Survey: Would you rather treat a low BG or a high?

I’ve seen references to this in some other discussions, so I’ll ask the question. Would you rather have a low blood sugar and have to eat something to correct it, or have a high blood sugar and need insulin to correct it?

Personally, I’d rather be low. First off, because I like to eat and it gives me an excuse to do so! :). Second, because I can get myself back to normal relatively quickly. I can’t stand waiting for a correction bolus to bring me down from 240 to 110 (and often times it doesn’t, so I keep bolusing more, and more…)

My doctor always ask why I override the “recommended” correction factor and ignore much of the insulin-on-board. That is why. I feel like crap when my blood sugar is in the 200s (or higher!) and want it back to normal as fast as possible.

i’ll try and be objective here; i would rather treat a high blood sugar because it has less immediate danger, but there is something to be said about the odd quasi semi state of a low blood sugar that leaves at least myself with a sort of euphoric feeling, unless that is if it is a hard low that comes on fast than the panic survival mode kicks in and that kind of panic isn’t really enjoyable…

+1 low

A definite vote for a low. My dexcom warns if I go under 70, so can treat before it’s dangerous. And as you said… I get to eat :slight_smile: Honey, yummy.

Ditto to what you said, but…

If it is a low that won’t budge I would rather have a high blood sugar, of course unless it is a high that won’t budge!!!

I’m taking the high b/c I am hypo unaware and usually I start seizing or black out b/f I know it and the highs I know what to do but being 32 when you check your bs and not feeling it at all and knowing if I hadn’t made myself check it at that time I could wake up in the ER is much worse for me.

I’d still choose low… even with a look at the more extreme events.

During the last 2 days, I went through a series of lows with the result that I didn’t sleep for a good 30 hours, missed out on a practical course and now, the day after, am struggling to get my feeling for bg levels back. I still notice real lows but for the rest of the day, I have no idea where I’m standing.

Though, as much as it bothered me, as much as I craved for sleep: I still kind of felt like being able to keep control and kind of aware of what I was doing, and that it helped (until my bg dropped again, that was).

One more day and I would get myself help but I think I’m back to normal… and can go on with everything.

But the few times I ran very high were horrible and one time I was actually scared that things were gliding off my hands. It was way more difficult to handle than a low. There is not much to decide at a very low bg, there is just one option: eat. But a higher high bg? More insulin? If so, how much? More water? Where am I supposed to store that amount in my (not empty) stomach? What if this feeling of dizziness doesn’t go away? What if I actually start throwing up?

As much as I hate hypos and as dangerous they are, I, personally, feel more helpless while being in the high’s

And the more reasonable ranges - no extremes? Low anyway. A mild low won’t hold me off for too long and won’t influence the rest of the day too much while a bg of 200 does.

Also, I’d have to keep checking my bg after treating a high since it depends very much on what I did/ate before or after, so it’s not always easy to predict where I’m going to end up this time. It might work out well. But it happened that I later found myself at 50. Or still at 200.

It’s not that I overcorrect. It’s more the fact that, depending on the cercumstances, sometimes 1 unit will drop my bg 30 points, the other time it’s 60 for 1/2 unit and I can’t always tell before… that’s why I dislike it more in comparison with a low.

I’ll have 20 times as many highs that won’t budge than lows that won’t budge. The only exceptions are when I didn’t believe in following the “net carbs” rule and OD’d on insulin; and the time when I bolused for a big Thanksgiving dinner, then got a nasty stomach bug and couldn’t keep any of the food down.

I would rather treat a high. I always feel a sense of impending doom when I get low.

Yep. That is my mantra. When I am low (which unfortunately I frequently am), I say to myself, and whoever else is around criticising me - and believe me, there are those general busy bodies who like to think they know everything about diabetes - because their aunt 3 times removed 2 centuries ago had it! I just say to myself, “At least I know the insulin is working, and I quite like this condition. At least the treatment can be quite pleasant!”, so yep, I would definitely go with the low. Insulin takes time to work!

What I do not like though is the lack of warnings I get! I can be functioning one minute and a melting puddle of human tissue the next. Once I start perspiring I am usually way down near the cellar as far as blood sugars are concerned and heading for the core of the earth! We have a saying in the UK, “Four’s the floor, 9’s the sky!” (We test in mmols here).

I would MUCH rather treat a high than a low, unless it’s an extreme high, say over 300. I don’t feel bad with highs over 200 (although I very rarely get them now that I MOSTLY low-carb), and it’s easy enough to bolus for them with the pump.

Lows, on the other hand wipe me out, and I feel really awful for a lot longer than the lows last. I feel like I am going to pass out, even though I never have, and I feel almost paralyzed and unable to move. There is NO euphoria, or “buzz” and I would do almost anything to avoid lows!

Hate the low feeling (who doesn’t?), but I prefer treating lows because they’re more accurate, easier & faster to correct. I bounce back within 30 minutes. Takes hours for me to bring highs into range.

A high. Lows wipe me out.

Hello Scott:

I’ll take being HIGH with no hesitation. Lows will kill instantly. Highs do not.

I can screw up, make a mistake with NOT enough insulin and have no problem,. Simply hit it again, or again, or again if necessary.

Screw up treating while having a low, and my ability to treat it in any way goes quickly bye-bye. YUMMY FLOWERS… owwwwwww warrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm kitty… .(THUNK)

Given the magical ability to guarantee having one or the other, I demand a HIGH with no hesitation.


I think you have to say lows can kill instantly, rather than will. knocks on wood throws salt over shoulder

Definitely low. In my case, it will take minutes to return to normal bg’s after treating a low, and sometimes hours and several boluses to return to normal after a high.

Hello Acidrock123:

Cannot begin to count them, know intimately CAN is definitely correct ; ) … even so, I’ll stick with “will” for purposes of forcing this choice. (Looking for a larger bag of salt to throw…)

I would much rather treat a low. I have neuropathy and have been working very hard to maintain tight control so highs are evil in my book!

Low! I can pop some jelly beans or drink some juice and I know I’ll be ok. With a high…I can correct, but I become even more insulin resistant if I’m above 200 and my correction is often not enough - but there’s no pattern so it’s hard to figure out what correction factor to consistently use when I’m above 200. In addition, I don’t have a CGM…so if I was 225 and holding steady, my correction is going to work a lot better than if I’m 225 but going up VERY FAST. Then my correction is going to do little or nothing. Highs are extremely frustrating for me. Like I said…lows are so much easier.

From a technical standpoint correcting with fast carbs is superior to correcting with insulin. Compared to insulin both latency and duration of fast carbs are much shorter. This is why I overbolus a little so that I can correct with carbs instead of running the risk of having to correct with insulin.