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Anyone with experience with Hypoglycemia?

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HappilyUnMarried posted 6/25/2013 23:47 PM

I don't know much about it; but I'm concerned. My SO of 6 months has it. Tonight we went to an outside concert with some friends (we live in hot, humid Texas). We just got back from New Orleans where it was also hot and humid and we drank quite a bit and wore ourselves down.

We were in a big crowd tonight, we didn't drink too much; just a few light beers. SO told me he was feeling a little queasy and that he was going to walk around a bit. On my way to the restroom I saw him sitting on a curb. He had his head in his hands and wouldn't talk to me. He started throwing up... Paramedics were called... They checked his blood sugar levels and they were at 34... which, according to them, was very bad. The paramedics decided to call an ambulance. SO refused treatment. Paramedics took me aside and said I need to get him treatment. I was torn. SO was coherent... still throwing up....but continued to refuse help. But he was coherent. I did not know what to do. I called SOs long-term friend who said this happens fairly often. He told me to give him water, watch him closely and take him home. I did. He seems okay now, snoring away in bed. Did I do the right thing? I know nothing about this disease. SO said he knew his own body better than anyone. I just don't know. Anyone have experience with this disease that they can share?

[This message edited by HappilyUnMarried at 11:53 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)]

MerryMeNot posted 6/26/2013 01:11 AM

Yes, 34 is very low and dangerous. I have diabetes, so my blood sugar is too high and I have listened to my doctor about the importance of maintaining normal levels of blood glucose. Your SO should keep on his person/near to hand glucose pills. When he starts to feel light headed and sick, he needs the quick pick-me-up of something sugary. Not too much. A glass of orange juice, a candy bar, a glucose pill...something like that.

It can be scary to witness someone suffering from hypoglycemia! And your SO's episode was severe. Ask him if he uses a blood glucose meter. I use one to test my blood sugar levels 6 times a day. It doesn't hurt and it really helps me manage my diabetes.

Good luck to you both!

Amazonia posted 6/26/2013 06:21 AM

I had a friend who was hypoglycemic in college. She would get faint very easily. We used to hike together and I learned quickly to carry extra water, granola bars, etc. for her and to make sure she kept after them or she'd get sick. She was pretty petite, but carrying her down a narrow mountain path was a bitch.

Threnody posted 6/26/2013 08:12 AM

I have it. He needs to have candy or glucose pills readily available. Eating proteins (the "longest-burning sugar") on a regular basis will help keep these episodes at a minimum.

He's gambling with his health. I'm surprised they allowed him to refuse treatment, frankly.

jennie160 posted 6/26/2013 08:44 AM

My SO has this as well but does pretty good at keeping it under control with diet and exercise. The key is to prevent the episode in the first place. Once SO blood sugar get too low there really isn't anything he can do expect drink water and sleep it out, if he tries to eat he will just throw it up. I don't think he has ever tried glucose pills, I think I'll have to pick some up to keep on hand.

I try to help him prevent an episodes by making sure he eats at regular intervals and if we are going to be drinking I make sure that we have eaten properly (like Thernody said, protein) before hand. Most of SO episodes are either during drinking or a day or two after.

SO has only had a few episodes when he was with me, but they are definitely scary.

HappilyUnMarried posted 6/26/2013 11:07 AM

Thanks for all of your info regarding this disease I know nothing about. It was scary last night, but SO is now fine.

SO told me this morning that he is very aware of his disease; as he has been dealing with it for years. He tried to manage it by having protein (BBQ) before the concert and drinking a ton of water. But the few light beers + Texas heat was the real issue here. Once it starts, there is nothing he can do but go home, drink fluids and rest. Any pills or food just get thrown up after the reactions start taking place.

And, apparently, blood sugar levels vary significantly per person. 34 may mean "diabetic coma" for many, but not for SO. As long as he is lucid (which he was) he will be okay. When he is unresponsive or confused, that is when he needs to seek outside treatment.

It's been a long time since he had a reaction.... so now he is going to make sure that if he is in a outdoor venue he will not drink any alcohol. He thought the food beforehand would have helped (as it has before), but apparently it was not enough. At 54, he needs to be more careful.

Well thanks for helping me understand! I knew that I could count on my incredibly smart SI pals

[This message edited by HappilyUnMarried at 11:08 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

Amazonia posted 6/26/2013 11:31 AM

I'm not sure I'd even call it a "disease" more of a "condition"

jrc1963 posted 6/26/2013 12:54 PM

I have hypoglycemia... it's a pain. I would caution that while he may have been talking to you and refusing medical treatment, he may not really have been "lucid".

There have been times when my sugars have "crashed" so low that I am completely irrational, despite still appearing "coherent and lucid" I can attest to the fact that I really wasn't.

When I'm having an episode my thinking is quite messed up.

I always carry sugar/glucose tablets in my bag... they are basically like large smarties candies...

I try to keep myself from "crashing" by eating healthy balance of fruits, veggies and protein at regular intervals.

I've only been to the point of throwing up once or twice thank goodness.

yewtree posted 6/26/2013 14:30 PM

He should not be drinking. Alcohol + hypoglycemia is a bad combination. the alcohol causes your sugars to rise and then fall rapidly, and if you are prone to hypoglycemia, it can make you extremely ill.

Normal blood sugar is 90 to 100. Diabetic numbers are 140 +, and 34 is deadly. I cannot believe he was allowed to refuse treatment.

If he is going to drink he really needs to make sure he is eating properly.

tushnurse posted 6/26/2013 14:43 PM

Protein is the key with this issue. Some people burn up their carbs lickity split, and end up having their blood sugars plummet. He should not be just drinking. If he does drink even just light beer, he needs to couple it with protein, some cheese, some sausage some nuts. (He should avoid alcohol really).

You and he need to have a plan in place on what to do if it happens agian. Many people seem coherent when it happens, but really are not, and can't tell you what they did while having an episode. When it happens he needs a blast of sugar, and then some protein. Beer is not a good choice btw, it's basically liquid bread, and thus has the same result quick drops in BS after.

He should be someone that eats protein every 3-4 hours while awake, no excuses.

Good luck.

movingforward777 posted 6/27/2013 22:39 PM

And, apparently, blood sugar levels vary significantly per person. 34 may mean "diabetic coma" for many, but not for SO. As long as he is lucid (which he was) he will be okay. When he is unresponsive or confused, that is when he needs to seek outside treatment.

I would suggest that you get some education about blood sugars so you know what to look for and what to do about it.....
What your SO doesn't tell you is that every time his sugar gets too high or too low it can be doing damage to his body.....internal organs, his eyes, his circulation all can be affected by the blood sugars...years of it can do serious damage that is permenant!
He needs to be more accepting of the fact that this happens to him, he needs to accept treatment, or be prepared to treat it himself, and he will feel much better not going through these lows....
The other thing to consider is that his driver's licence can be taken away if he is having these problems....
My SO is diabetic and suffers through these drops in blood sugar, he always carries what he needs to have to sort it out, tests his blood sugar with a glucometer several times a day, and knows how to deal with it when it happens....
It can come on him even when he has eaten a good meal (I think his Dr has him on the wrong insulin routine)....
Education can be your best defence...on-line look up "hypoglycemia" or "diabetic low blood sugar" may just save your SO's life.....HUGS

PS: When his is unresponsive or confused he may not be able to seek outside help...that can be deadly!!

[This message edited by movingforward777 at 10:41 PM, June 27th (Thursday)]

gonnabe2016 posted 6/28/2013 00:08 AM

I'm surprised they allowed him to refuse treatment, frankly

He was conscious and saying no.
Medics cannot *force* someone to be treated. If they do, they can be charged with a crime. The on-scene police officer can put the person on a *hold*, but I don't know the specifics of those requirements.

You did the right thing, HuM. Caveat--Orange juice. Candy Bar. Not water. Water doesn't do anything for hypoglycemia. The hypoglycemic person needs sugar. Not hydration.

MoreThanMe posted 6/28/2013 08:12 AM

Yep. But it is sooooo manageable. I forget I have it because I

- eat as little sugar as is relatively possible. No sweet tea, no donuts, no sweet cereal.
- eat protein first in any meal
- eat every two- three hours- this is important for me- bc it starts a bad trajectory- no food- low blood sugar- instinct demands you get blood sugar asap- mcdonalds - something sweet/carby- which causes low blood sugar- rinse repeat.
- start day with protein- (drinking a nutri-bullet shake with spinach( )
but i cant taste it at all bc shake has banana, oatmeal, other fruit. Spinach has a ton of protein
- sugar makes me insanely drowsy, any alcohol and im drowsy / instant drunk. If he becomes glassy- eyed and unusally drowsy and kind of out of it- what he just ate had a ton of sugar in it.
- when I realized this and started eating even a little better-lost a lot of weight- felt 100% better. Seriously, changed my life-with minimal effort

- i read some book- cant remember the name. But i am sure there are many.
-oh- when I order something- like a sgary drink from starbucks- i ask for less of the flavored syrup (even it has a bit of sugar in it) and the sugar free version. To make them take it seriously- I always tell them I am diabetic- just easier and it really is diabetes- light.


[This message edited by MoreThanMe at 8:19 AM, June 28th (Friday)]

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