Instinct versus observation

Last night I was low and my wife brought me some juice. I was sipping out of the bottle, but kept drinking, because I really felt low. At some point, my wife said to me, “That’s enough, you are going to go high”. But I knew that I needed more. She was looking at the number on the Dexcom, but I didn’t even look at it. I just felt how much was necessary. Kept drinking until it just felt like the right amount.

An hour later my Dex said 90, two hours later it was 93, then back to 90 when I woke up. So maybe I did drink just a bit too much… :wink:

I know that FUD has a lot of “juice givers”. Tons of you here - like @Michel, @ClaudnDaye, @Thomas, @TiaG, @Chris, and many others.

And of course FUD has more “juice takers” than I could possibly list.

And there are a few of you who are unique. I think Kim @TravelingOn might be the only one that is a member here that is a “juice giver” to an adult.

And I think @Aaron is also unique in that he may be the only one that is both a “juice giver” & a “juice taker”.

I am curious to hear of other’s experience where their instinct of taking just overrode what the giver saw or believed based on numbers.

How much do you rely on instinct for how much to take? Do you always measure, or do you go by “feel”. I confess that I don’t measure.

I never need exactly 1 donut. I might eat more than 1, or different bites or fractions of a donut. But I rarely look at a single whole donut and think, “That is the exact right amount for me to eat.” Same with cookies. I mostly take bites out of a cookie and then quit before I eat the whole thing. I just take the amount of bites that feel correct.

How strongly does instinct affect your treatment of lows?

For the “givers”, how much to you let your young-one tell you how much they feel like they might need? Do they call the shots on it? Do you let them determine how much they need?

Just interested in hearing how others deal with their instincts on this sort of stuff.


I think I “could” do the same, but too often enjoy the treat, and just bolus for it. I am able to estimate what portion treated the low, and what portion to bolus !


This, and I do this partly based on the CGM numbers and partly on instinct (which I suppose is using the subjective sensations of the low and my general sense of factors in play, including insulin, activity level, previous lows in past 24 hours, and blood sugar—which could be seen more logically, but I’m not reasoning it out really, just doing it more intuitively).



Besides, my partner probably wouldn’t enjoy finding a half-eaten cookie in the bag.


If you asked me to explain while I was doing it, I would not be able to give a coherent answer !

Having CGMS is also safety net, so if overreacted, can make correction quickly.


We all know this is not my strength… :grin: Not yet, at least. My lows are tricky because I don’t always feel them until they’re significant, and then any reason, strategy, even instinct goes out the door. I’ve never had a family member tell me I didn’t need anymore. They trust that I know—- which always makes me laugh. :grin:

I had a terrible crash last night. I could describe it just for comparison, but I won’t. I’ll just say it was a terrible one, it hurt from head to toe, and I was really very confused. When I told my husband I thought I had had enough, he insisted I have something else. He never does that, but last night he wanted to know I was safe and figured I could sort out the rest on the other side.


Do you reflect back on events to figure out why it was so terrible?

My lows tend to come on slowly, sounds like maybe this was very sudden drop.


Hi, @MM2. :hugs:

When I have time, yes. Or when something is just a complete mystery… In this environment though, I’m rarely all that surprised. Inconvenienced and frustrated, but not often surprised.

Last night— I’ll reflect now, and you can read or not. :grin:. Last night I most likely did a little insulin-stacking. I had coffee in the late evening, and I did a full bolus even though coffee boluses are crapshoots. I may have even bolused to blunt the spike. I’ve been doing this a lot more often, and it’s probably the equivalent of doubling up on a bolus for the same item. It’s nice to keep my numbers down, but it can be problematic on the other end. Anyway, assuming that’s what I did with my coffee, then I probably would’ve done the same for a few little snacks I was having as the evening moved along. Potentially, I could’ve accumulated as much as 3 or 4 extra units on board. Then I’ve got the problem—- well, problems— of not feeling my lows on time and then not always reacting right away once I do. Put it all together, and I find myself with that nasty feeling of being pulled under… and all of the bad tastes and numb face and tongue and throat, and completely impaired cognitive ability.

Anyway, sorry for the long account. Oh, and I was taking sugar tabs along the way: one or two here, two or three there… Then the dam broke. It is one of the few things I find is a true “pro” with pump use— tracking IOB. It’s very easy for me to get a whole lot on board and just not realize it.

