1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

How dangerous are Hypos ?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Juicyj, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,116
    Likes Received:
    6,524
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I attended a DAFNE follow up session yesterday, in the past DAFNE has stated that a type 1 should only really be having 2 hypos a week, they are now saying that hypos should be avoided completely.

    What are the dangers of Hypos and why has this advice changed - does anyone know ?

    ;)
     
  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,616
    Trophy Points:
    278
    I think much depends on the severity of the hypo's and how prolonged they are, we were told on our course that there's was research on-going into the effects of hypo's on the brain, I've never followed this up and not seen anything mentioned on the Web, but it makes sense to keep them to minimum and not keep bg levels too low to the point that you lose your hypo awareness symptoms.
     
    • Like Like x 8
  3. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,116
    Likes Received:
    6,524
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Yes that makes sense, the more severe then the more harm it does on the body, they said about possible damage to the heart and brain, hence the new advice. I think if anyone wanted to invest in treatment for type 1 it would be to have an early alarm/alert system for hypos, this is the only thing about being type 1 that really does my head in as can take so long to recover depending on the severity.. Cheers Noble ;)
     
    • Like Like x 8
  4. DunePlodder

    DunePlodder Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    823
    Likes Received:
    613
    Trophy Points:
    153
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Auckland Canary

    Auckland Canary Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    621
    Trophy Points:
    133
    I worry about the effects on the brain and memory function of hypos. I have hypo's nearly every day due to the amount of activity I do but I struggle to find the balance as when I reduce insulin or eat more I end up with readings in the low teens. I find exercise very difficult to manage particularly over several hours. As a result I am very irregular with hypo awareness.

    Looking back at my readings last week I did 26 tests and 12 of those were below 4. One day I had 2.2, 2.4 and 2.7. My highest reading that day was 6.6 before I went to bed. That's practically a whole day hypo yet I feel pretty normal with it.

    This is not a recent thing either and has been going on for quite a few years. Problem is I feel that my memory is failing me with simple things. For example I failed to remember for a whole day the name of the road I lived in last year and had to resort to Google maps. It's always the little things. It may be that I am just getting older (early forties) but it is a worry.
     
  6. oldgreymare

    oldgreymare Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    180
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Interesting question. I get the impression that the direct risk of dying from a hypo is actually rather slim, the main danger comes from accummulated damage from repeated episodes especially to eyes and nervous sytem? In contrast uncontrolled DKA due to hyper BG can definitely trigger a fatal cardiac failure.
     
  7. michelle lilly

    michelle lilly Type 1 · Active Member

    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    48
    just had very severe hypo sugar level was 0.053mmol yesterday today ive had readings of 3 2.6 and 3 so 3 more hypos, i really feel as though something serious has happened i cant think properly i know nothing about the nex research aboubt damage to the brain and heart im also suffering with chest pains however mu ecg was normal i was actually in hospital for high bloods ith ketones and they gave me too much insulin please help!
     
  8. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,602
    Likes Received:
    2,320
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Hi Michelle

    Why were you admitted to hospital with very high bg levels? Did you forget to inject insulin or not bother to blood glucose test?

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  9. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,826
    Likes Received:
    10,403
    Trophy Points:
    298
    For me, the primary danger involved would be hypoglycaemia while operating machinery..

    My DSN seems more concerned with the lows..
    I can honestly say my hypos haven't put any strain on any part of my body other than my brain & eyes...
     
  10. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,116
    Likes Received:
    6,524
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hey Michelle - hope you are ok ? As iHs said - are you injecting insulin ? Hypos depending on severity can leave you poorly for a few days so hopefully under your doctors care you are getting better.

    I am concerned with the potential damage from hypos, I have certainly found my memory has got worse, yet I have found very little research into the effects of hypos so would be keen to find out more.
     
  11. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,826
    Likes Received:
    10,403
    Trophy Points:
    298
    The only concerns voiced to me from my consultants regarding hypos are that hypo awareness & sensitivity is greatly rejuced with frequently recurring lows.... That's been the "party line" for a number of years.
     
  12. oldgreymare

    oldgreymare Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    180
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Jaylee, "I can honestly say my hypos haven't put any strain on any part of my body other than my brain & eyes"

    Please tell us this was tongue in cheek?! :wideyed:
     
  13. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,616
    Trophy Points:
    278
    That's always been to myself and makes perfect sense, do you still have good hypo awareness symptoms Jaylee?
     
