Diabetes is caused by the body’s failure to regulate blood sugar levels. Some people are develop the condition in the youth (type 1), whilst others can pick up the condition later in life (type 2). The most common problem that a diabetic faces is when their blood sugar level drops very low (hypoglycemia).

Todays blog post will aim to address the main symptoms that you can look for when a diabetic is suffering with low blood sugar levels. There is also a simple treatment protocol that you can follow to help them when they are suffering with this condition.

Symptoms

Hypo On First Aid Course

The best person to spot the symptoms of a hypoglycemic attack is the sufferer themselves. They know more than others about their own body, and will often pre empt a full on attack and treat themselves. However sometimes their condition can deteriorate to a level where they are not in control of their own body, and they could need your help to get better.

It often helps to know that a person suffers with diabetes. Bystanders or even first aiders are not expected to diagnose the condition completely out of the blue. Realistically you will need to know that the person has the condition, which will put you in the best position to help the person if and when they become ill.

Look out for signs of lethargy or tiredness, which can be present leading up to an attack. It sounds unusual but hypoglycemia can cause people to behave erratically when their sugar levels have dropped low. This could come in the form of sudden aggression, confusion and an inability to concentrate. Sadly this can sometimes be mistaken for people being drunk when out in public.

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Treatment

The best way to help a diabetic sufferer in these circumstances is to give them a sugary drink. The best drinks are those like Lucozade or Coca Cola, which are the quickest at getting into the bloodstream. They might not be the healthiest drinks in the world, but they are exactly what a diabetic needs when they have fallen ill.

The next best thing after drinks is sugary snacks like biscuits or sweets. These can also help raise the blood sugar levels up to a more normal level.

The intake of sugar should make for a rapid improvement in the casualty's health; however an ambulance should be called if they fail to show any signs of improvement, or if they are unable to intake any sugary drinks / snacks.

By Bill Casserley