Does a BG Roller Coaster Wear you Out?

recently (yesterday and today), i have experienced a terrible BG roller coaster going from something like 250 in the middle of the night, doing an IM shot to correct it, bumping up my Basal to120%, only to wake up 2 hours later without seeing much BG change. so, i took another IM shot and raised my TB to 130%. this did relatively nothing at all either. at Bfast time, my BG had come down to 145, and whether that had anything to do with my IM corrections or my increased TB, i had no idea, but i was hungry and decided to eat and just do a long pre-bolus. (1/2 hour).

well, within 1/2 hour, my BG had come down from 145 to 88. “alright,” i thought," i’ll eat now and then let the food catch up in the event that i begin starting to go low." so i ate my Bfast and sat down on the sofa to watch some sports with my husband. well, once again, i started to feel funny, so i did a finger stick. my BG was now 34. time for a little bit of juice. my husband would have liked me to drink an entire glass, but i knew that i had all the food in my tummy and that it would be getting absorbed soon enough, so i didnt want to over-do my correction.

also, i changed out my pump site and lowered my TB to 120%. 1/2 hour later, my BG was 54, so i knew that i was on the right track…

anyway, this is all said b/c i spent the rest of the day in bed; i was wiped out, exhausted and weak. i felt like i had the flu. my head was spinning, and all i could do is sleep.

things worked out in the end (once i changed out my pump) and i have been able to get back into target range and am only on 105% TB (which i may not even need).

all this to say: DO YOU EXPERIENCE THIS KIND OF REACTION WHEN YOU ARE ON THE ROLLER COASTER? how does it make you feel? and how do you cope with it?

please share. i could use all the techniques and options available!!!



Short answer YES…the long attention span needed to bring down a high wears me down. Only way to cope is more insilin to get back in range and “do better next time.” Easier said than done but that’s what we have to deal with.


@daisymae, I’m so sorry you had that horrible time.

Yes, Yes and more Yes.

That’s where my frustration and emotions have come from in the last few days of posting (the “14 hours without insulin” thread that you were so kind to respond so warmly to). I’ve been working my butt off to get out of the 200’s and not do crazy yo-yo swings for the last two years. It. Is. Exhausting. Days like you experienced with those sorts of swings wipe me out the exact same way. I missed a New Year’s family get together with new friends this year because I had to sleep off a horrible BG day/night from a rollercoaster the day before.

Nights of sleep in the 200’s (more often than not these years) make me feel like I didn’t sleep at all. The swings themselves, plus all of the uncertainty around them and sometimes missed meals or panic-juice-drinking takes its toll.

So, yeah, I totally have experienced what you are describing. I’m glad your site change fixed it for you!!!

As for what to do about it…for me, I am still in the trial and error phase of finding my best self-care plan. As for your situation which seems like an acute scenario, I think you did everything you could. I think I have missed two days of work this year due to BG rollercoasters. More than I’d like, but it’s what I got. I try to be kind with myself and keep the try, try again attitude which you obviously have!

Adding some more here…when it takes a lot of correction (more than your usual) to get down from the 200’s, if you don’t routinely deal w hormonal swings then I’d typically guess a site problem or illness. When I’m stuck high and corrections don’t work, I have to figure out if (in my case) it is pod tunneling/bleeding or hormones. I have to be really careful w it bc both situations (for me) behave in a “cliff” fashion. I.E. I can throw insulin and throw insulin at it, and it does nothing…until it breaks loose. So, FWIW, that is what I see in my parallel occurrences.


Yes. The rollercoaster wears me out big time, and more so as I get older. Unfortunately, I experience it many more days than not. Avoiding the rollercoaster is the main reason I stick to a lower-carb diet: it’s been the only way I’ve found to not experience the rollercoaster every day of my life. Those days I do manage to not be constantly bouncing between high and low are such a relief!

@T1Allison, I have also missed work due to exhaustion and feeling horrible from blood sugar rollercoasters (as well as similar sitautions with allergies and Graves’ disease). I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one. And I experience the same thing with hormones. I’m never quite sure if it’s hormones, allergies, illness, stress, pump site, or other factor making me high, so I have to cautious about cranking up my basal rate and doing aggressive corrections. Sometimes they work, but sometimes I plummet. Heck, sometimes when I do an extra gentle correction I still plummet. And sometimes when I do a really aggressive correction I still rise. So hard to figure out all the variables, even after coming up on 27 years.


@Jen, yup, yup, yup and yup.

My mental space most every day is spent trouble shooting and monitoring and more trouble shooting. Totally experience what you are talking about.

Don’t want to make @daisymae’s thread about me, but I will be going back on birth control in two weeks to see if that can help me dampen it all down. Will log my progress on the BC thread as I try it out.
Best of luck to us all, always!

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Good luck with that. I’ll be interested to see how it goes!

I started using Fitbit’s new female health tracking features a few weeks ago. I will be very curious to see whether combining that data with my Dexcom and pump data will help me be able to handle this one most challenging factor more easily.

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Those are tough… Yes, they can take it all out of me. I do seem to be more vulnerable to their effects though when it happens in the morning or late at night than any other time. To wake up to a crash can leave me feeling like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck. I actually think it’s the low that probably affects me physically, but the roller coaster puts the nail in the coffin with the emotional hit.

