I read an interesting article recently which left me shocked to hear a young woman had been forced to give up her diabetes treatment at a gig she was attending.
This tells me more awareness is needed about type one diabetes and the potential dangers of the condition.
Type one diabetes is caused when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells responsible for producing insulin, a hormone which controls the level of sugar in the blood. Type two diabetes is where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.
Type one diabetes is treated by daily injections of insulin, which can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. This is why patients need to carry sugary drinks and makes it all the more concerning the young woman was not allowed to bring her fizzy drink into the concert she was attending.
Low blood sugar can become a dangerous situation if not treated properly, but it is thankfully a rare occurrence. However, it would be very useful if we were all aware of the potential symptoms, which differ slightly for each individual.
Early signs to look out for include sweating, shaking, trembling and becoming easily irritated, tearful, stroppy or moody.
Also known as a hypo, if left untreated this can lead to more serious symptoms such as confusion and unusual behaviour such as slurred speech. A hypo can also result in someone collapsing or passing out.
The best way to treat low blood sugar is to have a sugary drink or snack, which is why the young woman was carrying a bottle of Lucozade. Make sure this is followed up by a carbohydrate-containing snack such as a slice of toast or a cereal bar.
If someone is suffering from a hypo and is unconscious or drowsy, put them in the recovery position. If the person carries a glucagon pen and you know how to use it, give them an injection. If not, dial 999 immediately and wait for help to arrive.
Undiagnosed diabetes can also be deadly due to dangerously high blood sugar levels. Do you know the symptoms?
What you need to look out for is excessive thirstiness, urinating more frequently than usual (especially at night), weight loss and tiredness. If you or anyone you know is experiencing these unpleasant symptoms, visit a GP as soon as possible. More type one diabetes awareness is certainly needed!