I’ve had diabetes for 69 years, wear a pump & cgm. No complications. However, recently my bg’s make no sense; it takes hours to raise unexplained low bg then of course, it goes up to 300. My bg’s are very unstable, frequently raising 100 points in 40 minutes 3 hours after a low carb meal. Doctors don’t have any ideas.
Hi @trish2 and welcome to the forum. Congratulations on 69 years - I’m pushing 60 myself.
I’ve reached the point where I’m finding my body doesn’t always respond the way it used to - to different things, not just diabetes; although sometimes it does take me longer to recover from a low than it did in the past.
A little brainstorming - what are you using to treat your lows? If it’s the same as what you’ve always used maybe something different will help. Clif Bloks energy chews are tasty and the gels are easy to carry. Gatorade makes a similar product but I haven’t tried them. If juices don’t work, try milk, or vice versa.
If you take meds prescribed by other doctors is your endo aware - or are you taking anything new? And does s/he know about vitamins and supplements? Even some natural/herbal treatments might have an effect.
That’s all I’ve got at the moment. I hope you find some answers.
Ugh, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this now after so many years of relative stability.
Just taking a stab in the dark based on what I’ve read on this Forum from other T1D medalists: could it be a second honeymoon? If your pancreas decided to start making insulin again — sporadically, of course — then you might be experiencing those joys all over again. If that’s what it is, then I think there’s nothing to do but the best you can until your immune system beats your beta cells back into submission.
I hope you figure it out (or it just goes away on its own!) soon.
@trish2 Hi Trish and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum! And congratulations for successfully thriving through 69 years with diabetes; I’m only in my 65th year.
I too now find that it takes a while for my BGL to get back up to a more comfortable level than it did a few years ago, but I’m thinking this just might be “a perspective” now that the CGM is reminding me every few minutes. Remember in the “olden days” when we would get into a sweat and vision got blurry and wee would just start eating until we felt normal - never knowing what our BG actually was? Now we have the CGM and expect to see a BGL rise just as soon as we crunch a glucose tab; as Dorie @wadawabbit sai, our bodies are ageing and reaction time is slowing down. I know that during the quiet evening while reading after supper, my BGL will sometimes be lower than I like so I’ll eat a measured 15 grams of carb [crackers and PB] and not see my BGL begin to rise until 20-25 minutes later - could be my digestive system is slowing, but if I am patient and wait, by about one hour I ewill have increased 40 mg/dl.
What Susan @srozelle said about being in a honeymoon period is proven authentic. I you vidsit the Joslin website [joslin.org] you can read about findings that a significant number of the Joslin Medalists [all persons with 50+ year history of living with diabetes] can again periodically begin producing insulin.
Oh, and with apologies if you’ve already ruled this out, but on the rapid rise 3 hours after a low-carb meal:
Could that be a high-protein or high-fat meal, by chance? I forget where I read it, but somewhere on this Forum are links to scientific research papers establishing that high-protein or high-fat foods do in fact require additional insulin at the 3-4 hour mark (so it’s not only that the fat/protein slows the carb absorption, but also that the fat/protein itself requires insulin).
Again, understanding that you may have already considered this. Just throwing anything I can think of out there in the hopes that something turns out to be useful.
This is 100% true. If you use a pump, the extended bolus feature helps too. It doesn’t always stop the spike, but it at least makes it more manageable. I was a little careless with a salmon dinner last night and after drinking some beer and having potatoes without prebolusing like I normally would I went to 200(carb counting wasn’t my strong suit last night) took correction, got down to 134 and thought I was good- totally forgot about the high fat combo from my salmon that was served with bacon jam. I ended up being 200 again at the 4 hour mark and waited for my first correction to wear off and then I took more insulin which brought me down to a normal level overnight. High fat and high protein do this to me always- such a bummer but good reminder!
Hi @Dennis . Do you have a link that takes me closer to the findings you referenced? Maybe I’m being lazy but there’s so much to search through I thought I’d take a more direct approach.
Merry Christmas of you celebrate, and all the best for 2022.
Dorie @wadawabbit I’m not sure whoch reference you may be asking about, so I’ll assume “people with long term diabetes still able to produce insulin”. This was confirmed in the Joslin Medalist Study [did you participate?] and included in this link. Message from the Joslin Research Director
Also, that report was part of the TypeOneNation Summit recordings of which were made available, and may still be there for listening, on the JDRF page. Look for the presentations by Joslin’s Research Director, George L. King, MD, who also stayed available on-line following the presentation to speak with any interested PWD.
@Trish2 - Thank you for posting this question! I am so glad to see that the medical community is finally recognizing that people who have had T1D for a long time can still produce some insulin! I have suggested this several times over the years and been told, “No, that’s not possible,” by more than one endo. So, while I know this does not answer your question, I thank you (as well as Dennis for posting this info)!
As to your original question, I have always taken a long time to come out of a low BG. School nurses frequently called my mother to come pick me up from school because I was still low after 15 minutes had gone by. So, it’s not as unusual as you might think. For me, it can take anywhere from 40 mins to an hour before I feel better. I have learned over time that juice works best for me, followed by glucose tabs. These are not what I like to treat my lows with though. So, I know that if I treat with my preferred candy bar, I need to allow more time for my BG to come back up.
If my low is in the low 50’s or in the 40’s I will take one or two glucose tabs and then follow that with a candy bar. That way, I know the glucose will get me rising while I wait for the candy to kick in. It’s a compromise!
Folks here have seen me write about an old endo of mine who is also a person with T1D. When I was seeing him, I was having a problem with my BG going too high after I treated for a low. He had me eat less, wait an hour and check my BG (this was before CGMs became available). From that, we determined that I only needed 5 - 10 carbs to treat my lows. That has changed over time, but it was the case then.
So, I would suggest trying some carbs that are quicker acting - - fruit juice, glucose (tabs or gels), potatoes (they actually have been proven to break down faster in the body than table sugar!) - - and wait. Keep an eye on your BG, either by CGM or meter or both. Remember, CGM readings are delayed, so checking with a meter might be better. If you see your BG is starting to rise, take solace in that, knowing the carbs you have taken are starting to work may help you to not overeat as much, even if your BG is not yet back to normal.
Sorry It’s taken me so long to get to the point! Hope this helps!
T1D 57.7 years and counting!