Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be unnerving, and many people with diabetes find that it takes diligence and self-restraint not to overtreat the low. I am no exception, and have written an article called 5 Ways to Stay in Control When Your Blood Sugar is Low, where I discuss my top strategies for preventing rebound hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) after a low.
Another important factor for me is viewing the treatment as medicine and nothing more.
It may be tempting to reach for an attractive treat, like a cookie or a slice of cake, when your blood sugar is low, but very often this does not produce the desired result: bringing your blood glucose precisely back into range.
I was already aware of this and, most often, have been using Smarties to treat hypoglycemia for several years now. However, I was a little annoyed about chewing them, especially at nighttime. I don’t particularly like to chew glucose, and I was starting to worry about the toll that continuing to chew them on a semi-regular basis would take on my teeth over time.
A few months ago, I had an odd thought: what if I swallow my Smarties without chewing, as I would swallow a pill?
A roll of Smarties contains 6 grams of glucose. Very often, I only need two to four grams of carbohydrates to nudge my blood glucose back into range. And I can quickly throw back half a roll of Smarties with a little water.
I have to say — so far, I’m loving this strategy!
I don’t have to worry about damage to my teeth.
I never have to brush my teeth in the middle of the night.
I don’t have that icky combination of eating sour candy just after having brushed my teeth.
Best of all, this practice has also helped me to view my hypo candy as nothing more than medicine.
Also, I was surprised that the strategy still worked very quickly to bring up blood glucose levels — in fact, I have not noticed a time difference between chewing and swallowing for the “medicine” to take effect.
Most importantly, this strategy really helps me to stay in the most rational frame of mind about exactly how much glucose I am consuming.