Fixing nighttime lows??

By BroadwayGirl Latest Reply 2013-09-24 11:34:38 -0500
Started 2013-07-31 09:07:59 -0500

My boyfriends mom use to have a cat that would wake her up when her blood sugar was going low in the middle of night(she was type one). I have diabetes(type one) and I fear not waking up while going low in the middle of the night and slipping into a coma before anyone finds me. I don't always wake up when I go low. I was wondering if there are places you can get a specially trained animal to wake me up like her cat did? Or am I able to train an animal to do this? What kind of animal if there are any? I prefer cats, but if smaller dogs like pugs or bulldogs could I'd consider them.

14 replies

Type1Lou 2013-09-24 11:34:38 -0500 Report

Back in 2010, I started having frequent nighttime and morning low BG's. After seeking care from an endocrinologist, they decreased my Lantus dose, changed it from bedtime to morning, and re-educated me about counting carbs and sliding scales of insulin. Things got a bit better but 9 months later, I started using a pump. Pumping has virtually eliminated those scary lows for me while giving me better control and actually reducing the amount of insulin I use daily. Maybe an adjustment in your nighttime/early morning basal levels is needed to help avoid those scary lows.

Chopstix 2013-08-07 22:23:17 -0500 Report

There are dogs that are trained to alert diabetics(was on 60 Minutes or 20/20 or the like) if their blood sugar is low/high. To my blood sugar from dipping/spiking I like to a spoonful of peanut butter or some cheese and wheat crackers before if I ate kind of a light dinner. I have also found when I eat dinner late, between 8 & 9:30 pm, I don't have any problems with my readings in the morning. The best of health to you…

_Sean 2013-08-05 21:35:13 -0500 Report

Have you tried extend bars? I guess they make them specifically to help diabetics maintain blood sugar. Could be good to try eating those as a bed time snack. I have, it seems to help. Maybe you should talk to your doc about your basal/bolus at night. It could be possible you are taking too much considering you have a tendency to go super low and not notice it. Just some ideas.

AliB1980 2013-08-02 15:46:48 -0500 Report

You will always eventually wake up. I had the same concerns and a doctor told me years ago that when you have a bad hypo at night the body goes into survival mode - when this happens the body basically works by secreting a hormone from your liver which activates an adrenaline charge in the system to 'jump' you out of your sleep. Yes you may feel a bit drowsy when you wake but if you wake suddenly for no reason at night always test your blood sugar. Look after yourself. X

Type1Lou 2013-09-24 11:30:19 -0500 Report

Not everyone wakes up every time. I didn't while on vacation in 2010 and even after a glucagon shot administered by my husband, he drove me to an ER and I was admitted after several hours observation because they wanted to be sure I hadn't suffered a stroke…it was "JUST" a really bad hypo. That episode was my signal to change doctors and seek care from an endocrinologist. The endo actually reduced my Lantus (which the PCP kept increasing). I started using a pump in 2011 and virtually eliminated those scary lows.

Nick1962 2013-08-06 11:37:51 -0500 Report

What your doctor described is “liver dump” which typically happens even in non-diabetics. I have woken up in a sweat often due to this.

With advanced T2’s and T1’s though (generally folks on insulin), the incidence of hypoglycemic episodes increases “because of compromised glucose counterregulatory systems”.
In other words, liver dump may not be enough (or happen at all), and with the resulting hypoglycemic episode, there is the risk (if it happens frequently) of brain damage, unconsciousness or coma.

From my reading and understanding, this is one of a T1’s major fears (and rightly so I would think), but if your doctor had suspicions of this possibility, he/she would prescribe a glucagon kit (an injectable “liver dump”), but it sounds like Broadway has enough control that this isn’t an issue.

BroadwayGirl 2013-08-02 21:45:29 -0500 Report

That's what I've always heard, but even as a child this wasn't the case for me. I've gone into a 'shock' more than once where I've been so low I completely blacked out. My parents said that when I get this low I act confused, scared, and cannot remember anyone.

Poodle gal
Poodle gal 2013-08-01 09:03:06 -0500 Report

This is a suggestion for you—I ALWAYS check my blood sugar before I go to bed and make sure that it is 140 or more. If I am lower than 140, I have a healthy snack. This way I sleep soundly and don't worry about a night time low. You might run this idea by your own doctor however.

Scarlet03 2013-07-31 18:34:38 -0500 Report

My dog does that and I trained her myself …look up the rules with the ADA. Here's the neat thing, and I didn't train my cat. If the dog is asleep he will bug me with a paw

old biker
old biker 2013-07-31 14:24:32 -0500 Report

There is a device on the market called sleep sentry for diabetics that worry about lows when they are asleep. It's worn on the wrist like a wrist watch and monitors skin temperature and perspiration levels. It just might be what you are looking for. It sounds like it would be worth looking into