Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making the low go . . .

Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week: Making the Low Go!

How do I treat a low? This one is something that I may keep thinking I have perfected after, oh, 19 years with diabetes. But no. I have my favorites but there are times when they like to throw me a curve ball and either not work at all or work too well and I spike to the 200s. Just telling it like it is.

Anyway, if I'm fine, not about to do anything and have the ability to patiently wait for my blood sugar to rise, my treatment of choice is milk. Yep, plain ol' cow juice. Think about it. It has about 13 carbs in a 8 oz glass, just the right amount to bring up a low. And it's chock full o' protein to keep me from crashing later. And it doesn't give the those nasty rebound highs like OJ can. The cons? It can take forever for it to feel like it's working and for my symptoms to subside. So I tend not to use it at work where I need my wits restored to me FAST or if I'm having one of those scary, shaky, panic-ridden lows where I just need my blood-sugar up NOW.

For those kinds of lows, I resort to my old stand-by: orange juice. I've been using it forever. I loved it because it tasted yummy, I could guzzle it down and it hit me fast and brought up my sugars right away. But it's almost 30 carbs per glass! And all the simple sugars in it would spike my sugars a little too high and then drop my sugars again a few hours later. Nowadays I'll still use it, but only for specific times. For example, if I'm heading out to dinner with friends and am feeling low before I leave the house, I'll drink half a glass of OJ before I go. It brings my sugars up fast, but since too much since I only drink half a glass or so. And I don't need to worry about it dropping me later because I'll be eating a meal soon. So it definitely works as a quick fix but I always need to make sure that I follow it up with something. (At work, I have juice boxes in the fridge in the call room. But when I'm running around I carry around a piece of fruit leather. I like Pomegranate and Strawberry, yummm. It's convenient and acts relatively quickly. It's only 11 carbs though, so I almost always need to follow it with something to stay up. But it works as a quick fix for work.)

And, of course, peanut butter is my stand-by protein. Absolutely necessary to keep my blood sugars from plummeting again after I've gone to all that trouble of treating. I'm not a spoonful of peanut butter kind of girl, so I usually grab a few graham crackers and slather on the PB goodness. And (to my husband's deep dismay) if I have been baking and have chocolate chips in the house, I may sprinkle a few of those on too. Hmmmm. Not too many because I don't want my blood sugars going to far the other way. But Oh. My. Golly. The combination of PB and chocolate makes me swoon.

None of this stuff really keeps well in a car (in Florida) so I just keep glucose tabs in m y glove-box for the road. I've never been a fan of glucose tabs but I'll chug them if I'm on the road and got nothing else. And, of course, if none of my old stand-bys are available I'll wing it with whatever is around. A vending machine goody. A regular soda from a drive-through. I don't like treating this way. It's messy and I never know what my blood sugars will do afterwards. When I resort to stuff like this, I usually watch my sugars like a hawk for a couple hours until I'm sure I've steadied out. Not fun but you gotta do what you gotta do.


PS: There are those shaky, scary, panic-inducing lows where I just cram any and everything down my gullet until I feel like I'll explode because I feel like if I don't I'll DIE. I'm not proud of those times but sometimes lows are scary and it's hard to control yourself. I'm admitting this because I'm choosing to believe we are all guilty of this from time to time (please tell me you're guilty of this from time to time!) and I don't think it's fair to come on a public forum and act as though I've got it all figured out. I don't. And that's just the truth.


  1. i am very, very guilty of those lows where you feel like you HAVE to eat EVERYTHING in the cupboards else there is no POSSIBLE chance of you coming out of the hypo! i had one the other night and ended up eating 6 ginger cookies...not good! my other sin is where i am convinced i must keep eating until i feel myself coming up; so i will happily sit there and munch for 10 or 15 minutes. not good!

  2. I love OJ but - have now been drinking Tropicana's 50% OJ - 8oz is 13 carbs.
    The worst part about today's "low" posts is wanting to have some of the treats we're all writing about.

  3. You are not the only one who does the 'eat everything in the cupboard' trick when you're really low. I've been guilty of that many times! The worst thing I did recently was get stuck into a bag of marshmallows, those things are terrible, there is soooo much sugar in them, but because they squish down to nothing, you don't realise how many you've eaten. From 2 to 19 in less than half an hour, eek. Bad bad way to treat a low, I'm not having any more marshmallows into the house to remove the temptation.

  4. I am SO guilty of eating until I feel myself coming up!!! It's just so hard to stop especially if it's a bad low and you just want it to GO AWAY!