How to Deal With Fluctuating Blood Sugars

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • The expression: "It's been one of those days..." takes on a whole new meaning when you have diabetes.  Tuesday was one of those days for me. 

    It actually started on Monday evening.   Before dinner my blood sugar was 147 mg/dl.  That's in range, but on the higher end, so I figured a little bit of a correction into my dinner bolus.  I injected 2 units of insulin and sat down to a plate of grilled shrimp and zucchini stuffed with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, ham, and cheese. 

    Shortly after eating dinner, it dawned on me that my meal had very little carbohydrate in it.  So, I wasn't at all surprised when my blood sugar was 56 mg/dl within an hour of dinner.  The most frustrating aspect of diabetes, for me, is having to eat when I'm not hungry!  

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    At bedtime I was in range at 120 mg/dl, gave my Lantus injection, and went to bed.   I woke up at 3:00 a.m., tested my blood sugar, got a result of 75 mg/dl, and ate a fruit leather (12 grams of carbohydrate). 

    I awoke again at 5:30 a.m., felt low, and tested: 45 mg/dl.  I decided to eat a bowl of Multigrain Cheerios since I LOVE cereal and never let myself have it!  I fell back asleep and woke up in the groggy fog of high blood sugar an hour later.   

    It wasn't actually that high: 201 mg/dl.  So, I gave myself one unit of insulin and figured I'd count the cereal as breakfast and just have coffee when I got to work.   Oh, but my blood sugar had different plans for me!  As I was at the preschool, dropping off the kids, I started to feel low again.  Sure enough, a quick test confirmed it: 57 mg/dl. 

    This low was frustrating, too, because I knew that the cereal wouldn't keep my blood sugar elevated for long.  I had that exact thought when I gave the correction bolus.   That's why I avoid processed cereals, even if you do manage to control the glucose spike, you'll end up low later.

    When I arrived at work, a co-worker asked if I was tired.  I replied, "My blood sugar has been low four times in the last 12 hours.  Wipes me out."

    It is amazing how one instance of over bolusing can have a ripple effect that lasts for such a long time.  I continued to give myself less insulin than normal for the rest of the day on Tuesday, and my blood sugar stayed in a great range.   When these blood sugar trends occur, I wish I'd be able to spot them more quickly to avoid ending up low so many times in a row. 

    Does this happen to other people??  Any tricks on how to handle it?

Published On: March 29, 2012