Help For DM Regarding Stubborn Crashing Lows

so i know that many of you know me from my swimming posts. but i have a new problem and i would appreciate ALL of the help i can get. this is related to exercise and changing basal rates, but it is also its own, different, question.

after swimming consecutive days, my BGs gow very low and i have a difficult time bringing them back up. i know that so many of us battle with stubborn HIGH bgs that wont come down, but has anyone battled with LOW bgs that refuse to go back up into a safe target range?

and, if so, what is your secret trick? when i continuously “feed the lows” it seems that all the carbs refuse to work at the time, but then “collect” as if stored up, and then they hit me all at once with a rediculous HIGH BG.

i really need some insight, some suggestions, some magic tricks, some empathy and understanding.

so, SOS,



Not exercise related specifically but I find the combination of basal suspend and carbs to be effective.


This i am going to try. how long do you suspend your pump for?

Assuming Basal-IQ is not in the picture then it would be 20 minutes suspend with carbs.

After 20 minutes do a finger check and if no BG rise or continued drop than another 20 minute suspend and some more carbs.

Sometimes the BG comes up fine the first time. And if we notice the BG starting to rise right away then we would cancel the suspend as soon as we see the rise.

The obvious problem is that all lows are the not the same. And it is not possible for me to tell in advance if this will be an easy low to treat or a persistent troublesome low. Sometimes of course it is obvious like huge IOB and going low but outside the obvious, the only way to find out … is to wait and find out.


I’m sorry, @daisymae. That’s gotta feel awful.

Just spit-balling…are you getting more mileage out of your boluses as well as your basal? Have you reduced your boluses with your increased sensitivity? If I get stuck in the bg ditch, and if it came on quickly, that’s usually a bolus that did that to me.

I have the SAME experience with feed feed feed the low and then way later the accumulative effect hits me. I had that happen the other night. I suspected it might be headed that way…and sure enough, it did.


yup. been there, done that :sleepy::sob::crazy_face:changed basals, changed ICRs, etc etc…

PS: changed dinnertime ICR from 1:12 all the way to `1:20 !!!


Then I guess you’re not diabetic anymore! :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

I do hope it improves quickly. And that someone can get you pointed in the right direction.

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if i build a pool in my livingroom then i will no longer need to take insulin :wink:

well, we all know who that is, and unfortunately for me, he’s on vacation :blush:


What do you use to treat lows?


I assume you’re refueling enough after swimming and it’s not the liver kicking in to reclaim sugar later?


Perhaps you’re already familiar with this strategy, but I find that either treating lows with liquid carbs (juice, soda, etc) or washing down solid carbs with water/another drink usually helps them get to work more quickly


i dont know how many carbs/protein you use to refuel , but i use 2 Boost protein/carbs shakes with 32gms of both, respectively. i do this right when i walk back into the house from the pool. lately, i have needed to take less and less insulin to account for them. i used to take 50% of my ICR, and now i have been taking even less. so for 32 gms i have been taking 1.2 units of insulin. then i nosh on cheese and nuts before dinner. for dinner i generally eat 4 slices of rye bread with 2 cans of tuna and a salad. i started out with a IC of 1:12 and now i am at 1:20 !!! OMG.

i still go low, sometimes right during eating my dinner. and this becomes a roller coaster throughout the night, the overnight, and the next morning. i treat the lows, get close to target range, go low again, and again and again. and at 12-1am i spike (184-ish) and do an IM correction, which puts me right back into range. but then i wake up low again.

i have to say that this is not something that happens every day. it does not. but when it happens and i have tried everything i can think of to treat the lows, i feel beside myself. i put so much energy into remaining flat lined, stable and in target. when something like this happens to me i become beyond frustrated. being low frightens me. when i am swimming, i feel free. i dont feel diabetic. but when i go low, i am acutely aware of my symptoms and i despise it.

btw, i treat my lows with Apple Cider, OJ, Chocolate, and glucose tabs.


how many carbs is actually “enough” carbs? i did discuss this with eric, and he seemed to think that 32gms was sufficient. perhaps i should be taking in a little more???

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Oh man I have no idea. I wish I did though!

How much have you dropped your basal compared to how much you usually drop it for exercise? How long have these lows been plaguing you?


usually i drop my basal by only 5% after consecutive swim days. i swam 3 days in a row this week; and i have to admit that the dificulty levels were high. i swam very hard. but i had to lower my basal levels by about 20%. but what made things overwhelmingly challenging was that my insulin needs were not consistant throughout the day/night; during overnight i needed 80%, daytime 90% and evening about 75%. it was a true balancing act. there was no one solution every time i made one change, another problem presented itself. and on and on and on.

i was terribly low all throughout last night and this morning, then this afternoon i began to creep up again, and most recently i spiked to 191 and had to give myself an IM shot in my calve muscle. of course i raised my basal back to 100% and my BG has come back into range, but i feel like life is happening around me and i wasnt given the “play book.” :grimacing:


I suspect this is just increased insulin sensitivity; if I’m relatively inactive for a few days I end up needing a higher basal, but if I keep exercising at a sufficient rate to significantly increase my heart rate every day I’m fine.

The counter-point to this is the rub; if I leave my basal at the “inactive” level and then go out and do stuff, swimming more than 100m a day would certainly count, then my basal is too high and I will crash’n’burn.

It’s extremely difficult to handle for me because I have a 24 hour lag; my body only kicks in shoveling the carbs the next day. Over time I’ve been dropping my basal back to the lowest I can, but all the same I sometimes cancel my basal (I’m pumping) for an hour or so, typically in the morning.



Forget the OTP title, from my experience @T1Allison’s last observation "Activity" is not the same thing as "Exercise": Allison's Running Trial - #9 by T1Allison matches mine; the effects have a lifetime of about 24 hours, so the good stuff happens BDQ, but, [again, my experience] if I drop out one day I feel the effect the next day.

My experience is with muscle soreness; it’s hard to walk up hill after 48 hours, but 24 hours, no problem. I believe the same applies to insulin sensitivity, it makes 100% sense to me that it does and 0% that the two are unrelated.


do you run EVERY day??? i cant swim that frequently. when you are a runner, you have the entire world to exercise. when you swim, as i do, you are limited to the time schedual of the pool that you swim in. i must go between 1-3:30 on the weekdays.

(today will be my first Sunday in over a year, but i HAVE to swim, b/c i missed 2 days in a row and finally my D body has returned to my 100% basal without dropping) (and i desperately NEED to get what i get out of my workouts: peace and calm and a sense of “normalcy.” )


haha that’s Samson’s breakfast CR!! And he’s about 1/3 the size of you probably, LOL. Just shows what all that swimming can do.

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late last evening my BGs stabalized. i seem to have gotten my basals,etc., back in line. i swore i would not swim on a Sunday, but my husband practically pushed me out of the house to swim. he knew it would clear my mind, even if it meant another night of roller coaster BGs. (he’s tremendously supportive, for which i am infinitely grateful)

anyway, the swim was great. my numbers were perfect. i accomplished everything i wanted to, and i am feeling wonderful. but the night is young!!! anything goes. i bolused, post swim, very gently, in hope of warding off the coming evening’s potential crashes. i dont usually crash after just one day of swimming (its usually the consecutive days that kill me). but we’ll see.

i am just praying that i made some wise decisions, and that my evening is wonderfully uneventful.

please keep me in your prayers. i am grateful to all of you who have carried me through these past few days of difficult times. thank you :heart: