LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Saturday Share #16

Doing my part to keep internet diabetes information fun and accurate I’ve been two-timing my blog by answering reader’s questions over at Sharecare as one of their “Experts.”

I’m having a blast, and I’ve decided that every week I’m going to share one of my favorite questions with you here.

Sharecare Question: How does blood glucose affect the way I feel?

My “Expert” answer: First, the myth busting. Anyone who doesn’t check their blood glucose because they can “feel” what level they are at are kidding themselves. None of us are that good, and the way a given glucose level affects you on Monday won’t be the same as it affects you on Wednesday.

That said, there are a few general rules. Let’s start with high glucose. The first symptoms of high blood glucose are generally felt by your loved ones, not by you. For example, I personally don’t feel a thing when my blood glucose is a little high. But my wife sure does. According to her, I get “pissy” when my blood sugar is above 200 mg/dL.

If I go over 300 mg/dL even I notice that I’m… uh… irritable.

Above 400 mg/dL I start getting sick to my stomach.

Above 500 mg/dL every part of my mind and body feels like crap and I just want to die.

Other common effects of high blood sugar may include blurry vision, big-time thirst and hunger, and running to the bathroom to pee…. a lot (both frequently and volume).

On the low end, especially if your blood sugar is dropping rapidly, the body sends out a series of warning signs to alert you to the trouble. These commonly include shaking or shivering, excessive sweating, hunger, dizziness, and feeling like you are in an elevator whose cable’s just snapped.

It’s miserable.

But it can save your bacon.

If you’ve been low and are “rebounding” following treatment, you’ll experience great fatigue, soreness, and a bit of mental fog. Sort of like a hangover. Well, a hangover following a fist-fight with a gang of sailors that you lost.

The reason our bodies and our minds give us trouble outside of the normal range is because it’s unhealthy for glucose to be too high or too low. When you are high your blood is toxic to your tissues. When you are too low, your brain is suffocating, deprived of the glucose that keeps it running.

Of course the best way to avoid all these nasty side effects is to keep your blood sugar in target as best you can, most of the time.

You can check out other Expert’s answers to this question, and my answers to many more questions by going here:

Then select the “Answers” tab near the top left.


Anonymous Sysy said...

I'm one of those that typically feels when I'm under 70 or over 140,which is nice, although what I feel is seriously subtle. Being wrong can cost me so I always test, though.

For me, symptoms of lows and highs are more pronounced when my average is closest to my target and standard deviation is low.

I'm grateful for feeling the lows. Wish everyone did.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Tracy Portner said...

this is just authentic. you just described my dad (early part of his diagnosis). we were sharing the burden in the family like crazy. it was crazy then.

3:54 AM  

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