The rollercoaster ride of overcompensating

Last night I had an overnight low (56): not fun. This morning I woke up high (206): I had overcompensated.

I try to shoot for the 15-15 rule (take 15 gr of carb, wait 15 to test; rinse and repeat if necessary), but overnight lows I’ve far from “mastered”.

Any tips?

I always over do the night time lows . I think its bcs Im tired and want to go back to sleep and cant do that until I feel better , so I eat until Im feeling normal again .


I overcompensate too when I’m low, especially overnight. If I wake up low, I go into my kitchen and gulp/eat anything with sugar in it until I feel better.

The 15/15 rule is very hard for me to follow, as I’m sure it is for many people. I don’t think non-diabetics understand the urgency you feel to ingest something so your bs will rise.

What I’ve tried is keeping little juice boxes on my nightstand that have about 30 carbs per serving. It’s over the 15 carb rule, but it keeps me from getting up and roaming my house in search of sugar. And usually, when I am low overnight, I am very low (in the 40s or 30s like I was this morning) so I don’t feel bad about overcompensating.

I think the rule should be 15/10. :slight_smile:


Have you read Dr. Bernstein’s chapters on hypo? If not, do your self a favor and do.

He recommends using only glucose tabs and after calculating how far they will raise you, not using more than enough to raise you 60 mg/dl (unless you are dangerously low when glucose gel is recommended). Test again in 15 minutes and take more glucose if needed.

Glucose dissolves very quickly and doesn’t contain the slower digesting sugars of things like juice, milk and sweets which kick in later and give the rebound highs.

At 56 mg/dl you could raise yourself 60 mg/dl and end up at a safe level. If you were dropping further testing in 15 minutes would reveal that and you could do another dose of glucose.

It is hard not to panic when you are low and chug carbs, but glucose works. I use Sweetarts. 1 disc is about 2 grams which raises 140 lb me 10 mg/dl. They do hit the bg by 15 minutes. Smarties also work. Both candies are mostly “dextrose” which is another name for glucose.

At least with our son, we’ve found that even when we don’t overtreat an overnight low – if he was falling fast or was below 60 – he gets smacked with that Somogyi effect (when the liver just spits out glycogen following a low).

Dang frustrating.

And as far as that 15/15 rule-- we’ve found that there is no hard and fast number of carbs that works for every situation. We graph Joseph’s sugars and IOB, evaluate the trend (is he falling fast?) and how much insulin he still has in his system from any earlier boluses. Then look at his activity level for that day.

Based on these things, we decide whether to give him, for example, one 4-gram glucose tab, wait ten minutes, then give him maybe 2 cheese crackers (no IOB, not dropping fast, not an active day) vs. 3 or 4 tabs, wait ten minutes, then 4-5 cheese crackers or more…

Now, we also check his blood sugars every 2-3 hours (or less if he had a low) every night.

This is because our son never wakes up when he’s low. We’ll feed him glucose tabs, crackers-- and he’ll munch away without ever even opening his eyes.

Very scary.

Previous behaviour - grab the box of fruit loops and eat them until i feel better - wake 2-3 hours later in the 300 to 400’s - lovely huh.

Current behaviour - eat one pack of fruit snacks if i am over 55 - 2 packs of fruit snacks if i am under 55.

Guilty as charged! :frowning: Though never overcompensated too badly! I think the highest I’ve gone after was in the mid 200’s, gone from a high 30’s. But yea, I’m gulity!

It really does depend how low I am, or how fast I’m dropping, though. If I’m say 50 and not dropping fast, I’ll usually just chew a couple glucose tabs. But if I’m in the low 40’s and can barely think, I usually just grab a Sunny D bottle (the 6.8 oz bottles). They about 26g carbs, and usually does the job. Though I have been known to plain ole “raid” the fridge AND pantry too!! LOL It really seems to depend upon how “clearly” I am thinking at the time. The feeling of “desperation” can really do a number on ya!

