What's Low?

When do you treat a low? Does it vary? According to what?

I am sure everyone does things a little differently but we treat lows when we get under 70 or 80.  During sports practices, we treat our daughter for lows if she is under 120.

An official "low" is under 70, and you're supposed to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbs, but I might treat a number in the 80s with a few carbs, depending on whether or not I have reason to think my blood sugar is on its way down and when I'm going to eat next.  When I do that, sometimes just 4 or 5 carbs will do the trick.

The official rule:  If you have a BG under 70, eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbs with no protein or fiber.  Wait 15 minutes and test again.  If you're still under 70, consume 15 more carbs and check again in 15 minutes.

Life doesn't always fit the rules, though.  If I were at 40 and Dexcom showed my trend going down fast, I'd probably double my fast-acting carbs.  But if I'm in the high 60s, steady, and planning to eat pretty soon, I probably wouldn't have any more than 10 carbs.

typically, i won't treat until i'm 60 or under. i've noticed (for me) i have a tendency to come back up on my own when i'm in the 60s (especially if it's shortly after i wake up). i will treat in the 60s or 70s if i'm dropping fast, though or if i'm symptomatic. i rarely touch anything in the 70s or 80s though. how much i eat also depends on the number, how low i feel, and if i'm still dropping/how fast i'm dropping. i usually stick with 15g with anything above 45, then eat more if i'm under 45. once i hit the 30s, anything not nailed down is going in my mouth. 

We treat anything under 4. It depends on the number but we basically follow the rules outlined above. Occasionally we will treat when in the 4's if Chasey is complaining of signs of a low. 

when i get a low, i usually drink some juice or chew 3 glucose tabs. i don't treat unless i'm below 70.

I am with everyone else. I don't treat it unless I go under 70. Like C if it is close to the time to eat I just eat.

There are many diabetics who are not accustomed to BG under 100. i have read about some who experience hypo symptoms at 120, or even higher. Treating at that level, under those conditions is necessary, until BG control improves. Eventually those individuals should have an average BG close to 100 and will not feel hypo symptoms until in the 70s. or less.

I do much the same as the other posters here. With pumping, and better control, I feel somewhat hypo in the low 70s and eat 4 carbs of candy, or a glucose tab. I need 2 tabs in the 60s, and more in the 50s. I have not needed help with a hypo since July, 2007. That is what pumping has done for me.

If I'm 60 or higher when I wake up, I don't treat b/c of morning insulin resistance I go up (and up and up and up and up!) on my own.

Otherwise, I treat at 80 or 90 if my decom arrow is going down. If it's going sideways and I'm in the 60-80 range, I'll treat a little, like maybe 10 grams.

Honestly, it sounds like you all follow much more of an exact procedure for lows than I do. For me, it's more intuition. I'll look at the dexcom arrow, think about the cause (food, insulin, exercise) because that affects how quickly I come up, and grab a few jelly beans of a random amount of carbs, and see how things go. The test every 15 minute things and eat crackers after thing reminds me of diabetic summer camp growing up, but I'm not that organized in my real life. (: (:

When we started our D adventure with our son, his low cut-off was 100 and we would treat with 15 g and retest in 15 min. Now that he is on the pump, his low cut-off is 80 (they recommend a higher cut-off in young kids, he is 5). If he is going to a friends house, then I have the parent treat if he is below 100, just because he is probably running around/getting plenty of exercise and I want to avoid low issues.

Since going on the pump, he is rarely below 80, but we test frequently and there's not much missing meals, etc. with young kids.

Richard, that was definitely true for me when I first started treatment.  I went from being in the 300s most of the time to being in the 100s, and it took me a while to stop feeling generally dizzy (though I think the dizziness was partly due to stress).  The first time I went under 100, I had all the classic hypo symptoms.  My body was just used to functioning at higher BGs.  My CDE told me on my first insulin treatment class that I should be prepared for such a case, and maybe just treat those low feelings with half the carbs (so like, 8).

Now, 6 months later, I'm generally only react to sub-70 with hypo symptoms... plus occasionally when I'm at a higher number but dropping quickly.

I treat anything under 4, but sometimes even 4.5 because i feel icky. I don't get aggressive about treating my low until its 3 or under. if it's between 3-4, i'll just have some juice or a couple cookies. if it's under 3, that's when i bring out the coke.

I will treat anything under 70 according to how I feel.  Like this AM, I woke up at 64, but didn't feel woozy or shaky so I just had my breakfast.  Other times though, I can be 67 and feel shaky and low so I'll have yogurt with a piece of string cheese or something that can bring me up quick without over shooting my limit.  If I'm lower than 60, then much like C, anything that I see is being eaten. 

If I'm in the 80s, it usually means I'm going down.  In that case, I'll have a snack and not bolus.  If I drop below 70, then it's glucose time!  Usually 3 or 4 tabs, depending on how low I am.  I work with small children, so I've got to get that number back up ASAP.  I need my brain to function properly because they keep me on my toes.  I hate that foggy feeling!

What low symptoms do you get?

I get shaky, can't think straight, and it feels like my mouth can't keep up with what I'm thinking.

I am with C and ksum on this one too.  It really is situation specific.

If i am heading out for training, and am at a 125, I may take in 30g of C and 10g of Fat.  If I am at work, at my desk, and 30 minutes away from lunch I will let anything above a 60 just sit.  

Of course, if I think (or know with a CGM) that I am trending one way or the other, it would effect my treatment plan.


C - I love the "anything not nailed down" part!  I was howling at that, as it is SO TRUE!!!  :)

i normally treat if im below 75 but if im around 75 nd i dnt feel low i will have a granola bar or something and test after but if i feel low i always treet



My low's are 65 and below. 
My symptoms are: I don't feel anything unless I'm really low, but I get all shakey and my brain goes "fuzzy." And I just don't feel, good!