a woman using an insuling injection pen
Education on Diabetes

Rage Bolusing 101

Rage bolusing is when lots of insulin is administered to get a high blood sugar down quickly. 

From my experience, all people living with diabetes rage bolus from time to time when blood sugars are running high and we get annoyed that they are not coming down.

rage bolusing

It is completely normal to feel agitated when you have stubborn blood sugars, but rage bolusing can actually do more harm than good. It is common to think that getting hyperglycaemia down quickly is optimal, when the opposite it actually true.

Getting high sugar levels down gradually is better than overcorrecting and having a subsequent hypo. Rage bolusing can lead to ‘rollercoaster’ sugar levels which can become much harder to control.

My tips on dealing with rage bolusing

1. Gradually administer insulin – Administer your first correction dose and if you can, do some very gentle exercise. I like to go for a short walk (about 15-20 minutes), I then check my levels again. If they are not coming down one hour after the correction dose, I will administer another one. Sometimes it can take a few hours for the insulin to fully kick in.

*Be careful with insulin layering, this is when multiple doses of insulin are administered over a short period. This can result in delayed hypoglycaemia which can be very difficult to get back up.

do something relaxing - rage bolusing

2. Be patient – Try and do something you find relaxing while you wait. I like to watch my favourite TV show, read my book or play with my cats. When we get annoyed it increases the level of stress hormones in our blood, which can result in blood sugars rising even higher.

3. Keep hypo snacks at the ready – Always be ready for sudden low sugars, keep your favourite snacks nearby (and portioned!).

4. Share your annoyance – I like to talk to someone I trust when my sugar levels are being stubborn. Talking really helps to let emotions out, which may help to prevent a rage bolus.

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Restaurants and Diabetes 101 and Riding The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

roller coaster rail at cloudy day
Education on Diabetes

Riding The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

The blood sugar rollercoaster, also known as ‘dysglycemia’ is when sugar levels quickly bounce between highs and lows (see graph below). The rollercoaster causes severe fatigue as well as detrimental physical and mental symptoms.

blood sugar rollercoaster

Many factors can cause the rollercoaster, such as:

  • Severe hypoglycaemia
  • ‘Rage bolusing’
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Intense exercise
  • Illness
  • Lack of sleep

My Tips On Handling The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

1.Portion your hypo snacks before When you have hypoglycaemia it can send you into a ‘hangry’ monster, trying to eat everything in sight. To prevent this I always carry/have portioned hypo snacks, for example I have small juice bottles and small boxes of raisins etc. This can help to prevent over-treating a low sugar, causing a rebound high.

2. Resist the ‘rage bolus’ If you do become a hangry monster (don’t panic we have all been there!) try not to take a big dose of insulin to overcome the high sugar. I know it’s annoying, but bringing sugar levels back down gradually is preferable because it will prevent another sudden hypo.

3. Close your eyes and rest – If your sugar levels are everywhere it can become tiring and stressful. When we get stressed it can cause blood sugar levels to rise even more, which is not ideal in this situation. So I like to close my eyes and focus on my breathing, always set a 20/30 minute alarm incase you fall asleep so you can check your levels again.

4. Reach out to your support network – If you are feeling really unwell and are struggling, ask for help! If you need someone to grab you snacks or give you a hug, ask your parents, partner, friends, whoever is your go-to!

support - blood sugar rollercoaster

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia and How to handle a hypo mid-workout!

wood man woman hand
Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia

Everyone living with diabetes knows how draining hypoglycaemia can be, particularly when low sugars frequently occur. Until recently the long-term dangers of hypoglycaemia have not really been spoken about, or known. So I wanted to write a post about what recent research has started to find.

This post is not intended to scare you, but to share knowledge and to help prevent hypoglycaemia.

Frequent hypoglycaemic episodes have now been linked to increasing the risk of developing complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, retinopathy, kidney disease and impaired cognitive function (memory loss specifically). More research is needed to gain more understanding on why and for treatments on these complications.

The best way to avoid further health complications is to prevent hypoglycaemic episodes in the first place.

My tips on avoiding frequent hypoglycaemia

1. Invest in technology

If it is possible, the best place to start is to get a CGM or FGM so you can monitor your sugar levels more easily. I use the Freestyle Libre and this has really improved my diabetes control. Preventing hypos has become so much easier!

Technology for preventing frequent hypoglycaemia

2. Set your alarms with precaution

If you use a CGM or FGM with an alarm system, I recommend setting the low boundary slightly higher. This way the alarm will go off just before you dip into a hypo, giving you more time to treat and prevent the hypo.

