By Deb7892 Latest Reply 2010-01-06 22:23:22 -0600
Started 2009-12-23 19:54:04 -0600

Hi there…I was diagnosed in August of this year with Type 2…1 week after I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism…I have never taken anything more than a tylenol or robitussin in my whole life (44 years) and all the sudden I am supporting the pharmacuetical companies! I have changed my diet and have started losing weight…joined a gym…making positive changes…Reading through some of the posts here, I see that BG levels vary significantly from person to person. My doctor at my last visit was not happy that my fasting BG was not low enough and added Januvia to my Metformin (which he increased the dosage to 800mg twice a day) He said that my fasting should be below 100. For some reason, I am not being able to do that. I feel like I am doing everything I should do but my fasting won't come down. Now today, my fasting was 117 I ate breakfast…had a midmorning snack and at 11:30am my BG was 67 !! I have never been that low - I ate a breakfast bar that I kept in my desk drawer. I had no warning signs that it was that low - what should I look for? I was not shaky, vision was fine, nothing. I retook my BG just to make sure it wasn't a false reading…and it was 68 the second time so I am assuming that was accurate. arghhhhh

15 replies

nerdse 2010-01-06 22:23:22 -0600 Report

I have had bs as low as 36, I was doing the laundry & I felt weird. That's the only way I could describe it, just like something wasn't right. Any time I feel that way I do a bs test, boy, was I surprised to see a 36 on that meter! No shakiness, nothing except feeling weird. At that reading, I probably should've been out cold, but I was mostly annoyed that I had to delay finishing what a friend of mine calls "Mt. Washmore" to take care of a freakin' low bs! It took 2 sugared sodas for it to get up to normal & stay up, bc I had a flare up of chronic fatigue & when that happens, I tend to go low & stay low. I lowered the basal insulin next dose until I was able to fall asleep, something that's difficult with CFS. So yeah, type 2s can get really low with few or no symptoms.

I know if you drink sodas or juice too fast, you can push your bs too high too fast & get a rebound low. What happens is since type 2s still make insulin & glucagon, when you go low, your body will try to bring the bs up by secreting glucagon to mobilize energy stores. But it isn't always fast enough. But if you push sugar up too high too fast, your body will try to make insulin to bring the sugars back down, then they'll just go too low again. I sipped on the soda & kept checking, because I didn't want to over-correct & risk a rebound low. It did come up very slowly, & after sipping on 2 sodas, finally got to 104 & stayed in that general range.

Sometimes, I feel a weird cold needly feeling creep up my back or up my arms; that's a sign I'm going low. Other times, I feel spacy. Sometimes I'm shaky. I have all sorts of different reactions to lows. Other times, I feel cold in the pit of my stomach. So anytime you feel the slightest bit weird, check, in case. And my sugars can go all over; if the fibromyalgia pain gets bad, then my bs goes way up even if I don't eat.

My son's a type I & my mom got type 2, more from her age, meds, & physical condition than anything else, but she had a tumor on her adrenal gland, so it would sometimes release hormones & her sugars would go really, really high. We'd have to give her corrective insulin when she was barely eating. Other times, her sugar would go low & stay there, & we'd have to take her off the pills & the insulin & feed her, even if she wasn't hungry.

Adolescent type 1s are all over the place with sugars due to hormone spurts associated with growth & development, so my son was also on a roller coaster ride with his sugars.

I ended up with type 2 on top of a long list of autoimmune diseases, due to liver damage from taking hydroxycut to try & boost weight loss - if the liver is damaged, it affects blood sugars. I've already mentioned how my other conditions affect it; well, I think I have the longest running span of perimenopause in existence; I was told I was in it 3 years before I got pregnant with my son! I think I'll still be having cycles when I "buy the farm." Those cycles also impact the sugars; during the painful parts, it goes high; mid-cycle it drops, or stays normal even when I'm in pain.

Any hormone from any other source can mess with the hormone insulin in some way. We don't know nearly everything about diabetes. My mom used to say that's why they call it the practice of medicine - they don't have it right, they're still practicing.

