Question: What can I do when I'm on the blood sugar roller coaster? When I bring down my high blood sugars, they go too low. Then, when I try to bring up my blood sugars, they go too high. I feel like I'm going crazy chasing my blood sugars. Please help.
Answer: Who hasn’t experienced those bouncing blood sugars - up and down – like a roller coaster? While I created the term “psychoglycemia”, I didn’t create that feeling of frustration as you try to keep your blood sugars from running too low (hypoglycemia), treating the low, and then have your blood sugars rebound too high (hyperglycemia), treat the high, and repeat the cycle. It can make you feel like you’re going crazy as you chase your blood sugars.
Here are some strategies to help you cope with your emotions. First you need to recognize that you have the ability to control your THOUGHTS and your ACTIONS (if not your blood sugars).
Three strategies to change your thoughts:
1- Be positive – Instead of criticizing yourself for crazy blood sugars, give yourself credit for your positive efforts to manage diabetes. As you try to keep your blood sugars within a target range, feel good about successful control!
2- Blood–glucose tests which fall outside your goal range should not be interpreted to mean that you are not perfect. A more reasonable approach would be to accept the measurement as informational – not judgmental – of your diabetes management. It’s just a number!
3- Remember that you will not have total control over your diabetes all the time. It is by nature an unpredictable disease, and the best you can do is to do your best. Once you learn and understand this, you can stop feeling guilty and stressed out every time your blood glucose does something it’s not “supposed” to do.
Three strategies to change your actions:
1- Blood-glucose monitoring provides you with information about the level of blood glucose at the time you do the measurement. You can then use this information to make adjustments in food and exercise.
2- Talk to your doctor about medication changes that can help.
3- Talk about your thoughts and feelings with other people who have diabetes, like the women on this web site or a support group. Talking to other people with diabetes can help you feel less alone and help you get a different perspective necessary for making sense out of your own emotions and attitudes.
Take care, Dr. Bev