Updated: Feb 16, 2021
I get it. That low low blood sugar feeling kicks in and you suddenly become a ravenous monster. You want to eat everything in site and might even have some weird cravings too! Once you start eating, you can't stop. Why? Well your body is literally in survival mode. This is a good thing. It WANTS to keep you alive... but at the same time, it sets the stage for a rough day of roller coaster blood sugars.
Warning: It's not easy to change this habit. In fact, sometimes I still do this and other times I don't. (Truthfully those middle of the night lows are the ones that get me!) But the work does pay off. Once you get onto the roller coaster it is 150593483% harder to get off of it. So the key is: stay off! How you ask?
Patience & trust. Patience & trust. Patience & trust.
Patience - to eat what you need and wait 10-15 minutes. Trust - that your body will come up after eating carbs like it typically does.
You might be surprised to find out that not every low is equal. Some lows need 15 carbs and others need 7. How do you know the difference?
Ask yourself some of these questions to get to an answer:
-How quickly am I dropping?
-If you have a CGM - is the low number showing a steady arrow or a dropping on?
-Did you just work out or have you been sitting on your couch?
-When is the last time you ate and did that food have carbs/protein/fat/fiber?
-Am I about to go to sleep and rather air on the higher side to be safe?
All of these factors play into the severity of your low and what is needed to bring it back up.
Growing up all I heard from endo's & CDE's was: Treat a low with 15 carbs. Over and over and over and over. I found myself doing what I was told and often spiking to 250+ after a low from 1 fifteen carb juice box. No, no, no. It doesn't have to be that way! Now, I typically treat my lows with 4-10 carbs (unless it's one of those badddd ones, you know what I mean.)
Some of my favorite low snacks include: a few grapes, a few fruit snacks, half of a fruit strip bar, a few sips of juice, or an applesauce pouch.
A couple things to remember:
If you over treat - don't be hard on yourself. Sometimes your natural instinct comes in or maybe you are just hungry! It's ok. You will have other chances to try this out ;)
This isn't about restriction! I believe it is important to eat mindfully and with intention. Because of this, I rather wait until my blood sugar comes up and then if I still want the cookie, go for it then.
If you are on a pump that automatically suspends when your blood sugar is dropping, you likely need even LESS food. Your pump & cgm does half the work for you!
Good luck and let us know below how it goes :)