Patients with diabetes remain at greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Hypoglycemia from glucose-lowering medications, especially if severe, compounds the risk. While totally eliminating all diabetes-related hypoglycemia may be an overly ambitious goal, we could be doing more to reduce its occurrence.
Children and teens are a lot of wonderful things. “Easy” is not one of them. When dealing with pediatric diabetes, clinicians should prepare for a different clinical picture, different behaviours, and different thresholds for hypoglycaemic symptoms. They should also anticipate a high level of parental stress and worry.
Dead in bed syndrome understandably strikes terror in the hearts of people with type 1 diabetes and their families. Clinicians, for their part, may find it difficult to discuss the syndrome with patients and thus avoid the topic. Fortunately, the syndrome is rare enough that the key message to patients is reassurance.
The use of diabetes alert dogs (DADs) has been steadily gaining in popularity, and research is yielding new insights into their benefits and limitations. In this article, an expert on hypoglycaemia detection strategies provides a balanced overview of DADs and evidence-based guidance on their use.
Impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (IAH) is a common, frustrating, and potentially dangerous problem for people with diabetes who use insulin. While researchers have yet to unravel the physiological underpinnings of IAH, neuroimaging studies have shed light on how the brain responds to hypoglycaemia—and how these responses may change as IAH sets in.
An awareness of hunger prompts people to open the refrigerator. The same process alows people to limit the damage of hypoglycaemia: a mental awareness of symptoms gives people a chance to take corrective action.
Hypoglycaemia affects not only people with diabetes, but everyone who loves and cares for them. Having a brother with type 1 diabetes, I have seen this phenomenon up close. My brother would sometimes drive to unfamiliar places without remembering how he got there. He would awaken at night, confused and belligerent. On several occasions, a family member had to call emergency medical services to treat him. Over time, these episodes created a chronic weariness and wariness in our family, which persisted even after a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system significantly reduced his lows. Having a sister who knows quite a lot about hypoglycaemia has not fully solved his challenges with hypoglycaemia.