The 12 Types of Lows

In Laura Kronen’s new book, Too Sweet, the not-so-serious side to diabetes, she comes to terms with a Type 1 diagnosis while keeping a sense of humor. In this excerpt, she runs down 10 common experiences that people with Type 1 diabetes might recognize in their own lives.

What’s interesting about low blood sugar is that the symptoms are never the same from person to person or episode to episode. There are many types of lows, and you can experience a different one every day or even a few simultaneously.

Which types of lows on this list have you experienced?

Too_Sweet_Front_Cover_300px1. The Underwater Dream World Low: Your brain is all fuzzy, and you feel as though you are moving in slow motion. It is absolutely impossible to focus on anything.

2. The Surprise Low: You’ve randomly tested your blood, and to your bewilderment, it is below 55. You don’t have any signs or symptoms that you are entering dangerous territory.

3. The Sweaty Low: Clammy, hot, and uncomfortable are the best words to describe your body. It’s made even worse when the temperature outside is above seventy degrees and you are doing anything except sitting motionless in front of a fan.

4. The Tingly-­Lipped Freaky Low: It feels as though your lips, tongue, and sometimes even your chin can vibrate off of your face. It is the most peculiar sensation, and one that could never be replicated even if you tried.

5. The Cranky Low: Premenstrual syndrome has got nothing on the cranky low. You snap at everyone and anyone in your vicinity. You also may swear, scream, and have other rage-like behavior.

6. The Hypo Hangover Low: A hangover from a bad low feels almost like one from alcohol… except you weren’t enjoying yourself the night before.

7. The Double-­Dipper Low: You finally come out of your low and think that things are stable when another one slams you right back down. Now you have to ride out this wave, too. The fun can continue for hours depending on how generous you were with your insulin earlier.

8. The Nocturnal Low: You shoot up, wide awake, in the middle of the night and know without even testing that you are hitting rock bottom. Time to chug some juice!

9. The Full But Still Have to Eat Low: What a drag! You just ate a big meal and your belly is full, but you overbolused, and now you have to eat more to fend off the low.

10. The Unconscious Low: This one is self-explanatory and the very worst of all the lows.

11. The Meet Your Liver Low: Next to the Unconscious Low, this is my least favorite one. Your liver has announced to your internal organs that you aren’t supplementing your body with sugar fast enough, and it decides to intervene by spilling out stored glucose into your bloodstream. Your body will always respond with a skyrocketing high reading sometime soon after.

The one-sided conversation I have with my liver usually goes something like this: “Mind your own business, liver, I will be fine on my own. I might have a new admiration for your functions if you prevent me from passing out, but I’d appreciate you keeping to doing the activities you were built to do. Continue cleaning out toxins from my blood, and I’ll take care of the diabetes side of things.”

12. The Race to the Finish Line Low: Have you ever tried to beat out a low? You know you have one looming, but you want to finish up whatever task you are working on before you tend to it. What I have come to realize is that this is a very senseless thing to do. You get nothing accomplished.

Lows come in all shapes and sizes, and most likely, you have experienced your own unique low, as well. See if you can come up with a name for your next one.

You can purchase Too Sweet at Amazon.com.

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Laura Kronen is the author of Too Sweet: The Not-So-Serious Side to Diabetes and has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years. She is also the founder of the life-coaching organization Be You Only Better that provides motivational, entrepreneurial, health and wellness and diabetic coaching to people around the world.

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