Being a Diabetic is not without it’s challenges. We have to work hard to eat right, maintain a consistent exercise regimen, test our blood sugars, and all sorts of stuff. I have had 4 hypoglycemic episodes since my diagnosis, and all 4 of them were awful, terrifying, and eye opening. Now, admittedly, there is never a good time for low blood sugars, which is why we work hard to keep them stable and level. But, unfortunately, sometimes it happens. Don’t panic!
• Be prepared! Keep a source of pure glucose, such as glucose tablets or liquid, on you, in your diabetes emergency supplies or in places where you spend a lot of
time. Think about these locations and how they might fit your life and lifestyle. An office desk drawer, your nightstand, briefcase, travel carryon bag, spouse or loved
one’s pocket or purse, backpack, purse, glove compartment of vehicles, a child’s
lunch box and school locker, teacher’s desk, and school health office. Keep in mind school regulations vary. Your child may be able to keep hypoglycemia treatments on their person or they may need to just be in the hands of the school health personnel.
• Wear some type of medical identification (I.D.) that lets others know you have Diabetes. A bracelet or necklace is best because if you are not able to treat yourself, a helpful person, police or emergency personnel can quickly identify that you have diabetes. You may also want to carry an “I Have Diabetes” card in your wallet where you can write and keep details about the blood glucose lowering medications you take.
• Carry your blood sugar checking supplies at nearly all times. If you have signs and symptoms of a low blood sugar, you’ll be able to check and know for sure. You’ll also be able to check after you’ve treated your low to know that you have remedied it.
• Tell your loved ones ahead of time how they can help. Familiarize those closest to you with the signs and symptoms of a low and what you need to eat to raise your blood sugar to your target range. Tell them where you keep your glucose tablets or other food or beverage items you use to treat your lows.
• Consider your need for additional food to prevent another low blood sugar reaction within the next few hours. Depending on the action curve and current dose of the of your blood glucose lowering medicine(s), you could be at risk of another low blood sugar reaction soon after the last. Also be aware that there is greater frequency of hypoglycemia while you sleep due to hormonal changes.
• Always check your blood sugar before you drive. Make sure your blood sugar is in a safe range. If it’s too low, correct it before you start to drive. This protects
you, your passengers and people in other vehicles around you.
• Check your blood sugar before going to sleep. Knowing your blood sugar number before you go to sleep, and taking any necessary action, can prevent a low during the night. If your child has diabetes check their blood sugar before bed. Depending on their treatment and whether you’ve recently made changes in their treatment routine, you may also need to check their blood sugar during the night. Discuss what’s best for your child with your health care professional.
• Inform those around your child about low blood sugar.Tell your child’s grandparents, teachers, his or her best friends (if they are of an age at which they can be helpful) and anyone looking after your child what low blood sugar is, its signs, and your child’s symptoms.