Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to prevent summertime “Lows”



With summer time here, and an increase in outside activity, one thing is certain with diabetes. LOWS. Kids tend to need less insulin in the summer than they do in the winter season. This is because activity/exercise, whatever you refer to it as helps to drop that blood sugar. Preventing summer time lows can be difficult. And it’s important to remember not to view yourself as failure because you or your child is still experiencing lows. It’s going to happen, it’s diabetes, and it’s inevitable! But from my experience in having an active summertime child with Type 1 diabetes, I have figured out a few tips and tricks to help prevent lows from occurring.

Check more frequently

(when they are active it helps to check before they begin, during, and after, and even more if you feel the urge to)

Checking more frequently can help you get an idea of where your, or their blood sugar is and what you can do about it. As an example, Clifford is on the insulin pump, and one of the benefits of an insulin pump is knowing how much Insulin is on board (IOB), or active. This is a useful tool for us at least in helping to prevent lows from occurring. If he tests and he’s 100 or less with IOB, we make a decision to treat, and with how many carbs. In doing this, we’ve helped to prevent some lows from occurring.

Temp basals

If you are on an insulin pump, or your child is, temp basals can be your best friend. We typically set a temp basal anywhere from 30-50% for an hours time. The percentage basically is reflecting off of what his numbers were like during the day, if he ran lower, then we run it lower.

Frequent snacks

For those on an insulin pump or MDI’s frequent small snacks after checking your blood sugar can help to give you the little boost you need to keep your blood sugar up without dropping low during activities.


Well water will not exactly help prevent lows, but for anyone it’s beneficial to make sure you stay hydrated during activity, and for those with diabetes it’s even more important.

It’s really not a huge list, but these are the few tricks / tools we pull out of our hat during the summer time to help prevent lows from occurring.