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I don’t drink juice (ick), but this is often my strategy, too.

I knowingly eat too much just because I want it, and bolus for the portion not needed for the low once my BG starts to rise.

I never measure in these cases. Just go by instinct. Often it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t.


I do that exact same thing when I want the whole portion, or for things that are hard to portion in small amounts. Like a fractional bowl of Frosted Flakes just sucks, so for something like that I will have a full bowl and bolus some amount.

It’s kinda funny to be taking insulin when you are low, but apparently it is not that uncommon for the people here!

Exactly! I love to see that others do the same!


I do this, because I’m ridiculously carb sensitive when low, and I can’t just eat one or two jelly beans or half a glucose tablet. I usually go for something more filling and bolus for it. Like right now, have been slowly falling, so I just dosed 2.5us and am about to eat an apple and almond butter (something I wanted to eat before I realized I was about to go low; usually my low treatments are more fun, haha). I can’t trust my instincts, because no matter if I’m in the 60s or in the 40s (as low as I’ve been so far), I won’t stop eating if I just let myself eat what I feel like I need to.


I think this is interesting, because I think there is a survival instinct that sets in sometimes on big lows.

When I am very low, I act like an animal ravening its prey. I wonder how common that is.

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Ahh, that makes sense. I’ve used pump for over 20 years now, and totally rely on seeing IOB, and also able to set the time duration. So take IOB into account, which stops me from some rage boluses!
Instead, jump on the trampoline or other activity to speed up the IOB to do its job.

If I switched to MDI, I would probably keep my pump with me (w/o insulin), just to keep track of IOB!

I wonder that, too, and also wonder why it is that I don’t have to be very low to feel that way. Maybe because I’m rarely low (talking maybe once/week), so my body isn’t used to it at all. Or maybe due to my muscle disorder, which gets really bad during any period of fasting…I get the similar ravenous feeling if I haven’t eaten for a few hours, even if my BG is normal. :woman_shrugging: Who knows.

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Common enough to be true for two of us.

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It’s a good idea— and I carry that lifeless thing around anyway for the sensor. :woman_facepalming: Even if I remember to put in 1/2 the carbs— it would give me a better idea.

Funny you mention it. I’ve been out of the habit of using my trampoline after all that mess with my hip. I broke it out and dusted it off today and jumped 5 minutes instead of doing another shot. It was perfect.

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Okay, it’s not that I don’t try to do the same, but I’m making some kind of mistake in here… When I do that bolus to cover for the “extra” that was above what was necessary for the correction, I think I often overshoot and end up turning around and going low again. I think of it as not being able to go out from under my insulin— but I do it to prevent the big rebounds. If I could only do the perfect correction, I probably wouldn’t rebound, but that’s hard to do when low and diabetic and diabetic and low. :thinking:

When you all do the insulin to cover the extra, do you do it as a real match? Like if you’ve eaten an extra 20 grams of carbs which you’d usually do 2 units for, do you do a full 2 units? Do you do it at the time you’re eating, or do you wait??

I don’t feel most of my lows which is a bad thing, but it’s a good thing when I am treating a low because I rarely over treat. I usually measure out my juice and rarely have over 1/4 cup (7g). I am never a “juice taker” because I am always able to get my own juice (my husband doesn’t wake up for my alarms anyway :frowning:). Sometimes I will have a snack which is more carbs than I need but I will bolus for the extra carbs. I either bolus right away or wait until my BG goes up a bit depending on how low I am.

I am also a “juice giver” because my daughter has T1D. She goes more by instinct and when I tell her that she’s over treating she always tells me that she knows her own body and that she’s different than me (take that mom!). But I am usually right and her BG does go up too high afterwards :wink:


I don’t do a real match most of the time. My doses are still really small, but, for example, if I ate 30 carbs (which would normally be a 1u bolus), I would dose .5u and just correct if I saw it going higher. I usually just dose .5u less than whatever dose I normally do.

The only time I do a real match is if I know I’ll be eating again soon (like today, I’m eating dinner right when I’ll be peaking from my apple), so I’m not in any danger being on the lower end going into dinner.

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Oops, sorry I did not include you in that!

Learning is hard. But I like the independent nature!