Low blood sugars take a lot out of us - physically AND mentally. So, how do you bounce back from an incident when you are 40 (2.0) and below or your CGM/meter reads LOW?
Here are 3 tactical tips:
1) Know that, most likely, this instance is the exception and not the rule.
What does this mean? Well, if we don't believe this, and we start to think that this can happen to us at any time, we start operating from a place of defense and of fear.
Of course, we don't want to be careless with our insulin dosing, but we don't want respond to a low blood sugar experience by cutting back on all our dosages or think that every time we do this particular activity again, we will get low because that just leads to being overly cautious.
These things may happen to us, and when they do, we have to be grateful that we have the tools and resources to come back from it, and we need to move forward.
Some people do have traumatic experiences with low blood sugars. If you have an experience like that, you have to do some deeper work - perhaps with a therapist first and then moving into diabetes specific support to get to know your body’s patterns. You may benefit from having somebody hold your hand to get to a place where you feel confident in how much a correction brings you down and your insulin to carb ratios and learning how to trust your body.
2.) Trust your body over the CGM arrows.
We have to remember that the CGM is delayed. A lot of times in these situations, we swing massively to the other side from over treating these type of lows. Afterall, when your body is screaming for sugar, it’s hard not to over eat and end up on the roller coaster.
So, how do you not swing to the other side? This takes knowing when you body is starting to feel better and following that over the CGM, because we know that the CGM is delayed. So rather than seeing that the sensor is saying you’re still low and continuing to eat, it’s being able to trust what your body is telling you.
Of course, we want the security of seeing the CGM to say that you’re not low anymore. But when you start to trust your body, then you will overeat a little bit less. And you could even get confident enough to give insulin if you have overeaten for your low. (There’s nothing worse than waking up high after a low in the night.)
3) Give yourself a 24-hour grace period.
Being confident and and empowered with your diabetes isn't about just plowing through. It's about honoring what your body needs.
These lows are a lot on your body, so it’s important to give yourself a 24-hour grace period rather than try to just get “back to normal” the next day. Recognize that your body may need time to recover, to move a little bit slower. And try to advocate for your body’s needs, whether in a work setting or in a relationship. Open up that level of conversation with people around you and being able to express what you need is an important part of taking care of yourself.
Lows are going to happen and we have to build resilience and shake it off and move forward. But part of what allows us to do this is understanding what happened. How did we get there in the first place? What can I do to prevent this from happening next time? Where do I need support in order for that not to happen next time?
If you feel like you’re having frequent lows and you don’t know why OR you are struggling to trust your body after low blood sugar experiences, you could be a great fit for our coaching programs.