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Type 1: Balancing Blood Sugars (seasaw Battle)

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by CameronDeacon, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. CameronDeacon

    CameronDeacon Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi everyone, new to the forum,
    and Im a type 1 diabetic, I have been for 13 years, and am now 22 years old.

    For a while now every evening ive struggled with high blood sugars at night time,
    especially in the past few days since ive come down with a bit of a stomach bug.
    I am also low hypothyroid which effects my hormones and wonder if it does effect my insulin action.
    would also appreciate tips on dealing with sick days.

    i tend to get very strerssed when my blood sugar goes down at night so end up testing alot,
    wanting to see change and get emotionaly drained when my blood sugars sea-saw between high
    and dropping low since i am using the freestyle libre.

    Q: Best methods for bringing down high bloodsugars, i understand the percentage of daily dose of which mine is 6 units.
    but i have fears of giving too much insulin at once so i tend to give it in bits. and it takes longer to come down and i end up sea-sawing
    any tips for avoiding swinging bloodsugars?

    Q: is there anyone out there who can give any recomendations on dealing with blood sugar readings
    on the free style libre, ive had issues with diabetes in the past that has really knocked my confidence in managing my diabetes, so my readings tend to run high and i over eat for lows and I test way too much, what is the average amount of times should i be testing per day?

    Q: is there also any snacks anyone can suggest to help balance out blood sugar levels when it nears
    the saftey zone readings so i dont bounce back up to high after bringing my blood sugar down my main concern
    is keeping my blood sugar balanced.

    only been managing it for 2/3 years myeslf now since i went through a long period of denial in my teens.

    I have done a couple managment courses but it spiked my anxiety related to diabetes,
    Obviously i have alot of questions as there is a lot to discuss and sort out, i figure
    why sit here alone and struggle when there are others of you out there also going through similar stuff
    and i know can help.

    I appreciate any answers, as i am struggling as i am trying to take 100% care of my diabetes now
    as ive moved out of home etc. and am living away from my normal carer for my diabetes that being my mum
    and am now dealing with it on my own.
    thanks for the support in advance. - Cameron.
  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Heya @CameronDeacon Welcome to the forum ;)

    Firstly well done on using the freestyle libre, it's a very useful tool for watching what's happening over a 24 hour period, using the libre overnight will show you how your basal insulin is working so if it needs to be adjusted. It's good to look at the reports over the 2 weeks to start building the picture of your patterns, this will help you in adjusting either insulin doses. In regards to changing your doses, are you under the care of a Diabetic team with managing this ? If not then you should be if you are not sure about changing your doses, so I would suggest calling into your team, tell them you can email your libre reports to them as they are easy to download and make any adjustments with their guidance. As you are now managing more on your own to start with this will help, but you will need to start working on this aspect yourself so tell them as they will mentor you more into become more self sufficient.

    There are no rules on how many times you test a day, I can test any where between 6 and 12 times a day, so generally on waking, 3 hours after breakfast, before lunch, 3-4 hours after, before dinner, before bed and every time I get in a car I test, I also test if I think I am going low/high then to correct and test again.

    Treating hypos - I follow the rule of: if below 3.6 then 3 jelly babies and test or I have glucose gel from the pharmacy so one of these to treat, then test after 10 mins if not coming up then treat and test again. If my hypo is about 3.6+ then I eat a small ripe banana which brings me up to about 6/7.

    Low hypothyroid will affect your BG the two are closely linked, I too suffer hypothyroidism and it's a major contributory factor on how well I can control my bg levels - I am guessing you are taking levothyroxine ? If so are you taking the correct level of medication to manage this ? regular blood tests will determine if you are.

