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Lost hypo awareness. (Has anyone seen it?)

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Chris S, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Chris S

    Chris S Type 1 · Newbie

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    Morning all.

    I have been trying to make a joke of this but it is actually seriously playing on my mind now and I'm hoping for some information, ideas and advice.
    I have always had very good hypo awareness and was able to treat it accordingly and get on with life but recently my awareness seems to have completely disappeared and I'm getting into the low 2.somethings without even knowing.
    I don't drive due to retinopathy so don't see myself as a danger to anyone other than myself and I already test my blood around ten times a day so how do I get on top of this problem before it totally crushes my confidence in what I'm doing.
    My DSN is always telling me that the most important thing is to 'normalize ' my condition but carrying glucose tablets, Lucozade and extra testing supplies doesn't seem very normal to me!

    Hope you can help?

  2. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Chris, no idea what your control is like but if you run on the low side then perhaps consider running blood sugars a bit higher. Another option is to try a different insulin, this sometimes works.
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  3. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    The usual advice is to run bg levels higher than normal for several weeks which often works, but as you have diabetic retinopathy this is difficult, I suggest you discuss your with your diabetes team about your hypo unawareness and what you should do.
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  4. Flowerpot

    Flowerpot Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Chris

    It is exceedingly worrying when you start to lose your own early warning systems for detecting hypos. Check that your basal rates are correct as well as your carb ratios.

    It's a tough call and hard to deal with. I've lost all my awareness for about the past 10 years. To start with I was hopeful I would get some signs back and was told to focus on looking for any tiny indication I might be low but it didn't happen and my life was seriously affected by the worry of going out alone or for any length of time. Like you I had proliferative retinopathy so was treading a narrow path between trying to keep my blood sugar low to protect my sight but not so low I risked going unconscious.

    After trying all the normal advice to regain awareness I was referred to a surgical team to consider a pancreas transplant, that is when it hit me what a frightening predicament I was in. Around the same time I was allowed to use CGM full time with my pump and so far this has proved completely priceless in the confidence it has given me to control my blood sugar tightly to protect the bit of sight I have left and allow me to live more safely. If my glucose level falls below a pre determined level my pump suspends insulin delivery and hopefully my levels rise. CGM doesn't replace my own awareness but it does a pretty good job of keeping me safe.

    Speak to your diabetes team and see what they suggest beyond trying to normalise your situation. I hope you are able to regain some of your own awareness because it is invaluable. Good luck.
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  5. czj

    czj Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Some people here have found that changing their insulin can help regain awareness, me being one of them.

    Two years ago I changed back to Insulatard after having used Lantus for about 10 years, after I discovered my sleep problems were due to the Lantus. Over the following months I found got my hypo awareness back.

    I don't know if there is a general rule, or if this is just down to what happens to suit individuals.
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