Moments of Wonderful

…rather than a lifetime of nothing special. A diabetes blog.

Moments of Wonderful - …rather than a lifetime of nothing special. A diabetes blog.

Treat or overtreat

You can’t overtreat a low blood sugar.

I heard that provocative statement during a recent local diabetes event.

The topic of the session was overcoming diabetes burnout and so we were talking about the stresses and pressures of living with diabetes. Someone mentioned the feelings of guilt after overtreating a low blood sugar.

“What if I told you that you can’t overtreat a low?”

Since the room was filled with people with type 1 diabetes and their caregivers, we were intrigued.

The session facilitator (did I mention it was the fabulous Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell) continued in an attempt to convince us.

glucose tabs stackedThe idea is simple really. When my blood sugar is low my brain just can’t function right. Just like the rest of my body, it needs glucose for energy. When it can’t get enough from my blood, it sends out the panic alarm (super scientific explanation). In an attempt to save itself, it commands me to eat. Eat for survival. Higher level thinking like eating only 15 carbs and waiting 15 minutes is nearly impossible when I feel like I might pass out at any moment. (Not all lows are like this obviously, but some catch me by surprise at how dangerous they feel)

Instead, what if I ate until I felt safe? What if I left all the wrappers and packaging out so that I could count carbs and do the math for an insulin correction dose once I was able? What if that took away the guilt of overtreating a low blood sugar and turned it into just treating a low blood sugar?

One less moment of guilt living with diabetes.

Category: health
  • Colleen says:

    I like getting rid of the guilt.

    April 15, 2014 at 6:10 am
  • Kerri. says:

    Siphoning the guilt out would be terrific.

    April 15, 2014 at 6:26 am
  • Max says:

    Love this!

    April 15, 2014 at 8:16 am
  • StephenS says:

    We could always use less guilt… Thanks for sharing this. Great way to look at it.

    April 15, 2014 at 10:40 am
  • Amanda says:

    And here I thought I was the only one! Feeling so much better after reading this!

    April 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm
  • Sue from New York says:

    You’re absolutely right! Especially when it seems like it takes forever for our blood sugar to rise and we panic and keep devouring carbs. We can always correct later when we’re thinking clearly.

    April 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm
  • Karen says:

    Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes yes yes! I love Jill and this is brilliant. (Of course, I bet I’ll still feel guilty – I think that’s just in my DNA.)

    April 19, 2014 at 8:46 am
  • Sandy says:

    I Love this idea!! I just ate like there was no tomorrow after a low & the resulting guilt was almost as bad as the feelings of being low!!

    June 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

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