The Highs and Lows of Hypoglycemia

katy russell

Around the offices here at Lauren’s Hope, a lot of us wear medical ID jewelry. And not just because we love it! So for today’s blog, I caught up with Lauren’s Hope Jewelry Designer, Katy Russell, who wears her Lauren’s Hope medical ID bracelet because she has hypoglycemia, a severe form of low blood sugar.

Tara: Why is it important for someone with hypoglycemia to wear a medical ID?

Katy: You can become almost delirious [during an episode]. It feels like you’re getting sick, and you get hot, and you get flustered and frustrated. If someone is not understanding that you need food or sugar because you can’t speak clearly, it’s easier for them to read your medical ID tag.

Plus, if you faint [which can happen with hypoglycemia], you can hit your head, something like that, and you might be unconscious. So they would know what was going on.

Tara: What does it mean for you on a daily basis, having hypoglycemia?

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Katy: I have to watch what I eat and always be aware. If I’m going to eat sugar, say I’m having ice cream, I have to be aware that it’s going to give me a sugar rush. I need to eat a lot of protein, not a lot of sugar or starch. Even too much fruit can give me a rush, and then I crash back down.

I know in the morning, I need to eat something hearty that’s going to get me through the morning. I always have snacks handy. If I get irritable or shaky, I know I need to grab a snack or a soda, which is really good for a quick fix. Sometimes a candy bar.

Tara: How are people diagnosed with hypoglycemia?

Katy: A lot of people find out because someone in their family has diabetes, like, your grandma has T1D and hypoglycemia can be an early sign of diabetes. People who have a family history are more likely to have it. You do a fasting test with no food after midnight, and then you do a morning blood draw to check your blood sugar levels. People who have symptoms should get tested.

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People who have any of the following may want to discuss with their doctor whether they should be tested for hypoglycemia:

  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of confusion or disorientation
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms that get better after eating
  • A family history of type one diabetes or hypoglycemia

If you have hypoglycemia, wearing a medical ID bracelet or other medical alert jewelry can help communicate your condition to others in the event that you cannot advocate for yourself, resulting in faster treatment and a better outcome. When you personalize your hypoglycemia medical alert bracelet, be sure to include your name, diagnosis, whether you have any allergies, and at least one “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) phone number.

Have more questions about hypoglycemia or what to engrave on your hypoglycemia medical ID bracelet? Leave a comment here!

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