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resetting DD's ability to sense lows

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by wilf, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. wilf

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    For over 4 years we've had a relatively easy ride managing the D. DD was diagnosed at 10, and within days of her diagnosis was able to unerringly sense her impending lows when blood sugars were in the 55-75 range. So during the day no worries, we just had to make sure she didn't go low overnight.

    This allowed us to have a relatively low target range for blood sugars, and as well to accommodate her grazing with a "bolus Regular now and graze for the next few hours" insulin regimen. Her A1Cs have been great, and significant lows have been few and far between. :)

    But more recently, she started taking her ability to sense her lows for granted and despite my urging would not respond - often for quite a long time - when she was feeling low. I pointed out repeatedly that she would likely lose her ability to sense lows with dire consequences, but it's hard when you're a teen to think that a parent might be right about something.. ;)

    The outcome was a steady decline in her ability to feel lows, culminating in several hard lows at the start of the month one of which we caught through testing. Her blood sugar was around 40 and she didn't feel a thing. :eek: Afterwards she felt awful.

    This gave us all but DD especially a major scare. After carefully refreshing my memory of Chapter 8 of Type 1 Diabetes (by Hanas), where he talks about how to reset the "glucostat" (ie the body's ability to sense lows) we got to work.

    For the last 2 weeks we ran DD quite a bit higher than normal (aiming for a weekly meter of average around 170-180 vs. 140-150 normally), and did our utmost to avoid lows under 65-70. To my great relief, it seems to have worked! :)

    DD is now feeling lows in the 50s and 60s again, and has learned her lesson. Low feelings and readings are being taken seriously and treated immediately. I'm hoping that things will settle back down now and that we can get back to "normal" - whatever that is.. :cwds:
     
  2. somanybakers

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    Wow. I did not know you could do that and we have been at this for 6 years! Thanks.:)
     
  3. HBMom

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    That's amazing! I didn't know that you could do this either! Thanks so much for posting and glad that it worked for you. DS still feels his lows, but he depends on feeling them way too much and I worry that at some point he won't feel them any more. It makes me feel better that I know there is something that we can do if he stops feeling them.
     
  4. Lee

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    I am glad that she is feeling them again; but maybe she wasn't 'not responding' out of teenage angst. Maybe she just really didn't notice them.
     
  5. wilf

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    Partly. At first it was more she couldn't be bothered and didn't see the necessity. Later on, she was not feeling lows as obviously any more and in some cases not noticing.
     
  6. mmgirls

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    Teenager or a 6 year old, they are learning new things and are just TOO BUSY tobe bothered with stopping.

    I am so glad that it worked, Before summer I will probably try our best to reset her to the 65-75 range, instead of her current 55ish set point.
     
  7. wilf

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    I would too. Thanks for raising this.

    What I am trying to convey here is that if children have had an ability to sense their lows and then lost it, that there is something to do to get that ability back.. :cwds:
     
  8. momof2greatkids

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    I'm so glad this worked for your daughter and that she's taking it to heart! It's got to be so hard on our kids to have these extra responsibilities.

    Is there a way to save posts to a 'favorites list' or something? I would love to be able to pull this again if we need it in the future. My DD feels her lows, but I could see her paying less attention as the 'new' wears off, and she gets older.
     
  9. mmgirls

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    You know, my MIL had this book after DX to help her learn but it was just too much over the top and she shelved it and then later gave it to me, but we were already on our way with what we knew.

    I got that book out after coming here, YEARS after DX and I have relearned so much.

    I wonder how many don't about this concept???
     
  10. Lee

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    Well, we hear it every three months from the CDE when she asks if Coco feels her lows. But she has had periods where, if we run her a bit higher, she gets some sensitivity back. But it usually disappears in a couple weeks :(

    She just doesn't and I have no hope of her ever being able to reliably feel them.
     
  11. sarahspins

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    Yes, but you imply that it's always going to work. It's not, and I think that really does need to be clear.

    From the very beginning I haven't been able to feel lows until I am in the 30's... I just don't, it's not something I've caused, and it's not anything I'm doing wrong, and there's pretty much nothing I can do about it - other than work hard to avoid most of those lows. The most distressing part is that even when I am say 34, I may not have many symptoms other than feeling a bit chilly (which happens often anyways even w/ normal BG due to the A/C kicking on) or tired.. which aren't exactly classic symptoms of a low.

    The Ragnar Hanas book was one of the very first books I got after I was diagnosed, and it helped immensely, and it is a GREAT resource, and it helped me (at the time) understand better than anything else how insulin was really working and how food really effected the body, but I was frustrated then that the running higher to detect lows just "didn't work" for me... and I do firmly believe that there is a percentage of the population that just can't feel lows until they are dangerously low. Maybe there is a medical reason I haven't discovered yet, but I've been at this over 10 years, and I've been through a lot of endos, and none of them have seemed surprised by the #'s I am often surprised with. I was completely shocked when I started wearing my dexcom and got to see how low I was dropping after EVERY meal for example.. I had no idea, and I felt fine.. and I honestly never had any reason to test 30 minutes after I started eating, so of course I didn't know about it.

    To be 100% honest, the only time I am actually able to detect a low is when I expect to go low and keep testing to catch it (such as post-exercise). But I'm not sure that really counts... because it's not based on any symptoms, but rather patterns I've identified over time.
     
  12. Lee

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    I sure wish Coco would feel hers - even if it meant her being to busy to pay attention!
     
  13. emm142

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    I'm really glad this worked for you. My ability to sense lows is variable, but generally bad. I go through phases of total unawareness (not even feeling lows in the 20s) and phases where I have awareness sometimes. Right now, I have one symptom of lows, and that is a very subtle dizzyness on standing. Not particularly easy for spotting lows whilst sitting down... I also often find it possible to detect lows when I'm hungry but can pretty much never spot post-meal lows (which is a shame, since they are often the scariest, fast drops).
     
  14. wilf

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    Thank you for helping to clarify what is an important point.

    I was not trying to say that everyone can feel their lows - some people can, some can't, and some can occasionally..

    What I am just pointing out is that for those people who normally can feel their lows, if they lose that ability there is something they can do to try to regain it. There is advice on how to do it in Hanas. And it worked for us.. :cwds:
     
  15. StageMom

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    What is the name of this book, please? My 9 year old son seems to be having trouble lately feeling his lows. The last four or five he has had we have caught while doing his either one or two hour post, and he was in the 40's. Didn't feel a thing. He used to start feeling shakey in the 80's, but lately it has gotten a little scary. Thank you.
     
  16. wilf

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    The book is Type 1 Diabetes, by Ragnar Hanas.
     
  17. StageMom

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    Thank you. If my endo won't back me on a cgm, at least I could look into this to see if it would help. Much appreciated. Janet
     
  18. FloridaMom

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    I didn't know that either! Ryan has JUST started to be able to feel his lows. He tells me his "tummy hurts." Every time he has said that, he's been in the lower range.
     
  19. wilf

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    You want to praise him effusively, and encourage him to develop that sense as well as he can. It is invaluable. :cwds:
     
  20. FloridaMom

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    I will do that! Thank you. :)
     

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