I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same thing here, but your scenario is very familiar. Maybe not the cause… mine often happens as a result of poor food choices (which is a proper way of saying stupid eating) and not knowing which way is up. No matter how we’ve gotten to our 200 though, I sometimes attack it aggressively with insulin. If it doesn’t budge right away, I’ll go at it again. I’ll call it rage-dosing because it definitely lacks finesse, but I don’t actually “rage-do” anything so it’s not really what it sounds like. Whatever it is called, the end result is stacked insulin. I’ve also gone through the questions about whether or not I have a kink or a pulled cannula, but there’s something about these scenarios that make me think more “uneven” absorption, which leaves me thinking about scar tissue… and the possibility my unexpected numbers are due to getting insulin… in unpredictable doses…

I’m not even sure if this is how it works, but when we don’t have good answers, we make up stuff that sounds good. :smiley:

I don’t usually get in bed. I’m afraid if I do, I won’t get back up again. I do, however, try to switch gears to something easier. Maybe an easier task. Maybe something more pleasant, and more important, like sitting with my kids. I try to let it all settle before I do anything big again, in hopes I won’t just perpetuate the swing.

I’m sorry you had that kind of roller coaster today. I hope tomorrow is gentle as putt putt golf. :slight_smile:


It sounds like you have grasped the essential basis of mansplaining. Feel free to indulge.

I use that same technique to solve a stubborn high. As you say, there’s no actual rage to a rage bolus, but I like the term because it “explains” why one would knowingly take 3x or 5x the “theoretically correct but in practice completely ineffective” amount of insulin. And yes, a rage bolus or series of them eventually results in a plunge. I depend on the Dex to alert me to take glucose before a plunge turns into a crash (and it hasn’t let me down), and I’m not shy about taking a big enough dose of glucose to arrest the plunge, even though I may get a small bounce out of it.


I’ve been trying left and right, but finally, there it is.

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Well then, I am in good company. Except that you have Dexcom. I’ve got the Guardian on it… which is like having a guard sloth to keep you safe.

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Not in my case. I get frustrated, and I rail at the universe, but I wouldn’t say the roller coaster wears me out.

A terminal low, on the other hand … treating a low for hours on end and not being able to bump myself up into the safe zone … I usually sleep in the next morning.


Roller coasters wear me out too. Resistant highs or lows (as @beacher mentioned) also wear me out :tired_face:

Before I had the Dexcom, a severe, perpetual low was probably the worst possible thing. Luckily that didn’t happen often, but every once and awhile it would at night. I had to call in sick to work once or twice because I felt so terrible and out-of-it. I feel really fortunate and grateful to have a cgm that prevents those now.

I think you handled it pretty well! No rebound from that nasty low! :slightly_smiling_face:


Combined with long work hours and not enough sleep the BG roller coaster was completely wearing me out. I have written elsewhere, but that is even with quite a precise, methodological approach, recording and experimentation, just too much error for me. I have hopped off the roller coaster for now and gone lower carb, suits me so far, mostly straight lines now with gentle curves, much more pleasant. I was presenting at a evening lecture today after eating out, normally that might have been a pain, it was very nice to be chilled and know my BG was straight lining. I don’t think it matters whether you are a surfer, lower carber, higher carber or whatever, it’s good to figure out a way to step off the roller coaster and ditch the hassles of ups and downs. Mostly :smile:

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That sums it up for me too.

I think remembering the early days with once/day injections, and being basically ‘high’ all day puts some perspective on it.
I tend to make a correction, and maybe wait it out a bit before doing more correction, thus avoiding some of the ride. Having Afrezza also helps, but have learned to be careful with a combo Afrezza plus pump bolus !!

i am a moderate “carber” (i’ve got to have the fuel for my workouts), and for the most part my BGs are excellent. roller coasters are very rare for me; maybe thats why my body gets so wiped out as it did. generally, if a make a few changes modifying my ICRs or my basals, my BGs stay bewteen 70s and 110. i keep a relative flat line throughout my days, not seeing spikes or crashes (with the exception of after a hard swim day). there has been a lot of learning involved and a lot of commitment as well.

I have Dexcom now, but my first CGMS was the earlier (first generation) Sof-Set Sensors from Medtronic. That’s before the Enlites !
They were better than nothing, but MUCH slower at catching the up and down trends, and I was too new to using it that I would not always double check with BG test. So it was a very drunk sloth !

OMG yes. I’ve been on the roller coaster for the past week since my reproductive endocrinologist made me go on birth control for timing. Its awful. I’ll never go on hormonal birth control voluntarily. I’m up to 60% more insulin than normal and I’m still fighting highs then rage bolusing. But I’ll be on those actvie pills until they can get my polyp removal hysteroscopy scheduled and then again for timing for the month before my transfer. I had finally gotten everything back to normal (14u lantus/day) after the ivf’s and now I’m back on hormones and 21u isn’t cutting it and I feel like crap (fat and running slow and grumpy about it). I haven’t been aggressive enough ramping up the lantus… I’ve had more 200’s in the past week than a normal 3 months! I’m exhausted physically and mentally. And I’m going to vacation in Italy later this week and plan to eat lots of carbs and gelato.

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Today is a perfect example of a blood sugar roller coaster that has caused me to take a day off work. I’ve gone from 22 mmol/L to 2.6 mmol/L and back again twice within the past 24 hours. Also had very little sleep last night between the high and low and general insomnia and my heart racing all night (my heart rate has also been crazy high lately, makes me wonder about my thyroid as usual). Blargh. I’ll take today off and hopefully be more stable tomorrow.

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I find the blood sugar roller-coaster exhausting and I am just a bystander. i can’t imagine how much worse it feels for my son.

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Once I got above 20 units of Lantus during my pregnancies, I started taking it as two injections in two places because I was getting too much injection site trauma and leakage. If your dose goes up much higher and if your skin acts anything like mine, might be something to consider.

I hate that for you and wish you the best of luck. I’m plotting my birth control start in two weeks and your post gives me caution which is not necessarily a bad thing.