  14. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,826
    Likes Received:
    10,403
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Yep, ;) A little..Oldgreymare. It was more in respect of my hypo symptoms.. Counting to ten would feel like astrophysics & reading your reply would spiral my thought into "self doubt" on an answer.. The feeling of walking Into a room & forgetting why.
    While my eyes at this point would blur, get a little colourblind & light sensitive to the point the forum formatting on the ipad I use would make the screen somewhat like a blinding rectangle.. Even printed paper can seem like this in strong light.

    My worries are more about the long term damage from highs more than lows..
    My apologies if offended.. The remark was more a light hearted quip from personal experience. & not in anyway to discount other posters input.. :cool:

    Indeed I do Nodlehead. Based on the warning symptoms I mentioned to Oldgreymare in my reply & coupled with the "munchies"..
    I'm even woken at night. Though a little more dazed due to coming out of slumber with the feeling something is wrong..
    It has never failed & I have never lost consciousness...

    Funny enough, I was up at 2.40am with one. After treating I tested while I ate (2.5) then browsed this forum while I came back up...
    I always treat first then test... Comes from the old days of peeing in a chemistry set..?!! :D
     
    • Like Like x 4
  15. ealingr

    ealingr Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    78
    It's an interesting question. I seem to remember reading that non-diabetics could have "normal" blood sugars down to 3.5 mmol/L, which perhaps suggests that a "slight" hypo down to that level isn't going to do too much material damage?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. michelle lilly

    michelle lilly Type 1 · Active Member

    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    48
    i went to the hospital for a routine check up, i have brittle diabetes and use a medtronic pump, i have never had good control for 18 years i can have hi reading then 1hour later low readings, i have a mouth infection at the moment so the nurse asked me to speak to the dental dept after speaking to me they told me to go to A/E which i did i was feeling really poorly so they checked my sugars which were unreadable and i had ketones and in DKA so they treated me for this insulin drip guclose drip ect, they montored me every hour i think, i remember the last time they checked my sugars they were only 3 SO I asked them to stop the insulin but they said no, also they would not allow me to eat or drink not even a little water i thought this was strange i had nothing for over 24 Hours they told me this is normal practice for treating DKA in FRANCE i am still very unwell today had 4 hypos yesterday and also very high readings 40plus: sorry for all the spelling mistakes my head is just so fussy in loads of pain and still confused quite worried which is not like me normally i can cope with the highs and lows i have everyday but i cant cope at the moment and feel so alone and need some answers so happy i found this forum thank you.
     
  17. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,116
    Likes Received:
    6,524
    Trophy Points:
    198
    • Like Like x 6
  18. Scardoc

    Scardoc · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    595
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'm not convinced. The human body is incredibly adaptable but also one Hell of a finely balanced marvel of nature. Prolonged exposure to hypo or hyper is almost certain to have a negative effect......in my non-medically trained and humble opinion!!

    Imagine you're a tyre, a Dunlop let's say, you should be 32psi and no real harm will come if you drop to 28 or creep up to 36 now and then. But to consistently be 22 or 42??

    Ps....if you are a diabetic Dunlop and you are currently riding at 40psi - don't inject!! POP!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Dillinger

    Dillinger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    2,283
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Thanks @Juicyj - that's a interesting link.

    If you are a non-diabetic you will have an average HbA1c ranging from 4-5.9% (in old money) which at the lower end of the range (4.0%) equates to an average blood sugar level of 3.8 mmol/l - and there doesn't appear to be any evidence that non-diabetics with those sort of levels suffer from brain damage.

    By extension then a few hypos (or indeed constant 'hypos' at 3.8) would be unlikely to cause problems.

    I think the general 'fear of hypos' is there because the only way of controlling Type 1 diabetes is seen as the standard (carby) diet plus lots of insulin which is a recipe for problems. If you are not eating lots of carbs and thereby taking lots of insulin then your chances of having a severe hypo is much lower.

    If there has been an amendment to the DAFNE advice recently I'm afraid I would just consider it another example of the NHS barking up the wrong tree.

    We know for a fact that high HbA1c puts you at risk of a whole host of problems; not the least of which is heart disease/heart attacks.

    Best

    Dillinger
     
  20. Shaolindan

    Shaolindan Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    23
    When I changed hospitals and joined a different diabetic unit - my nurse and consultant were shocked to discover what I had been taught when I was originally diagnosed in 1990. I had been told, at a fairly well known London hospital that I should aim to have a blood sugar of between 3 to 9 mmol/l. As a consequence my hypo awareness was bad to say the least. The dietician advised that I keep my sugars above 7 for few weeks.

    This was brilliant advice as I now can tell when my sugars are below 4.5 mmol/l and that along with DAFNE and an insulin pump mean that a hypo is a very rare event for me. It also means that I catch them before I end up in that sweaty dazed state - so no one ever notices.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook