Slow glucose

Becka

Well-Known Member
The D.V.L.A. are a bit weird, really. When I was diagnosed I had at least five hypos in the first 45 days on Gliclazide. I have had none during the same length on insulin, yet only now am I danger and need a medical licence. Very strange people.

The diabetic nurse said, of course, to always carry glucose to treat a hypo. Which obviously I always did. I have sticks of Dextro Energy and bags of cola straws in almost every pocket and bag. The Dextro tablets usually ending up covered in brown-orange spots, if not dirty from the packet disintegrating first. Horrible stuff, far too sweet, way too much sugar in them. But as I had to learn everything for myself*, that was all I did. However the nurse also said that after taking the fast acting glucose to treat the hypo, to also have something slow acting. Which makes sense, but was something I had not though about before.

Receiving the letter about my licence reminded me of that, as it has not been a pressing matter what with shielding. So to make sure I do not forget again, what to do other people carry and do about slow carbs for hypos?

* I was just given tablets and a glucometer, then sent on a DESMOND course for education. That only talked about diet and loosing weight, with the staff constantly saying how slim I was, and nothing about hypos. Which did not matter to anyone else there, to be fair. It took a long time to discover I was supposed to test hypos and not just go by feel. No one said! I would rate my experience of non-typical diabetes as 0 - do not recommend.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I generally don't use any slow acting carbs as 15g fast acting is usually enough to send my levels into orbit so I often just use 10g carbs to treat a hypo. The only time I might consider slow acting carbs is if I am a bit low to go to bed and then usually some peanut butter or cheese and multigrain crackers. Generally no more than 2 crackers at 3g carbs each or perhaps a nature valley protein bar at 10g carbs.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I’m on a pump so rarely need long-acting carbs after a hypo now, but on injections I’d have a digestive biscuit or two, or a slice of whole meal bread. I used to carry a mini pack of digestives as an extra top up as well as the Dextro tabs.

I was told to treat a hypo with 2 or 3 Dextro tabs, wait 15 mins then test again, and then to have around 15g of slower carbs.
 

helli

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I used to have a packet of crisps or a stick of Twix.
Now I have a pump, the slow acting is not needed.

Regarding the brown spots on your Dextrose, have you tried GlucoTabs/Lift tablets? They come in a plastic tube which does not suffer from getting wet and disintegrating like the paper around Dextrose. I bought a tube years ago and refill it from large tubs a buy on eBay.
 

Becka

Well-Known Member
Fortunately I never had a hypo while riding my bike, but I also never had any legal obligations either. So It sounds like a travel size pack of biscuits is the way to go. A packet of crisps will also be easy to take on the bike, but when out and about on public transport etc. it will need something smaller and more suited to stuffing in tight places.

Although maybe instead it will be something like those mini packs of Ritz crackers, as digestive biscuits are not for me. As horrible as hypos are, aside from the other symptoms they make me feel paranoid, on balance I may still end up choosing that if the alternative was jelly babies and digestives.

I was not given anywhere near that much detail, Inka, but I have just checked the DESMOND booklets. "Top tips for managing the symptoms… always carry sugary snacks or drinks with you, for example glucose (sugar) tablets or energy drinks… eat the sugary snack first then eat something starchy, for example a sandwich or piece of fruit". So that is all I had to go on, just a "top tip". Oddly no mention of testing when you feel symptoms, despite the booklet otherwise having a whole section on it. And where did that fruit or sandwich suddenly come from, anyway?

helli, I have not tried them yet but I did buy a six pack for that very reason; that tubes will not fall apart. Blueberry burst and juicy raspberry. It was supposed to be a mix of flavours, but just three of each.

So still no idea whether they taste better or worse yet, but they are so much bigger. I feel like I need to carry a cake slicer with me to eat them. (As they do not say, I worked out that a Dextrose tablet is 2.9g glucose. So a Lift is worth about one and a quarter of them at 3.7g.)
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Some people find a cereal bar or mini-pack of fairly plain biscuits like digestives can be helpful if follow-up carbs are their thing.

It seems to be quite individual - and will really revolve around what caused the hypo, but whatever it was, once you’ve had one, it seems you are statistically more likely to have another - sort of a ‘double dip’, so even if you don’t follow-up as a matter of automatic habit, it is always worth keeping a closer eye on things after you’ve had a hypo - even a fairly mild dip into the high 3s.
 

Becka

Well-Known Member
Well the hope is to never need them, but it is a case of thinking of what I can eat and can be bought in individually wrapped servings.
 
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