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THE first time I saw my former boyfriend-now husband have a hypoglycemia attack was surreal.
We had walked the length of Wagga Wagga’s lengthy main street in the NSW Riverina and then sat down to have lunch at a cafe.
He ordered a hamburger with the lot.
We shared a mutual dislike of canned beetroot (as opposed to the real stuff). It was one of the things we had in common other than an appreciation for Talking Heads, politics and proper cheese.
When he began eating the burger – beetroot and all – like there was no tomorrow I knew something was up.
“How’s the burger?” I asked, nervously.
“Good!” he said without hesitation.
Within about seven minutes and after a can of Coke, his blood sugar level corrected and he wondered why he had even ordered a burger with beetroot on it.
Low blood glucose, also called low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below what is healthy for you.
Confusion, heart palpitations, shakiness, anxiety and ordering the wrong burger can be among the symptoms!
Consuming high-sugar foods or drinks, such as orange juice or regular fizzy drinks, can fix it.
From that day in Wagga, I understood how quickly a “hypo” could happen but also how rapidly it could be resolved.
Better prepared for the next time it occurred, I knew exactly what to do.
I’ve seen my husband pick up on another person’s hypo by knowing the signs and I’m sure my daughters would do the same.
When you live with it, you know what to look out for.
Diagnosed as an 12-year-old, my husband is coming up to 40 years of living with diabetes.
With technology and time the tools to manage type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, have improved out of this world.
Insulin pumps can be life-changing for some diabetics.
With the ability to reduce the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia, using a pump can also improve suboptimal blood glucose control.
Diabetics need fewer injections, which reduces the number of times they must awkwardly inject themselves in a cafe through a shirt or in the car to avoid the worse scenario of heading into the public toilets.
In a recent development, every Australian with type 1 diabetes can now get subsidised access to a potentially life-saving continuous glucose monitoring device under a $273 million plan.
A continuous glucose monitoring device helps people with diabetes to manage their condition by monitoring their blood-sugar levels 24 hours a day.
This will be a game-changer for thousands.
Diabetes is a complex chronic condition. It means counting carbs, calculating insulin and measuring blood glucose levels.
Numbers play a pivotal role in managing diabetes every day.
Thankfully, technology is helping people navigate it better now than ever before.
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