I HATE the feelilng of a low! (not that I know of anyone who actually enjoys it!!) And, no, non-D’s don’t get it! It’s more than you just want to eat, because you are running low, it feels like your life depends upon it. Like you’re going to die THIS INSTANT, if you don’t get something in you!! Which in reality, depending upon how low you are, your life actually can depend upon it!

i like the way you describe it - “Like you’re going to die THIS INSTANT, if you don’t get something in you”. i never explained it that way b4 but think i will steal your words and use it in the future. The feeling of ‘low’ is difficult to put into words.

Not the Fruit Loops Mollie! lol

My downfall was Cap 'N Crunch. I miss that stuff!

I can understand the desperation part, Melissa.

If I’m in not thinking mode (usually in 40s, 30 and if conscious, the 20s) I grab whatever I can. When I was low the other day, my husband came home to me sitting on the kitchen floor, sucking honey out of a little plastic bear. lol I had gotten low ( was 40 something when I tested) drank some juice and tried to “ride it out” for 15 minutes. 10 minutes later, I was 31!

That is when I drained the honey bear. Winnie the Pooh would have been proud! lol

LOL - at the meal part. I’ve eaten so much at times when I was low (sandwich, glass of juice, handful of chips) I’ve woken up fully at 2:00 am, sat around and watched TV as if it were Saturday afternoon.

Glad you got a handle on waiting it out - it’s impossible it seems at times.

Hi All,

The glucose tabs are the best way to control the lows. If you eat to correct a low, you will be high very shortly. This is for the most part due to “eating the refridgerater”. I control my lows two ways…1 I am testing on average every two hours. I have my pump set to alarm me to thus reminde me to test…2 I always have tabs with me and even if I start to drop let say from 140 to 70, I will eat a tab because the one tab brings me up about 10 points…I just flatout refuse to go low. Now going high is another issue all together because I love pizza and pasta and cheezits…you kow what Iam saying…I love to eat and at 53 I am damned tired of hardly ever eating the foods that I love. Iknow what kicks me into the stratosphere with my BG’s and I compensate the best I can with useing the bolus wizard and the dual wave function of my pump. In a nutshell, the tools are available to all diabetics, you just gotta git her done!

God Bless,


And you probably NEVER will I’ve had D for 34 years and still overcompensate. I won’t even start to tell you what to do since everybody is different but for me a glass of plain milk seems to bring me up from the over night lows.

Go right ahead and use it Mollie!! :wink: You’re right though, it is difficult to put into words. The WHOLE deal. How you body feels, how it makes you feel emotionally. Unless someone has been there, they simply can’t understand!

LOL I’ve been known to raid the honey jar too!!! It’s kinda weird tho, nobody has ever been around, or awake at least, when I’ve had my bad lows! Just has never worked out that way. Yet! I’ve got pleanty of time for them to observe tho! LOL I’m often home alone, and that is what scares me MOST about going low! I have such a fear of passing out and being all alone, nobody to “save” me! :frowning: Probably why I’m REALLY aware of how I"m “feeling” most of the time! Thankfully, I haven’t had a LOW low in a while now! YaY

Sugared coke works faster than juice. A comparison of GI values shows this. I keep coke in a baby bottle with ml markings on the side, so you know exactly what you are drinking. Fizzy coke also works faster than when it has gone flat! Liquid is faster than solid food. The quicker you fix the hypo , the less is the chance you will over dose.

The first thing that goes for me when I have a low is the ability to think straight. That confusion is very awkward as many of you know.

For a while now, I 've been using dex tabs. I keep them on or near me all the time. It’s relatively easy to take 4 if I’m in or nearing trouble with a low. It’s pretty automatic for me. It save me the distress about what to do. They work fast. They’re easy to carry (in a reusable tube of ten). I can purchase 50 tabs at Walmart for under a dime a tab.

I typically give myself an extended bolus after treating a low (I figure out how much insulin I would need based on how many carbs I ate and then have my pump give me that amount of insulin over the next couple hours - usually 1 1/2 or 2 units depending on how much I ate). It’s far from an exact science but has worked really well for me (and of course it’s unnecessary if i don’t consume too many carbs, but that’s rarely the case). Sometimes I’ll even just give myself a regular (not extended) bolus after I come up if I won’t need more than a little bit of insulin.

oh yes - after a date with the Fruit Loops - i have been known to bolus too -