We are often asked, what causes BG to go high or low? There are so many reasons. Sometimes there is an
easy somewhat logical explanation: a carb or insulin miscalculation, illness, heat, change in activity level or routine, stress, or a million other factors that can throw things off. Other times there is a less logical explanation but nonetheless something we’ve learned to anticipate. For example, pizza and ice cream always win. We can bolus correctly for the amount of carbs, we can account for the fat content, we use all kinds of technology, and we can be all smart and savvy and cute. But T1D says “Oh really? You think you can beat me by doing an extended bolus? I will wait for an extra hour and then when you think you are all so smart and had it figured out, I will hit you with 350! Or maybe 450. And let’s make it even more fun – let’s go from 150 to 350 in 45 minutes. Ha!”
And then there are times when there is no explanation whatsoever. Or at least not one that we can come up with. I think that perhaps when a unicorn farts in the woods, it’s somehow connected to BG levels and sends everything on a roller-coaster ride. Like today, for example.
V’s fasting BG is a little on a higher side at 170 but nothing we will freak out about. She eats her breakfast, cereal with milk, and is actually a much lower carb content than her usual breakfast. Almost three hours later, when her BG should be returning to a normal range, Dexcom starts alerting us that BG is over 300. At 10:10 she checks and sure enough it’s 315. If it were an hour after breakfast at least it would be somewhat understandable. But nearly three hours later? Beats me. She administers insulin correction. At 10:50 she is getting ready to eat and checks again, and now she is down to 136. Yay, right? Well, sort of. She went from 315 to 136 in 40 minutes. That must have been a fun ride! The pump does not give her any additional insulin for her lunch carbs because there is enough insulin active in her body. Good safety feature, right? Except despite eating a good lunch – grilled cheese sandwich and celery with peanut butter – V continues to drop. She tests at 11:30 and she is 59, feeling weak and shaky. What gives? Go home Diabeetus, you are drunk. Either that or those unicorns must have been eating a lot of beans lately.