counting carbs

By Cheryl*G Latest Reply 2012-12-11 09:14:02 -0600
Started 2010-04-13 19:13:57 -0500

I have to count carbs. My problem is between breakfast and lunch my blood sugar drops to the low 50's and I get all shakey. I have 3 to 4 carbs per meal and only one snack at night that is 2 carbs. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I can do? I am new to diabetes and I know I have a lot to learn still.

31 replies

oiyon 2012-12-11 09:14:02 -0600 Report

I try hard to always have protein with my carbs. I know that it slows down the carbs. I have to be careful with fast carbs even though I can cover anything I eat with insulin. I have learned for me fruit smoothies made iwth greek yougurt can work as a meal for me and I can slow down sugar dumping by drinking slowly. I just have to remember to eat. I know skipping meal is really bad but a lifetime of skipping meals and trying to control weight always works against me.

IronOre 2012-12-11 00:01:52 -0600 Report

I have around 60 grams of carbs for breakfast too, and what works best for me is when I eat some protein with it. I always have a perfect reading at lunch time when I do it that way.
I don't know exactly how it does it, but I know that protein stretches out the time period that the carbs are released.
So eat a little bit more carbs along with some protein, and you may have a better morning. I think light yogurt will add both the protein and carbs that you may need.

dijr0365 2011-08-01 16:19:05 -0500 Report

I find my blood sugars flexuate not only with my insulin and ie in take of Carbs, but also from the type of Carbs I am eating. I express it by saying there is fast acting carbs, which means Juice, candy, etc. I will take insulin to cover it, but I feel better and am less likely to have lows/highs by eating slow (solid carbs) bread, potatos, ect with a protien. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich can hold me steady for a long period of time.

Sidehack 2011-08-01 05:15:43 -0500 Report

How many units of long-lasting insulin (e.g.; glargine) are you taking in the a.m.? and how many units of fast-acting insulin (e.g.; aspert) are you taking before meals. "Counting carbs" is taking so many units of insulin per so many carbs. for example 1 unit of fast-acting insulin to 3 carbs.
It gets confusing when you refer to "grams of carbs" and "carbs", when I refer to carbs I mean grams…usually 45 - 60 carbs per meal.
Did I confuse the issue enough?

IronOre 2012-12-11 00:06:53 -0600 Report

yes it does get confusing with the "carb excahnge" thing (where 1 carb exchange =15 grams of carbs).
I was told about it, when learning carb counting, but never used it . . .
some units of insulin per some grams of carbs works just fine for me too.

sNerTs1 2010-11-06 12:53:14 -0500 Report

When I read this I thought gosh that cannot be right 3-4 grams of carbs per meal is a bite of a cracker basically. Im too new to all of this myself to give you any sort of help and I apologize for that but I thank you greatly for writing this as i am learning through the replies you get.

I hope you get well and find a good balance to what you need so you dont drop so low. I get the shakes when my sugars reach the low 80s so I cannot imagine to the 50s.

Take care of you! Cheryl

Cheryl*G 2010-11-06 17:14:58 -0500 Report

I'm not trying to confuse you but each carb which counts as 1 is 15 grams! So if I have 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal it equals 3 to 4 carbs!

sNerTs1 2010-11-06 23:01:03 -0500 Report

Oh gosh thank you so much for explaining that to me *thunks her head* I was always only told in grams. I am learning yet so thank you for teaching me. =)

Cheryl*G 2010-06-20 23:43:03 -0500 Report

Thanks for all the responses. I talked to my doctor and he still wants me to keep my carbs at 3 to 4 carbs per meal, which is 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal!

MichelleBalcom 2010-04-26 11:06:23 -0500 Report

I would love to know what you are eating with so little carbs. I usually have a oatmeal in the morning between (8am and 9am) at 12 I have a sandwhich with the tomato, lettuce, onion, and avacodo if we have it (is a small flat round bread), since we don't have dinner until around 7-7:30 I have a snack around 3:30 then dinner. Depending on how much I eat and sugar level at 10pm I have another snack. I am also new with being a diabetic. I was told to keep my carbs for the day in a certain range, to read all packages for sugar, carbs, and sodium.

AllyOop 2010-04-26 10:24:10 -0500 Report

I don't understand the "3 to 4 carbs". I was told to eat 30 carbs per meal or 90 per day, divided between meals anad snacks. Maybe that's why you are getting way too low readings. You might just not be eating enough food.

Cheryl*G 2010-09-09 21:39:15 -0500 Report

Every carb equals 15 grams of carbs. So 3 to 4 carbs equals 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal! 1 carb = 15 grams. Does that help any?

tweetydele 2011-07-11 22:43:06 -0500 Report

i can only have 20 carbs a meal , it isnt always easy but getting better. i make my sandwiches out of pita bread 5 grams of carbs each. i never hardly eat bread. for breakfast i usually have 2 scrambled eggs with turkey crumbles in it and maybe one piece of toast. then for supper just meat and veggies or saLads.

