Living with diabetes blog

Tips to keep blood sugar steady

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. July 2, 2013

Do you pig out when you have a low blood sugar? Does it seem you can't stuff enough food into your mouth at once to make that desperate feeling go away?

I've been told by my patients that avoiding overeating when you are experiencing low blood sugar is about the hardest thing you can do. That's because your body is physically telling you to put everything you possibly can eat into your mouth.

Hunger is one of the symptoms of low blood sugar, unfortunately it takes a while for the food to absorb and the brain to get the signal everything will be OK. The only source of fuel the brain effectively uses is glucose, and it takes at least 15 minutes before the blood glucose will start to rise after treating a low glucose. You may not feel any relief for a while longer after the treatment.

Here are some ways to help you resist over-treating and avoid the blood glucose pendulum swinging from low to high.

  • Use unit size low glucose treatment kits (15 grams of carbohydrate), juice boxes, and boxes of raisins.
  • Keep glucose kits handy on a bedside table, in a purse, pockets, work desk drawer, golf bag, gym bag, glove compartment. You won't be tempted to run to the cupboard or refrigerator.
  • Use glucose tablets for treatments (they don't taste all that great and may actually work a little fast because they are "already glucose" and your body doesn't have to convert them to glucose before they can be used for energy).
  • When you have low blood glucose, test, treat, and then repeat the process in 15 minutes. Tell yourself that no matter how much you eat, it takes 15 minutes before your blood glucose will rise. This may or may not work.
  • Follow the Rule of 15.
  • If you do over-treat low blood glucose, don't beat yourself up mentally, remember you are only human.

Your thoughts?

Have a good week,

Nancy

Jul. 02, 2013