Dealing With Low Blood Sugars
Those of us who live with this disease know that one of the most irritating parts of it is the low blood sugars, which can appear at the most inopportune time. Would you agree? How often do we find we’re in a hurry out the door to an event in which we need to have all our marbles about us and this is when our blood sugar decides to take a nose dive? It can be irritating, to say the least. I know that when I am nervous, stressed or driven harder than usual the result many times is a low blood sugar. So, what do I do for these? I have learned many things over the years and I hope that you can gain some helpful tips from my experiences.
First and foremost I try to stay on top of my daily intake of food and keep a constant check on the blood sugars. By doing this I know what meals make me a little higher and which cause me to run lower. This is the most proactive approach we can take to prevent too many of these low blood sugars; however, we are not a computer who can have the accurate input of data and then spit out perfect results. It just doesn’t work that way, as we all know. Hormones, activity levels, stress and many other factors are involved in the outcome of our glucose readings. And because of this, we need to have a working system in place.
Being Prepared For A Low Blood Sugar Is The Best Method
I have found over the years some things that are especially helpful and have also experimented with several things I know to stay away from. Let’s discuss some of these options. For many years I was taught to keep a bottle of juice handy. However, at this point in my health journey, I avoid juice. Juice is full of such a concentrated amount of sugar that it will often do more harm than good including raising the blood sugar to an overall high level. We then are often on a roller coaster which we cannot get off. How many have had a low and as a result of overdoing the remedy for this ended up needing more insulin and possibly from this alteration fell low again? This is no fun! This often leads to headaches, fatigue, and an overall less productive day, not even giving an account of the long-term effects.
So, typically if I have a morning low between breakfast and lunch, I will reach for half of a banana. This is usually sufficient to bring the level up and hold it steady. I have found that a decent sized banana will typically double my blood sugar. So, perhaps I was 50 when I checked my glucose, eating a banana would bring me to a safe level of 100. But if I was 60, this whole banana could be too much, especially if I would be eating my next meal within an hour or so, which is why if I go low between breakfast and lunch I will often just eat half of a banana.
Dried Fruit For Low Blood Sugars?
In times past I have also done raw almonds with a few raisins. I will say, for me, I have found that cashews, possibly because they are lower in fats, work better than almonds. I will typically use the cashews & raisins at bedtime and have had great results. The amount which seems to work best is one-quarter cup of cashews along with one tablespoon of raisins. Please read my post on how I prepare nuts. It makes a huge difference for us and I hope you’ll be open to making these delicious snacks healthier.
Dried fruit can be detrimental to us in abundance; however, it does raise the blood sugar quickly. I have found that if it is not abused it can work. I keep organic raisins, figs and dates on hand for this reason. I will usually buy smaller bags from here and have them available either at home or in a bag when I’m out. But please remember, overdoing it with dried fruit can quickly turn a low blood sugar into a high. If you will notice above when I said I will do the cashews & the raisins, I only do one tablespoon. It does not take much. By adding the nuts with the raisins, you are getting the quick benefit of the sugar in the raisins but the holding and lasting effect of the nuts.
My other go-to is honey. I carry honey sticks with me in my purse. These are easily opened and taken. The full stick is a little much but I only do this if I am out during the day or in a desperate situation where I will need to be driving. Last year we took a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia and had walked all morning. I had been fine until we got up from lunch. I had eaten a good lunch but half an hour later was still experiencing the symptoms of a low and sure enough was. I took the whole honey stick without reserve because we still had hours of walking to do. This was a no-brainer. The honey tends to raise the blood sugar quickly, but I do have one warning here, it also seems to raise the numbers for hours to come. If you’re low at bedtime I do not recommend doing honey. I find that my typical fasting blood sugar after having a low at bedtime and doing honey will alter this fasting by as much as 30%. This is too much. So, banana or nuts & raisins are my go-to here as well.
What Do You Do For Low Blood Sugars In The Middle Of The Night?
Now, what happens in the middle of the night when your husband, wife or you the parent wakes to find your loved one having a low but can’t wake them? This is scary, to say the least. My husband learned years ago the sounds I make and what needed to be done quickly to bring me up. He has also learned the appropriate amounts of whatever effective help he chooses to use. He will generally check me if he feels he can do this safely and in a timely manner. If he cannot get me awake at all he will give me a little honey under the tongue. If I am “conscious” enough he will often mix a tablespoon of honey in about a quarter cup of warm water and get me to sip it. He has been able to give me some banana before also. Here he is careful not to overdo it because often times my liver has already kicked in with glycogen trying to bring me up as well. This can reap a disaster when morning time comes. Again, caution needs to be applied. The goal is to bring the blood sugar up but not to cause a high reading to replace it. USE CAUTION!
So, as you can see part of my decision on what I use for a low blood sugar is based on time of day, my whereabouts and my activity. There are many parts of the equation and because of this I highly recommend you make notes and be determined to learn from this. It will help you confidently take care of yourself or your loved one.
Blood sugar control can sometimes feel like a roller coaster that we cannot get off. However, it is extremely important that we make good choices. It’s hard I know because we are not a computer, we are human. Being very careful in a controlled environment where you have someone with you can make a huge difference, along with good routines. In order to accomplish the goal of keeping a safe level, we must be proactive in our health. Find what works and have a plan in place. Give others these instructions. Making good decisions as a whole is part of the process. I hope the information I have given you helps tremendously. Thriving is possible.
Do you have another remedy for low blood sugars that you would recommend? I invite you to share.