Hypoglycemia/Seizures r/t Inaccurate Glucometer

You will likely be able to get the original One Touch Ultra (blue) test strips forever, the Ultra line of meters are no longer being made. You may be able to get one somewhere on ebay or from existing stocks, but expect that you will have to upgrade at some point. And yes the FDA has revised it’s guidance for meter accuracy. But this only applies to new meters seeking FDA approval, it doesn’t retroactively. And this is accuracy that must be demonstrated during the approval process, it isn’t something that is monitored during the life of a product. I don’t have current information on what meters have been approved with the new standard.

The Animas Ping (insulin pump system) is still being marketed. This uses a version of the OneTouch Ultra as its meter/remote. I would certainly expect this meter to be supported (and replaceable) a minimum of 4 years after the last Ping is shipped. A minimum of six years after the last Ping is shipped would be more reasonable.

In any event, I can’t see support for the OneTouch Ultra product line ending anytime soon nor the supply of OneTouch Ultra test strips drying up.

When we have all discussed this issue in the past, I bought two machines from different brands and tested them against one another…just to see. I didn’t see a bunch of difference, except that one brand always ran a little higher than the other, which might have affected my dosing in some rare situations. There are conversations on this site that cite large differences. It depends on the brands.

If this is your first grand mal, it wouldn’t hurt to see a neurologist or a cardiologist- just to check it out. Sometimes seizures are caused by something other than low blood sugar and we don’t want to make wrong assumptions about something so important. Low blood sugar is a common cause of seizures, but isn’t the only cause (people, even professionals, tend to make the assumption that seizures are always caused by low blood sugar). EVERYONE, even non-diabetics, should see a doc regarding a their first seizure. I think that as diabetics, we tend to manage things ourselves, which isn’t always best and can put us at risk. For instance, you might have interpreted an aura as low blood sugar. Its, honestly, very difficult to tell the difference.

I think its time for you to have a Dexcom monitor. But, you need to talk to us all about how to keep it calibrated accurately before you rely on it too much.

TYSVM to each & every one of you!.

At 5 am today, awoke terrified & confused to see 2 strange young men standing by my bed. ( Paramedics) Had another grand mal seizure. Will elaborate more later. Horrifying…

My bs dropped @ 5 am-2 minutes b4 husband going to hospital for knee replacement surgery. Husband handed me jc but I had no control by then. Spilled jc all over my nightie and comforter. Then went into full blown grand mal seizure. Came to and saw 2 strange men wanting to get me in white van. They did, but I had NO understanding of what was happening. I was terrified and horrified. All this happened b/c One Touch VerioIQ, which I just replaced 4 months ago, was again up to 190% inaccurate.

I’ll add later. Still too upset.

Had second grand mal seizure this past Thurs-2 in 1 wk. But this time my family witnessed & called 911. I’m so humiliated. Ready to give up. Hgb A1C is 4.7.

Sorry to hear this is happening to you. Two seizures in one week must be exceedingly terrifying.

I don’t understand this part, though. If you replaced the meter two months ago, how could it have any relationship to this seizure.

I had a single seizure a couple of years ago myself. I’m still not sure if it had anything to do with diabetes and in my case, there is no way anyone could know “after the fact.” It wasn’t as severe a seizure as yours apparently was, however. When I went to the ER afterwards, the doctor there just diagnosed it as “syncope.” But I’ve fainted many times in my life and that was no syncope. I later had a holter monitor test for heart problems, which showed nothing. And an MRI of the brain and MRA of the head, which didn’t show anything particularly out of the ordinary for a septuagenarian. A neurologist ordered an EEG, though, which did show something amiss, and he said I’d had a seizure. The brain wave pattern was about half way between “normal” and a typical “serious” seizure.

I took my BG perhaps ten or fifteen minutes after the seizure, just long enough to get over the shock of it sufficiently to dare to walk down the stairs to where my BG monitor was located. And my BG at that time was 68, if I remember correctly. But I’d eaten scalloped potatoes with ham just a few minutes before the seizure and taken insulin over one hour before, so who knows what my BG actually was when I had the seizure. I’m frankly suspicious that because my blood pressure often drops drastically after eating, that a combination of low blood pressure and slightly low blood glucose made the combination more dangerous than either would have been separately. Anyway, I’m being extremely cautious not to allow that combination of things to happen again. I haven’t had a second episode.

You said that your BG dropped at 5 AM this most recent time. What was the reading? Especially what did the parameds read your BG at, since you seem to think your own meter was inaccurate? Are you now on anti-seizure medication?

OMG. An HbA1c of 4.7%? In order to safety achieve that you need extremely tight control. What is your SD?

Hi Brian, where did you hear that the One Touch Ultra Mini has been discontinued? I know they stopped making the Ultra a few years back but they came out with the Ultra 2 and the Ultra Mini meters and they are both still on the One Touch Website. Neither of those meters have anything on their description saying they are no longer being distributed (like the Verio Sync does) so I am curious where you got that information.

I had a horrible time with the One Touch Verio IQ when I tried one a while back, consistently read a LOT higher than my Freestyle and my One Touch Ultra and One Touch Mini. I really hope they haven’t done away with the Ultra 2 and the Minis. I like the Minis a lot better than the Ultra 2 just for size and ease of use, but they both read pretty consistent with each other and a lot of time are not that far off from the Freestyle.

My doctor and I agree that if I were to use the Verio IQ I tried before, I would end up killing myself by overdoing it with a bolus.

Actually you could be right, it still may be in production. But you may have a hard time getting one without paying for it yourself. Many places have stopped carrying the line and if you go to the onetouch site they steer you to their current three Verio offerings. In fact, when I tried to get another VerioIQ for free (you can get a free meter every year from Onetouch) I learned that they don’t offer the VerioIQ anymore.

