Be ready to treat hypoglycemiaBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/treat-hypoglycemia/MY02205
- With Mayo Clinic diabetes educators
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.read biographyclose window
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.Nancy Klobassa Davidson and Peggy Moreland
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., B.S.N, C.D.E
Nancy Klobassa Davidson is a registered nurse who has worked in diabetes education for 17 years. She is a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) and is currently in graduate school working on a Master of Science in nursing (M.S.N.) and health care education.
Nancy works with adults who have type 1, type 2 and other forms of diabetes. Nancy is coordinator of the Diabetes Unit's intensive insulin therapy program within the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Nancy has worked extensively with insulin pump therapy and continuous interstitial glucose sensing.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., M.S.N.
Peggy Moreland is a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Peggy graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing and Health Care Education from the University of Phoenix and is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association. A certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.), Peggy enjoys working with patients to set and achieve diabetes self-management goals.
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Be ready to treat hypoglycemia
By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.
In the United States — maybe elsewhere, too — there is a popular saying: "Do as I say, not as I do" — meaning, "Don't imitate my behavior, obey my instructions."
Tonight, I went for a walk with my husband, who uses insulin. Every day, I educate people on how to treat low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). You know the recommendation: Always carry carbohydrates to treat hypoglycemia. Well we did that, but we left them in the car, which doesn't do much good if you're a mile down the trail and you experience hypoglycemia.
Indeed, we'd walked a mile when I noticed that my husband was breathing a little heavy and looking pale and sweaty. I had to run back to the car, grab the fruit snacks and run back to him. The fruit snacks did the trick and he is just fine, but I sure felt sheepish.
Here's a quick review of the American Diabetes Association's "rule of 15" for treating hypoglycemia.
If your blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L):
- Treat with 15 grams of carbohydrate.
- Check blood glucose in 15 minutes.
- Repeat treatment every 15 minutes until blood glucose is in your goal range.
- If you've treated for hypoglycemia three times, seek medical attention.
Some easy-to-carry items that contain 15 grams of carbohydrate are:
- Glucose tablets (three 5-gram tablets or four 4-gram tablets)
- Five pieces of hard candy
- A tube of glucose gel or frosting gel
And, most of all, do as I say, not as I did! Carry a carbohydrate with you at all times to treat potential hypoglycemia. We certainly experienced a scary situation and learned that lesson the hard way.
Have a great week!