Responding to lows

When I have a hypoglycemic episode, often times I respond by eating too much to raise the blood glucose. I then must bolus and thus starts a roller coaster reaction. The hunger I feel when I get very low is strong and it is hard for me to resist eating more than I need. Does anyone have a similar situation and have you successfully beaten this dilemma?


@T1DRoger I’ve done that countless number of times during the past 60+ years. Especially the “eating too much” part but not necessarily the bolus to knock me back down. I think the reason that I eat too much is that my body is slow - more than twenty minutes - to show that my BG is beginning to rise; this has become very evident to me since I began using a CGM. To avoid the “roller-coaster effect” I [try to] resist doing any bolus, other than a meal bolus, following a correction bolus.

My overeating, which is hard to resist, has lessened in recent years by not having a juice glass handy that is larger than four ounces and by carefully counting out the crackers before spreading on the PB.

@T1DRoger hi Roger. Yup you can count me in for the fridge raids.

Just want to add to @Dennis, Over the years I realize that the reaction is chemical. After a low, you will crave to replenish your stores of glycogen and raise your blood sugar.

So I will either ignore the craving and just eat enough to get back to normal or I raid the fridge. With a pump it’s easier. I bolus for all the carbs minus the carbs needed to raise blood sugar. Now I’ve been doing this a long time so please be aware that taking a bolus at 45mg/dl can kill you - but what i do is set the bolus for 30 minutes. (For Medtronic it’s called a square wave) that way the carbs do their. job and then the insulin does the rest. Works for me but please be careful.

For me, it’s a hit and miss. Sometimes I can control myself and stick to a juice box or half a candy bar and be good. Then there are times I don’t even bother closing the refrigerator or using a plate. Nighttime is the worse. Last night, I meant to just have a couple pieces of candy and go back to bed. That’s what I meant to do.

Wife woke up this morning to a bunch of dirty dishes in the sink, a box of cereal on the counter, empty candy wrappers on the kitchen table, an empty packet of sliced turkey in the trash, and a husband asleep on the couch with a half eaten quesadilla on his chest.


Thanks Andy @AJZimmerman, I needed to hear that today.
I’ve over eaten a few times during the night but not fallen asleep on the couch. My wife has awakened and on finding me not in bed has come to the kitchen and found me asleep at the table with a cereal bowl, half empty, in front of me.

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Thanks! It is helpful to talk with those that have been there.

Thanks for the help. That is my concern: “be careful.”

I too take a long time for my blood sugar to return to normal and I end up eating too much sugar.

My partner is supportive but at other times not so. If I have a low blood sugar he asks me what I haven’t eaten or I am not eating enough and makes me feel bad. As we know controlling diabetes isn’t a science.

My son does the same thing. When speaking to his endocrinologist he told us this is a normal response due to the body trying to recover from the low BG. He told us we can offer low carb items after his glucose is above 95mg/dL if it is between meals. It has helped sometimes not all the time.

Thanks, I have used snack items to help in the past and it does help.

Excellent advice. This works well for me, too.

Hey @T1DRoger, I can understand that you can go high after eating to treat a low BS. I’ve found that using glucose tabs in the right amount won’t cause you to go high. The thing to remember is that you need to find out how much your glucose rises per glucose tab. Once you find that out, then just eat the number of tabs you need to raise your BS enough without it going too high. You can find glucose tabs about anywhere but I’ve found that the tabs I get at Walmart are just as good as any of the others. Since each tab contains 4g. of carbs, at Walmart, I know how much I’m taking and there’s no fillers I have to worry about. Check it out and see if it works. I know it does for me!

I used to have the same problem,but I have found that if I eat a carb snack and then have something with protein such as cashews, peanut butter, or some lunch meat then my hunger is satisfied and my bs doesn’t get as high afterwards

Thanks, I just need to find out the right ratio.

Thanks, still feeling hungry after tabs is my problem and your snack suggestions seem like a great idea.

Yesterday I was on a blood sugar roller coaster because I did the same. I was finally able to plateau out, but it is difficult. What do you use to control your diabetes? A pump ? CGM? ? With just a pump my numbers would bounce. I had to have CGM and do multiple injections which I’d rather do than a pump and my numbers are getting better. I hope you get it sorted out :slight_smile:

From my experience and previously replies to my concerns, most of us with T1D have similar issues. I have been taking the appropriate amount of tabs then a couple crackers/peanut butter and it has helped keep me from being on a roller coaster. But, I still have cravings for more food that I have to fight. I am on a pump and CGM. I also have been checking the CGM more frequently to catch falling BG before it gets too low.

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I changed my alarm to 80 instead of 70. I drop way too fast if I use the lower value. I use a step method of snacks, but not all work well. The cgm gets me info on what should work, but not always. I don’t worry too much about going high because it usually drops in an hour or so. But to say it’s a science, no it’s a guess on how I feel when I eat my snacks, but I do eat before bedtime most days. If I’m lower than 150 I need to eat or I’m up at 3am eating junk so I can try to get back to sleep.
What works one day does not the next. So it’s a crapshoot every day for me.

I’m with you on that. Your last sentence seems to describe me and makes it hard for my spouse to understand and help.

The spouse thing is really really hard! I so understand. But look at it this way. You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make em drink!
My wife will sit in a dark place 20 ft away and ask me how this or that looks. Due WMD, I can’t even see her face! She knows I’m legally blind, but yet, still the same thing day after day!

This the issue, at lest for me, she remember how I was before diagnosis! Not how I am now! It’s very frustrating!! But, long talks sometimeshelp, but other times a swift kick in the behind seems in order! Don’t do it, be patient! She’s hurting too! She’s in denial! Tell she’s in denial, tell her the things she’s doing aren’t helping, that all she is doing is creating stress for no reason and that to help the most is to listen, she doesn’t have to understand, just listen. Once she does that it will help you. Stress is a big worry.
Just be honest and frank in the nicest way you can. That’s all you can do! She’ll either listen or not. But if you notice a difference, Good lord, tell her how much it helps!!
Over time she’ll get it. Mine still gets pissed about how I talk to her!! Daily, I don’t see it or hear it at all, honestly! But I gotta listen and say I’m sorry, cause it might be true. Nearly every day she tells me to tone it down. I guess my frustrations come out in my voice. I don’t know it or hear it or feel like I’m doing it.
Just some examples of spousal relations that affect me. If it helps wonderful! Just that both of you gotta realize that stuffs different and gotta work together to get thru it!
Dude, I still have NO memory of throwing a grilled cheese sandwich against the wall, cause she pissed me off when I was dropping. I really wish that I didn’t do it by the way!! Other than the fact that she told me I did it, nothing! But dr backed me up saying well that’s very possible and that I may never have any memory of it. That’s the day she started listening to me. Hope that it helps! If she doesn’t believe, I’ll give her my wife’s number and she can call her!

This stuff is for real! I didn’t want it, I don’t want it, but I got it and well… it’s all about the learning curve it’s a 180 or better. It’s not gentle or easy. It’s damn hard! But patience and communication will help, it will go a looooong way to understanding.

Hope it helps!!