Hello,

I've been hypoglycemic my whole life, but didn't know it till last year. It became much worse after giving birth and then, later in the year, running a half marathon. Now I struggle every day to manage it. I have lots of questions, but I figure I should pose the one that seems to be becoming the source of a big fear for me now. Based on all the literature I've read, I would have to guess that, if you happen to be hospitalized for whatever reason, any intravenous glucose would only make things worse. Possibly scary worse. I'm also aware, more and more all the time, that much of the medical community has absolutely no clue about hypoglycemia and how to treat/work with us that have it. So now I'm getting scared of anything that might put me in the hospital because I'm convinced that (if incapacitated and unable to stop them) I will receive intravenous glucose or something else will be done to me that will threaten my life or cause my illness to become worse.

Have any of you been hospitalized for anything? Even surgery or something unrelated to hypoglycemia? Are there special instructions you give? What do they give you?
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replied May 14th, 2008
Experienced User
hello
i dont have this problem personally. but my girlfriend does. she never really did much in the hospital. sometimes she gets blood drawn. they also made her wear a hear monitor one time, but that was just to check for more severe problems.
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replied May 19th, 2008
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The whole "don't take glucose when your blood sugars are low" applies when your blood sugars are low, but high enough to make a conscious decision. If you know your blood sugars are going low, then have a nice piece of protein and all is well.

But if your blood sugars are THAT low that you need emergency treatment, then yes glucose is necessary. Very low blood sugars are extremely dangerous. If you have fallen unconscious then emergency services will administer glucose to bring your blood sugars up to a level that you regain consciousness. Then you can have a nice healthy meal to maintain your blood sugar levels.

However, unless you are type 1 diabetic, such a low blood sugar level is unlikely. The majority of people with non diabetic hypoglycemia can manage a low blood sugar themselves without the need for emergency services.
Don't worry about being hospitalised - if you are then accepting emergency glucose is the least of your problems. Just follow the correct diet and avoid those low blood sugars to begin with.
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replied May 19th, 2008
Thanks for the answers. I guess that would answer part of my question. But I have heard of numerous cases of people developing hypoglycemia after being in the hospital for non-hypoglycemia related things, like surgery.

So, let's say I'm in a car crash or something and I'm totally incapacitated. I suppose they have no other option but to feed me intravenous glucose (I'm just guessing), but wouldn't such a thing be dangerous to my system? If not, then I'm not sure I understand why I can't just keep eating sugar all the time, see what I'm saying?

My cousin's son has type 1 diabetes and has had several scary lows. My cousin tells me that one time he also had a really scary high and his endocrinologist gave him insulin AND glucose so that he'd come down in steps. So special care had to be taken because of his condition. It seems likely to me that if special care is not taken with hypoglycemics, our condition will worsen. I'm wondering what that special care might be, so I can know what to have my husband tell my doctors if the situation ever presents itself and we have no experts available. I have searched online but not found any answers.
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replied May 19th, 2008
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Have you actually been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, if so what type?

It's common for people to suffer hypoglycemia following surgery such as stomach surgery. But this is nothing to do with glucose being administered, it's just the nature of the surgery.

If you suffer from reactive hypoglycemia then yes, eating glucose from day to day will cause problems and you won't see relief of symptoms - it's a vicious circle. However, if you are suffering from a serious hypo attack and fall unconscious, NOT administering glucose is far more harmful (potentially life threatening, depending on your condition) than the aggravation that may follow a glucose dose.

If you need emergency treatment then trust those who are qualified to help. Receiving glucose to regain consciousness in nowhere near as harmful as not receiving it.
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replied August 19th, 2008
Same thoughts
Well, I had the same worries as you myself, having suffered from hypoglycemia since age 16, and now I'm 28 with severe hypoglycemia.
I had to be hospitalized last month, and your fears were the same as mine, and I did indeed get hooked up to intravenous glucose. To be honest, as some have said above me, it may not be a cure all, but it helps you for the moment. No matter what your pancreas is doing, an iv of glucose will almost always keep your sugar stable. It definitely doesn't fix the underlying problem though.

Well I'm new here, and I hope things are going better for you, I'm still working on things myself with this condition, I know how terrible it can be.
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replied August 19th, 2008
Supporter
Thanks for posting slurpies Smile
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