When i’m exercising, I try to bring some kind of snack along, but sometimes I forget or get surprised. Do you have a favorite approach for handling an unexpected low?
I was out walking the other night, before dinner, and found myself going low about 2 miles from home.
Fortunately, there was a convenience store on the block and I went in to medicate with candy. I am partial to Mentos, but they didn’t have any. So I went with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I ate two of them and washed it down with sweetened iced tea.
It struck me at the time as ironic that I was looking at these candies for their medicinal value and properties as drugs. ‘Which will work better - a hershey’s with almonds or a 3 musketeers?’ (I would guess the 3 musketeers).
It also reminded me of the famous Al Pacino scene in Godfather Part 3 when he goes low in front of the Cardinal:
When I first saw that movie, I really didn’t understand what was happening. Diabetes - needing a candy, huh? I appreciate it more now.
I too have various stashes of glucose and carbs … and have glucagon in the fridge and in the car.
I walk my dog a lot (8-12 miles per day spread over 3-ish walks. I always try to carry two 10-roll tubes of glucose tabs.
However, since being on a Control-IQ pump and CGM, I fing that I have more gradual, sliding lows ( rather than crashing lows). For that I like M&Ms because the fat content slows things down enough to help avoid over correcting.
I carry glucose tablets everywhere using this super slim case:
I carry 2 cases (8 tabs total) In my back pocket. The case is so small that I barely notice that it’s there.
For a while, Target sold glucose tabs for $4 or $5 per bottle of 50, but they stopped selling them and now I get them from Walgreens for $7 per bottle, usually by mail-ordering a bunch of them at a time.
I also often carry Kashi granola bars with me in a jacket, backpack, glove compartment, etc. I use that particular brand because they are relatively stiff so they don’t get all mushy in my pocket even after a couple weeks, but they are soft enough that they don’t hurt my jaw (I have some jaw issues). Also, they are very tasty. They are more expensive than your typical store brand or than the super crunchy kind, but not nearly as expensive as energy bars like Clif bars.
When I am caught out without any sugar in my pocket for treating a low, I usually go for a sugary drink…Coke, gatorade, a sugary Starbucks drink, etc. Those can be bought just about anywhere. I’ve got so much candy squirreled away in my cars, home, toolbox, golf bag, hockey bag that I don’t want to buy more if I have to stop off at a quicky mart or vending machine to treat a low.
Read the label. Smarties are exactly the same as glucose tablets (Dextrose) and a tiny fraction of the cost of glucose tablets. (Compare the labels side-by-side, and it would be difficult to tell any difference). They are small enough that I always have three rolls in my pocket (18g), and a baggie of rolls in my glove box, my wife’s purse, and in various rooms around the house. I keep three unwrapped rolls in an old pill bottle on my nightstand in case an alarm wakes me overnight- I don’t have to fully wake to get to them. For me, and I am sure others see something else, I see a 40-50 mg/dl bump in my blood sugar with three rolls of smarties. I start to feel the recovery within five minutes. The only thing that works faster is fruit juice. (About 36 g per 8oz bottle).
As much as I love chocolate, the fat in chocolate (and cake and bread) delays the absorption of the sugars.
I have always loved carrying around tubes of glucose tablets (4gms each) which bring my sugars bk up about 20 points. pretty consistent. But Eric turned me on to Jelly Belly Jelly Beans last year when I was swimming a lot. Each jelly bean has 1gm of glucose in it, so I can easily count how much I am taking in and can kind of micro-manage my rise so that I don’t over-shoot my target.( Also I can pick out the different flavors I’m in the mood for )
(I also carry two packs of Transcend with me. They are so small and so easy to stick in anywhere. they have 17gms of fast acting glucose each, and with just one I was able to bring an unexpected BG of 35 to 103 in 15 minutes. I highly recommend them!!! Not as tasty as jelly beans, but they do their job.)
I too have a liking for the transcend gel pouches. Watch out: those Transcend pouches look indestructible but will burst if you rough house them. I had one burst once and it made a gooey mess. My go to has become gummy life savers, 3 grams of carbs each. Not as fast as glucose but easy to carry a small stash in my pocket.