    It strikes me that your anxiety is closely linked to running low, my personal advice would be to continue using the libre, if you cannot afford to continue using this then to speak to your DSN about your anxiety, you may qualify for a pump as anxiety can be a contributory factor to affecting your 'quality of life', also using a pump would mean they monitor you more closely initially, so perhaps think about this as a possibility ? Also taking more ownership for managing your insulin changes will help improve your confidence and lessen your anxiety. The anxiety will improve but it's important your team are aware of this and the effect on your life.

    Also keep posting, sharing your anxieties helps lessen the load.
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  3. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Hi @CameronDeacon :)

    For me, I found the best ways to stop swinging blood sugars was to perfect the timing of my pre-meal boluses. That is a massive help in stoping any spikes (highs). I also top up with a few carbs if I notice my BS is slightly lower than it should be at that stage of the day or after a meal. This allows me to keep more steady and not drop too low. Finally, I try not to overtreat hypos. All those things help a lot for me.

    To answer your questions:

    1) I've answered the bit about swinging sugars in my paragraph above. The best way to bring down high sugars is a correction dose. Don't just go by the total,daily dose calculation formula - learn by experience. I was lucky enough to be given a correction dose that was perfect for me. You need to find yours. Another tip,is to aim for a slightly higher number if you're correcting in the evening so you don't have to worry about going low in the night. Once you know what correction dose works for you, you'll be more confident.

    2) I don't use the Libre. I test as many times as I need to a day. I always test on waking, before meals and two hours after meals, but I also test at other times eg before driving, before exercise, before going out, in the night after an evening correction dose, etc, etc I have a basic pattern but add as many tests as I need. I'm on an insulin pump. I'd guess my average number of tests was 10-12 per day but it varies and I test when I need to.

    3) Snacks - well, I have two kinds of snacks. The first kind is snacks I want because I'm hungry or need more food. I choose snacks of under 20g and bolus accordingly. The second kind is the snack I think you're talking about - top up snacks to keep your BS stable. I find digestive biscuits good because one is around 10g carbs, so I use a proportion as needed eg half a biscuit, one, one and a half, etc. I find this works well.

    I've never done any educational courses for diabetes. I've learnt from experience and lots of testing. I made notes and learnt how my favourite/regular meals work. I highly recommend a good set of digital scales. I weigh my cereal every morning still. It just removes one variable and takes seconds. I also weigh pasta and potatoes, etc. I love my scales :)
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  4. isjoberg

    isjoberg Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hey! I am still emerging from the same situation. what has really really unmeasurably helped me is breaking everything down. I have one focus each week, and one thing that I test to make it better. Of course, the first and most important thing is getting night time control so that you don't need to worry about going to sleep!
    I have yet to achieve this but it is far better than it used to be. This forum is fantastic for ideas and suggestions for what has worked for some and not others. If I want to sleep with a decent stable bg, I have to make sure I don't eat within 2.5hrs of going to sleep, and measure 30 mins after food, then again after an hour and a half so I have another hour or so to adjust if necessary.

    For hypos, using glucose tablets to correct are quite good, as you can figure out exactly how many you need to take to bring you up. I normally take 2 is it is lower than 3, and it brings me up perfectly to 5 and stays there. Learning that hypo correction and insulin correction isn't immediate and remembering this whilst you're waiting for everything to change is priceless.

    Hob nob biscuits are quite good hypo correctors as well, normally one or two are needed, depending how bad the hypo is, and the oats are fantastic for slowly releasing energy into your blood stream.
  5. CameronDeacon

    CameronDeacon Type 1 · Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies, I went through a 10 year denial phase after i was diagnosed with type 1 at 8 years old.
    i recently got into **** with my thyroid, causing me a lot of low scares and had a paramedic incidence,
    I'm back on anti depressants as I'm currently going through a grieving process of wishing things were different about my health than what they are currently. I know this off topic, but its currently whats going on in life now.

    and thanks suggestion of hob nobs, we will get some into our house and try it.
    I'm wondering if there are any pages on here that deal with grief over diabetes etc.
    that i could be linked too.

    thanks again for the support.
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