From Virginia, USA:
Would power gels, what athletes use, work as quickly as regular glucose gels (Instaglucose, etc.) in treating hypoglycemia? I don't like the regular gels and I don't like cake frosting in tubes, but I'm forced to use the gels sometimes because nothing else works quickly enough. If my blood sugar is under 40 mg/dl [2.2 mmol/L], I have to consume glucose gel or I pass out; juice doesn't cut it. It would be nice to find something to treat moderate hypoglycemia that actually tastes good, also.
The power gels, if they contain glucose are okay. However, if they contain protein, they are not going to be quick acting. I would suggest you keep glucose tablets with you. These come in a variety of flavors. I would recommend you check with your physician and your diabetes educator regarding the prevention of hypoglycemia. You need to make sure you decrease the frequency as you may be able to gain back your perception of hypoglycemia so that it can be taken care of with minor adjustments or snacks. It is not a good idea to live from severe reaction to severe reaction and relying on glucose gel. Also, make sure you have glucagon around for the possibility that you might pass out. You will have to have another person be able to give the injection, in case it is needed.
Additional comments from Michelle Noschese:Most of the athlete gels contain a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates and are not ideal to treat hypoglycemia. Many provide very little fast-acting carbohydrates and should not be used at all for hypoglycemia. Have you tried the newer gels? GlucoBurst Glucose Gel or ReliOn Fruit Punch Gel-WalMart brand are two.
However, I am not sure why juice is ineffective for you. Have you tried glucose tablets? They are more flavorful and treat hypoglycemia rapidly because, like the gels, they contain only Dextrose - nothing else to get in the way of raising the glucose. Some patients have commented that they find regular soda more effective than juice. Hope you find something that tastes good and works for you!
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