Lows in public

hey everyone…i’m wondering how often u all take lows in public…say at school or work…i used to take a lot of lows when i was first diagnosed…almost everytime i ate…and consequently have developed a low phobia if you will…i find the worry particularly nerve racking in public as i was quite symptomatic…shaking, sweating, etc…the fear of lows is definately having a negative impact on my control …my worst fear is a low in public…anyone else have this experience n if so…what did u do about it…i don’t want my kidneys to fail but nor do i wanna pass out or look like a weirdo in public…:S any advice?

No advise, just been in that boat–I don’t feel mine coming on…others tell me when I start slurring words like I am drunk…Hoping for CGMS soon to help.

Hi Lauren,
When you are low in public I think you would be surprised at how many diabetics are around you at any given time and are willing to help. because they recognize what is going on. I run into trouble mostly around family and friends. Weird huh?
Anyway, take along a little “insurance” wherever you go. I always keep some nuts on hand to snack on or cheese sticks (my favorite) or anything that will get you through until the next meal. If repeated lows are a problem, think about cutting back on your rapid acting insulin just by 1 unit or so until you get things worked out better. Each meal time watch the amount of carbs and concentrate on getting a protein in you of some sort. They will carry you longer. If those don’t work, figure out what it is that is the fastest acting to bring you out of your lows and keep some of that with you at all times. It is different for each of us. Practice and trial and error are the things that teach us the best. Good luck. Sometimes people around us at work are really “uninformed”. I wish you well helping them to learn.

I’ve had a CGMS for the past three months and it is wonderful. Although, on weekends, I turn it off so that I can sleep :slight_smile:

Good luck.


I have had a few lows in public. I had one experience when I was out shopping with my 2 yr-old. I popped 3 glucose tabs in my mouth and 15 minutes later I was fine. Do you have a medical id bracelet?? if you don’t you should prob look into getting one just in case you pass out in public.


If glucose tabs aren’t fast enough for you, they have little “liquid shots” of glucose now (almost like the little nipper bottles of liquor) you can get these at walmart or walgreens and they cost about 2-3 dollars each. also glucose gels are good. gatorade and powerade also contain glucose/sucrose syrup instead of plain sugar… and work really quickly.

My daughter just told me tonight about those little “liquid shots”. She said she saw them at Walmart. I am going to look for them and pick up a couple to keep on hand for both of us. They sound like they would be faster acting for me than the glucose tabs. Thanks for the info.

Hi Lauren! I don’t know if Canada has Diabetes educators but I think they have an equivalent. I’ve lived with T1 a lifetime and experienced serious lows in the 1990s. I told my specialist and he referred me to an educator who helped me gain tighter control of my Diabetes which helped with my lows. Mention to your healthcare team the problem you are having and they should be able to help you.

I think that’s one of the things you just have to work through. I know I hate getting low in public for fear of passing out or potentially having to ask for help, but in order to have the better control it’s something you deal with. Just carry glucose tabs or hard candy and you just look like any other person eating a mint/snack.

I have had several pretty bad lows where I’ve fainted or at least hit the floor because I was so weak. Luckily, I always had someone there to help. But now that I’m out on my own, it’s definitely a constant reminder to have things with me just in case.

Thanks for all the advice everyone…i was actually hypoglycemic before becoming diabetic…so i guess lows in public aren’t completely new to me…its just that now im more shaky/sweaty…n i guess i’d be embarrassed to have a major low in public…but i guess it comes with the territory…oh…i have another question for u all regarding lows…how many of u wake up from a low during the night…i dunno if i’m the type to wake up from a low or slip into a coma…my dad is also a type 1 who luckily wakes up at least most of the time…howz a bout u?

I hate having a low in public too. I always carry a blood sugar meter (and use it often). I always have a tube of 10 glucose tabs in my shirt pocket. I always wear a medical ID on my left wrist (except when I’m told to remove for airport security). I use a CGMS now too. I do not want to be a type 1 who dies from a low, as does happen sometimes.

I really have no advice on this one! The only thing I can tell you to do is to tell everyone around you that your diabetic and what’s happening. They have called 911 on more than 1 occasion for me. How do I handel them I tell everybody what’s going on and what I need to do!