You said in one post you had hypothyroid (which is low thyroid for which they Rx levothyroxine aka synthroid) & in another that you had hyperthyroid (high thyroid hormone levels, for which they prescribe something to lower the levels), so I'm not sure which it is, But taking prescribed medicine for whichever it is will help your sugars level out. It's just it can take around 6 weeks for your body to adjust to the thyroid medication, during which time your sugars can fluctuate more. Again, it's a hormone, so it will impact female hormones & insulin - & thus, sugars.

Then there are sick days. You can be hurling your guts out & be unable to keep anything down for hours on end & have high sugars due to the stress. Stress causes your body to release adrenaline, the "flight or fight" hormone, but when you're sick, you can't fight much. Adrenaline then releases cortisol, which mobilizes sugars from your body's energy stores, to give your cells the extra oomph they need to fight an infection.- so you really need extra insulin. But if you aren't taking a pill that stimulates your pancreas to make more insulin, or you're not using insulin, it's just going to stay high. If your sugars go above 240, you start making ketones, which make your body acidic; exercising then can be dicey - you could make the ketones go higher.

Female hormones, more than male ones, can affect your sugars, too. When you write down your sugar, put some sort of notes there if you just took thyroid medication, if you have something like a headache or sore joints, make a note of it along with putting down any meds you took. If you take vitamins or other supplements, put down what you took & when. Note the patterns of your cycle as well.Then see if you or your doctor notice a pattern.

Metformin makes your body more responsive to insulin - it's used for both type 1s & type 2s for that reason. Januvia suppresses the hormone that increases appetite & makes your body store food as fat. It should help you reach your goals.

Normal bs was always 80 - 120, now they're saying it's 70 - 110 & fasting levels have to be below 100. To me, that's absurd. Most people get shaky when their sugars go below 80 - but if you correct for a low bs in the70s, your doctor is likely to fuss at you. To me, it seems like they're making people diabetic. If you check bs after a meal (2 hr after), it's supposed to be 140 or less, otherwise the doctor is supposed to adjust your meds.

You have to admit, a lot of people make a lot of money off this disease - manufacturers of insulin, syringes, insulin pens, pumps, meters & test strips, home A1C kits, doctors, & the ones who make a profit off people who aren't compliant & end up on dialysis, blind, in wheelchairs due to amputations. If they ever cured this disease, a lot of people would be out of work. And in the end, lay people end up acting as their own nurses, doing care that used to be done only in a hospital. They tell you the disease is your fault, they blame you if your sugars go all over the place; they tell you you're "cheating," they all but call you a liar to your face at times. They have their little mindset that says there are no sugar fluctuations in those who are doing things as they're told, but I have not met a diabetic yet who hasn't had unexplained fluctuations even when they rigidly follow diet & exercise plans. Few endocrinologists are actually kind in my experience, & all over these boards, I'm seeing my information confirmed.

On these boards, I've also seen a lot of people who say the same thing: you do what you're supposed to do, & your bs will never be out of control, yet they are doing what they were told to do. It seems to me that blood sugar fluctuations are normal & steady state is not. I think back to when I worked on internal insulin pump research with adult type 1s who were obsessed with not interrupting their diet & exercise program. Even with rigid control, they still had sometimes very significant & unexplained lows or highs.

Considering all that, I'd say fluctuations are pretty normal. I for one am tired of having doctors act like we deserve this for eating wrong, being heavy, whatever; yeah, it's a good idea to eat healhy, exercise, etc. But we're not the only people in the world whose behavior can cause illness. If you consider, HIV is a very preventable disease.People have unprotected sex with someone who may not know they're infected, or who believe it's their duty to infect as many people as they can, so they don't let their sex partners know they're HIV positive. Years ago, tainted blood was a source, but now, that's not the case. But you don't hear doctors carrying on about how they deserve HIV, so why do we get this, "You deserve this, you don't live right" garbage?

Sorry, I had to vent on that one. This "karma" stuff of if you live a bad life, you get sick as punishment is garbage. Those rich CEOs whose failed companies caused a worldwide recession/depression aren't sick for what they did. Most of them aren't unemployed & worrying about how to afford doctor visits & supplies that they have to have or they'll die. Me, I think that since a lot of type 2s are fat, they consider us ugly, so that's the real reason they act so nasty & say we deserve it. Plenty of fat people don't have diabetes, just like a lot of people who take risks like promiscuity & needle addiction don't get HIV. If this "karma" theory was right, everyone who ever did anything wrong would have some sort of terrible disease because of it. Instead, some very evil people are healthy as a horse, & decent people have diabetes, cancer, lupus, etc, etc.

