As most of you know from my posts my biggest problem by far with the diabetes is my sensitivity with the sugar levels. I had a tiny snack last night that couldn't have been more then a gram or two of carbs. Within a few seconds I felt my usual spike which in short is very disturbing. Basically I feel like my body wants to explode. Pressure throughout/irritability. I toss and turn and its nearly impossible to fall asleep. Fortunately I finally did and woke up about a half hour ago. Right now I feel like I have radiation around my entire body and very buzzy and irritable. I checked my blood sugar a few minutes ago and it was dead on 100. Based on what I felt last night and what I am feeling right now you'd think my level was 300 or something. Here's the kicker a few minutes ago I took a unit of humalog which will lower me about 25 points and I am already starting to feel relief. I want an explanation how in gods name a 100 fasting blood sugar can be so disturbing. This problem in itself is actually worse then diabetes to me. I know most people are gonna say it can't be the sugar level but 99% of the time I'm over 90 on a fasting I get these symptoms. Seriously, If this was your situation what would you do? Is it even remotely possible it has nothing to do with my glucose level?
Are you sure your symptoms aren't the result of a food intolerance? I know a friend of mine who has Celiac's disease said that when he symptoms first started, they were really vague and odd (feeling light headed and warm after eating and some other non-GI symptoms). She did eventually develop GI symptoms and her diagnosis was then confirmed via testing. She said that once she removed all the gluten from her diet, all her odd symptoms (both GI-related and non-GI related) went away.
It may be that you're having symptoms following eating which you're associating with a spike in BGs. It just doesn't make sense that a BG of 100 would cause what you're experiencing. Also, the longer someone is T1, the more insensitive they generally get to swings in BG. Also, what you're reporting (subtle differences in how you feel depending on whether you're 90 or 100) doesn't make sense given the huge margin of error with home meters. Your meter may say 100, but you could actually be anywhere between 80 and 120 at that moment.
A few thoughts:
- Is it possible for you to get a CGM? If you can't afford one, perhaps your endo can loan you one for a week or two. It may be that you're experiencing bigger swings than you're identifying with a home meter. A CGM will pick this up. This has happened to me before; I would have symptoms of a low, but my meter would say 110 (or something equally ok). Turned out, it was because I was dropping from like 300, but I wasn't detecting the 300. A pump helped me solve this problem.
- Have you tried eliminating certain foods or been tested for food allergies/sensitivity?
- What long-acting insulin are you using? I thought you had once mentioned you used NPH; this will cause some folks to have HUGE dips and drops (and possibly subsequent spikes) which again you may not be detecting with a home meter. Have you tried other long-acting insulins?
- Is it possible that you have some autonomic neuropathy? I know from talking with others that auto. neropathy can cause some really weird symptoms.
- Have you had your thyroid checked? T1s are an increased risk for developing hashimoto's thyroiditis. From what I understand, this can also cause some strange symptoms (although you'd likely also be experiencing weight gain and fatigue).
You seem really bothered by what you're experiencing and I feel bad that you feel so bad. If I were you, I'd be seriously working with my endo and any other doctor to run tests and try to get to the bottom of what is going on.
Have you tried taking any medications to alleviate your symptoms? Sometimes, SRIs (like prozac and other medications in that class) can alleviate symptoms like the ones you're experiencing. For example, women going through menopause will sometimes develop some really bizarre symptoms because of the hormonal fluctuations and find relief in SRIs. You may have to experiment to find one that works for you, but if you're that bothered by what you're experiencing, it might be worth it.
I am sure others have said before me. But it looks like acute anxiety/depersonalistion issues to me.
Focusing too much one one thing and can become obsessed with things will often lead to this. It is a very powerful feeling.
Did you ever start anxiety meds or look down this path?
I tend to get a lot of hormone induced liver dumps. I feel my whole body warm off and I often feel dizzy. This usually precedes a bg spike. I don't know if it is adrenaline, cortisol or estrogen. I know it is not a hot flash, I am way past menopause. I have this sneaky feeling if I wore a CGMS I would see this up and down pattern all day long. Since I only test a few times per day I rarely pick up these spikes.
I just tested and am 233. I thought I would be high, but didn't think I'd be THAT high! I felt a little "off" but my symptoms didn't really hit until I saw the number on my meter. It's strange how powerful the brain can physically affect how you feel.
Seriously, If this was your situation what would you do? Is it even remotely possible it has nothing to do with my glucose level?
I would go talk to my doctor about depression/anxiety and follow through with what they recommend. From everything I have read, I don't really think your problems are related to your glucose levels much.
Is it even remotely possible it has nothing to do with my glucose level?
I would say it's more of a distinct possiibilty than a remote possibilty. You didn't mention what you had as a tiny snack, but I don't know if it's even physiologically possible for a pure load of 2 grams of glucose to have that kind of a profound effect on your BG that quickly.
You know I find this very interesting as the other night I was feeling rather OK enough that I would have never expected to see an elevated level. I had really no physical or mental symptoms and to my surprise my sugar was 165. Now within seconds after seeing it I started to feel well not so great anymore but honestly 99% of the time I am feeling horrible the level is post 1oo. I am going to set up an appointment with recommended endo and run every test known to man to see if there is some other underlying problem. I just want to be clear I am not in any way obsessive about where the numbers are within reason. Yeah if I a saw 350+ on a regular basis I would not be thrilled but anything up to 180 really doesn't worry me. It's just that I am physically and emotionally not feeling well.