Cheryl*G 2010-04-15 17:46:03 -0500 Report

My doctor is going to try me on 1/2 morning and 1/2 night with the glipzide and see what that does. He said he can't switch them around because if it goes to low at night I might not wake up to do something about it!

Cheryl*G 2010-04-14 16:05:20 -0500 Report

Metformin-500mg morning and night, Glipizide-5mg morning/and a 1/2 one at dinner,Metoprolol-25mg in the morning,Lisinopril-10mg in the morning, and a multi diabetic vitamin pack

GabbyPA 2010-04-15 10:55:32 -0500 Report

Maybe you could talk to your doctor about reversing your dose of Glipizide? If you took half in the AM and the whole in the evening? These are suggestions to discuss. Don't just try it, as taking more in the evening may cause you to have a night time low that you cannot control. I don't want that to happen. But it could be worth talk about if adjusting your diet is not helping.

Junebug77 2010-04-19 09:36:16 -0500 Report

My first question is, ARE you a diabetic? It sounds like you are HYPO-glycemic and that is NOT a diabetic…The drugs you are taking are meant to lower your blood sugar. And believe me you are taking alot of drugs. It is common sense to realize that if your blood sugar is going to low and your getting the shakes…your taking too many drugs. I started reading a book, "There is a cure for diabetes" by Dr. Gabriel Cousins. You can fnd it cheap at…When I figured out that the insulin a Dr. put me on was responsible for me gaining 100lbs…I got off of it. To date I've lost 70lbs. I have gotton off of the insulin and actos drugs. I take a 10mg glipizide x2 daily. I don't eat ANY processed foods. I am also allergic to wheat which is the biggest reason processed foods are not in my house. I just finished planting my spring garden…lots of veggies. I want to lose about another 80-120 lbs. And when I'm done I won't be on any drugs. And I won't be a diabetic anymore. You have to start doing some research to find the answers you want. Doctors don't care…they think you won't change or do the research for these answers…so they give you drugs. The best advice anyone could give you is to go see a naturopathic physician. Some chiropratic Dr. could lead you in the right direction.

Cheryl*G 2010-04-19 16:45:25 -0500 Report

I'm sorry but I have no idea who's profile you have read but I only take two types of meds for my diabetes! And YES I am diabetic!

Cheryl*G 2010-04-19 16:52:09 -0500 Report

Junebug77 I'm sorry to tell you but you will always be a diabetic even if you don't use meds anymore! THERE IS NO CURE!!!!!!

Cheryl*G 2010-04-14 15:22:55 -0500 Report

The one I have is very low in carbs but high in protein. It doesn't matter though my numbers still dropped below 60 and I had the shakes.

GabbyPA 2010-04-14 15:47:19 -0500 Report

What kind of meds are you taking in the morning? Maybe you need to talk to your doctor about changing what you take in the morning.

GabbyPA 2010-04-14 13:05:59 -0500 Report

Welcome to the community. Glad to have you here.

As Harlen said, a snack may be a good idea. It can be something as simple as a small apple with some peanut butter or some cheese and crackers.

The other option is to add some fat or protein to your breakfast. This will slow down the absorption of the carbs and give you a more steady rise and maybe a more gradual fall. I see here that you had oatmeal and toast for breakfast. That is all carb and not much else. The whey protein drink should help, but you want to watch the carbs in those. So if you add maybe a boiled egg or a slice of cheese to your toast or a bit of turkey meat. That may also help. Maybe a hand full of walnuts sprinkled on your oatmeal.

I am like you, my lowest numbers of the day are usually after my breakfast.

Cheryl*G 2010-04-14 10:27:19 -0500 Report

Thanks Harlen. This morning I had oatmeal and toast then I made a whey protein drink. I will know around 11 am if this going to work!

Harlen 2010-04-14 06:17:38 -0500 Report

for me I like a litle peant butter cracker sandwitch just two ritz with a little PB on them this helps me get thrue till lunch
keep testing to know if its doing it for you
Best wishes

Harlen 2010-04-13 20:14:12 -0500 Report

I would have a little snack befor lunch?
1/2 to lunch just a little something
best wishes

Michael Jay
Michael Jay 2010-04-18 08:38:51 -0500 Report

I would suggest that you consult a nutritionist, most hospitals have them and most insurance plans will pay for them. The Metformin is causing your muscles to take in more sugar and the Glipizide is "pinging" your pancreas to sent out more insulin thus lowering your blood sugar further. Carbs are NOT the enemy, you need them to keep your body working. I was advised to make sure that I got 60 grams of carbs at each meal and a 30 gram carb snack before bed when I was on Glyburide. Glipizide type medications are kind of like taking a shot of insulin. You have to be careful with it. If you go too low too often your body will lose the warning symptoms (shakes etc) that you now feel. Good luck!

Cheryl*G 2010-04-18 20:13:42 -0500 Report

I have already been to a nutritionist and I am 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 30 grams of carb before bed!

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