Dealing with a High Blood Sugar Hangover

          Let’s say you went to a family member’s house for dinner, and they served food that you don’t normally eat (very carb-based stuff) and you didn’t want to be rude and refuse what they had spent all day cooking. Now you’re having trouble counting carbs accurately for your dinner and you do your best to count for the chicken alfredo, garlic toast, and roasted potatoes, but now it’s 10 PM and your blood sugar is 346. You feel like crap and stay up half the night trying to get it down you get it back in the 200’s and you fall asleep. You wake up in the morning and it’s 217 but you feel like you have been hit by a tractor-trailer. Your head is hurting, your stomach is aching, and you don’t have the energy to get out of bed. This is what I call a high hangover. I’ll explain what you should do to feel better and get over it.

         First rule of thumb when eating a high carb meal is to make sure you have at least one green vegetable or salad with your meal. It adds fiber and makes the carbs spike your sugar less. If you’re at a restaurant order a salad or some kind of green vegetable. If you can’t just try to eat less of the carbs. Measure if you can or eyeball it to see if it’s about the size of a fist then its about a cup of pasta. A trick I also use at restaurants is to ask for a to-go box when my food comes out and box up half of what they give me to begin with, so I don’t eat till I feel full (out of sight out of mind). I eat what I have give it a minute to digest then if I’m still hungry I’ll consider if I should have more. If none of these options are available to me, I’ll try to drink about 16 oz of water before I start to eat then as I’m eating, I will feel fuller quicker. If I’m at someone’s house I will ask if I can see the packaging for the carb count of the food. This always helps me be more accurate with the figuring up of my insulin. Then I will try to check my blood sugar about an hour or so after I eat and if it’s not coming down, I will take an additional correction dose.


           It’s incredibly important to do these especially if you have things going on the next day that you can’t miss like work, school, or even more important things like graduations or weddings. Nobody wants to be sick for important life events. As diabetics, we know this all too well. However, even with the best of intentions, we all have felt sick with the rollercoaster ride of diabetes. What should you do if you wake up with the high hangover? This is what I do in order to feel better quickly.

          First, even if you don’t feel like it you need to get out of bed. You won’t feel better just lying there all day. Even if all you can do is move to the couch. Then try to get some caffeine into your system to help your head feel better. Excedrin is usually a good choice for me or a Coke Zero. I’ll also have some coffee with cream and Splenda if I don’t feel too nauseous. (Be warned though if you are still high coffee always raises my blood sugar about 50 mg/dL). Then I try to eat a low carb something as my first meal like eggs and sausage with a piece of toast or biscuit. Then when I can I try to either get out or move around a bit. Go for a short walk or do something like yoga that isn’t too strenuous that will make your head hurt more like running.

          After some small activity, you should start to feel better. If this doesn’t seem to help perhaps you should try a nap. If you still feel junky just watch some tv or do something fun that you like to. If it’s a day that you have to work and can’t seem to rest just try to get through it as best you can. Wear some clothes that don’t feel to restrictive and take frequent small breaks. If you have a lienant boss maybe ask if you can leave early that day to feel better. I would prioritize what I needed to get done that day and get it done as quick as I could and then just show your boss that you accomplished all the stuff that was needed to. If you work an hourly job and can afford to take off see if anyone would like some extra hours and if they do just tell your boss, you need to head out and you got this person to fill in for you. It’s difficult to keep your mind on the things you need to do when you feel like crud. A good boss will understand this, if you have an unreasonable boss just stay and do the best you can. Hopefully, you can home at the end of the day rest and feel better the next day.

By: Miranda Montgomery (Type 1 diabetic for 20+ years) Admin for Type 1 Diabetes Support Group on Facebook with 13.9 K members

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