I have had a few lows in public. Having them while shopping etc doesn’t really bother me as long as I have my glucose tabs and a place to sit down while I recover. This has only happened two times and thankfully my daughter was with me. My phobia is having them at work. While at work I usually try to avoid carbs and eat only protien. I work in a restaurant which means I have to eat earlier than I would while at home, or often much later than I should. If I eat early and have a low it always seems to happen when we get busy and I don’t have time to wait to recover from a low; like you, I seem to purposely let my BG run higher than I normally would.

If you still seem to have a low everytime you eat you should discuss this with your doctor or CDE; perhaps a change in your insulin to carb ratio needs to be changed. When counting or estimating your carbs do you also subtract the fiber grams? One of my last lows came after eating a nutrition bar with 21 grams carb and 7 grams of fiber…I fogot to consider the fiber grams and covered the total carb grams with insulin. oops!

I have found this is such a learning process~

I’m one who wakes up if I’m low and also if I go high.

wow rainbowgoddess…that’s really interesting…ur doctors must be surprised? going low in my sleep is one of my biggest fears …i haven’t gone to bed fully relaxed since my diagnoses :S animals can be amazing eh?

btw…how’d u get such a nice a1c? :smiley:

I’ve found that people have been very helpful and understanding when I’ve had lows in public places. Just about everyone seems to know someone who has diabetes or has a family member with diabetes.

Advice? I wear a medic alert bracelet for ‘just in case’. I stopped being self-conscious about my diabetes, and if I’m going low in public places, If the situation will be made better by disclosing, I just say, "I’m diabetic and am having a low (or hypo or whatever). It’s happened in a clothing store, when I had a really bad one - the store owner immediately got me a chair to sit on and helped me open my candy. Her mother had diabetes, so she understood. It also happened once in a grocery store, bad enough that I couldn’t work my fingers, and another shopper was so great - she quickly opened a small chocolate milk and helped me to drink it. At work, I have a symptoms poster in my work area, and my co-workers are aware of the signs.

It took me a couple of years to get my units/carb ratios fine tuned after diagnosis. Switching to a pump also was a big help. I still have lows from time to time, but not so very often.

I’ve had them in many places. There is no way to avoid them and the best advice is just to get better again as soon as possible. My most embarrassing was during a job interview. I realized what was happening, explained my problem, downed two Cokes really fast, we waited a few minutes and then resumed.

The answer is to be prepared, with glucose tablets close at hand. A caveat from my prior experiences (not applicable to everyone): the simpler the sugar that is used to correct a low, the faster the correction. There was a time when I used candy bars, ice cream or cookies to fix a low. But, since there is so much fat in them, the sugar sometimes takes a while to get into the blood stream.

If you need help, ask for it. People will help, and even let you cut a long line to buy a soda if you need it. Also, if you see someone who looks like they might be having a low, offer to help them. They may not be able to ask or may be afraid to.

I have experienced low blood sugars at work several times but not out shopping or anything. I have gotten to where everywhere I am, there is a glucose drink. You can buy them at Wal-mart for like $3. I have them in my car, at my desk, in my computer room at home, next to my bed, in the laundry room. I mean everywhere I go, I am covered. These glucose drinks work very fast and you don’t get the headaches like you do from the tablets. They work wonderfully.
I know it is so hard. Because you feel like a man in a room full of women. You are so uncomfortable and you feel like everyone is staring at you. I understand completely. I always feel like I am not as strong as everyone thinks I am because of my health problem.
I hope this helps you.

I was once having lunch (or rather, waiting for lunch to arrive!!) with a friend who I did not know was type l…and she suddenly behaved as if she was having a stroke, slurred speech and as if she would collapse. I just about caught the word sugar and gave her a spoonful - was staggered at the rate at which she came back to this world…I did tell her off rather for not telling close friends like me, though - if she had not managed to get out the word sugar I wouldnt know what was happening. Though she would have been ok, as we were in a restaurant and help would have been called.

Friends should know? I think so, anyway…:slight_smile: