Does Anyone Else Do This?

I find myself OVER eating when I go low in the middle of the night.... Does anyone else do this? I wake up with the sweats and extreme dizzieness and confusion. And I know just what time it is! Low BG time!!! So I rush to the kitchen and what to do I do? Stuff my face with all sorts of sweets. At about 3 am this morning I woke up to a 38 and started with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk. BUT I then felt like this was NOT enough and continued to eat a large slice of funfetti cake and another glass of milk plus i added some chocolate in the milk :(....... Whenever I get a low and I am awake or its during the day I usually just drink a cup of juice or milk and eat something small like a spoonful of peanut butter or a mini candy bar. Just enough! But when it's night time/ early morning and I am asleep it's like I don't think what I usually eat will be enough and I have to over do it so that I can go back to bed and not have to wake up low again! I hate this because of two things! One~ I feel so full when Im done it usually keeps me up with a stomach ache and two~ my sugars are sky high the next morning! 298 this morning!!! Im not sure if anyone does this or not but I would like the feed back!

 

Thanks!

I've been there and done that - don't worry, you aren't alone.  I usually don't even bother checking before I start eating because I'm literally in survival mode.  I don't eat to the point that I feel sick, but I'm definitely high in the morning.  This only ever happens to me if I'm in the 30s in the middle of the night.  Otherwise, I'll wake up sweaty and confused and automatically reach for the glucose tabs beside my bed (and turn off my pump for an hour) before going back to sleep.  The worst part for me is that when I'm eating, my taste buds are all screwed up because I'm so low (this otherwise never happens to me), so all the junk food I reach for tastes terrible.  Blah, being low at night (or during the day) is not fun.   

Hi Vanessa,

   I'd be really suprised to hear of anyone who has woken up very low and NOT done this at some point!  To follow the normal low BS protocol of "eating 15 g, wait 15 minutes and re-test", you may have to be awake for at least an hour or two, NOT what I want to do at 3 am.  Plus, when my blood sugar goes that low, for some reason I become ravenously hungry, so even if I were willing to stay awake, I'd probably still eat too much.   Give yourself a break though, with a sleepy and confused brain you've made a decision to eat enough so you will definitely wake up in the morning!  Good choice!

Cindy

Aren't you supposed to avoid proteins, like peanut butter and milk, when you are low? Protein and fiber slow the whole process of glucose release, so maybe find a different snack? I guess I was told that it was best to eat fast-acting glucose-- like OJ, life savers, glucose tablets, regular pop, honey, sugar, raisins, marshmallows, or glucose gel--when I was low. Maybe try that. Also, maybe you need to adjust your insulin dose...I'd check that out with your endo. That sounds kinda scary.

Back in the stone age when I was diagnosed, they said avoid protein, except milk is okay (as a first line of treatment, before you're coming back up...).

If you're on a pump, you can recheck when you're feeling better, and bolus for some of what you ate, to avoid the post-middle of the night low.

Of course the best way to keep this from happening is to not be low in the middle of the night!  If we're not low, we won't overeat!  Of course this is an idea scenario, but definitely achievable!

I never stop eating. High or low I am like a macine. I eat and two hours later I'm ready for another full meal. All day long I'm snacking on things. I have a high metabolism and have a big problem saying no to meals. After eating my sugar runs wicked high so I just take more insulin. I know its not the right thing to do but I can't help it. I'm just forever starving. Especially when my sugar is good.

i do the same thing, i think its the combo of just waking and low blood sugar that doesn't let us think straight enough to stop eating

[quote user="Kelly"]

Aren't you supposed to avoid proteins, like peanut butter and milk, when you are low? Protein and fiber slow the whole process of glucose release, so maybe find a different snack? I guess I was told that it was best to eat fast-acting glucose-- like OJ, life savers, glucose tablets, regular pop, honey, sugar, raisins, marshmallows, or glucose gel--when I was low. Maybe try that. Also, maybe you need to adjust your insulin dose...I'd check that out with your endo. That sounds kinda scary.

[/quote]

Yes, you're right.  Fast-acting sugar is the best thing to eat to treat a low (although afterwards you should eat some protein if you aren't going to eat a meal for a while).  However, from my experiences with lows that involve kitchen-raiding at crazy hours, I've realized that sometimes it's impossible to think clearly enough to check and treat like I would at any other time of day.  Obviously, these kinds of situations are not ideal and hopefully very rare for everyone here.  

 

Maybe not going to the kitchen would help.  I used to keep a juice box on my nightstand, and these days it's Starburst.  That helps me get exactly how much glucose I'm SUPPOSED to get (around 15 carbs).  If it's common for you to wake up at 38, you might want to keep more than 15 carbs on hand, but you get the idea.

I find out I'm low in the middle of the night because my Dexcom buzzes, so I'm usually not so low when I wake up that I'm panicked and shaken.  Because of that, I'm usually really happy to not have to get up and go anywhere.  I can chow down on my Starburst and go back to sleep.  That may not work if you're waking up with the shakes and sweats, but I think being able to go right back to sleep also help me not keep eating.

[quote user="Sarah"]

Back in the stone age when I was diagnosed, they said avoid protein, except milk is okay (as a first line of treatment, before you're coming back up...).

[/quote]

I was only diagnosed less than a year ago, and that's still what they teach.  For your first low treatment, avoid fiber, protein, and fat.  Any of those three will make your blood sugar come up more slowly.  (I was also told that fat free or low fat milk are OK, but I notice that even that brings up my BG more slowly than protein-free options.)  Fiber, protein, and fat are good choices once your blood sugar has come up, because it will then help stabilize things for you.

Vanessa, I did have the thought while reading your post: Starting with a PB&J sandwich, at a BG of 38?  I'd end up eating other food too, because that PB&J would take forever and I'd be so afraid of going lower while waiting for the rise.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my PB&Js partly because the peanut butter helps keep my BG from spiking.  This alone would make me reject PB&J as a low treatment unless there were just no better options.  Especially at 38.  At 38, I'd be breaking into the actual glucose tabs, which work even faster than my usual juice or Starburst.  (I'm not saying that's necessary, just that I'd be afraid enough that I'd take the very fastest acting sugar I could possibly find.)  At 38, I also couldn't imagine even spending the minute or two it takes to put together a PB&J.  I'd be too afraid that my BG is on the downslide, and I could end up too low to even make myself eat if I waited.

My personal system is that I can have something with a little fat or fiber if I'm in the 60s and not dropping rapidly.  In the 50s, no fat or fiber.  In the 40s (or lower, though I've never been lower than 40) I'm going to opt for glucose or dextrose if I can get my hands on it.  Again, I'm not saying everyone should follow this system.  Just that it's what I'm most comfortable with, in my fear of extreme lows!

It is funny that you wrote this. My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. I told him that when I wake up low, I check and then run to the fridge and end up eating and eating, then I have to remember what all I ate in my sleepy low bg stupor. LOL He also said why don't you keep something by the bed. A day in the life I guess.

[quote user="Danielle"]He also said why don't you keep something by the bed. A day in the life I guess.[/quote]

I'm  slightly amused by this, but part of why I always have something by the bed is because my CDEs made lows sound SO SCARY! Like one made it sound like I might not be able to FIND the kitchen.  Now I know you're really, really, really, really low if you're that bad off.

Now it's more habit and the fact that I much prefer to just treat the low and go right back to sleep. If I had to get up and go to the kitchen, I don't think my lows would get treated as promptly they currently do.  I'd want to just hit the button a while longer.

I have had the same thing happen to me. My BS tends to drop in the middle of the night so now I just try to make sure it's a little higher than normal before I go to bed. That way I don't wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle of sweat and feeling like I haven't eaten in weeks!

