Spoiler: the answer to this post’s title is “no.”
Last night I was running low for no good reason. I was fine before dinner but about 20 minutes after dinner my CGM started alarming that I was under 80. I’ve got the low alarm set at 80 in an attempt to catch bgs before I get really low and start to reverse my hypoglycemic awareness. “Attempt” is the operative word in that sentence. That “under 80” translated into 57 on the CGM and 49 on my meter. Rather than grabbing a juice or some glucose tablets, I thought I would have some dessert. A couple of pieces of toffee (homemade by a friend – so good) later, the CGM was quietly hovering in the 60s and I was sure it would go up from there. My dinner had a little more fat than usual (hubby’s mac n cheese – also SO good) so maybe my bolus timing was just way off.
At 9:30 pm or so, after putting a new site onto the Bear (since she hadn’t been below 200 all day and mostly far above that, and was 322 after a correction at bedtime), my CGM was back at it. “Below 80! By which I mean 49!” it beeped. Still bypassed the juice or glucose tablets and grabbed some sea salt popcorn instead. The CGM graph never budged. Tested at 55 — perfect opportunity for some more toffee! Finally up to 75 at 10:30 and time for bed. I could hear that little voice inside saying that all that food I used to treat the lows would haunt me later but I didn’t want to bolus or set a higher temp basal in case the 75 didn’t go up.
2:30 a.m. Alarm goes off to get up and check the Bear (new site, etc.). She was doing well in the 150s. And, me? I was a cotton-mouthed, headachey 323. Awesome.
Lesson: Treat low bgs with measured juice or glucose tablets. Once bgs are stable, eat if hungry or if continued activity requires fuel.
Is this something new? Something that is just occurring to me? Ummmmm, no. It never fails. If I try to treat a low with “real” food — no matter if it is healthy (an apple) or just sugar (toffee) — I will be obnoxiously high later. And it will be enough later (since my lows take a ridiculously long time to recover from – depleted liver glycogen response, etc.) that a bolus can’t really work anymore – the timing is too far off. But, also since these lows take so long (hours sometimes) to turn around, if I try to bolus for even some of the food then I just prolong the low even longer.
Juice. Glucose tablets.
How many times will I need to see that 323 on the meter before I stop trying to treat lows with food? (and, yes, this is the perfect example of the “definition” of insanity…)