National hypo awareness week

By | 14 August, 2012

Drumroll please…this very week we’re witnessing a first. NHS Diabetes is staging its first national Hypo Awareness Week . The week was strategically placed to coincide with National Fishing Month, but to squeeze in before the ever popular European Bat Weekend at the end of August (honestly, these things exist, they’re on the interweb).National Hypo Awareness Week

The idea is to raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals working in secondary care who may stumble across a sweating, incoherent, pale faced diabetic wandering round a hospital and not know what to do with it. They’ll also be encouraged to keep a fully stocked hypo kit on wards, so when one of us does keel over, they at least have the means nearby to sort it out.

Seems like a sensible idea to me. I just hope they get the training right, otherwise we’re going to see some great press stories about pale skinned people on hot days being wrestled to the ground and force fed fruit pastilles by over enthusiastic receptionists.

On a personal note, I feel like I would probably benefit from a more local version of the campaign for my family and friends who are sometimes a little over-aware when it comes to hypos. I’d call it “It’s not always a hypo you know”. It would gently explain that their concern is appreciated, but sometimes I’m just tired, pale, sweaty, angry, not understanding what they’re saying because they’re not explaining it clearly or simply being quiet. It isn’t always a hypo!

What would you make people more or less aware of about hypos?

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About Alison

Diagnosed with Type One in 1983 at the age of four, Alison's been at this for a while now. She uses Humalog in a combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system and any blood glucose meter as long as it takes five seconds or less.

16 thoughts on “National hypo awareness week

  1. Lulubelle

    I’d agree it’s necessary to educate non-diabetes healthcare professionals about it – I had my first ever general anaesthetic while on insulin back in May and because I was very worried, and had also had a really nasty hypo in the night and was already sliding downwards again, the helpful nurse in the day surgery unit said to me “Don’t worry, if you’re a bit low when you come out you can do your insulin and stuff straight away”.


  2. JaneC

    I agree, it’s a great idea, a little knowledge is a dangerous and annoying thing sometimes. One has to go easy on people who know we are prone to the odd low sugar but playing tennis against bossy woman who said after some appallingly bad but not uncommon shots by me said ” Is your sugar low do you think?” to which the only honest reply was ” yes fine thanks, just playing the usual crap tennis”.

  3. Megs

    I think on a personal level, a family event would be highly beneficial as although I haven’t had hypo symptoms for years as in sweating, being pale faced and talking gobbledygook I should be assumed to be hypo when I insist on starting and finishing all manner of household jobs such as cleaning, ironing, vacuuming.

    Trying to raise the awareness of how dangerous hypos can be has got to be a good thing although I will try my very best not to join in the awareness week by having a public hypo. Some of my worst hypos have been waiting in diabetes clinics and the care I have got has been great but then I suppose they are the people least in need of any hypo awareness training!

  4. Danie Louize

    Brilliant post, love the idea of better training for health care professionals and it is much needed!
    Great image of the poor pale people being force fed on hot days 😀 Hehehe

  5. katherine cromwell

    So are we expected to all hypo at the same time on the same day??? Perhaps we could then discuss our symptoms and how quickly we recovered after administering sweets. Do we take bets on how low we could go?

  6. Annette A

    My husband asks if I’m hypo when I go quiet and look at the floor (because my eyesight goes funny, so looking at the floor means I don’t get dizzy). He gets confused when I say I’m wonering whether it needs cleaning or not…

  7. Megs

    We could arrange a Shoot Up and Pass Out event to test national awareness.

    1. Alison Post author

      Excellent idea. Although @Tim and I couldn’t both attend – the rule for ShootUp meet ups is that only one of us can be low, the other has to be outrageously high. Although I suppose the high one could act as the chief hypo officer, having fruit pastilles on standby incase members of the public didn’t rush to our aid quickly enough.

  8. Hilary

    So after I watched @Tim‘s video, youtube suggested this gem to me- did you know that if we ‘cheat’ on our diabetic diets, we should all be drinking vinegar and eating cinnamon to lower our blood sugar? My favourite tip- “water will simply flush the extra sugar out of your system.” REALLY?!!! Dlynda Lardone is my nemesis of the week.

    1. Tim

      Curiously enough, that video just makes me angry on so many levels. Aside from the obvious ones, the proof reading is terrible – they’ve used an Oxford comma when they shouldn’t have done.

  9. Annette A

    Having watched it (and laughed loudly on several occasions), I have a question. Does Ginseng have any effect on blood sugars in a T1? I know that actually cinnamon has been shown to have some effect on T2s, and drinking water is a fallacy, but have never heard of ginseng havingany effect. Anyone?

    1. Tim

      I can’t image that it would.

      Oh and just watched video again with sound – I didn’t realise i had the Hovis advert tune in the background. That makes it even better!


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