Maybe we should present that argument every time a doctor says we "deserve" a disease. FWIW, anyway.

Thanks for allowing the venting; hope the info helped you feel less abnormal about things, & something to think about that will help you not to get down on yourself or let some doctor walk all over you.

AddassaMari 2009-12-28 17:21:30 -0600 Report

I know the feeling. I was diagnosed in July of 2009. It takes time and your body is trying to readjust. It is a steep learning curve. Some things that may help: a good diabetic cookbook, a good food scale, a food diary and eating and taking medications at the same time or close to everyday. Remember you are retraining yourself to take care of you.

Deb7892 2009-12-27 23:29:27 -0600 Report

Thank you ALL for your encouraging words…I know that I need to stay in control of this so that it doesn't continue to control me…I will keep eating right…try to stay motivated and exercise…and not stress over the little things…I will keep checking in and hopefully some day…I will be one of the people on this site OFFERING kind helpful words to a new member! Thank you all and God Bless!


Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-12-27 23:43:45 -0600 Report

Just when you think you have your BS under control, THEY do their thing! I started feeling weak and shaky, took my BS and it was 164, which was not that high, BUT as far as I know, it had been 2 or 3 weeks since it had gotten that high and I wasn't used to it, finally took 1/4 Glipizide, dropped to 104 , so am not home FREE and probably will NEVER REALLY BE—-but now I can accept it and will continue to try and behave, and NOT PUSH IT JUST TO SEE!! PR

Deb7892 2009-12-28 00:26:40 -0600 Report

I can't seem to notice any signs of the ups and downs…which is a lot of my problem. Before my diagnosis, I would notice fatigue…I just HAD to go to sleep. Since I have been on doesn't seem so noticable. I am taking 850mg of Metformin twice a day and Januvia once in the morning…I am hoping to eventually get off of the medicine…but until I get it under control…I highly doubt I can stop taking the medicine.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-12-28 14:58:24 -0600 Report

Frankly, I DO NOT KNOW!! About the time I THINK that I can stay off of meds, I decide that I can't—-Our son was down yesterday, his wife was recently diagnosed, about 48 yrs old, is, what I call, TRUE DIABETIC—-where I think of mine as being related to STRESS, AGE and weight—etc—-She THOUGHT that she could always tell too, when hers was too high!! But yesterday, our son said that she will check, then come in and say," I bet you cant guess what my BS was THIS time!! It doesn't seem to follow TRULY what you consume! When it hit in the 200's she THOUGHT that she always got tired and weak, slept for 3 hours was so pooed—-but now, it has only been a year since she was diagnosed, her mom also has it, no one else in our family has it but me, she can NOT TELL! Maybe it is just where our body gets USED to!

I feel fine today, not light headed and dizzy like—-my fasting BS was 102 this morn—-Cindy was so SURE of how to treat her own diagnosis a few weeks ago, NOW she is as uncertain as the rest of us.

My conclusion? Keep checking every day—-as once it has hit your body, I am beginning to think, one can NEVER AGAIN ASSUME that you are "sugar -free!" PR

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-12-26 11:53:38 -0600 Report

All of the above, so true! That is why this site is so important, to help us learn to vent (we don't call it the big G word—-gripping, be thankful that it isn't worse—-etc, etc, all from well meaning folks who "don't get it" so talk with us, and in the meantime you might run across someone personally in your own life—-, that can listen objectively—-usually a rather distant friend ——even a therapist can listen objectively and help you to not feel "alone"! You are NOT! All of us have had family issues with no one understanding—-unless they have it too ——

As for me, I am a type 2, had no problem with lows until I was put on Glipizide!!!! Down to 40, surprised me, but I did feel it, sweaty and weak—I too, double checked, and it was the same——I had thot a LOW was not in my plan frame—-as it had been staying between 130 fasting up to 236, but thru the past months, as I exercise, follow a better diet—-still not too strict—-but the MEDICINE was what sent me on a LOW___-it has been lowering—-

