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Nighttime Lows

Posted by in Carb Counting, Insulin, Lifestyle, Stories |

night time low blood sugar

As all Type 1 Diabetics know, there’s no way to manage healthy glucose levels 100% of the time. We all battle the occasional high or low, and correct ourselves when fall outside of the 70 – 140 blood sugar range.

Last night, I woke up at 2 am with low blood sugar. I didn’t even test myself; I’m guessing I was between 45 -50. I went straight to the kitchen and washed off a vine of grapes to eat. I knew I was low because my body started to shake  – so much, that it woke me up. Because I’m a new Diabetic, the symptoms of low blood sugar are a lot more obvious than someone who’s experienced lows for years. My doctor consistently advises me that it’s important to avoid low blood sugar levels because “the more low you get, the less you’ll feel its symptoms.” And if you get too low, it can result in a coma.

Case in point: my sister, Amy. She does wake up anymore by herself when she gets low overnight. Instead, she has an alarm on her Dexcom, which beeps if her blood sugar drops below 55. Her Dexcom wakes her up, instead of her physical symptoms – reinforcing the momentous value of her Dexcom!

For non-Diabetics, what does low blood sugar feel like? For me, my body feels very weak and nauseous – like I have the flu. I get shaky too, and if my blood sugar is really low, I sweat – A LOT. On Christmas Eve, I woke up with a blood sugar of 43 and my shirt was completed drenched. YUCK.

The worst part about low blood sugar is the urge to feel better – quickly. How do you do that? Eating carbs of course! Lately, I’ve been good about the carbohydrates that I choose to eat, which is usually fruit. If I’m between 40-50, I usually eat 15 grams of carbs to get back to a normal level of 80.

However, once you eat these additional carbs, feeling better is not instant. It usually takes a least 10 minutes for my body to start feeling good again, and that’s the most difficult part. It’s human nature to want to feel better instantly, and when you’re low, you naturally want to eat until you feel better – i.e. everything in the frig! {See how that turns out here…} That’s when the strict control comes to play. Eating the right amount of carbs and waiting. Waiting to feel normal again…

Ultimately, blood sugar lows require strict control – strict control not to eat everything in sight, which in contrast, leads dangerously high blood sugar levels. Goodness – so much math, so little time! : )