For those that visit my blog regularly, you have read countless words on the importance of good diabetes management and risk associated with insulin dependence for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. The other week I had a chance to sit down with my friends at Beyond Type 2 (beyondtype2.org) to talk about a shift happening in the Type 2 diabetes community — more discussions surrounding the experiences of low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia.
I won’t take the fanfare and glory from the great article that T’ara Smith at Beyond Type 2 pulled together, however, here is a teaser of the start of the article. A link to the entire article discussing Type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, and the risk of sever hypoglycemia is at the bottom of the page.
STAYING READY WITH NASAL GLUCAGON
It’s known that the primary focus of Type 2 diabetes management is on high blood glucose, but there is a shift happening in the Type 2 diabetes community — more discussions surrounding the experiences of low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. People with Type 2 diabetes like Mark Hanlon, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009, are sharing their stories to promote awareness about hypoglycemia and why it’s important for people with Type 2, especially those on insulin, to be prepared for an emergency.
“Hypoglycemia changes your day. If I’m at work and experience hypoglycemia, I can feel gross and sweaty, but most importantly, it tires me out and I get exhausted,” said Mark Hanlon, who lives in Toronto, Canada.
Hypoglycemia can occur at any time. But for people with Type 2 diabetes, it’s a condition that can have major consequences if not treated. While candy and juice are traditionally the ways people with diabetes treat a low, there’s a new emergency treatment on the market called Baqsimi, a nasal glucagon spray, is an emergency treatment for severe hypoglycemia episodes when a person is unable to drink or eat something or when they need assistance from someone else. It’s a more user-friendly version compared to the other glucagon kit, which requires the user to use a syringe to treat a patient having a low blood sugar emergency.
Those with Type 2 who take insulin are at a higher risk of experiencing hypoglycemia than those without who do not take insulin. If you’re starting an insulin regimen, it’s important to ask your doctor about how to treat a low blood sugar episode in the event it happens. For Mark, who started on basal (long-acting) insulin and later bolus (mealtime) insulin, he and his doctor never had those conversations.
“Everyone from my physician to my endocrinologist would say I’m well-informed,” said Mark. “Still, hypoglycemia wasn’t touched on. I think there’s this expectation that adults with diabetes know enough or can figure out these concerns for ourselves.”
For example, Mark was instructed to take four units of bolus insulin before meals and instructions on how much more insulin to take if his glucose was above a certain level before meals. However, he wasn’t advised on how to adjust the amount of insulin to take for certain kinds of meals……
Continue reading this great article at the Beyond Type 2 website a Staying Ready with Nasal Glucagon – Beyond Type 2.