My low alarm is set at 4.5 mmol/L, which gives me time to get my levels up before they drop lower.

3. Learn your trends

If you have frequent hypoglycaemia, try to record when your levels drop. For example, I tend to drop during the night if I have done a lot of running, to avoid this I decrease my insulin dose with dinner and I try to run earlier in the day if possible.

preventing frequent hypoglycaemia

4. Avoid ‘rage bolusing’

If you are having a stubborn high glucose, try to not over-correct and take lots of insulin. I know this can be annoying, but we are much better off getting high sugar levels down gradually, to avoid subsequent hypoglycaemia.

5. Always carry your favourite snacks!!

heart - frequent hypoglycaemia

Thank you for reading Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia, I hope this post is useful, let me know if you would like more tips on this topic! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to checkout How to handle a hypo mid-workout! and Keeping your heart healthy with diabetes

blue and white boat on body of water
Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

Holiday tips to maintain sugar levels

Everyone wants to let loose on holiday and enjoy delicious food without feeling restricted. Here are my top tips on making the most of your summer holiday while managing your sugar levels!

1. Watch your drinks

smoothie - holiday tips

On holiday you are more likely to indulge in cocktails, smoothies and coffee, but remember these are often packed with sugar.

I try and choose cocktails that contain less sugar, my favourite is a mojito. If your sugars are running a bit high, ask the bartender to leave the sugar out and to give some sugar sachets so you can add the right amount for you.

If you fancy something with lots of sugar in, try and time it right, for example after a walk or swim.

2. Plan activities

Plan activities that involve some exercise, even just book a walking tour so you can explore your holiday destination and get some movement in at the same time. Play games in the pool or volleyball on the beach!

Just remember to always carry a sugary snack or money for treats if your sugars suddenly drop.

exploring - holiday tips

3. Take cool packs

It isn’t always possible to put your bag in the shade so invest is some cool packs to stop your insulin from denaturing.

Denaturing is when the insulin gets too hot, meaning it is no longer active when it enters the body. This can therefore result in very high sugar levels.

Etsy have some really nice cooler cases, I take them everywhere with me so my insulin stays cool whether I am by the pool, beach or exploring a new town.

4. Make sure you have a mini fridge

Contact your hotel and make sure there is a mini fridge in your room. The last thing you want is to arrive and then realise there is no where to safely store your insulin (I have been in this position, it’s not fun!).

5. Relax

Remember you are on holiday and you are there to have fun. If you run a little high a couple of times it is not the end of the world (not too high of course).

Go back to basics and remember timing is always the key to indulging!

relax by the pool, holiday tips

Thank you for reading my Holiday tips to maintain sugar levels, I really hope it was useful! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Top tips on alcohol consumption and diabetes control! and How to Stop CGM’s from falling off

man inside vehicle
Education on Diabetes

Driving and Type 1 diabetes

People living with type 1 diabetes have to take extra precaution before driving. This post will cover what people living with t1d have to do in the UK.

Legal Requirements

Firstly, you have to declare to the DVLA that you have diabetes. This will not stop you from driving, they just need to know about any medical conditions.

People living with diabetes also have to renew their licences more frequently. This is so the DVLA can monitor any diabetic complications, or lack of hypo awareness.

check sugar levels - driving and type 1 diabetes

These are the legal requirements in the UK:

  • Check your blood sugars no longer than 2 hours before driving (really you should be checking just before)
  • Check your blood sugars every 2 hours on a long journey
  • Always carry sugary snacks and slow releasing carbs (snack bar, sandwich, etc)

If you have a hypo while driving

  • Pull over and stop when it is safe
  • Remove the keys from the ignition
  • Get out of the driver’s seat
  • Check blood sugars and treat the hypo
  • Do not drive for 45 minutes AFTER you feel better (this allows brain to fully recover so you can drive safely)

Car snack ideas

You also have to have access to hypo snacks in your door pocket. It needs to be a large opened bag so you can reach down easily and eat.

snacks for hypo's - driving and type 1 diabetes

Here are some ideas, I prefer to have dried fruit rather than sweets all the time.

  • Dried mango
  • Raisins, cranberries, dates
  • Fruit pastels
  • Sweets of choice

Thank you for reading Driving and Type 1 diabetes! I hope this was useful, be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Top tips on alcohol consumption and diabetes control! and Restaurants and Diabetes 101