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Friday, March 11, 2011

Using Diabetes to My Advantage

We all have to manage our diabetes.  We test our blood sugar, take insulin, and try to get some exercise, all for the sake of better blood sugar management.  But sometimes we can actually make diabetes work for us. 

I came across this idea when I woke up this morning to a blood sugar reading of 67 mg/dL.  Yeah, it's low, but it's not a fall-down-inject-me-with-juice low.  I can still function at this number.  The past few days I have woken up on the lower end of my fasting range, mostly due to being more active in an effort to lose weight.  I've only lost one measly pound (grrr!), but I know my body is getting stronger and building more muscle.  So I expected that my insulin needs would decrease.  Anyway, back to my point . . .

My usual routine when I wake up is to test, bolus for breakfast, and take a correction bolus to account for the dawn phenomenon (DP) and time spent in the shower.  Yesterday, I woke up to a similar number (65 mg/dL, I believe) and scarfed down 4 glucose tabs before jumping in the shower.  Well, I forgot about the whole DP thing and ended up jumping up to 153 mg/dL before I even ate breakfast.  So I decided this morning to forget the glucose tabs and the correction bolus altogether, just to see what happened.  (Note:  Please do not, under any circumstances, take this story as an example to be followed.  You should definitely treat a low with glucose as the "official" treatment.  See also:  Disclaimer.  See also:  Your diabetes may vary.)  I get out of the shower about 20 minutes later (yeah, it's wasteful but I like to "wake up" in the shower) and test again:  81 mg/dL!  Woo hoo, back "in range"!  So I bolus for my upcoming cereal and go about my day. 

It's not often that I can actually use the fact that I'm diabetic as an advantage.  It reminds me of the possibility of having an artificial pancreas, where I can manually insert glucose from my pump at any time instead of relying on glucose tabs or DP to do so.  (Pssss, take a note, pump companies!)  Besides, the less incidents of waking up chewing glucose tabs, the better. 

Have a great weekend!  (And please keep the people of the Pacific in your thoughts and prayers, especially those in Japan.) 


  1. I'll use the disclaimer that I'm not a doctor either, but...

    ...that's exactly what I do with lows-I-can-still-function-with first thing in the morning. I don't treat them, and they come up all on their own.

    It's kind of neat!

  2. I do this too, my bg's hate the morning so they climb all on their own. And, just this week I stole the DP bolus idea from you and it's been wonderful! The Dexcom graph is much prettier!

  3. You inspired me to not treat a potential low with a temp basal, but instead get the second delicious drink at Starbucks instead. Because talking myself out of it wasn't working!


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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.