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Information for my travel companions

Low blood sugar

If a diabetic who takes insulin is starting to act out of sorts you should always assume that this is due to low blood sugar.

Warning signs :

  • Pale and sweaty face
  • Exhaustion
  • Close to tears
  • Slurred speech or odd behaviours
  • Shaky, fixed gaze, slowed movement
  • Dizzy appearance, almost intoxicated seeming
  • Easily irritated and aggressive

What to do :

  • If the person is conscious  you should try to give them something sweet. Sugar cubes, milk, juice (no light products), candy, sweet cookies or cake. When he/she is starting to recover you should get them a sandwich, milk or a light snack.
  • If the person is unconscious and unable to swallow CALL AN AMBULANCE. Never give them anything to drink as there´s a choking hazard. While waiting for the ambulance you can place some granulated sugar, dextrose tablets, honey or liquid glucose inside the lip or under the tongue. NEVER ADMINISTER INSULIN

Alcohol and diabetes

Alcohol can increase the blood sugar levels at first but may later on put you at risk of low blood sugar.
The liver normally outputs small amounts of sugar (glucose) which provides added protection against low blood sugar. When consuming alcohol the liver will instead focus on breaking down the alcohol, and will stop releasing glucose. For a person with diabetes who is taking insulin this will put them at risk for low blood sugar for several hours after consuming alcohol.
Steps to alleviate this:

  • Eating food that contains carbohydrates whilst drinking alcohol.
  • Always check the blood sugar before going to bed! Also preferably eat a sandwich and/or drinking something sweet to ”fill up” a little extra.

Gastric distress and diabetes

In the case of gastric distress and diabetes it is most important to:

  • Consume enough FLUIDS and NOURISHMENT.

        o At least 3 liters of fluid a day, in small quantities and often.
        o Nourishment, for example ELECTROLYTE TABLETS, juice or coca-cola
        o Important to note that it should be regularly sweetened drinks and not light products!

  • Check the blood sugar levels often, at least every 4 hours but preferably even more frequently.
  • Don´t stop taking insulin, but adjust the doses! Take base insulin (ex Lantus) as usual, adjust the mealtime insulin (ex Humaog, Novo Rapid) depending on your blood sugar levels.

When does gastric distress become dangerous for a diabetic?

If you experience high fever, general discomfort, abdominal pain and you´re unable to  retain enough fluids due to nausea and vomiting. Seek medical attention right away!