find chocolate an effective treatment for hypos. For me, because of the fat, I absorb it very slowly and could be nose to the pavement by the time it kicks in.
I usually have to have glucose tabs, or, something with corn syrup in it like jelly beans or gummy worms.

I have been confused, dizzy, sick, and irritable when I have went to low. As well as sweating. My lows hit so bad when I started working out on a regular basis and then tapered off and have started to hit again now that I am working and in school and my schedule has changed. So I think mine is caused by a change in schedule where normally I would go to high, but this time it is going to low for some reason.

My lows started becoming undetectable when I started on rDNA insulin. Back when we were chosing between pork or beef insulin I always new when I was low. Lilly was sued when Humulin first came out because they didn’t put a warning on the product about not being able to feel the lows like the beef or pork insulins. Undetectable lows can be caused by using rDNA insulin like Humulin or Novolin.

Umm. I think you might just be lucky. I don’t often have severe lows, but I did have one about 3 years ago. And I in past years I used to have the horrible yelling and screaming fits. Not so much anymore. I think it has something to do with hypo unawareness. I have been a diabetic for 22 years, so I rarely feel my lows. But be glad you haven’t had these.

I also consider myself lucky to have not had a severe low yet. I’ve been Diabetic for 9.5 years, a few times i started “wilting” in my moms arms as she says, but they quickly fed me and everything was ok. I normally will feel my lows by 50-60, but sometimes I’ll be 30 and feel perfectly fine. There was once last summer, i was feeling fine and my friend looked at me and ask me if I felt ok because I looked like a blank sheet. I said I was feeling fine, but she told me I should go test, so I did… the meter said LO- that is the scariest thing that has ever happend. By that time I started feeling really out of it, but I was immediately given juice and food to eat and everything turned out fine. I never want to feel like that again! In the next month I will be getting a CGMS so hopefully that will eliminate a lot of my lows and prevent them from becoming severe.

I had my share of “severe” lows as a kid (I’ve been diabetic for 16 years), but I haven’t had one since 1998 or so. My severe lows were usually just being totally incoherent and not able to help myself. I passed out a time or two, but the rest of the time I would do things like collapse in the hallway in high school or at home, or wander around totally oblivious to anything going on around me looking for “help” because I knew something was wrong but not what, or not wake up in the morning (those were the worst). My parents only ever called 911 once; the rest of the time they used that nasty Insta-Glucose stuff since I was never fully unconscious even though I couldn’t understand anything going on around me. No one tested me for any of these lows, but I would guess my blood sugar would probably have been too low for the meter to read in all of them.

I should mention I always had tight control as a kid (for those times) with my A1c kept around 7%. Using two shots of Toronto (regular) and NPH as my regimen for seven or so years, the tradeoff was lots and lots of lows. I used to be very bad at detecting hypoglycemia, too; I could be 1.5 or 1.9 and feel perfectly fine.

My blood sugars rarely get below 50 when I’m low, because I think that my blood sugars run higher than they’re supposed to and so I’m more sensitive to lows. There was one time in high school where I could walk and I collapsed, but I was fully conscious. Even when I’ve been sleeping, I just wake up, feel low, get up and go get a juice (or drink the one at my nightstand, sometimes I forget to put one there though). I’ve never had a glucagon shot or had a seizure or anything ::knock on wood:: Not sure why some people seem more prone to them.

I’ve had diabetes (type 1) for 22+ years and have never had a severe low where I passed out or acted crazy. Usually when I get around 60, I detect that I’m going low and I just get up (if I"m sleeping) and get something to eat. One time when I was pregnant with my first son I was home alone and went low and had a hard time walking, so I called 9-1-1, but I never passed out-I did however rip my pump out, take off all of my clothes (from sweating from the low sugar) and stagger into the office to use the phone-I broke a picture or two off the wall from trying to walk but being uinsteady. That was very scary for me! Of course it happened the only week my husband was out of town during the entire 9 months!!! What a site I must have been for the paramedics! Luckily a neighbor came over and covered me up with a blanket and told them that I was pregnant (I wasn’t really showing yet) Other than that one time during pregnancy, I have been really lucky-I am sensitive to going low and for that I am so grateful!!

LOL - eat the cat for lunch… :slight_smile:

I know it’s not funny - but it is funny… You know?

I used to have lows alot! I have had all of the above but watching Dancing with the Stars. In my blog "Driving with Diabetes’ I go though what happen just 2 days ago. I have had a sizure when i was driving because I was so low and did not relize it. I have got into a fist fight with my parents when i first got diabetes. LUCKLY THEY ARE BOTH MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS SO THEY UNDERSTOOD I WAS LOW! I have passed out MULTIPULE times and even hadto be arrested because I did not know how bad I was really acting. But since i have started on the pump I have only had 3 bad lows.

I certainly haven’t had it as long as you (just six years), but I’ve never had what I would consider a severe low. But what does that mean, anyway? To me, “severe” would mean passing out or having a seizure or being unable to help myself. I had one morning on good old Lantus when I woke up and was at 11, so numbers-wise that would certainly be severe, but I was still able to think, get up and drink some pop and take care of myself. (I really had been at 11, I guess, since 15 minutes after drinking an entire can of Coke I was only up to 29!) Before pumping I often dropped into the low 30’s. Now I occasionally drop low (like mid 40’s), but I’ve never had a low that I truly needed assistance for. Fingers crossed. We still keep a glucagon shot around, though, just in the highly unlikely case it would be needed.

Glad the kitty got away. I don’t think cat meat has any carbs in it, anyway :wink:

Over the last 21 years with type 1, I’ve had plenty of lows where it was “business as usual,” i.e. test, see a low, feel a bit shaky, wander off for some juice, drink it, feel better.

I’ve also had some lows that have grabbed me by the throat and rendered my whole body useless. These are the ones that catch me in the middle of the night - the rogue 30’s and 40’s - and my body just isn’t ready. I run my blood sugars pretty tight, so my low symptoms are sometimes dulled, but in the middle of the night, I feel every second of a low.

However, I’ve never passed out, or needed a glucagon shot. The paramedics have only been called once in 21 years. My tolerance is pretty high for lows, ironically.

I think you may be just lucky. And that’s not a bad thing. I hope you continue to be lucky!

I’ve had some bad lows, my problem is not failure to detect but rather, nothing works fast enough. Sometimes its hard to tell (especially while low) how much IOB there is. I had a couple of seizures in the early years of D, a bad low (passing out) on the average of once a year. (feel low, treat, get lower, pass out)I’m glad to feel them, I just wish they were easier to treat.

With my lows it averaged about one bad one a year for the first seven years or so. And then in the past nine years I haven’t had any (I’ve had really low numbers, just nothing where I needed help because of it).