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Type I - low blood sugars and dieting
debfeb posted:
I have been gaining weight and am not happy where I am at. Back to exercising and limiting calories. The hard part of all of this is dealing with low blood sugars. You have to eat when you are low even if you trying to limit calories. Any suggestions or ideas on how others deal with this. I would greatly appreciate any input.
glucerna responded:
You're right that losing weight when you have T1 isn't easy. Have you talked with your doctor about your weight loss plans? Get her input on how to adjust insulin so you can eat less and exercise without running low. ~Lynn @Glucerna
auriga1 responded:
I hear you loud and clear. I am a Type 2, insulin dependent. I take four to five injections a day of insulin, one basal and the other rapid-acting.

You will probably need to experiment a bit to see what works for you. Sad to say, I haven't perfected anything that completely eliminates the lows. Each day is different in how physically intense my activity is. One step more than normal can drop me low.

I've had to let my sugar run a litte higher than I would like so I don't drop low. You should test before you exercise and see where you are at. If you need to stop because you feel you are going low, test. Compare the two numbers and see how far you drop when you exercise. With me, I can drop between 50-80 points. It's not fun, I know. It has been suggested when I go low to drink 8 oz. of skim milk. No fat. There are enough sugars in the milk to bring your sugar back up. Fat will slow the absorption of sugars into our bloodstream as will fiber. You need a fast hit to bring your sugar back up and feeling better.

In the a.m., I do not take my rapid-acting insulin when I eat because I am physically active at work for the next three to four hours. I've also had to reduce my basal insulin dosage in the morning. My doctor did this after I showed him my meter. Too many lows for is liking. He said the lows stress the heart. I don't know about you, but my pulse goes into overdrive when my blood glucose drops.

Have a talk with your doctor and see if he/she has any helpful suggestions. Many doctors will allow the patient to adjust insulin dosages in small increments to help deal with the lows or some cases, the highs.

It is a challenge and each day is different. You may need less insulin on some days. I feel it's better than eating more carbs to help deal with a low(s).

Have you cut a lot of carbs when reducing your caloric intake? As you know, carbs are used as fuel, especially when we exercise. Maybe talking with a dietician can help, too. One who deals with diabetics preferrably.

Good luck to you.
debfeb replied to glucerna's response:
No, but I have a meeting with my doctor the end of January and definitely plan on talking to him about this. I have started carrying bananas and protein bars, so I have those available after swimming. Thanks for your input
debfeb replied to auriga1's response:
Thanks for your in put. I did not know that fiber acted in that way. Definitely will carry something else for lows. I've been experimenting with bananas and they seem to really help. My carbs have stayed pretty much around 65% of my caloric intake. I think I am just going to have to keep experimenting and work with my doctor. Suggestions always help though and what works for one person might now for another. Thanks again
glucerna replied to debfeb's response:
I'm glad you're finding this discussion helpful. Let us know what your doctor recommends so that you can lose weight without having lows. ~Lynn @Glucerna
nutrijoy responded:
One of the first things you need to learn about low blood sugar control and prevention is to know how various foods (and quantities) affect you personally. This knowledge is obtained through lots of testing, perseverance, and trial and error. The biggest mistake that most diabetics and their caregivers make is to counter low blood sugars using food. Virtually 100% of the time, diabetics wind up ingesting too much food and end up with much higher blood sugars afterwards than intended or desired. Food also contains more calories than might be desired if weight reduction is a goal. The best way to counter a low blood sugar episode is with pure glucose. It is faster-acting and is much more precise in terms of the amount ingested and the net impact/effect on blood sugar levels.

A glucose tablet normally contains 4 grams of glucose and has about 15 calories per tablet (3.6 calories per gram). You have to discover how much a gram of ingested glucose will affect you personally and take the appropriate dosage to correct. Almost all glucose tablets (available at any drug store) are scored and can easily be broken in half using your fingers. For even greater control precision, glucose "bits" are also available (but more difficult to find) that only contain a single gram of glucose per bit. Glucose affects each of us slightly differently but in my body, a 4-gram tablet takes effect in about ten minutes after ingestion, raises my blood glucose level approximately twenty points (5 points per gram), and only increases my caloric intake by 15 calories. My blood glucose level will not continue to rise as it does when using food/juice to correct a low blood sugar episode.

Admittedly, there are some people who dislike the taste of glucose tablets or liquids (which are faster-acting). However, I view the decision between taking a glucose tablet or eating food as a choice between better or poorer control over one's long term health. Your mileage may vary so do what works best for you.
stellagonzalez replied to nutrijoy's response:
Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us, surely I'll take care of of my sugar and glucose level.
justme1976 responded:
I was at the same point where you were at, and have found that the best way to keep bring my sugars back up is a glass a milk, or simply just by the cube (can't think of the name off hand) that the pharmacy sells for bringing the blood sugar back up. They are fat free and you don't have to worry about it. The other thing that I have found the easiest is I have found that my morning sugars were the lowest, I do have the pump so I have adjusted that, but all I do is eat a banana at night when I go to bed without giving any insulin and I'm good by morning.

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