Living with diabetes blog
In the United States — maybe elsewhere, too — there is a popular saying: "Do as I say, not as I do" — meaning, "Don't imitate my behavior, obey my instructions."
Tonight, I went for a walk with my husband, who uses insulin. Every day, I educate people on how to treat low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). You know the recommendation: Always carry carbohydrates to treat hypoglycemia. Well we did that, but we left them in the car, which doesn't do much good if you're a mile down the trail and you experience hypoglycemia.
Indeed, we'd walked a mile when I noticed that my husband was breathing a little heavy and looking pale and sweaty. I had to run back to the car, grab the fruit snacks and run back to him. The fruit snacks did the trick and he is just fine, but I sure felt sheepish.
Here's a quick review of the American Diabetes Association's "rule of 15" for treating hypoglycemia.
If your blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L):
- Treat with 15 grams of carbohydrate.
- Check blood glucose in 15 minutes.
- Repeat treatment every 15 minutes until blood glucose is in your goal range.
- If you've treated for hypoglycemia three times, seek medical attention.
Some easy-to-carry items that contain 15 grams of carbohydrate are:
- Glucose tablets (three 5-gram tablets or four 4-gram tablets)
- Five pieces of hard candy
- A tube of glucose gel or frosting gel
And, most of all, do as I say, not as I did! Carry a carbohydrate with you at all times to treat potential hypoglycemia. We certainly experienced a scary situation and learned that lesson the hard way.
Have a great week!
Sep. 07, 2012