LIFESTYLE | DIABETES – HYPO AWARENESS WEEK

Every now and then I deviate from my beauty related posts, mainly to promote awareness for Type 1 diabetes. This week is Hypo Awareness Week. Would you know how to help someone suffering from hypoglycemia?


My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in July 2012. Before then, I had very little knowledge of ‘diabetes’ in general. In fact, I’m ashamed to say, I did not see it as a serious illness (find out more here). I was also quite confused when I saw TV programmes where someone with diabetes was given something sweet when becoming ill. I thought you had to avoid sugar with diabetes, right? 

Well, in fact, not only do those with type 1 have to contend with high blood glucose levels, which can lead to long term health problems, they also have to deal with low blood glucose levels too, which propose a more immediate danger.

Hypoglycemia (hypo), means low blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels are low, the body is not provided with the energy it needs. Hypos can come on suddenly. Common symptoms are:

  • blurred vision 
  • feeling shaky
  • a pounding heart 
  • difficulty concentrating 
  • feeling faint

Left untreated, hypos can become serious and lead to unconsciousness.  It’s important to raise blood glucose levels by eating/drinking fast acting glucose (sugar), such as:

  • fruit juice
  • sweets – not chocolate (eg. jelly babies)
  • non-diet fizzy drinks
  • sugar (sachets from coffee shops)
  • glucose tabs

However it is important NEVER to give anyone who is unconscious food or drink for risk of choking – call an ambulance.

Symptoms of a hypo can also be confused with that of being drunk – dizziness and confusion. So think twice before you pass someone who appears to be struggling whom you assume to be drunk – I know I will.

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