Do you have a hypo? Then you usually take dextrose. This is the nutritional name for glucose. It's the fastest absorbing sugar-carbohydrate because it doesn't need to be digested. There are a few different brands in Holland and the amount of dextrose differs per brand.
- Dextro Energy – available in the supermarkets
- Dextrose from Kruidvat - available in Holland.
- Glucotabs – available online.
Kaio always has dextrose on him. We have dextrose in Kaio’s dia-bag, in the car, in his sports bag, in pockets of his jacket and at least 3 other places.
How much should you take?
The way to act with a hypo is: to feel the hypo, prick, at a low value: take dextrose (the amount is different to all, Kaio often takes 15 Kh), wait (that's the hard part), then prick again when you don't have a sensor and then act (another dextrose or a whole wheat sandwich).
How much you need at what value is different for everyone and also depends on your body weight. Often the recommended amount is 3-4 tablets, but you'll have to find out for yourself. That's the hard part. It has to do with the carbohydrate ratio and that's different for each person. And how much you need also depends on how low your hypo is. A hypo of 4.3 is different from a hypo of 2.2 for example. Are you on 3 and are you about to eat, or are you on 3 and you just ate - it all matters. It is also important to know what level you are coming from, how your line is descending; is it a very slow line or a very steep one? In the end it's all about counting and trying.
At some point, you're kind of done with dextrose. That's why it's important to know that you can compensate a hypo with any sugar or carbohydrate-containing food. Only the recovering speed is different. Dextrose is recommended because it is fast and easy to use in small quantity. It works most effectively. But what are the alternatives?
There are a number of alternatives that are almost equally quick:
- 1 small can of coke of 150 ml works very fast.
- Pure lemonade syrup - 2 sips is often enough. You can take it with you in a 100ml travel bottle.
- Cane sugar dissolved in hot water - for some people this works even faster than dextrose!
- And one of our favorites is honey, which makes you get 'softer' out of a hypo. Perhaps because honey contains a composition of fast and slower carbs. Tip: Afterwards always eat something with slow carbs.
And if the hypo isn't going very fast, then all kinds of foods with carbohydrates in it are a solution, like:
- Dried fruits (one of our favorites and also healthy)
- Chocolate and candy bars
- Small roll of mints (1 mint is 3 kh)
- Roll of liquorice (contains fat which makes it a little slower)
- Wine gums or other sweets in small packages (they often come in small bags of about 20 kh)
You will need to keep trying and see what you react best to. Only by trying it yourself you will know what you like. But we do hope this will give you different options for getting out of your hypo.
Do you have a tip or advice? We'd love to hear from you!