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A couple of months ago my son who is a grad student finished up a busy week writing papers, moved out of his apartment, and drove 12 hours to our house all within the space of 48 hours. He has type 1 diabetes and generally has been managing it well, but life can get hectic.
He came home and went straight to bed. We were away on a trip so he was home alone. He says that about an hour later, he woke up with our cat sitting on his chest snarling at him. Hobbes is a mild mannered cat and in all of his 16 years hasn't snarled at anybody, but that day he was persistent and continued to snarl and even bite (not breaking the skin) until my son woke up enough to realize that his blood sugar was low.
When he checked it was 40 mg/dl (2.2 mmol/l)! Later, when asked, my son said that because he was so tired he slept so hard and didn't realize his blood sugar was getting low.
Erratic work/school schedules and eating or exercising irregularly can lead to erratic blood sugars. Maybe you've switched to third shift at work, or started a new job, or added exercise to an already busy schedule. A variable lifestyle can challenge anyone's self-management skills.
A more stable lifestyle will improve blood sugar control. Once you've established a baseline of more consistent blood sugars, you can gradually introduce some variability in your lifestyle. A flexible lifestyle requires that you test more often, record your blood sugars, and make the appropriate insulin dose adjustments.
Some general tips:
Please share your ideas and tips.
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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This is just more evidence that cats rule
I just wanted to say that my "hypo cat" just died in August - He was GREAT when it came to waking me if my sugar was heading into the danger zone. My Parson's Russell Terrier has also awakened me when this has occurred when we have been visiting relatives, so I guess she's going to have to "step up her game" and take over for my beloved Nigel!
It's amazing what these animals can sense!
I'm an "old-timer", have been Type1 since diagnosis on 08/07/1975.I just turned 45,and can GUARANTEE that scheduling is a HUGE part of care-and complications. I cannot begin to add up the jobs I was denied,and when I did work as a bar mgr.,I would go into shock & slam a rootbeer while pouring a beer.It was either that or lose my job.And,with 3 healthy,active kids(thanks to Univ.Of Wa.diabetes/pregnancy project)and 2 ex's refusing to pay child support that was impossible.At this time,I've gone from $4500.00 a mo.to $674.00 a mo.on SSI.I did get a pump-but terrified to use due to hypoglycemic unawareness.NOBODY will cover CGMS,which would possibly allow me to go back to work.My 8yr.old grandson watched me go into a grand mal seizure because of this.If I had known the laws then...I would OWN 3-4 restaurants/bars.I refuse to quit-just got custody of a 5yr.old grandson.My youngest just turned 19.! I keep researching/advocating/kicking doors as my partner calls it, looking for SOME WAY to restore the quality of life I had at one time.Stay to a schedule,research options,and NEVER GIVE UP.!!! Your life literally depends on it.
You are so right that a regular routine is key to managing blood sugar levels. This is where young people can come unstuck as their lives are often full and possibly erratic. Choosing low glycaemic index foods at each meal can go a long way toward helping a diabetic to stabilise blood sugar levels. For instance, check out the following information -http://conceptnutrition.com.au/choose-low-glycaemic-index-foods-and-lose-weight-fast/, to get a feel for how not all rice grains are created equal and choosing the ones that are digested more slowly (glycaemic index of less than 55) goes a long way toward controlling blood sugar levels.
Yes I work at nights and it has killed me on my Diabeties. My Dr. kept telling me that I need to test as many times as I can. Well I work in a enviroment where I cant always check it. So I had to go to the next level " A Pump ". Well let me tell you it has a great differance on my life and my control of this illness. At first I was ready for a change and ready for my blood sugar to be at a stable level. Now after about 6 months its good but its strange that this little machine contols my life. It is my life line without it I would be sick and with it sometimes its a pain in the tush. I am greatful for my Dr. who has helped me control my bloodsugars and with ALOT of work and support from my family and even co-workers, life is good. Not only has my bloodsugar been good, well better than before I have lost 15 pounds in the last 3 months and plan to keep going. People and children with a pump are a special group of people and for anyone out there who reads this who has one, keep up the hard work, we have a new look at life and it is going to be all right. Good luck to all.
I know a woman who is in her late 30's and had high blood sugar for 12 years that could not be controlled with the usual treatments for diabetes. Only after being diagnosed with an adnormal adrenal gland problem, did she get the proper treatment to control her blood sugar. Has anyone heard of this condition?
very interesting and great cat! In England are training Labrador to help children with diabetes. Labrador dog probably has a sensitivity to the odor of the person on hypoglycemia since there are plenty of sweating when the value of sugar is very low.
Exercise is wonderful if your blood sugar is in range. But it's the last thing a Type 1 Diabetic would do if they are low, first, they need to ingest a fast acting carb to bring their blood sugar back up into the normal range and second, exercise could bring the persons blood sugar even lower. A Type 1 should also not exercise when their blood sugar is high - exercise actually increases will increase BS if it is already high with a higher risk of spilling ketones.
very good informative artical. iam a sugar (Type-II) patient for the last ten years. I have observed that a fast walk of thirty minutes help to stabalise the sugar level. "Mandook aasan " of yoga also helps.
its really good information:) thank you so much for the tips. i needed this for my health assignment:)
I have seen that taking complex carb meals, with good protein and ten min bicycling every two or three hours and every one half hour if you have time keeps the sugar stable. Ask him to keep stationary exercise cycle both at workplace and in his room. This way he can do cycling. Even when he is very tired he can do ten to fifteen mins of cycling.
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