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Can't Feel Low Sugars Anymore
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street0909 posted:
I didn't realize how big a problem this was becoming until just now.

A few years ago, I was having problems with low blood sugars. My sugar would get very low very quickly and I wouldn't have enough mind power to address the problem. I scared my co-workers, sister, parents, etc. more than once acting confused and obstinate when my sugar would get low. I eventually got through it and my sugar stopped dropping and it hasn't been a problem... until now.

Now, a few years later, my sugar is dropping and I cannot feel it at all. I had an "episode" a few weeks ago where my parents called me and I wasn't making any sense over the phone (sound familiar?). They came to my house and force-fed me and I started acting right again. After I started feeling okay again, we checked my sugar, and it was in the 60s. Didn't think much of it but maybe I should have.

Because, now what I've discovered is that I am in full command when it's low. For example, I am at work right now and I have been a little tired. I finally decided to check my sugar just to be on the safe side and discovered it was 46. I am fully able to think, concentrate, and work (I have a job in IT) and my sugar is 46 (I'm eating Skittles, btw; I didn't run to WebMD without first addressing the more urgent/immediate issue). I hesitate to think what it might have been when I was confused the other night. 20s? Teens?

So I said all that to say this- what do I do? If I feel almost fine in the 40s, how do I fix that? Can you become re-sensitized to low sugars after becoming desensitized to them? I live alone and am honestly scared now that I could die from this. If my sugar falls too low and I can't feel it until its too late... scary thought.
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mrscora01 responded:
Yes, you can become resensitized to low sugar levels. But a lot of folks don't like to do it for a variety of reasons. What you have to do is run high (180 - 200 depending on who you talk to) for about 6 weeks and then your body gets used to that. Once you run normal again, you will feel the lows. Just as your body has become accustomed to the low sugars, you get get accustomed to the higher ones again. The problem is that given that you are used to running so much lower, you won't feel so hot at the higher numbers. Many people too get paranoid about complications (you won't run the risk of developing them by running high for this short amount of time).

The bottom line is that many folks have success with this. Talk to your endo about it and see what he/she has to say. Keep us posted.

Cora
 
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An_255023 responded:
I'm at a lost right now in my life....Diabetes has taken so much of my time and patience, I feel broken! I have lost my sensation to tell how low my sugar is and I have tried so hard to get the sensation back, but to no avail. For months I tried to keep my sugar above 200 all the time and then I slowly started to gain control and kept it between 120 and 160, but before I knew it my sugar dropped down to 20 - still talking, acting normal, so I thought - but I became very belligerent, and defensive. Finally they gave me juice and food and I was normal yet again. What I have realized is that I'm in trouble, I have my safe guards in place, but who know if they will work? Besides no feeling, I have alot of trouble walking - you guessed it - severe neuropathy, and heart condition. Through all of this I kept moving on, not giving up! I hurt now all the time, and I keep trying but I don't have it in me to keep pushing - I need a break, something to go right with my body! I need everything to stay dormant, not get worse.
 
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orngfan replied to An_255023's response:
Hello,

I am also having the same problem, lows in the high 30's and 40's and I barely notice it. I am a little tired but no other symptoms.

I am a type 1 diabetic and I see my doctor every 3-4 months. This last visit I talked to my doctor about not being able to feel my lows. Her advice is to keep your sugars high, but not as high as suggested by mrscora01.

The advice I got is to keep BG around 150 for 1-2 weeks and it is very important not to have any lows of BG less than 100! Since I have never done this and I have been a diabetic for 20 years my Dr. told me I should do this for 2 weeks to reset my low BG sensitivity. I am on a pump with a glucose sensor so I can get a good idea of what my BG is doing. I discussed how to set my pump to allow me to stay higher than normal with my Dr and the following is what we decided on: 1) to make sure I am not going low I reduced my basal insulin by about 10%, 2) I changed the target range for my bolus wizard to around 145 which will cause the wizard to not give me extra insulin if my BG is less than 145 and will also subtract from the bolus if it is lower, 3) changed my insulin sensitivity (given for a correction) in the bolus wizard so the bolus wizard thinks the same amount of insulin will reduce my BG more, 4) changed my carb ratios for the bolus wizard and increased the value slightly. All of these steps will give me less insulin for a meal and a high reading so I can remain higher. In addition since I use a glucose sensor I had to change the sensor targets for alerts since I will be higher and so that I will get an alert when I drop lower than I should to try and get sensitivity back. I set my glucose limits for the sensor to a min of 130 and a max of 225. These are much higher than I would normally want but then the pump will alert me when I am dropping and predict if I will go below 130 giving me time to correct so I don't drop below 100.

I hope this helps, starting tonight.


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