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Benging on food when sugar is low
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Benging on food when sugar is low

I'm not really sure this can be answered, I guess I just want to throw it out there and see what others do in the same situation.  My husband is a Type 1 for 20 years now.  In the middle of the night when his sugar drops he gets up and gets to kitchen and starts scarfing sweets and orange juice down.  Then he goes to bed and he wakes and it's extremely high.  Me, not having diabetes and not knowing what it feels like, tells him all the time not to eat so much.  And his response is it's low and you are in a panic to get it up.  It's a seesaw effect...its low at night, then it's high in the morning when he wakes and he spends the rest of the morning trying to get it down to normal.  I've even gotten up with him trying to monitor his sweets and it doesn't help.  He's going to eat and drink whatever he can get his hands on until he feels it's back to the safe mode.  Are there others that do this?  Are thre any suggestions?  Thanks!
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This happens to me alot (type 1 for 26 years). Three approaches  have worked for me: 1) put glucose tablets on my bedside table and eat 4 of them if I have a low, then force myself to lie there and wait. This is very very hard because you are in panic mode when you wake up like this and want to eat until the feeling goes away, but I have been able to do it. 2) Eat something that has sugar but takes a little work to chew up, like jelly beans or grapes. This tends to reduce my overall consumption of excess carbs. Drinking a glass of water or sugar-free Crystal Lite also helps me with the urge to consume. 3) if I do binge because I'm not as prepared or thinking clearly at all, I force myself to take some insulin when it's over but before going back to sleep to cover the extra food. This requires some math which can be challenging in the middle of the night under such circumstances - so if you want to be helpful and your husband agrees to it you could offer to calculate how much insulin he'll need to cover the excess carbs he's consumed. I usually undershoot so that I don't go low again, but at least I don't have an outrageously high bG in the morning that it takes all day (or sometimes longer) to try and compensate for.

What your husband describes to you is absolutely the truth and I doubt it's unusual--at least it is how I feel and respond. You either have to control the intake of carbs or compensate with some extra insulin in order to break out of this situation. The latter may be easier if he's really having difficulty controlling the panic/eat response. Good luck!!
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Avatar_n_tn
oh yeah, obviously I am NOT a doctor so your husband should confirm this strategy with his physician. These are just the ways I've dealt with a similar problem.

btw, I don't have as many nighttime lows since switching to a pump from injections...
Avatar_n_tn
Hi krushing,
Yes, I have indeed seen this. When my teenage diabetic daughter gets low, she gets shaky and panicky... and sometimes starving.

One suggestion is for him to first treat the low blood sugar in the appropriate way, with a small amount of juice or some sweets. If he still feels "starving" (to quote my daughter), he can have some protein: some cold chicken, perhaps. That will fill him up more but not cause his sugar to spike up. That's what my daughter does if her low causes her to feel empty and hungry.

He will crave sweets, but if he just tries eating some protein first, he should get that satiety his body wants.

Good luck.
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143123_tn?1274304425
CDB: Thanks for the advice.  Anything I can try will help tremendously.

Janetzone: He has a pump, but it's an older one and it doesn't work well with him.  But, we just info on a new pump that is just now being offered, so we may look into that.  His low bg isn't all the time, but I like to be prepared when it is.

Thanks again for the suggestions!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a type 1 (34 years).

Have you tried to figure out what gave the LOW?  Thats what I did and come to find out there is only a couple of things that could do it. 1. did not eat enough or forget to eat snack 2. took too much insulin  3. mis-calculated carbs in food intake 4. exercise not accounted for with carbs.

I would try cutting down on that evening shot, or in his case try to reduce the pump insulin flow at night.  Or do what I did. Stopped taking that night time shot that only made me eat a BIG snack before I went to bed. YES, I stopped taking my night time shot. and after checking my BS in the mornings, found out that I was taking that evening shot just so that I would have to eat almost a meal before I went to bed to keep from going LOW.

Why not try to look at what made you go LOW and fix that problem, rather than fix the LOW (eating a bunch of carbs in the middle of the night).  Beleive me I hate the LOWs and will try to keep them from comming especially at night.

Bob
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