Below are five different ways I treat a low blood sugar.
1. Hard Candy
When I receive a Low Predicted Alert from my MiniMed 530G that my blood sugar is beginning to trend low, I will grab hard candy, such as a bag of Skittles, and eat about 15 pieces. Over my 10+ years of living with type 1 diabetes, I have been able to estimate the amount of Skittles needed to raise my blood sugar to my desired levels. I prefer using hard candy to help treat a low because they are easy to carry and store. For example, my wife always carries a small ziplock bag full of them in her purse. That way, no matter where we are, if a low blood sugar hits, I am prepared. I also take a small bag with me whenever I travel, golf, attend meetings, etc.
Juice is my preferred method of treating a low when my blood sugar levels have gone below 70 mg/dL and are trending low. I prefer this method because it is fast acting for me. For example, in the middle of the night, if I have a low blood sugar and wake up from the Threshold Suspend alarm, I know I need glucose fast, so will drink a half cup of orange juice, apple juice, or any other type of juice we have in the house at that particular time. Also, if I am going to be in a long meeting, playing a round of golf, or even on a plane, I will be sure to have some sort of access to juice.
I use regular soda to treat a low similar to how I use juice. If soda is available instead of juice, then I just switch the two out. However, there is a more specific time I use regular soda to treat a low blood sugar. For example, if I am heading to a restaurant and Iím going low and I donít feel like I have enough time until the food comes, I will order a regular soda. And since there are so many different options of regular soda than diet, I also treat this as an opportunity to indulge in the flavors of soda I donít usually have the pleasures of enjoying.
4. Glucose Tabs
I carry glucose tabs with me everywhere I go; theyíre easy to carry and store. As with all of these different ways to treat a low, I use glucose tabs for specific situations. If my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) shows I am at the very bottom of my low range, but I know I am not going to be eating for a while or will be doing some form of activity, then I test my BG and then eat a few glucose tabs. The amount is based on my 10 years of personal experience of how my body reacts to glucose tabs.
5. Glucose Gel Packs
I donít frequently use glucose gel packs, but they are an effective way to treat a low blood sugar. I have used this in the past in a situation where my blood sugar was at an extreme low, and I did not have the strength to chew hard candy or drink juice. These can also be carried and stored pretty easily like glucose tabs.