Truly sorry to hear you had that experience.

IMHE why do we waste time we really do not have “checking” squat!!! That makes me nuts…

Understand the protocol understand the logic but crashing and burning I can be drinking the soda not fumbling for a meter while I’m loosing consciousness. Anything except treatment (imho) is a fatal mistake

Does not matter to me one iota whether I’m 18 or 55 the number becomes worthless nonsense. Treat treat treat THEN worry about whatever numbers might be

If we do it any other way we run that risk. Sorry to hear it went that way for ya

There is a Serious problem with an A1C of 4.7.

That’s dangerous to keep things that tight as the seizures viciously demonstrate

Gotta let up on that much control. Its excessive

As for being “humiliated” what the heck for? Why would you be or feel humiliated…

Because the chronic condition, your disease acted up in front of your family? It’s not something to be “controlled”. It will laugh maniacally at our efforts, and does often.

If you genuinely mean that word, change what you are doing approach wise. Unlikely your family will think lessor of you in any level. If they do that’s a different creature entirely. But more likely they’re going I don’t want to ever be diabetic that’s “too scary”. I won’t tell them that secret will you?

You lost control, family witnessed that. Guess what you survived, you win! We did something right when we live through “it”

Are you afraid of those two ghosts being resurrected at the next family gathering?

This “normal” A1c can be a problem if paired with high blood glucose variability. High variability coupled with a normal A1c means many low BG excursions and a definite compromise to safety.

An A1c of 4.7% with low glucose variability is a situation most gluco-normals and some people with diabetes find themselves in – not unsafe at all. Judging hypoglycemia risk based on the A1c alone can be a trap, one many doctors fall into. Many people with diabetes do live with high BG variability and a “normal” A1c can indicate serious trouble, but not necessarily.

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While I don’t believe that I have ever had a seizure (or lost consciousness) due to diabetes, as an epileptic diabetic, my Doc and I have decided not to run below 6.0. Seizures are just too disruptive and there may be a correlation between low BG and seizure. Thats enough for me to opt to run a little higher. This year is my 25th anniversary with type 1 and no complications.

Please remember that having a seizure puts you at increased risk for another one. You can, sort of, train your brain to seize by increasing electrical activity through undesired pathways. It ‘greases the wheels.’

Since all diabetics have increased BG variability, I would be very concerned about 4.7 and would recommend decreasing basal immediately. I would recommend that if you drive a vehicle, that you stop IMMEDIATELY, for at least 6 months. You could hurt yourself or someone else. You have a duty to check this out in order to protect the people who love you. They do not want you to get hurt or ‘get dead.’ Please see a doc immediately.

Since this is your second seizure, you need to see a cardiologist in order to rule out cardiac problems as a cause. Diabetics get heart problems. Seizures can indicate heart problems, brain problems, and/or endocrine problems. If you do not wear a continuous monitor, it will be impossible for you to know if your BG is a contributing factor. You DO NOT know what is causing your seizures. Period. How many seizures do you want to have before you check this out? The sky is the limit? You gotta do what you gotta do, Soldier. I am begging you to go in and see the Doc.

Please, please, please go to the Doc. I’m worried that you might take the long dirt nap as a result of this…and as a diabetic epileptic, I’m not really prone to worry, LOL. Things happen.

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I know there are debates about whether a low HbA1c inherently puts you at risk of severe hypos. As with @Terry4 I believe that a low HbA1c coupled with tight control and be achieved without risks of severe hypo. But I also have to be honest, the can be practically hard to achieve. And while there are certainly some of us who have been able to get our HbA1cs consistently below 6% without hypos, getting an HbA1c below 4.7% means that you must attain extremely tight control. I have never been able to get close and I have followed Bernstein for a decade. And remember, an HbA1c of 4.7% corresponds to an average blood sugar of 88 mg/dl.

It is important to understand that meters are basically expected to be accurate +/- 20% 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time their errors are more than 20%. This means that with an HbA1c of 4.7% you should expect that 5% of the time when you actually have a reading of 88 mg/dl your actual blood sugar might be lower than 70 mg/dl and your meter is still working perfectly.

Even more alarming is that your blood sugar varies. And what really matters is keeping your variation low. A good measure of this is Standard Deviation (SD) and another is time in range. A good way of understanding SD is that 95% of the time your blood sugar will be within 4 * SD of your average blood sugar. For example, the people that I know that maintain exemplary tight control achieve an SD of 20-30. This means that they should still expect that 5% of the time their blood sugar that is measured at 88 mg/dl, that actually their blood sugar would be lower than 88 - 4 * 20 mg/dl. The match is scary. 5% of the time a reading of 88 mg/dl would actually be 8 mg/dl.

If you are following Richard Bernstein in a very strict manner you might be able to get an SD of 10, but few of us could aspire to do that.

Personally, I would absolutely increase my blood sugar targets. This isn’t really about the meter inaccuracy. This is about the normal variability in our blood sugars related to what we eat and coarse insulin dosing. I plead with you to consider increasing you blood sugar targets.


how about have some kind of a panic button set up where you can alert family members sleeping in another room/911. so one hand is around the cup of juice and the other is pushing the button (like needing to press only one button on a cell phone to call a someone sleeping nearby or call 911).

Thank you, Brian! I’ll do that when I recover more fully.

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TY for your reply, Mo.

I’m 100% positive it was caused by low bs. 48 1st seizure, 46 per Paramedics 2nd seizure. (First seizure reading was AFTER 7 OZ JC)-but b4 I came to 40 mins later.

Gonna get socked with thousands of $$$$ in medical bills-DKA 2 yrs ago (@dx) sent me ambulance bill of $1100 for less than 4 miles. This ride was 20 miles.

Yes, Brian. Extremely tight. Under 125.