7.19.2010

High or Low: I dislike them both, but for very different reasons.

People often ask me, which is worse, to have a high blood sugar or a low blood sugar? And I can never answer. I always end up giving some detailed account of what it is like to be high versus low and by the end of my rambling, both parties have forgotten that there was a question stated at the beginning of the conversation and that it has not been answered.

Why I dislike being low: The physical symptoms are not fun.  My legs get weak and I want to sit down, my face gets sweaty, my vision gets blurry and worst of all I become incredibly irritated causing me to snap and say curt things that I only regret once my sugar has come up. Sometimes I realize that it is happening and if I just wait, it will go away. I don't have to say anything. But a lot of the time, I don't realize why I'm angry until after I've said something mean and my blood sugar has come up. I dislike this mood change the most and the guilt that follows.

Why I dislike being high: I find the physical symptoms of being high to be much more tolerable. I tend to get tired and thirsty. That's about it. However, the emotional symptoms are daunting. At this point I start to worry and anxiety sets in.  I get nervous about the damage that a high blood sugar is causing to my body. I start to think about loosing feeling in one of my feet or having to go on dialysis. I envision clogged arteries and spastic nerve endings or a cluster of blood vessels in the back of my eye. If it continues throughout the day, all of these thoughts are exacerbated and the anxiety increases. And once again, guilt sets in.

I guess if I have to answer the question, I would say having a high blood sugar is worse. While it doesn't feel as bad, it has a lot of consequences later in life to worry about. And since I'm working on getting pregnant, a high blood sugar while carrying a child is a more serious thing, it's more damaging to the fetus, since glucose can cross the placenta. It will definitely be a worry. While a low blood sugar can have consequences, such as passing out or eventually loosing sensitivity to lows, I seem to worry about that less. I sit down and eat M&M's. I like that part. Eating chocolate, that is.

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