View Full Version : New hypo-unawareness
06-28-2007, 09:19 AM
I have been type-1 for almost seven years now, and I have always been able to tell when I was low (or was dropping quickly). I have noticed over the last few weeks that I am no longer aware of hypo-glycemia. Last night, for example, I was feeling just fine and tested and my BG was 55.
I'm very upset because my daughter, Emma, is also type 1 and there are many times that I am watching her alone. I'm certainly not new to diabetes, and I know a lot about it, but this is new to me and I would really appreciate any advice. Perhaps its time to shell out for the Guardian?
06-28-2007, 09:57 AM
Oh -- I feel for you. I haven't been there myself, but my mom, who has been type 1 for 40 years has hypo unawareness. There have been many many many times where I have made her check her blood sugar and it will be in ther 20's and she is totally unaware. I can tell, even over the phone by her tone of voice, but she can't.
My advice -- shell out for the Guardian, if you are consistantly hypounaware. 1 or 2 times -- not a biggie, but if you NEVER feel them, then you need some help.
As the child of a diabetic mom, there were some scary times growing up with lows. Once when I was in 2nd grade, my mom passed out at the kitchen table right before the bus came to pick me up. Dad was at work, little sister was asleep, and I called my dad at work and he came right home. That's one of those traumatic event that really marks a child. (And that wasn't the only time.)
I'm sure mom would not appreciate me posting this on the internet, but I want to tell you that bad stuff can and does happen from hypo unawareness.
I admire you willingness to ask for help. My advise, if you can't get the Guardian, is just to check very very often when you're home alone with Emma. (I'm sure you already do ;))
I've had Type 1 for 41 years and have experienced diabetic unawareness for quite a few years. It tends to develop after you've had D for a number of years. Using a pump with a constant glucose monitoring device would be the best thing for you---it has an alarm to make you aware if you blood sugar drops below a certain number. If you don't have a pump or if your insurance company won't pay for the constant glucose monitor, then test yourself more often---especially if you're by yourself or with your children. Also, if you're able to get tighter control and NOT have lows for a while, then your body will adjust and you'll be aware again when your blood sugar drops. But I don't know that that's an absolute guarantee! Taking your test more frequently seems to be the safest, quickest way of finding out where you are. When I'm alone with any of my grandkids---I have seven---I test more often to be on the safe side. You'll do okay----you're aware of having the unawareness problem and you want to avoid dangerous situations---that will motivate you to watch yourself more closely in whatever manner will accomplish that. Good luck!
07-05-2007, 01:13 AM
But if you're gonna carry a separate device, instead of a pump, the Dexcom is WAY cheaper to start up than the Guardian. It many people think it's more accurate-- particularly for catching HYPOS-- including many people who have actually USED both.
You ought to try both products at the same time, see which one works better for you.
07-20-2007, 02:59 PM
Hello Bren's Dad. I registered yesterday and this is my first post on this site. I have peen posting for more than a year now on various sites. I have encountered many who can no longer detect their "lows", but to varying degrees. Some people feel low at 70, others at 60, etc. You apparently don't feel low until you are, perhaps, below 50. That is very dangerous, especially if you are driving or are into some activity where lives are possibly at risk.
I know that this condition is frequently due to someone running low blood sugar so frequently that their body becomes accustomed to the lows and then they gradually stop feeling the lows. Running lows too much of the time is the cause of all this for such an individual. Some doctors actually tell some patients to purposely run highs, even near 200, for a period of time, perhaps several weeks. After the individual becomes accustomed to the highs they will then be able to feel lows again. This might sound risky but running highs for only a few weeks will not cause any permanent damage to the body unless we are talking about a very unhealthy person. After feeling lows again more care should be taken to keep the blood sugar average higher than before starting this experiment. A range of 90-130 or even 80-120 are appropriate. This is difficult without careful carb counting, appropriate insulin/carb ratios, and a regular and consistent day-to-day schedule that discourages major fluctuations in BGL's. Frequent testing is very important here. I test 12-15 times per day and my BGL's run 75-130 almost all the time. By testing frequently I find my lows in the 70's in time to eat some glucose tablets before they drop below 70. I carry my testing meter and glucose with me at all times. If I drop below 80, I can feel that and I test immediately. If you decide to try this technique then you should do so under a doctor's supervision.
A CGMS, as my friend Rick suggests, would help tremendously but they are very expensive and may not be covered by your insurance plan.
I am currently pumping. I started on 6/19/07. I had problems for two weeks and ran highs so much of the time that I was feeling lows at 90. After I had my pumping under better control I stopped having highs and I did not feel low unless I was in the mid-70's, or less. Apparently you do not pump. Am I wrong? If no, why don't you? That would get your BGL's under much better control and you would then feel the lows just like I do now.
Good luck to you!!
07-21-2007, 08:56 AM
I have been pumping for five years.
07-21-2007, 04:48 PM
for the particular case of an adult T1 with hypo unawareness, the phrase "danger to himself and others if it occurs again, while driving" may be VERY effective in an insurance fight.
08-21-2007, 01:30 PM
Have you done anything about your hypo unawareness? I have gotten to the point where I am not feeling them until I'm in the low 40's. Last night I was 38 and felt fine. I have blacked out while driving before, my DH was behind me and some how managed to get me on the phone to pull over. When I tend to black out from lows it's more of an in and out of consciousness thing rather than being completely out. Just wondering if you got any help.
08-21-2007, 11:31 PM
It is ironic that the very treatment(tight control) that "may" prevent complications, can also lead to hypo unawarness.
I have been hypo unaware for many many many years.
On a good note, my last A1C was 6.0!! (sarcasm off)
08-26-2007, 03:16 AM
I've been T1D for 19 years, hypo-unaware for ten of them. I have found, since I can't afford Guardian, that the best thing for me is to listen to others. My family, friends and coworkers all have free reign to say "Are you low?" and they often do. I test often (10 - 15 times a day) and I pay very close attention to how my concentration is. I read things more than once and ask people to repeat things frequently when I'm starting to get low. I may not feel it, but I get "dumb" and that is my only symptom anymore. And if someone asks me if I'm low, I ALWAYS do a blood test, right then and there. I also ALWAYS test before getting in my car, any time I wake up during the night, right when I wake up and before I go to bed. I catch most of my lows before they're a problem, but about once a year one bad one sneaks through the net. But, one out of year ain't bad!
Hi Brensdad -
This is my first post, so here goes! I was stricken with hypo-unawareness for many years. This was during the Humulin R/NPH era and the fact that it didn't kill me is amazing. Anyway, I have used Humalog/Lantus for years and my hypo-awareness is right on the money.
I think what's important is always be aware of how you're feeling. I know it's easier said than done as we all multi-task through our lives, but I have signs that tell me something isn't right: very depressed and sullen, freezing cold (like I could use a sweater even when it's 90 degrees out), and an overall hopeless feeling.
However, I can remain very functional at a bg of 55. That doesn't mean I won't have something to bring it back up, though. It sounds like you can feel the low, but your concern is that perhaps you're still able to remain seemingly "okay" at that number? That's actually a good thing. You're able to take care of it while you're still with it.