My blood sugars are regularly around 320 to 220. When I am able to get them down to "normal", I feel like complete crap! Why is this? What can I do to not feel like crap, but still have my blood sugars stay normal? It seems like the only time I feel well is when my sugar levels are high. What gives?

Patty Bonsignore


The likely reason you feel poorly when your blood glucose levels are in target range is because your body has adjusted itself to the higher blood glucose levels. Basically, the body gets used to the highs and feels “normal” at these levels, even though the high blood glucose levels are still doing damage. When your blood glucose levels go lower, even though they are in target range, the body thinks it is low and gives you similar symptoms, such as shakiness, irritability, hunger, etc. As you have these symptoms, it is important to resist treating them as you would a low blood glucose level (that is, by eating 15 grams of carbohydrate). If you are feeling really poorly, you can take a small amount of carbohydrate, maybe 10 grams, just to feel a little better, but the more you can resist trying to treat these symptoms with food the better off you will be. One way to solve this problem is to talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about how to bring your blood glucose levels down gradually. As you bring the blood glucose levels down, your symptoms will go away, but it may take a few weeks. If you now run between 320 to 220, talk to your doctor or educator about trying to get the numbers under 200 for the first few weeks, then down to target range, which is below 130 before meals and below 180, 2-hours after meals. Just be patient and know that although you may feel a bit poorly initially, you will feel better in the long run, your diabetes will be better controlled and you will be at lower risk of complications.

January 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm