Insulin: Lifesaver or Killer? Part 3

Strategies to Minimize Risk of Hypoglycemia

We addressed the patient risks of severe hypoglycemia in the part 1 of this series and followed it with the clinical consequences of severe hypoglycemia in part 2. After looking at both scenarios, you may be thinking, how can hypoglycemia be treated and what can be done to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia?’

The treatment for hypoglycemia is as follows:

  • 10-15 grams of carbohydrate for mild hypoglycemia
  • 15-30 grams of carbohydrate for moderate hypoglycemia
  • 25-50 grams of IV dextrose for severe hypoglycemia

Even though the above information offers treatment, the best treatment of hypoglycemia is prevention. Be prepared with the following:

  • Become familiar of signs and symptoms.
  • Have scheduled meal and snack times.
  • Always carry treatment.
  • Wear a diabetes ID tag or Medic Alert tag.
  • Monitor blood glucose regularly.

If you experience unexplained or recurrent hypoglycemia, you should contact your healthcare team. Hypoglycemia can occur in patients with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or patients with no history of diabetes.  In these scenarios, insulin can be a lifesaver, however, if it is used incorrectly, it can be the killer.