Alissa's Fitness Blog

Alissa's Diabetes and Fitness Blog


Discussion of Diet and Fitness as a tool to manage Diabetes


I learned something new today that I felt is important.  Sharing the kind of information that can help people is the reason why I enjoy blogging.  I provided my endocrinologist with information from my dietician appointment - the diet for the week and carb counting. I provided my weekly blood sugars as well. 

I was asked what I do when my blood sugar runs low.  I told him I eat my staple of two 3 ounce sweet potatoes and that if my sugar was below 50 and doesn’t go up right away, I’ll eat 6 ounces of sweet potatoes.  The Dr. was surprised at my response, saying that all complex carbs(a sweet potato is a complex carb) take longer for your body to digest, which in turn causes glucose to go up more slowly.  In other words, a complex carb is not a good rescue carb.  In all my years of competing, I had been concerned about sugar ruining my competition, yet 15 grams is 15 grams no matter what kind of carbs you put in your body. 

Quick sugars are any simple sugar such as orange juice, glucose tablets, or glucose gels that get in and out quickly.

HYPOGLYCEMIA SYMPTOMS:  Fast heartbeat, fine tremor, sweating, anxious, hunger, headache, irritable, weakness, and fatigue.


Check blood sugar → low is considered less than 70mg/dl

  1. Treat according to reading
    • Fast-acting carbs 50-59: treat with 30 grams
    •  Less than 50: treat with 45 grams 
  2. Wait 15 minutes for conversion to blood glucose and for symptoms to subside
  3. Re-check blood sugar - if still less than 70 then treat again, according to the new reading

Examples for 15 grams of carbs:

  • 4 oz juice
  • 8 oz milk (1 cup)
  • 1/3 can regular soda
  • 3 square of 4 round glucose tabs
  • 3 round peppermint candies (chew)
From this point, instead of using sweet potatoes I’ll carry some of the advised foods with me at all times.  I do carry glucose tablets, but had been worried the sugar would affect me - not realizing it is better to take them than not.  Always feed your body with a low.  It’s a way of your body telling you that you need to feed it immediately with a quick acting sugar.  


Showing 2 Comments

Merritt McKeon 9 years ago

i found Manukka honey works great... Sticks to my mouth which Leo's absorb right in the mouth... Fastest way into the body,meter even than just a swallow. I think it is great to always have high quality honey at the ready.... If you are passed out,ma friend can swab the inside of your mouth with honey. Saved my life 32 years ago when my children's father learned this trick. I have only needed it in emergencies 4 times in 44 years of being a type 1. Love your blog Alissa! I am hoping you write a book... You have some terrific ideas and insights for sure!

blake 9 years ago

Right on the money - always be prepared for a low so the 15 for 15 rule is good one (15 Jelly Belly jelly beans ~ 15 quick acting carbs)

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