Stubborn Lows

Have you ever had a low that just doesn’t seem to go up, no matter how many tablets you take, and when you finally go up, you go up too much? The other day, I had a low that lasted about an hour, over the course of which I need to take about 14 tablets to finally bring it up. For the first part of the low it was actually going down, even with 3 or 4 tablets every 20 min. It went from 64 to 54 20 min later, took 4 more tablets, 48 20 min later, took 5 more tablets, and finally went up to 79 20 min after. It seemed I had conquered my problem. Nope, just created another one. I took 2 more tablets to try to get it to be around 110, but it jumped way past that to 204. Tired of dealing with it, I took a shot and went to bed.

Fun fact: I woke up the following morning at 48, what luck.

Yesterday I was in the 60s, took tablets, went to 75, then jumped to 235 after dinner. Go figure.

Unfortunately, our livers can really kick in & dump glucose in response to lows–especially lows that are sustained for a while. You did the absolute right thing in taking some tabs, checking after 15-20 min., and taking some more if still below target. It just gets REALLY hard to keep waiting and checking. And to avoid eating everything in sight.

Which reminds me, I need to test right now to see if the sliver of pumpkin pie I ate to counteract a 50 (after some extensive housework) was on the money or not. Probably not, since I never have a soft landing when I treat with food instead of tabs. But the pie was worth it!

Have had lows like this & usually before bed, to make it extra aggravating.

One thing to remember is that it can take up to an hour to see the effect. What we’re told about the 15-15 rule doesn’t always work & leads to people over-correcting & ending up high, as you experienced. Hard to be patient when you feel awful from a low.

Also about the 15-15 guideline, you need to know how much 1 gram of glucose actually raises your BG. I’m really sensistive, so I gram of sugar (not 5 gram glucose tabs) raising me 10 pts & I have to be careful.

For persistent lows, try small amounts of juice or soda. Liquid works faster.

I also have trouble with lows (can go as far down as 23 and not know it - no symptoms until I start to sweat). I recently went to a nutrition class to learn about calories, proteins, carbs, fats and fibers, and how they react in the body. I learned something that I was never told in all of the years I have had diabetes (45 years). The instructor at the class was an ER nurse. He told me that “proteins” will raise your blood sugars was a better choice over carbs. He suggested cheese, high protein drinks. If my bg is as low as 23, then I drink 4 oz OJ and then eat proteins. It works. And, as with you, I usually over eat because I am scared. After the proteins (cheese, etc) I will eat a piece of toast with peanut butter. That is when my bs will jump really high. BUT YOU FEEL SO HUNGRY. He told me that taking the glucose tablets will only last for about 10 minutes. This was a new thing for me but am glad I know now not to depend on the glucose tablets.

Proteins aren’t a good choice for raising a hypo. Proteins take too long to digest & only about 58% of protein turns to glucose anyway. This is why fast acting sugar (glucose) is used. If glucose/dextrose isn’t working fast enough to treat a low (carbs begin to digest by enzymes in the mouth instantly), why in the world would protein be better?

When people are rushed to the ER for hypoglycemia, they aren’t given protein. It’s IV glucose or glucagon.

The ER nurse is wrong about eating protein & gave out some bad info. He’s also incorrect about glucose tablets,or any form of glucose, lasting 10 minutes. For people with diabetes this isn’t true or our highs wouldn’t last long.

Thank you, Gerri. I was following bad advice. I will go back to the glucose tabs.

It’s scary how much bad advice we’re given. An ER nurse conducting a nutrition class should be doing a better job.

I can’t stand those glucose tabs & use jelly beans. They’re cheaper & taste a lot better.