Everyone living with diabetes knows how draining hypoglycaemia can be, particularly when low sugars frequently occur. Until recently the long-term dangers of hypoglycaemia have not really been spoken about, or known. So I wanted to write a post about what recent research has started to find.
This post is not intended to scare you, but to share knowledge and to help prevent hypoglycaemia.
Frequent hypoglycaemic episodes have now been linked to increasing the risk of developing complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, retinopathy, kidney disease and impaired cognitive function (memory loss specifically). More research is needed to gain more understanding on why and for treatments on these complications.
The best way to avoid further health complications is to prevent hypoglycaemic episodes in the first place.
My tips on avoiding frequent hypoglycaemia
1. Invest in technology
If it is possible, the best place to start is to get a CGM or FGM so you can monitor your sugar levels more easily. I use the Freestyle Libre and this has really improved my diabetes control. Preventing hypos has become so much easier!
2. Set your alarms with precaution
If you use a CGM or FGM with an alarm system, I recommend setting the low boundary slightly higher. This way the alarm will go off just before you dip into a hypo, giving you more time to treat and prevent the hypo.
My low alarm is set at 4.5 mmol/L, which gives me time to get my levels up before they drop lower.
3. Learn your trends
If you have frequent hypoglycaemia, try to record when your levels drop. For example, I tend to drop during the night if I have done a lot of running, to avoid this I decrease my insulin dose with dinner and I try to run earlier in the day if possible.
4. Avoid ‘rage bolusing’
If you are having a stubborn high glucose, try to not over-correct and take lots of insulin. I know this can be annoying, but we are much better off getting high sugar levels down gradually, to avoid subsequent hypoglycaemia.
5. Always carry your favourite snacks!!
Thank you for reading Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia, I hope this post is useful, let me know if you would like more tips on this topic! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!