Now, I gradually cut my Glipizide in halves, then fourths, now haven't taken it for 2 weeks—-and SLOWLY the whole number range, is lowering——-still checking to make sure—-

I am feeling so much BETTER INSIDE, after bending a lot of ears on this site, I can remember better, think and act better—-so my diabetis too is coming back within normal limits!! I can hardly believe it, but VERY THANKFUL so can honestly say, that for me, my inner turmoil working out——-is allowing my BS to drop, got rid of that cancer in Sept, no further signs of it!!! How BLESSED is this SEASON, the Lord can help us all, we just have to ask!! Hugs—Pat R

Antique-Dave 2009-12-26 09:26:34 -0600 Report

I've just recently started to have some FBG's in the 90's, 102 to 130 is more like it.

Its not unusual to have a lower reading later in the day after eating and 67 isn't terrible, T2's as a rule do not go low enough to have concerns. I think 72 is the lowest I've had recently and it was a surprise.

I think its good that you have a doc thats encouraging you to have the lowest FBG possible but keep in mind that D has a mind of its own too and you can do everything right, everyday and it still doesn't happen the way you want it to.

Don't beat yourself up if you are doing all that you can do and the readings are coming up higher then you want, relax, stress can raise BG's too.

Rmc 2009-12-24 08:44:58 -0600 Report

My fasting BG runs 115-135 most of the time. I have concluded that it is ok if it doesn't elevate over 160 after breakfast. When it goes too low my eyes go dim and I tend to shake & drag feet. I would advise to not let the experts over react. You know yourself better and are in charge .

pratty 2009-12-23 20:59:58 -0600 Report

you should havea snack at bedtime. they really help. it gives your body something to do at night to keep your fbs lower in the morning

Deb7892 2009-12-23 23:42:12 -0600 Report

My doctor told me that… to have a snack before bed…(which goes against all we are taught…dont eat before bed…you will gain weight!) But I do…and my BG is still not low enough when I wake up…and its not like I am sleeping a long time…I have a snack about 1030…bed between 11 and 12 and I am up at 630

I know this whole thing is a life changing "process" and a lot of learning is involved…

and then…the emotional thing…whats up with that? I want to scream…to cry…and no one in my family can understand what the problem is…When I told my mom that I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Hyperthyroidism…she dismissed it like I told just told her we were have spaghetti for dinner…thanks for your support! My husband is very supportive making sure that I eat right and that I remember to take my meds…but I don't think he understands the emotional side of it…am I a weird-o or do others feel this same emotional roller coaster?

Antique-Dave 2009-12-26 09:31:23 -0600 Report

Families don't get it sometimes, and rarely want to hear the blow by blow accounts. We all have some good stories about what our families did (or didn't do) My mother brought me a huge vanilla shake, a burger and large fry when she heard I was dx with diabetes.

what kind of snack are you eating before bed?

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2009-12-26 11:30:20 -0600 Report

Hi Deb7892,

Don't feel bad. I "stay" on an emotional roller coaster. I am type 1, and on the pump, and my bs still goes from one extreme to another. I don't always eat the right foods, I know; it just isn't possible, and I can't always eat at regularly scheduled times. I get so frustrated at times, I just want to throw my hands up, and "cry uncle" So, believe me, you are not alone. I have only been diabetic for 1 and 1/2 years so all of this is still fairly new to me, and I am still struggling. I am trying to educate myself as much as possible, and take care of myself as best I can…And, family sometimes just don't seem to understand what we are dealing with here. Like you, my husband is very supportive, and helps me with my diet, and helps me to count my carbs. Sometimes I don't know what I would do without him. I think he knows more about it than I do. Bless his heart, he trys to keep me on track. Exercise is another thing that I have a real problem with, because, I hate to exercise, and have to force myself. I like to swim, because it is low impact. Walking is out pretty much because I broke my left knee about 7 years ago, and walking is fifficult for me. If, I get off balance just a little bit, down I go. I have broken my right wrist a couple of times from falling, and had to have surgery on it. But, hang in there and keep up the fight. We are all in this together. We can't give up, huh!!!!

Harlen 2009-12-23 20:27:11 -0600 Report

Yep I know what you meen I am there too
And yes it can take a bit of time to get it all down.
If you have Q just ask we will do the best we can
Best wishes