What is the best snack for handling lows at work?

This is really frustrating for me! I am an insulin user on a pump, and I just can’t seem to get it right. I am a VERY busy and active nurse. I go low at work at lot from rushing around doing everything at once, then I eat everything in sight when I inevitably go below 60. Most people do not realize that nurses almost never get a lunch, and when they do, it is not at a specific time. Eating candy or glucose tabs adds calories and raises my sugar, but it is too easy to overdo it. I often wind up with too many empty calories which make me gain weight. Grrr! My days off are hell, because I have to eat totally differently to keep my blood sugar level. Yes, I am probably under-using the capabilities of my pump, but my doctor INSISTS I call with every little change. I want so much to strike out on my own! Is there a class I can take that teaches me how to adjust my pump MYSELF? A friend suggested that I eat a small amount of protein every two hours during the day at work. Anyone ever try that? Is there a snack you guys can recommend?

Orange slices (candy) work great for me. One does the trick (sometimes 2) and I don’t like them that well, so I don’t overdo. Glucose tablets just don’t cut it for me.

You will get over calling your endo for every little change, that is not realistic.

You probably need to use different basal settings, one programmed for work days and one for days off.

I have a pumper online friend who is a mail carrier and I know he really lowers his basals for work days.

You also have to remember it is not an exact science and every day is different, so perhaps temp basal rates would work well for you on days you are running non stop and no time to eat.

almonds, cheese sticks and plain greek yogurt are my go to protein snacks. I always keep those little packs of fruit snacks in my bag for when I am low so that I don’t over eat. I try to get the really girlie ones (i.e. the kinds my husband wouldn’t be caught dead in his hands - think princesses and ponies)

As far as snacks go, I use Starburst Jelly Beans and keep them in little ziploc bags I got @ Hobby Lobby very cheaply. They hold about 30G each or so. Protein is a pretty good idea. For a while I was eating a lot of nuts, mostly peanuts but sometimes mixed nuts. I think that they can last a pretty long time? They are handy because a very small serving, maybe 1/4 cup can be 7-8G of carbs w/ fat that seemed to sort of make them last a while for me.

I would find a new doctor who will let you turn your basal insulin down or maybe adjust it a bit. To me, there’s no point in having a pump if you can’t change it. Particularly if you are a nurse? I am a crazy goofball but I’m sure my settings have always changed a bit every time I go to the doc.

My bgs was just 88 and I grabbed a yoplait light for my indoor exercise bike ride :slight_smile:

Nuts would be great…but you are right, they carry a lot of fat. Low-fat protein that keeps in a pocket? Maybe I could make my own lean beef jerky!

I am a nurse too. I sometimes need a different basal program for at work or depending on the day I may just do a temp basal of 80% or so for the day. I like to use peanut butter or peanut butter crackers for a longer raise in BG or a glass of whole milk (fat and protein along withe the carbs), unless I am particularly low. With tabs or candy, I will raise but crash again if there is nothing to sustain the raise. I learned really quick how to make adjustments in my basals. The book Pumping Insulin by John Walsh has some great info for pumpers.

Nuts seemed to process very smoothly too? A serving of peanuts (28G) always seemed to hit slowly but worked pretty well to keep my BG flatter? They also worked very well in smaller servings for a boost? Particularly if your endork is being counterproductive by actively getting in the way of using your pump effectively, having a small “shot” of carbs might smooth things out? They are pretty slow to hit and you’d have to get there ahead of the lows, rather than using them to treat them, if that makes sense.

go gurts work great, you freeze them and then you can leave out and have close by, and needs no spoon and raises your bgs fast but not too high and lasts in your system for awhile

Nuts work great for me, but I also carry the Glucerna snack bars by Abbott. The are around $5.00 a box of 4-6 bars. But you can take a bite out of the bar in between patients or even eat half a bar at once and they are easy to carry in your pocket. They do the trick for me and don’t raise my BG levels too much.

I stick with the glucose tablets, and I know exactly how many I need (2 for a mild low and 3 if it’s more serious). They are the quickest acting don’t taste good enough to overdo.

