Treating a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) might seem easy: eat something with carbohydrates. But to ensure that you’re getting the best source of carbohydrate that will raise your blood sugar as quickly as possible isn’t as simple as you might’ve thought.
For the most part, my relationship with diabetes is a positive one. Checking my blood sugar and taking shots doesn’t evoke any significant negative emotion in my mind (although, don’t get me wrong, I’d love a cure). However, treating a low blood sugar with something I’ve used a hundred-zillion times before, like glucose tabs, tends to make me feel sick to my stomach. Literally, the idea of consuming another juice box to treat another low makes me feel sick to my stomach and it evokes a sense of disgust.
“I don’t want to drink another freaking juice box or eat one more freaking glucose tab!”
Today, I no longer buy juice boxes for treating lows. And I have dozens and dozens of glucose tabs…but I am sick of that taste. Sick of the connection of how I feel when I’m low with whatever food I’m using to treat it. It’s an emotional connection I’ve made to my diabetes management that is negative.
So I find new carbohydrates to treat my low blood sugars on a regular basis. Unfortunately, like I said, different types of carbohydrate take different amounts of time to break down into glucose and get into your bloodstream. I spoke with my friend, Mara Schwartz, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, and is a colleague of mine at TeamWILD (We Inspire Life with Diabetes) as the Director of Special Projects. She is a registered nurse, a diabetes educator and a clinical researcher at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Aurora, CO. She shared with me the fastest and slowest sources of carbohydrate for treating low blood sugars.