1) What are your hypo signs and symptoms
Personally, my first hypo symptom is anxiety. This can be very confusing because if I am in a situation where I find myself feeling uncomfortable and anxious I then assume I’m hypo which makes me even more anxious! I get very irritable and feel like I have unsteady hands. My heart starts racing and I’m generally all hot and bothered.
When I was first diagnosed my main hypo symptom was a bit odd, my arms would feel very heavy and that’s how I knew to test. To this day I have no idea what made that happen but I’m glad its stopped! I’d say the change to anxiety feeling came about 3 or 4 months after diagnosis.
2) What is your favourite hypo treatment and what works best to bring your glucose back up?
When I am out and about I use haribo or fun gums sweeties for hypo treatment. At home it is normally a carton of apple juice. In my desk drawer and in my fridge I also keep a bottle of Lucozade. Thankfully I’ve only had to use this once for a severe low! I’m not sure if the Lucozade did bring me up any faster than apple juice would have, but I was in the mindset that it had to be Lucozade and that was that!
3) How do you stop yourself over-treating a hypo?
Portion control is key here. I buy my haribo in 10g bags and my apple juice in 200ml cartons. That way once the packet is finished or the carton has been drained I know I’m done and I need to stop and wait. That is all great in theory, execution is the issue. On MDI it was always treat then eat. Treat the hypo with juice or something and then I got to eat a further 10g in the form of a biscuit/toast/whatever I got my hands on first. On the pump that is not the recommended technique. Now I am meant to treat with the measly 10-15g and then leave it alone!
My instinct from a hypo is to want to crunch something. I want the sensation of eating to improve my BG to make me feel better. It doesn’t matter if I know my BG is now in a safe range, I want that satisfaction!
Overall I would say I’m fairly disciplined when it comes to treating hypos. I still slip up at times but I try to keep that to a 10g over treat rather than a 50g one!
4) How many hypos do you have a week? What do you do to reduce the amount if you’re having too many?
Since starting on the pump my hypos have drastically decreased. I had a spell a few weeks back where I went just over 3 weeks hypo free. The issue with that was when the hypo finally hit it hit me hard!
On average I’d say I have about 1 hypo a week now. This all sounds great on paper, but I work hard to maintain that and it’s not without its failures! I am fairly sure my next hbA1c will reflect the lack of lows and unfortunately push me further away from my target. That is not until December though so I have some time to get things on track!
I am a grazer by nature and I think this has helped stopped the hypos. The pump allows me more freedom to snack when I want so its easier for me to eat now. I seem to just be constantly topping up my BG rather than letting it return to range. This is just as bad as regular hypos in my eyes and is something I need to address!
5) Hypo vs Hyper – which do your HCPs seem to concentrate on the most and do you know why?
I’ve not directly asked them, but I get the impression my HCP are more focussed on hypos. A while back I was having a run of high BGs which were concerning me. I called my DSN and we talked it through with the consultant. They were both focused on how great it was that I hadn’t had a hypo in 3 weeks and weren’t at all bothered that my average BG was 12 and I felt cruddy because of it. Of course I’m not going to have a hypo when my BG is out of range all the time!
I can’t say I fully understand why, partially because I don’t agree with them. Hypo’s have an immediate danger but the effects of repeated hypers will be evident over the coming years.
My last hypo was 10 days ago. I have the hospital this afternoon to discuss how I’m getting on with the pump. I’m hoping they will have something constructive to say about it!