Controlling one’s blood sugars is paramount in maintaining health and keeping any complications at bay. However, low blood sugar due to too much insulin is a constant threat. Due to my late diagnosis in life I really experienced the slow transition for my body from perfectly normal blood sugars to ones that were either too high or too low.
During the first few months when I would go down to 70 mg/dL I would start to sweat and really feel the adrenaline being released as my body tried to bring my glucose levels back up. As time has gone on in these past few years that has become slowly less noticeable to me. Now I can sometimes hit 50 mg/dL without noticing. I do notice when I move around more easily as it is more difficult to balance, but if I’m just sitting doing work or writing it can be hard to notice, especially if I’m completely focused on something else.
During the time directly after my diagnosis it was also hard for me to go very high at all, a good thing, due to the fact that once I got above 140 mg/dL or any higher I would get horrible headaches and would either go for a quick jog or inject a bit of insulin to bring my blood sugar back into the normal range. Today, I can easily hit 200 mg/dL or even higher without a headache or any easily noticeable reaction on my body’s part.
So how do you deal with the natural responses being diminished? I check often. In fact I check before every meal, two hours after every meal (sometimes in between too if I’m feeling off), and then before and after any running or workout. This means I am pricking my finger up to twelve times per day sometimes. This also means that I inject insulin at least four times per day, and often more if I need to compensate for any highs.
So is there an ideal number of times to check per day? I don’t think so. There is a definite need to find a balance, but it is a balance that you must find based on your own routines, habits, and desires for what activities you want to participate in. I’ll be addressing some of the problems with such tight control in my upcoming posts.