5-1-11 Déjà Vu
Hypoglycemic reactions cause many problems for diabetics, the least of which are diabetic comas. That is why it is so important to eat or drink something as soon as possible when a blood sugar reaction occurs. What happens next is quite problematic for the diabetic. The unconscious bingeing behavior that occurs can create more challenges for even the most astute diabetic.
So, it is now 10:00 pm on Monday Night and I feel week and check my blood sugar: 48 mg/dl. “I counted my carbohydrate correctly. I read it right of the nutrition label” I said to myself and then realized that there was a good chance the nutrition label was wrong. It could be a million things, but I realized that now was not the time to worry. I was so hungry and it felt so good to binge that evening!
I ended up drinking two glasses of Newman’s Own lemonade and eating half a jar of peanut butter with half a cup of ice cream.
I was looking at grave consequences. In the past I would wake up with my whole body feeling “blah”. My blood glucose would and will be through the roof. My blood sugar levels will rise and fall all day until I eventually level out hours later.
I looked at all the carbohydrates; 2, 8 oz glasses of lemonade, 54 grams + 14 table spoons of peanut butter, 49 grams + half a cup of ice cream (Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip,) 31 grams which equals 134 grams of carbohydrate. I gave myself the corresponding amount of insulin to cover the binge. I consider this to be Harm Reduction in comparison to Binge Prevention as discussed in my previous dblog 5-1-11.
The biggest problem with bingeing is the destabilization of your blood sugars. Let’s work on preventing this.
When you end up bingeing, now what? Now you have one important task to do during this period of time. Keep paper and a pen on the refrigerator door. When you take out the big tub of ice cream or whatever you are choosing to eat, scoop out or take out one serving at a time and write out the carbohydrates you’re eating as you go along. Do not eat out of the tub or package. Total them when your binge ends. Next, take fast-acting insulin to match what you just put in your body. You may feel sick from eating too much but when everything is said and done, you will hopefully end up with a glucose level between 120-160 mg/dl instead of 400 mg/dl.
Overall, bingeing is not good for anyone but it is quite normal for diabetics when blood sugars drop and cause hypoglycemic reactions. All Type 1 diabetics will go through many reactions in a lifetime, but they can reduce the number of binges and find comfort in the fact that it is a physical issue and not fully in their control.
Eliot LeBow LCSW – As a psychotherapist, my focus is on treating those who have a chronic illness, diabetes or an addiction. I also have a thriving general practice where I see clients with a variety of different backgrounds and issues including: depression, anxiety, trauma and others. I treat pre-teen and adolescents to adults of all ages as well as parents and families.
Has this happened to you? Share your own experience with bingeing by responding to this dblog below. I’d love to hear from you.