A new study has found that more than one in three people with type 2 diabetes fail to report episodes of hypoglycemia to their GP as they are unaware of the seriousness of the condition.
A survey of over 1,000 type 2 diabetes patients prescribed sulphonylurea medicine revealed that 38% were not aware of the adverse effects associated with this group of diabetes drugs, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), dizziness, increased appetite and weight gain.
One in two had suffered a hypoglycemic attack (or hypo), yet only 38% had reported these incidents to their GP .
In addition, only 3% of the patients surveyed said they measured their blood glucose levels before driving, a particularly worrying statistic given that the DVLA says that severe hypoglycemia is responsible for 45 serious road accidents each month and five fatal crashes a year.
Dr Richard Brice, co-author of the study, said the findings highlight the “worrying unawareness of hypoglycemia as a serious issue”, adding that GPs and other health professionals must do more to educate their patients about the importance of avoiding hypoglycemia, especially when driving.
Professor Roger Gadsby, of the University of Warwick and founder of the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS), said: “It is vital that people with diabetes are aware of side effects of medications and tell their GP about them so that discussion can take place about whether a change of medication is necessary.”
The study was recently presented at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2013.

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