What's better lows or highs ???

By manapua72 Latest Reply 2013-01-28 00:55:57 -0600
Started 2013-01-04 17:37:03 -0600

Ok , prior to the pump I had a few lows but mostly running high 2-3 hundreds sometimes higher … Now my #'s r lower and I have more lows then prior to using the pump . Sometimes u have to make an educated guess as to how many grams of carbs r in a certain food … Is it better to under count an end up high or is it better to over count an end up low ??? When low I can usually tell and I am able to correct it as of so far … Any thoughts ???

20 replies

Gwen214 2013-01-20 21:08:07 -0600 Report

Yeah, a lot of the apps never have all the food/ carb content. I usually look online. Also nutrition books will have the carb content listed also. My answer to your question which is better lows or highs. I don't think anyone of them are. They are both equally terrible. You can get complications for having a low or a high. Ugh! I have a pump too. This is my 5th year. YAY! I was recently counseled for imputing correct carb content. Boo! I'm still learning also and sometimes it's just darn frustrating, especially finding ethnic food.

manapua72 2013-01-07 19:00:35 -0600 Report

James , I have the calorie king app on my smart phone it helps a lot but I do encounter foods not listed and @ times have to make an educated guess … I'm getting better @ counting carbs since its something I have to do to make correct use if the pump … So much to still learn …

Type1Lou 2013-01-07 17:27:47 -0600 Report

This is a loaded question since both extremes can lead to death. An untreated extremely low blood sugar level will get you there faster but , when treated, it is also faster to return to normal ranges. Repeated and continuous high BG readings lead to all of those nasty diabetic complications and, if untreated, will ultimately result in coma and death. It takes me longer to get my BG's back to acceptable ranges if they've gone very high. While it is best to avoid both extremes, I'd prefer to deal with the low BG's…as long as they aren't too low. I can usually sense them coming on and am able to treat them early enough with a fast-acting carb. Before going on my pump, I experienced some low BG episodes in the 29 range which caused me to pass out and landed me in the ER too often or in the hospital once. We still keep a glucagon kit handy but haven't had to use it since I got the pump. (Reminds me, I need to check the expiration date and get a renewal/refill since it is date-sensitive.) In 1979 or early 1980, I landed in ICU due to DKA and was in there for several days. I am more conscientious about actually counting my carbs so I can bolus appropriately. When going out to eat, I'll try to check on-line for nutritional info…many national chain restaurants have posted this info. I've also invested in a pocket carb guide which helps a lot.

IronOre 2013-01-11 05:47:14 -0600 Report

I think your attitude "I prefer low" has led to many car accidents.
As far as DKA goes . . . it takes much more than one high reading to get you there. Back it 1979 we didn't have the monitoring supplies we have now.
The range to a low reading is probaly 25-70
Normal is something like 70-170.
The range for a high reading begins at around 200 and can go as high as 1000.
(I worked with a guy who got to 1300, after drinking alcohol, and was admitted to the hospital)
So if you want to walk that thin line of being low, I guess you can do that.

If you are on shots like I am. I take the shot 10 min before I eat.
It takes a while (one hour ???) for the insulin to "act". I then eat.
It takes 15 minutes for the carbs to "act".
So there is a short period of time that your body has the carbs with no insulin and you are probably in the high range without knowing it

So if you get in the high range, bring it down as soon as you find out and you will be fine.

jigsaw 2013-01-06 15:56:26 -0600 Report

Highs chip away st your health, kidneys, eyesite, digestive tract, and circulatory system to name a few. Lows can cut oxygen flow to the brain and eventually cause various degrees of brain damage. So which is worse, you decide.
I think jayabees advice concerning nutritional guides is right on!

IronOre 2013-01-06 22:50:12 -0600 Report

You are right, but it's the never-ending highs that cause the damage the most. and quickest. Those are the people with un-controlled diabetes.
The nutritional advice is jayabee gives is all good, but humans do human things, and when a left turn was made, instead of a right one, there needs to be a way to get back in the right direction, and the best way to get there.

jigsaw 2013-01-07 08:01:43 -0600 Report

I understand your point, and I agree with you for the most part. However, I had two friends that were type 1s and died in their sleep due to extreme lows. To me, that's as bad as it gets. The real danger is how extreme the highs or lows are, and how a specific individual is affected. Either way can have drastic results! The best bet is to learn how to keep your self in balance, and that can be a very individual set of conditions and circumstances. I suspect that is what we all agree with and constantly try to achieve.
One can also ask a doctor, dietician, nutritionist, or diabetic educator and often get the best professional advice.

IronOre 2013-01-11 05:48:28 -0600 Report

In my opinion the danger of the extreme highs is how long you have them.
I agree with you about the lows.

Sumatrafor1 2013-01-06 07:44:53 -0600 Report

I believe it is better to be a little high than too low because you can go into a coma too much damage. High you can work with drink water walk adjust meds and next meal but do not let it get over the high normal +/-

manapua72 2013-01-04 22:38:47 -0600 Report

Thanks IronOre & James … I talked to to people I know in person with diabetes one had a low of 17 , she was hospitalized , and my boss who had dropped into low 20's … I think my trainer and my med team ( doc etc … ) wanted me around 110 … Earlier today I went down to 49 two hours after lunch …

jayabee52 2013-01-04 23:44:12 -0600 Report

That is really scary! Iron may think I am all wet, but I stand by my management of my own diabetes (at least when I am driving) at 130 to 139. When I am not active I like to keep it at 100 or so. But I am not now introducing insulin into my body, I use the insulin my own body makes, so there is a bit of a differnce now than when I was taking those long drives between LV and SF and back.

IronOre 2013-01-05 09:10:37 -0600 Report

I think it is very dangerous to tell people that 130 to 140 is a bit on the high side.
100 or so is perfect.
But basically there is no differnce between those two readings when the meter's accuracy is +or- 20%.
Sorry . . . but I am an engineer - and tolerances, like what I mention above, is something that I work with every day.

IronOre 2013-01-04 22:03:05 -0600 Report

When I was diagnosed with T1 almost 38 years ago I was told that it is always better to be high than low, and I still go by that.
Just think about it - what happens when you get below 60 (more or less) ? you have a great chance of ending up on the floor, passed out.
What happens when you get to 200 . . . nothing, up top 300 . . . nothing, higher than 300 . . . nothing (except for a sick feeling) . The danger of the highs come when you do it time after time, and don't try to fix it. There are people who have undiagnosed diabetes for a couple years, and do fine when things get figured out.
When I get high I know exactly how much insulin to take to get me down to where I want to be . . . and after 38 years of being diabetic I have absolutely no side affects that I hear about many times over around here. When I get low I can be so confused i don't know what to do.
I think it is absurd at what people that I read about think is high reading, and IMO it is very dangerous. Below Jayabee states that 130-140 is "a bit on the high side" . . . and that is total nonsense, especially since home meters are +or- 20% accuracy (you do the math).
Another danger in keeping your BS really low is that you have a higher tendancy of losing that feeling that you should have when you get below 70, and that feeling is an important thing to keep.
The home methods of testing are a great thing but when I hear about how low people try to keep their levels it can mean trouble. I was someone who did that, and was constantly correcting myself whenever i took a reading . . . I put an end to that after a car accident when the medic tested me and I was at 23. I now typically test myself 3-4 times a day and haven't felt this good in a very long time.

annesmith 2013-01-28 00:55:57 -0600 Report

I could not agree with you more! Alleluia! For 5 whole years I made the big big mistake of attempting to DRIVE my sugars down over and over. It did damage, bad damage in which I did not recover from until almost 2 years ago. I was driving my car to church one day, in the early evening. I didn't eat a full supper, and thought " It'll be alright. " As I drove towards the church, I saw flashing red lights in my mirror. A police officer pulled me over, walked up to my window and said " Are you feeling alright?" I took a long , long pause, and said " Yeah, I feel fine for the most part." He saw me WEAVING in a lane for a long period! I got to thinking about it, and NO, I wasn't feeling fine. Now, since THAT incident, I always, ALWAYS make sure I don't drive and walk around low. My GOD, I had been thinking, because I was always told by a former physicians assistant, " The lower, the better." I left that doctor's office. I believed her, and for 5 years I was in a low state. It was awful! I had a light heart attack during that time period, too, found out it was driven by me not making sure my blood sugar was up. NEVER again. I now, since changing over to keeping at least at 100, feel 100% better. I can't believe it, I almost got into an accident with the lows. I used to have several bouts of SHAKING, panic attacks in between, confusion, and almost died several times because of lows. Thank GOD I figured out my problem. ANNE

tabby9146 2013-01-05 08:47:38 -0600 Report

glad you do not have any complications or side effects, always happy to read when that is the case with anyone

jayabee52 2013-01-04 17:57:34 -0600 Report

Why guess at all Manapua? There are nutritional sites which give you nutritional counts for various foods and drinks. The ones I use most often are ~ http://foodpicker.org/ and ~ http://nutritiondata.self.com/ (The latter is probably my favorite if I had to pick one) Both sites need a get a bit of getting used to to navigate but IMO it is worth the hassle.

If I HAD to choose between lows and highs, I would prefer keeping my BG levels a bit on the high side. I used to do that when I was on 10 to 12 hr drives to see my then future bride. I tried to keep my BG levels at 130 to a little under 140. I was injecting insulin at the time, and wanted to avoid hypos and possible crashes. That was my tactic and it seemed to work well.

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