Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can be a dangerous symptom of diabetes. While many of those diagnosed with diabetes know when to take their medication and how to measure their a1c levels, it can be difficult to know how to respond to every unique scenario.
“If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood glucose for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia has the potential to cause accidents, injuries, coma, and death.”
But what are the best ways to respond to low blood glucose?
7 pros provide the best tips, tricks, and lifehacks
Bjay from Diabetic Mommy discusses her emergency kit:
“For me, it was a little cloth insulated lunch box that I loaded up with an apple, cheese, candy or glucose tabs, glucose gel, drinks, and other snacks. These snacks could be granola bars, sandwiches, cracker sandwiches, etc. I was able to throw my insulin and needles into the bag as well. I would carry an over-sized bag with all the other stuff I needed to tote around. The glucose gel (some people use cake gel) is handy if you are nauseous and can’t keep anything down. You can rub it into your gums. Make sure and talk to your doctor about other things you can carry or do when you feel yourself getting low.”
Jane K Dickinson, from her post titled ‘Hypoglycemia Awareness’:
“Juice (such as orange juice) is a wonderful source of carbohydrate that works very quickly to raise the blood glucose level. Glucose tablets also work well. People use all sorts of different “low treatment” for hypoglycemia. The rule of thumb is 15 gm carbohydrate to raise blood glucose approximately 50 mg/dL, then wait 15 minutes and re-check blood glucose to make sure it’s coming up. If not, treat (eat) again.”
Kelly Kunik from Diabetesaliciousness gives some great insight:
“I’ve started keeping a Sharpie Marker in the fridge, on the shelf where I keep my insulin.
That way every time I start a new insulin bottle I can mark the date the bottle was started on the bottle and the box - no more wondering when said bottle was opened, or not being able to remember which insulin was the one that was temporarily lost in the fridge and required opening a new one, and not being able to remember what was which, when the lost bottle was found.
I also keep spare insulin reservoirs and a couple needles in the fridge because it saves me some extra steps. I can fill up my insulin reservoir while standing at my fridge. Sanity saving for sure.
I recently switched from juice-boxes to aluminum bottles of Dole Pineapple juice cans - and keep 2 by my bed - just in case. “
Karen Graffeo has great solutions to tough situations on her blog Bitter~Sweet:
“What would I do if my blood sugar crashed at 2a.m.? I keep a jar of GlucoLift on my night table.
What would I do if I was traveling and my bottle of insulin broke? I pack a spare bottle or two.
What would I do if my blood sugar went dangerously low and I passed out? We have glucagon in Pete’s dresser drawer and also in my purse. And it isn’t even expired!!
What would I do if my pump had a major meltdown and stopped working? I have a old pump as a backup. I also have some syringes and long-acting insulin. (But I'm pretty sure that has expired . . . )”
Tom Karlya of Diabetes Dad with a top-notch tech tip to help you sleep better:
“The old marbles in the metal bowl have been around for a while. You know, you place your CGM sensor in the bowl and when you reach that threshold where it vibrates….the marbles rattle around and you wake up. But here is something many are trying AND liking. I was told about iSeismometer, which is an App that warns you when an earthquake is coming. Download the App on your phone (yes it is free), place the phone on the proper nightstand (you probably want to make sure the phone is plugged in), and place your CGM on the cell phone. When one hits that threshold of going low, it vibrates, and the phone thinks it is an earthquake, and an alarm will ring that can be made loud enough to wake up the house. Try it; many have.”
Leighann Calentine of D-Mom with a tip for those caring for children with diabetes:
“Low Blood Sugar Classroom Kits
- Blood glucose meter, test strips, lancing device, lancets
- Juice box
- Travel roll of glucose tablets and/or Smarties
- Glucose gel
- 2-page instruction sheet”
Kerri Sparling covers all the bases on her blog:
“This little gem has everything I need for a diabetes moment on the job: I have a backup infusion set, some lancets, several boxes of test strips, a Humalog insulin pen, a spare One Touch UltraMini, and even a SkinTac wipe for any CGM sensors or pump sites that go rogue…
But what's missing from this kit? Fast-acting sugar? Nope - my office has a handy stash of candy for low blood sugar reactions and sweet teeth (sweet tooths?) alike. How about the Quick-Serter for the infusion set? Nah, I live five minutes from my office, so if the site isn't working out, I can pop home and fix it right quick. Battery for the pump or a just-in-case syringe? Both are safely tucked into the meter case.”
While these pros have great tips, this post should not be considered medical advice.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this post.