Yup, you’ve hit resistance again. No matter how many corrections you do you just can’t seem to get back into range. Typically resistance hits me during the luteal phase of my cycle (learn why & how your cycle can affect your BG in my article HERE). But sometimes it’s not your cycle that’s causing the resistance… sometimes it’s because of allergies, an infection, a cold, or one of the other ten million things that can affect blood glucose levels.
Before I get rage bolus and start WAY over bolusing or correcting, I try a few tricks. If I’m lucky, the first one will work right of the bat. But usually it’s a combination of a couple that does the trick. Here are the tricks I use when trying to lower high blood sugar.
Tips to Lower High Blood Sugar
**Disclaimer. I am not a medical doctor. I am simply sharing my personal story and what has worked for me.**
1. Drink Lots and Lots of Water
Diabetes Daily wrote a great post about how water impacts blood sugar. Their analogy is pretty great too…
Picture a glass of water. Mix in a little sugar and stir until it dissolves. Now place it outside on a hot, sunny day. As the water evaporates, the remaining water gets sweeter and sweeter.
The same is true for you blood plasma, which is 92% water . The more dehydrated you are the more saturated your blood gets with sugar.
Whenever my blood sugar is being stubborn I POUND water! Every hour, until my BG gets back into range, I drink about 24 oz of water (give or take). And since this makes me pee, a lot, I make sure to add salt and lemon juice to my water to replenish lost electrolytes.
2. Take a Hot Shower or Bath – Immediately After a Correction
Heat causes blood vessels to expand, which increases circulation and makes insulin more easily absorbed. Which is why if I’m battling high blood sugar or resistance, I’ll hop in the shower and turn up the heat!
I’m pretty cautious when doing this because it can drop me fast. Which is why I only do it when I’m correcting and not bolusing. If I’m correcting, I’m already high, so a fast drop is okay. If I’m bolusing, the food is moving a lot slower through me than the fast moving insulin, which always leads to a nosedive low blood sugar – in my experience.
3. Move Yo Body – Immediately After an Injection
This is the same idea as a hot shower. Moving around creates heat in your body which causes blood vessels to expand, which results in increased circulation; making insulin more easily absorbed.
Certain activities will raise my BG and others will lower them. In this scenario, we’re looking to lower, so my go-to moves, in order of effectiveness for me, are:
Everyone is different, so it’s important to know which exercises lower your BG and which ones raise them. Yours may be different than mine, or they may be the same. Find what works for you!
4. Massage the Injection Area – Immediately After an Injection
Broken record warning. Just like the last two tips, massaging the injection site will increase circulation in that area, making your insulin more easily absorbed.
Now that I’m on a pump, it’s a bit harder to do this but I’ll just rub the general area and it seems to do the trick.
5. Increase Basal
This tip doesn’t make sense for those NOT on pumps because an injection of Lantus (or any long acting insulin) wouldn’t even peak until 12 hrs later. Those on a pump, however don’t use long acting insulin. Rather our background insulin is micro-doses of Novolog (or Humalog) every 5 minutes or so.
When I notice my corrections or boluses aren’t working as well as they should, I increase my basal (aka background) insulin by 25%. The most I’ve ever had to increase it by is 50% (which is when I’m ovulating). Once I start noticing lows, then I dial it back.
Again, this is what I’ve found works for me. What works for you might be totally different.
Always Experiment with Safety
When using these tips I’m very cautious of how and when I do it (and if I’m alone or if someone is with me) because they can (and do) drop me fast. I also only do these tips when I’m correcting and not bolusing.
Question of the Day
What are your tried and true ways to lower a stubborn blood sugar?