Low blood sugar, anyone with diabetes knows the feeling all too well. Sweaty shaky hands, a heavy headed feeling and dizzy eyes along with almost survival like cravings for sugar and an insatiable appetite.
So here are a couple of my top tips for preventing and treating these hypos.
- Eat more often : By this I mean eat every 2-3 hours it doesn’t have to be massive meals it can be snacks and fruit . Just make sure to keep topping up your blood sugar every couple of hours do not go extended periods of time without skipping food especially when travelling or working or doing any energy consuming activity.
- Test your blood sugar more often: Even if you don’t feel the symptoms of a hypo your blood could be creeping down into the low ranges e.g. 6mmol/L or 108mg/DL and dropping. So as a safety mechanism I check my blood regularly. If I am sitting on the couch all day I wont check it as much but if I am working out or Its a particularly busy day for me I ensure regular checking to keep a close eye on my blood sugar.
- Give more accurate insulin doses: A major cause of low blood sugar is from taking too much insulin. Even a unit or two extra can cause a a spiral in your sugar levels. To dose more accurately I recommend carb counting. Also its a good habit to way your food to ensure you know exactly how many carbs are in it. This increases accuracy furthermore therefore enabling you to deliver a more accurate dose of insulin. This greatly reduces the chance of hypos.
When treating lows my aim is to find the minimal amount of fast acting carbs or sugar that will bring my blood sugar back within the range I want to it to be in. On occasion I use a low blood sugar as an excuse to binge from my diet as I am overcome by the cravings for food and sugar. I recall a time I ate 6 Dunkin Donuts in a hypoglycemic frenzy. The donuts were gone within minutes and I was left feeling extremely satisfied yet slightly sick and remorseful for the rapid destruction of the donuts. This obviously was far too much food than I needed to raise my blood and I ended up needing more insulin to bring my blood down. So ya,stay away from donuts.
The point is to only consume what you need and not excess. Bring your blood back within range and then eat a small meal and take some insulin to keep your blood sugars in check. I use glucose tablets or a soda but I measure how many tablets or in mls how much soda I think I to bring my sugars back up. This stops my blood from skyrocketing after the low and keeps a better balance I find.