Better than treating lows is, as much as possible, to avoid them to begin with.I highly recommend Using Insulin by John Walsh to learn to adjust your pump yourself. People laugh at me when I say it but what I really want from my doctor is to “leave me alone”.(and write prescriptions) Since we have to manage our diabetes 24/7 I find it easier not to have to call someone when I want to change something. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but I’m sure you will get there easily. Your doctor insists? You are a consumer of services, the same as if you were hiring a mechanic to fix your car. The services need to meet your needs, not the service providers. I would “insist” he let you manage your own blood sugar (I mean you’re a nurse for god’s sake!). Or don’t insist, just do it.

Sounds like maybe you need to start by lowering your basal rate for the period of time you’re at work. If your basal is set right you should be able to eat late or even skip lunch and remain fairly steady.

Nuts and peanut butter crackers work for me. So does a quickly munched peanut butter sandwich. Milk give a little boost to. Of all employers who should understand and let you grab ten to eat and check your sugar the medical field should.

I like Granola Bars. Easy to Carry around, and keep me from going low if I am dashing around keeping busy. The Nature Valley ones are 19g each.

Peanuts! Go nuts for nuts! I find that peanuts will satisfy your craving and sustain you blood sugar. And they’re yummy too!

Cashews for the win honey roasted cashews

If the snack is to fix lows, then the basal needs adjusting. If you can’t do this on your own, then call the doc. Pumpers should not “need” snacks if the basal is correct. If you simply must have a snack, then nuts are a very healthy option but they are not fast acting to fix a low. Glucose tabs for lows are excellent, and because they are simply fast acting glucose they don’t cause weight gain. I suppose they could but I can’t imagine eating so many they would do that. If you can’t find a class, maybe reading up will help (Pumping Insulin, Think Like a Pancreas, Insulin Pump Therapy Demystified).

Glucose tabs, glucose tabs, glucose tabs!

These are the only thing I use to correct my lows. I keep a jug of 50 in my desk. Another jug in my backpack. And a roll of 10 in my jeans. Fastest way to bring up a low/hypo BG.

As for improving your life with the pump, you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO GET Pumping Insulin, by Walsh and Roberts. You won’t hardly need your endo/doc anymore, after reading through this excellent book.

Cheers, Mike

Starburst jelly beans are my salvation at LOWs also—they are easy to carry and quick to raise sugar level. A must to keep in your pocket! Hope all these great ideas are somewhat helpful. Patrick-Ohio

Just program a different basal rate, use it for your work days. Leave your standard basal pattern the one you use for your off days. Play with it, it is what I have since I started pumping. I am me, not my doctor or my diabetic educator. I don’t follow their schedule, I follow mine. (I’m not normal! LOL) So you have just got to work with you and your pump. I have my standard set for my “normal” routine, I have pattern A set for outside activities routine, and pattern B set for my sit and not move routine. (Pattern A also is my try it before I buy it setting, if I am adjusting basal rates for my standard setting) Way easier than trying to set a temp basal every day. My diabetic educator doesn’t even question anymore, she just knows! Like Karen said, pumping insulin isn’t an exact science - but I will have to add, it sure is much easier to control compared to MDI’s! Good Luck! Oh - skittles. For some reason, faster than glucose tabs for me.

Anything you like as long as it is not chocolate. Chocolate melts and takes too long to digest to bring your blood sugars up quickly enough!

I buy lots of little plastic boxes and fill them with the cheap mini sweets that you can buy in supermarkets - own brands are fine. I buy the small kiddies packets of sweets 3 for a pound, and put them in these little boxes and have some in my hand bag, some in my other bag, some by my bed, some by my computer, some and my Mum’s … and they are easily available! And being in small boxes there is little danger of overdoing it!

And keep sandwiches in the fridge at work to grab a bite or several afterwards. It is vital for you to take some slower acting carbohydrates right after treating a hypo and use a protein filling. Set your watch or mobile phone to remind you to eat or test every couple of hours. Your colleagues should be sympathetic, after all, how can you give of your best if you are not well yourself? It will only take a few seconds!

Unfortunately I do not know about the course for pumps, but ask your endo and he might know. I want a pump but being full time unemployed due to other medical conditions (diabetes type 1 was just the bonus!!) I cannot afford one and there is no funding for more than two a year at the hospital I use!