Diabetes Blogs

Darn It!! Over-Treating Lows Can Happen to the Best of Us...

Darn it!!! It happens to the best of us. And if you are one of the 1% of people with diabetes that can abstain 100% of the time from this ever happening, reach around and give yourself a pat on the back right now. But if you are like the rest of us... Read on! I consciously make a decision when I'm treating a low (as incredibly hard as it is!) to not over-treat and go to town on the carbs. Well, a few times a year with those unbearable lows (the ones where you feel like you are dying... dramatic, but true), it still happens. Argh. Harumph. :(

I was abruptly woken up last night out of a deep sleep. Odd as it may sound, this makes me glad all at the same time. Talk about contradictory feelings! I feel like I'm dying but so glad to feel it! What!?!?

The reason why is that the longer we live with diabetes (27 years Type 1 for me), or after experiencing a period of a lot of lows, we don't always wake up for our lows anymore or even know we are having them. Obviously, without a continuous glucose meter (CGM) or diabetic alert dog, this is extremely dangerous and life-threatening. So to have my body awaken and know something is wrong (even before my CGM alarmed this time!), while it feels just awful, is also a blessing -- my body is doing the right thing and keeping me alive. That is something to celebrate! Even after all these years, you are still kicking butt. Thank you awesome body!

Although completely disoriented and tired, within seconds of waking up, I knew I was low and identified that weird "low" taste in my mouth very quickly. Anyone else get that or know what I'm talking about?! It is very distinct and I'm not quite sure I can describe it. It makes me want FOOD and lots of it!

While I will usually treat my lows with 4 ounces organic orange juice, I told my husband Jaim to bring me 6 ounces orange juice. This low felt really bad. After he returned with that (life in a glass), I commanded, "Bring the chocolate chips!" That is where all the trouble started. If I had stuck with the 4 ounces orange juice, which is quite possibly all I would have needed, I would probably have a good blood sugar this morning instead of my almost 300. Yuck! But 4-5 absolutely delicious handfuls of chocolate chips later and an extra 2 ounces orange juice, this madness results.

It was one of those awful lows where you just feel so miserable. You can hardly move or do anything. This for me, along with that weird taste in my mouth is when my body doesn't simply say, "Hey, would you bring me 4 ounces of orange juice? Kthxbai." It screams, "Bring me all the food RIGHT NOW!!! And you know how much I love orange juice and chocolate chips! I'll take extra of BOTH!!!"

I am trying not to beat myself up this morning. Being gentle with ourselves gets us a whole lot further than a personal lecture. I'm thinking next time I'll have Jaim grab me a little tiny dish of chocolate chips so I don't nom (eat) the whole bag.

And... I want you to know you are not alone when this happens. Some of our lows feel so terrible, it takes incredible willpower to stay within bounds -- whether overdoing it happens sometimes or more often than that. If you are in the more than once in a while category, it's something you can work on when you are able to tackle it. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with enough other stuff that there is no mental energy to deal with one more thing. I get it!

When I was younger, my favorite low blood sugar treatment was orange juice, chocolate chips (what else?? I'm telling you, OJ + chocolate chips is a goooood combo!!), Golden Grahams cereal and mini marshmallows. That was so delicious!! And I enjoyed it immensely but it was also so lethal and just way too much. I cannot imagine what my blood sugars must have been when I woke up from those overnight low binge fests!

I have gluten free honey squares cereal and it took a lot of restraint last night not to grab that box of cereal to eat with my chocolate chips and orange juice. I guess being too weak to move can have it's benefits.. Odd way to look at things, but true. That good old standby was really calling my name though, let me tell you!

I'll try harder again next time not to over-indulge as waking up to a 273 is not only disappointing for me but feels pretty yucky. What is important is that I'm not going to let it ruin my day. And, it's Friday. Yay! :) Have a good one. Let's all roll with the punches and have a try-to-do-better-next-time mentality if you are having one of "those" blood sugar days too.


What is your favorite low treatment? Do you have an old standby too? Have you developed any strategies to avoid over-treating your lows?

In Peace & Wellness,



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