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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How low can you hopefully-not-too-low-before-you-crash go?

Today's assignment:  Tuesday 5/11 – Making the low go. Tell us about your favorite way to treat a low. Juice? Glucose tabs? Secret candy stash? What’s your favorite thing to indulge in when you are low? What do you find brings your blood sugar up fast without spiking it too high?

When I was first diagnosed, I made the horrible mistake of when I felt low that I would keep eating and  treating until I felt better.  Usually over-correcting by a good 50 g carbs (at least) and a BG soaring into the 200s or 300s.  Then, "Hello, extra 10 lbs!"  I don't care what pure science and research say, insulin is a metabolism killer!  Once Arnold came into my life, lows were a little more preventable and over a year I lost the diagnosis-10.

Now I've learned my lesson and that I need to wait out the low.  But for me, low is not just "low", i.e. below 70 mg/dL.  I have several degrees of "low".  So, for today's Diabetes Blog Week entry, I will go through my different phases of "low" and what I use to treat each.

The "I'm not technically low but I don't want to be later" low:  This is usually anywhere between 85-100 mg/dL and before an activity where I anticipate going low and treat the pre-low.  These events include before working out, shopping, sleeping, etc.  I know this is where a CGM will come in handy (*knock knock* Hello, dear endo! *knock knock*) because it will show where I'm trending not just what I am at the moment.  For these "lows" I like something with carbs and protein like a glass of chocolate milk, granola bar, or my favorite . . .

DARK CHOCOLATE SNICKERS!!!  The first time I had one of these, I thought my mouth was gonna explode with happiness.  I love dark chocolate, and I've always loved Snickers but not a fan of milk chocolate.  But this 30 g of dark chocolate, caramel, nougat, and peanut goodness is perfect for the "I'm not low but don't wanna be" low. 

The "OK, I'm low, no symptoms":  These are what I call the SOP (standard operating procedure) lows.  "Meh, I'm low.  I don't wanna gorge, so I'll do the prescribed method of 15 g of carbs and wait 15-20 minutes and check again."  For these lows, I like to use sugar tables or . . .

If I have one of these handy juice boxes available, I prefer these over sugar tablets because a) they taste better and b) they're "healthier" over all because it's actually fruit juice with vitamins and such (compared to sugar tablets' nutritional value of . . . nothing). 

And finally, the "holy crap I'm gonna faint" low:  Lovely things, aren't they? /sarcasm  99% of the time these occur from too much insulin.  I never had these paralyzing lows before Dx when I was technically considered just "hypoglycemic".  (note:  insulin is NOT a cure!)  Unfortunately during these, I throw all procedure and counting out the window cuz I just want to come up NOW!  And these usually involve standing at the fridge chugging . . .

Generally, I have found apple juice easiest to chug.  Grape juice, orange juice, and cranberry juice are way too tart for me to chug through.  And if I start chugging soda, I become a burping monster after I've recovered.  Once I feel recovered from this type of low, I try to follow with a good protein snack to correct for anymore active insulin. 

Lows are just a part of life for diabetics.  We have enough stashes of candy, juice, sugar tablets, and the like to make the Tooth Fairy faint.  Sometimes they're fun to treat (dark chocolate Snickers) and other times they're so inconvenient (who wants to down sugar tablets after brushing your teeth?).  But at least we can get some ideas through Diabetes Blog Week of what methods are working for us.


  1. That Snickers Dark is callin' my name! I love that you have the 3 kinds of lows -- God knows there's a difference!

  2. I love your different categories of lows. I often say I have lows (for which I use a juice box) and low-lows (for which I grab the chocolate frosting!!)

  3. I over treat my lows way too much. It's so hard not to!

  4. I think I'm going to buy a snickers dark chocolate when I'm out. Looks yummy!!

    I see you are still waiting for Constance!! Darn that endo, hope everything gets in order soon.

  5. Yeah, I dropped off all the paperwork (after 4 failed faxing attempts) at their office last week on Wednesday. I'm gonna call tomorrow and see if they've forwarded on to Dexcom. I think after that it's going to be daily calls. >:-O


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.