Epic Lows

Have you ever wondered what it was like to have a low blood sugar last two hours?

Well, let me tell you. It sucks. And it’s happened to me three times this week.

It’s not a question of why I went low. I’m pretty sure I know why I went low. The first (and probably second time) it was likely from stacking insulin during a rage bolus. And the third time it was from taking my normal bolus right before going to working at a retail store that involves a lot of walking.

All three times the lows weren’t exactly unexpected. But what happened after I went low was surprising.

I couldn’t come up.

My first epic low happened in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and it took 3 juice boxes — with my blood sugar tanking to 35 mg/dl! — before I started to sputter northward. I ended up flying into the stratosphere during the day only to crash land after dinner that night, complete with a LOW on the Dexcom. Yikes. A couple days passed before an epic low at work, which took two cans of Dr. Pepper  — that’s more than 120 grams of carbs! — before I resurfaced, and even then, I only topped out around 200 mg/dl.


photo 1-7Saturday morning’s epic low (there are actually 2 lows in that second dip — I didn’t come up until the third juice box)

photo 2-7Saturday night’s epic low

I have never needed more than a juice box to correct a low blood sugar, and certainly not two cans of regular soda (the equivalent to about 4 juice boxes). I mean, really?! I know I probably had a little too much insulin on board, but it’s not like the contents of my pod emptied into me!

I can’t quite figure it out. I’m now completely paranoid about going low because it’s not just a momentary hiccup. These lows are lasting hours. They are quite unpleasant. I can’t figure out what’s going on. If this is a complication of diabetes, it seems like the oddest sort. I thought for a moment it might indicate gastroparesis, but this would literally be the only time my blood sugar didn’t respond to glucose. My body responds to food at every other occasion! It’s just when I’m super low, my body is suddenly like, you know, we’ll get around to it when we feel like it. 

Ugh.

I know epic lows can happen to the best of us. But three times in a week? That just seems… weird. I know I still have diabetes because I’ve had plenty of high blood sugars when I’m not low! Has anyone gone through a string of epic lows? Did you ever figure out what the problem was?

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3 Responses to Epic Lows

  1. Ally says:

    By any chance- in what seems like a busy week described above- did you not consume many carbs on certain days? There isn’t a lot out there in the internet sphere on this topic (my doctor and I have looked around and really had to search to bring up anything even remotely relevant to diabetes), but if your glycogen stores deplete, it can take a lot to pull out of a low because your liver doesn’t have fuel reserved to help you out (in my very “layman’s terms understanding” of the issue). One of the few, non-“training-for-a-marathon-and-need-glycogen” internet pieces that we found regarding glycogen stores said that if you have fasted for 15 hours (or slept late, skipped breakfast, not eaten many carbs recently, etc.), your glycogen stores are depleted. I could be completely wrong here (and I probably am because it’s kind of a funky situation to begin with), but figured I’d pass this along just in case. Hope the rest of your week involves no more unpleasant lows.

    • No, I was eating completely normal (even a little high carb during the 3rd epic low as I’d had pad thai before work) the whole week. I don’t really ever deviate from my normal diet, so that’s why it was so surprising. I also had a double low this morning (not quite epic as it was spread out by a couple hours, and wasn’t super low either). I did lower my basal overnight, but again, it’s not so much why I went low as why I didn’t go up!

      • Ally says:

        Weird! Wish I knew the answer, but in the meantime I’m going to default to the “diabetes is a sneaky jerk” selection under “All of the above.” :)

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