I do the same thing except not just at night. :P Whenever I am low I get extremely hungry like I haven't eaten all day. I usually try to eat some free stuff, although there isn't much to choose from. I will sometimes eat some spinach salad and I start to not feel as hungry. We eat a lot of chicken too so I can usually eat a piece of that in my salad. I also make these little cheesecakes that only have 10grams of carbs and they are really low in fat. I find I can usually have half of a carb choice with my juice and it doesn't spike it too much. I find that I tend to eat more at night though because I am tired and impatient and just want my BG to go back to normal so I can go back to sleep. I don't have too much to suggest though since I am guilty of over eating with lows as well, especially at night. :|

I agree with Elizabeth--I was just diagnosed October 2010 and they taught me to stay away from fiber, protein, and fats when I am low too--I don't think that has changed.

 Vanessa--Maybe try and keep your emergency foods by the bed like the others have said. If you do get too low they are right there and you have easy access. It almost kinda puts a limit on 1 carb choice too...then once you get back to normal, hit up some protein to keep you stable =) Good luck!

Unfortunately, sometimes I don't even follow my own advice...last night at 2:11 am, my blood sugar was 46...maybe I had 3 juice boxes.  By "maybe" I mean "definitely."  I intended to put some insulin in, but fell asleep in about 10 minutes, right as I was feeling better.

Yes!!!  I do it all the time, I know it's bad, but I think the reason I do it is because, I'm already not all there because of the low blood sugar, but add in the fact that I'm half asleep and you might as well call me absent minded.

Try treating with Rice Krispy Treats (pre-packaged, normal size).  They have 17g of quick sugar and treat a low fast.  But if you're starving and eat another one, it won't skyrocket your blood sugar.

This only works on a mild low.  If you're below 50 I'd drink a juice box first, then have a rice krispy treat if needed.

Late night severe lows......number one cause for insomnia among type one diabetics.  Well for me at least anyways. When I was diagnosed back in 88 they did not have much in the way of human dna/rna based insulins. I did not know it but my body flat out could not handle the other early formulas. For about six more years I would have severe insulin reactions while sleeping at night. I would wake up paralyzed in my body becuase my bloodsugars would drop so fast I would not have  the strength to move or even talk much less yell for help.  As I got older and insulin and bloodsugar control improved I would still wake late in the night and find myself guzzling the orange juice, grabbing whatever carb I could find in the fridge and digging through the cabinets.  Naturally this over compensation resulted in elevated sugars in the morning.  The secret to beating this is either lower your overnight basal rates if your on a pump or night time insulin dose if your using a shot. You also eat a protein rich snack before you go to bed.

Remeber to check with your doctor about any changes as well.  Also keep in mind what you eat and how long it will effect you. Fast acting carbs like juice, candy and sugar are consumed by your body in just 15 minutes and spike your sugars and then drop them. Starchy or traditional carbs are in your body and worked in about 30 minutes and last about 1 to 2 hours on how they effect your sugars. Proteins take 3 hours for the body to break down and begin using. They can last for up to six hours as well.  Remeber Carbs are for short term and are quicker while protiens are for the long haul and will stick with you for a while.

When i was a kid i would make peanut butter graham cracker sandwiches for a bedtime snack. It was a good source of carbs from the bread crackers and protein from the peanut butter that prevented many severe low blood sugars for me overnight growing up. If your having these lows a lot , try testing your sugars overnight for a few nights, set your alarm at three hour intervals and get up and check them, record them. Then go see your doctor and dietian and form a game plan for what you need to do before you go to sleep to prevent the low blood sugar while you sleep.  It's not something to joke around with. You dont want to wake up like I did as a kid paralyzed from a low blood sugar and unable to do anything to save yourself. Its terrifying to be laying there trapped in your body, like a fly in a spider web just beyond the reach of the glucose tablet or box of juice at your bedside.  Call your doctor and talk to them about it.  It could save your life and it is something you can prevent.