Sunday, July 23, 2006

Moment by moment changes in blood sugar

OK, I am NOT a pro at this disease...I live with my husband who has it. But I seem to be able to track it way better than he can!!! Yesterday, he nearly "bit my head off" and it really was funny, although he did not see the humor in it at all. We had been to Subway for lunch and he had got "3 cookies for $1.00" and ate 2 of them. We stopped and got groceries and came home just in time for my sister, her husband, and their 2 grandsons to arrive. Nice time together. We had had a really late lunch, about 2:30 pm, so I thought 7 pm for dinner would be just fine. About 6:45, my husband asks me where the cookie is. I said, I set it right in the pantry. Continued chatting with my sister out on the back deck. He comes back out and yells at me in a horribly angry voice, "WHERE DID YOU PUT THE COOKIE?" Still not realizing he is crashing, I said, "it's right inside the pantry" and he screams at me, "IT'S NOT THERE, WHY CAN'T YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU PUT THINGS?"

So I get up, go inside the house, walk to the pantry and pull the cookie right off the shelf, right at eye level, right in front of him and all he says is, "oh".

Really. Honesly. Seriously. It was on the shelf, right at his eye level, the first thing any normal, sane, sugar-balanced person would see when they looked inside the pantry. But not him! He was crashing big time and could not function to save his soul. So, I immediately started dinner and in 2 hours, he was just fine. To his credit, he did apologize to me later on in the privacy of our bedroom, but he never apologized to my family who were visiting.

Which brings me to tonight's topic. Moment by moment changes in blood sugar. It's a theory that I have. And if you have experiences with this, please post!

There's this term called "fight or flight". Has nothing to do with diabetes. When something happens that scares us, or shocks us, or frightens us, or upsets us, our natural first instinct is either to fight it, or run from it. A bear attacks your tent while you are camping, you are either going to grab a gun and shoot it (fight) or run and jump inside the truck (flight). OK, a bit of an extreme example, huh? But I think you get the point. If you smash your thumb with a hammer, you scream, you jump up and down, you shout out in pain....and the adrenaline in your system rockets up. In an earthquake...or a car wreck, your body goes on automatic pilot and your adrenaline increases. That has an impact on insulin. I know it does, I've read the research. But those are huge increases in adrenaline.

I think, (again, my personal theory) is that when little tiny things happen, there are changes in adrenaline, and changes in insulin, all day long. Your boss yells at you. Your kids don't call. Your wife is mad at you, the dog pees on the carpet. All the tiny little insignificant things that normal people can handle, can and sometimes do cause shifts in the adrenaline/insulin/body sugar levels of a diabetic. The more tiny little insignificant things that happen at the same time, the more the shift in the blood sugar, and the more it all "piles up".

I also think there must be some kind of "lag time" in events and in insulin production or lack of it. Sort of like the traffic that ques up, you slam on the breaks, you speed up again, but you never come upon the event that actually made that first car slam on the breaks! We have a tunnel on our freeway and I can guaraantee you that every time you approach it, everyone slams on their brakes. But there is never any indication why....and I don't think normal people slam on their brakes just to go through a tunnel on a 4-lane highway! My husband takes his blood sugar and it's within normal levels.....but I KNOW it's really not because of the way he is acting!!!

My personal opinion is that adrenaline has a huge impact on the body's blood sugar levels. The calmer I can keep my husband, the less outbursts we seem to have. But every day life tends to prevent calmness around here! He doesn't handle company all that well, let alone 2 little boys aged 9 and 11 who wanted nothing more than to play with our little puppies. So, 2 bouncing, yipping puppies, 2 little boys, 2 adult relatives...yep, that fight or flight instinct probably was in full gear!! After all, I couldn't seem to put the cookie in the right place!!! :o)


Impatient Patient said...

I think this too- and I only work with a child with type 1. But it seems that way. Weather as well- too hot and there are issues. Being sick with a cold means a HIGH!!!!! High like a kite.

I would love to know if anyone can confirm this scientifically.

Diabeteswife said...

You know, I had not thought about the weather til I read your post. But I have to agree, the weather must have an impact on insulin production/blood sugar levels. I have no doubt that being sick has an impact. What else?

I have researched the internet and can't find anything scientific....but am always looking, hoping to find something new! I would imagine that the whole arena of study of blood chemistry and how different elements impact various things going on chemically in the body is pretty new. It may not be out there for diabetes yet.

AnnaQ said...

Unfortunately, it seems that everything that can happen in life can affect BG! Like you, I don't have scientific proof, but just from observing my husband, I'm guessing that these have an affect: stress (acute and chronic), hot and cold ambient temperature (I blogged on this today), happiness/euphoria, physical activity & inactivity (sleep), food, alcohol, drugs, pain - whew. In any case, makes me appreciate the wonder that is the properly-working human body!