How to Fix Low Blood Sugars Without Going High (Part 1 of 2)

This is how life used to be for my type-1 diabetic wife: Her blood sugar level would drop. Let’s say it hit 2mmol/L (36mg/dL). Of course, it has gone lower. But on average it was around 2mmol/L That odd mix of drunkenness and paranoia which was fortunately tamed with debilitating weakness visited her about once or  twice a week.

Common diabetic advice is to have some juice. So we had 8 fluid ounce boxes of apple and grape juice under Nicole’s bed, in her bag and in the kitchen. (She avoided orange juice because of kidney issues.) There were moments when puncturing a box with a flimsy plastic straw was rather difficult at 2 mmol/L. But Nicole managed.

One hour later, her blood sugar would be between 4-5 mmol/L. Two hours later, however, her blood sugar would hit 8mmol/L. Sometimes higher. We just accepted that’s how life was being a diabetic.

After reading Dr. Bernstein’s Diabeties Solution, however, are views on the matter changed. First of all, the fruit juice is a problem. Why orange juice ever became the go-to-drink for diabetics, I don’t understand. Juice is a mix of glucose and fructose. The glucose portion raises blood sugar quickly. Fructose doesn’t. It won’t register on a glucometer (but maybe a frucometer?). The body sends the fructose to the liver where it gets converted into glucose. Arriving late on the serum scene it continues to raise blood sugar past the 4.7 mmol/L target.

On top of that, it’s hard to comprehend – when you’re blood sugar is 2 mmol/L – how little sugar you actually need to get it up to 4.7 mmol/L. A 6 oz juice box contains 24g of sugar. Unless your 240lbs, that’s probably more sugar than you need to reach the target. And many people, in that low-blood sugar confusion, probably don’t stop at 6oz of juice.

In part 2 I explain how Nicole now gets a low blood sugar back to 4.7 (or thereabouts) within 45 minutes – avoiding any “rebound effect.”

–John C. A. Manley

P.S. Of course, avoiding low blood sugars in the first place is always better. A low-carb diet makes this a lot easier (because it involves less insulin). It also makes sleep better as you can see in this video: Type-1 Diabetic Sleeps Better on Low-Carb Diet (Video)

P.P.S. Far better than fruit juice are glucose tabs. Most, however, are made with genetically modified corn sugar and synthetic ingredients that are probably as healthy for you as a bag of Doritos. We only use GlucoLifts which are all natural, non-GMO and available from

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..