I think it's impossible for food to affect blood sugar within seconds. If that were the case, none of us would have to wait around 15-20 minutes for blood sugar to come up after treating a low.
This may sound strange but when I am high and inject Humalog or whatever I actually feel a little sensation almost immediately. I know everyone must be thinking "its in his head" but trust me I am just very sensitive and have a very low tolerance for any kind of discomfort. I was 33 about an hour ago while working and though it was hard to think or function I made it through.
Gary, Gary, Gary...
I never answer a question by referring people to past posts, but I will make an exception. READ YOUR PAST POSTS You post this same exact thing every month or two and many people are gracious enough (or new enough) to provide the same exact responses: You should be assessed for Depression and Anxiety issues. This is the overwhelming majority of the responses you get, by many people with long experience with both Diabetes and Mental Health issues, as well as by Mental Health professionals. You choose to ignore these suggestions and hold on to the notion that you have some "unique sensitivity" to insulin. I hear that you are miserable, and I am sorry about that. But you have a choice: To hang on to that misery or to give what everyone suggests a try. What do you have to lose?
I keep reading the same theme in your posts, Gary. And so YES - We do know that you are sensitive to sugar level and are disturbed by it.
To your question "Seriously, If this was your situation what would you do?" I would get myself to the doc and tell her about these troubles, the doc can help solve or at least find a cause by testing, asking appropriate questions to diagnose other issues and even recommend ways to accomplsih whatever control you seek.
And to your question "Is it even remotely possible it has nothing to do with my glucose level?" I think your answer to this is in the question!
"I had really no physical or mental symptoms and to my surprise my sugar was 165. Now within seconds after seeing it I started to feel well not so great anymore"
OK, I gave you a couple of long answers in the past. You can refer back to them. However, I'd like to request that you Google and read up on:
Our minds are VERY powerful. We can make ourselves terribly ill -- and make ourselves well again -- simply through the power of our minds. Happens all the time. I learned very clearly when I was first diagnosed with a malignant melanoma lesion on my foot that I had the power to make myself near-hysterical with fear or completely relaxed, happy and at peace just by where and how I focused my attention. Any human being can do this. The mind is very powerful.
I think that you have convinced yourself of a (false) correlation between feeling "terrible at 110" and "fine at 90" and that you can harness the power of your mind to STOP making this false correlation -- you may need the help of a professional over a period of months to break this habitual way of thinking, but you can do it.
Please read this article:
Our minds and our beliefs are VERY powerful players in our day-to-day health.
Look we all know its fact when we don't have enough glucose circulating in our blood our brains are struggling to function. Some people can go lower then others and still maintain function but eventually your gonna be in trouble. I've gotten to the point where I am just more comfortable at least physically when my sugar level is closer to hypoglycemia. Usually I feel best around 80. However based on non-diabetic blood sugar levels I should really have no symptoms physically or mentally at fasting sugars of 100, 110, 120..etc. I've noticed a lot of really weird sensations that don't make any sense and like Jen noted it takes much longer then a few seconds for carbs to break down to glucose so technically if I eat anything that will raise my sugar I should not feel any kind of change for at least 15 min or so but that's not the case. Maybe my metabolism is converting to sugar that quick??? All I know is what I experience is very disturbing to me and I believe it would be the same disturbing to anyone. I know I sound like a broken record but my nerves are shot from going through this. I feel like my sugars are bouncing from 50 to 400 regularly when most of the time I am between 60 and 160. Still no one really answered my question.
They have, Gary, some multiple times, you're just not listening.
But just to tell you what you already know, I don't start to feel symptoms of highs until well into the 200s (more like 250), and even then the symptoms are quite subtle, mainly lethargy and the mild feelings of depression than often accompany fatigue.
Have you ever considered that you are feeling a stress response? Sometimes I feel low but I am actually high and also the other way around and I can also have low/high symptoms when I am completely normal, at times at can be paralyzing because you don't know what to do, one time I felt low but I was 125-130, I wasn't sure if I was going up or down. When you have had diabetes for such a long time, it can be harder to pinpoint those symptoms.
I'm more curious about the mystery snack that "couldn't have been more than a gram or two of carbs"? I've been hitting pork rinds quite a bit lately to try to see if they melt my kidneys and, while they are 0 carbs, there's protein in them that I account for by estimating about 50% of the protein gets converted. Probably at a weirdly slow rate, because of all the fat and salt, but there's still some protein converting to carbs. I bolus for it because I don't want to run high.
I sort of suspect that the other culprit that you've proclaimed previously might be your fondness for cereal? I have cereal occasionally too but usually only if I'm going to run >7 miles and most of the time, I save cereal for "double digit days" as it takes running for 2 hours to get rid of it. Either way, when I eat cereal and "miss" on the bolus estimate (sometimes I'll overbolus for cereal by about 10 units/ serving. That's a serving measured with a scale. I used to eat "a bowl" but I don't do that any more either, too much of a waste of time for me to fix...) I see spikes several hours later if I don't fix it.
The mystery snack was 3 peanut M&M's. When I'm 60 or lower I can literally eat anything without any of those horrible symptoms. Once I start pushing 90 and no insulin it doesn't matter what it is, it all causes the same thing. I honestly will be amazed if it turns out to be anything besides my sugar level. I just tested as I was feeling fine and was right at 83. I took a small sliver of cake just to safe before bed and sure enough I feel like total crap now.