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Recovering from the Ups and Downs

It seems quite wacky and arbitrary. Everything ‘s under control. Our blood sugar is doing well. Then it’s not. The highs and lows aren’t fun. When we can get a good recovery, it’s amazing! Let's look at why that can be such a challenge and how to make regular recoveries from hypoglycemic events back to a normal target range of 100 to 180 a regular occurrence.

If it’s an off day and our blood sugar stays high, we're having a hyperglycemic day. It leads to exhaustion and struggle to get off the couch. Let’s get scientific and figure out the possible reasons for our high blood sugar to try to prevent it in the future:

  • Sometimes it seems like that sugar monster or carbohydrate creep is sitting on our shoulders whispering encouragement in our ears to eat that sweet or pizza. Or we may have eaten poorly the night before. Then the morning phenomenon occurs and the body naturally releases even more sugar into our systems.

  • Portion control plays a huge factor. The TV ads and restaurants encourage huge portion sizes! I routinely eat off of salad plates to trick my mind into thinking my portion is larger than what is on the plate.

  • We may just be struggling with exercise because of the hot summer weather or in the winter due to extreme cold.

  • We may be dehydrated. Our bodies use the endocrine system to flush excess sugar out of the body. If we aren't urinating and having regular bowel movements, we are carrying more sugar around than we need to have in our systems.

  • Poor sleep plays a factor in blood sugar control. Sleep is when our bodies heal, It is also when the body restocks and moves sugar stores around in the body.

  • Mental or physical stress to your body. The body doesn't understand the difference between an angry employer or an angry charging bear. It reacts the same to both. It releases more stored-up sugar for you to be able to run away from the bear. Sorry, running away from the employer may seem like a good idea, but it probably won't help you keep your job.

I love to hang glide. If my blood sugar isn’t under control, I won’t take any chances with my safety and fly that particular day. One day I may go flying. The very next day, it seems like I always have a hypoglycemic event, and my blood sugar just bottoms out. Then it's important to have a good recovery from that disorienting low. It’s very difficult to do and frustrating, especially when I want to fly more than one day at a time.

There are several factors that cause these events. It's usually due to our insulin or medications. Sometimes, we don’t factor our dosage accurately and end up taking too much for several different reasons:

  • Miscalculations can happen because our food choices can be extremely healthy without as many carbs and sugars one day as opposed to other days. Then we don't need as much insulin or medication.

  • We can exercise more than other days or not understand how exercise affects the body. First, the body usually releases sugar stored in our muscles when we are active causing our blood sugar to rise. The longer we exercise, the more energy we burn. Eventually, we burn through this stored energy and lower our blood sugar. Sometimes it's too much.

  • Another factor is also the intensity level of our exercise. Harder work outs lead to burning off the sugar at a faster rate.

Living with diabetes means high and low blood sugar is going to happen. The important thing is how well we recover. A mismanaged recovery makes us even more jittery, exhausted, and aggravated. A good recovery done with healthy food, like the recipe below, can make a hypo event seem like nothing.

Pizza Shrooms


  • 4 portobello mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce

  • 32 turkey pepperoni slices, separated

  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, diced

  • 8 black olives, halved

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil, crushed

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered rosemary

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, separated


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Remove the mushroom stems and Baste the mushroom caps with the olive oil and place them on the parchment paper.

  4. Mix the tomato sauce, red pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary, half of the turkey pepperoni & Half of the mozzarella in a bowl.

  5. Stuffed mushrooms with the tomato sauce mixture. Cover with remaining mozzarella. Top it with four black olive halves and four pepperoni slices.

  6. Cook the mushrooms for 10 to 12 minutes.

This week's recipe should help you with hypoglycemic recovery as well as a bit of advice... When you're having a low event, you must allow longer than the recommended 15 minutes for any food that you eat to take effect. Our blood sugar may even continue to drop even after eating a snack. Once you eat, it takes 15 to 20 minutes at least for food to start to be digested. Next it takes 20 - 40 minutes for the digested food to get into your blood sugar and register when we check our blood sugar levels.

To add even more confusion to these situations, an extremely low hypoglycemic event will cause the body to release glucagon, a hormone produced by the pancreas to keep our blood sugar from dropping to low. During extreme hypoglycemic events with blood sugar below 70, we may even need to use a synthetic form of glucagon. It triggers the release of stored sugar, glycogen, which is converted into usable sugar, glucose, and released into the blood stream. Being patient and taking extra time before eating more food for hypoglycemic recovery gives us a chance to really see how our bodies react to these multiple factors.

Source: "Glucagon: What It Is, Function & Symptoms"

"Glycogen: What It Is & Function"

Cleveland Clinic

This week's recipe isn't just a good choice for blood sugar recovery. It's a fantastic dietary choice for the fall weather that starts to go back-and-forth between cool and hot. The weather may cause some to catch a cold, but the mushrooms and vitamin C in the tomato sauce help boost our immune systems and help us fight off infections and illnesses, so we can stay outdoors and enjoy the fall season. It’s also a wonderful snack while you’re watching a football game.

Please let me know if this week's recipe makes it into your football game day routine. I'm headed back outside to toss a football around for some exercise. It really makes the most difference in blood sugar control and ceramide reduction. Our diet can play a significant role in undermining our hard work. I'll keep working on the recipes. If you have a favorite dish, please tell me. I'll create a diabetic friendly version, just let me know by leaving a note below. I've learned how to swap blood sugar spiking ingredients for others with a lower glycemic index. It may take a week or two, but I love the challenge. I'll also work on introducing more recipes to help lower the ceramides in the body. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up-to-date lab work

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