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From Scotland:

My daughter who has type 1 diabetes is going on a school ski trip to Utah. She always carries a sugary snack with her in case of hypoglycemia. In the United Kingdom, she would carry "Lucozade," a sparkling glucose drink which has approximately 20 grams of carbohydrate in every 100 ml. Fifty milliliters of lucozade is one of the recommended way of treating mild hypoglycemia and my daughter prefers the liquid to glucose tablets. I have been trying to find out what the equivalent product is in the United States. I saw references on your site to Gatorade. This is also sold in the UK, but its carbohydrate content is about half that of lucozade, and similar to another product sold here, Lucozade Sport, or to regular Coke.


I am unfamiliar with the product, but I think this issue should be pretty easy for your daughter to prepare for.

Obviously, she will be (presumably) much more active when she is skiing, compared to her usual daily activities. If her experience with the lucozade is such that 20 grams helps her maneuver and recover from mild hypoglycemia, then I would anticipate that any 20 grams of fasting-acting glucose could do this. If she prefers something other than glucose tablets, what about glucose gels, cake frosting, a juice box, or regular soda? (Jostling a carbonated beverage up and down a mountain might forecast a mess!). She should, of course, adjust her insulin doses accordingly. You do not give her insulin regimen but her own diabetes team should be able to guide you.


Additional comments from Dr. Larry Deeb:

Airheads are a British candy that is made of glucose and not fructose/corn sugar. They aren't the "hard" typical glucose tablet. At diabetes camp, we use the "burst" drink, which has 26 grams of carbohydrates comes in a plastic bottle with a twist off top...easy to transport.


Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

All American soft drinks, i.e., Coca Cola, ginger ale, grape soda and all such "nonsense" drinks are adequate for treating hypoglycemia. Each country usually has some of their own and some of the international brands available. Any can be used. We usually recommend glucose tablets and these, too, are readily available at any American pharmacy. In Scotland and the UK, these should also be available. They are light-weight and easy to carry, usually in 4 or 5 gram/tablet sizes so will not take up much space during sports or in the suitcases. Glucose gels are also available in most American supermarkets and also in Europe. Standard treatment remains 10 to 15 grams/hypoglycemia episode. You should also discuss general adjustments downward of insulin and upward for food for vigorous and extended sports with your diabetes team and there should be several folks, adult supervisors and peers, who know how to check blood sugar levels, how to respond and assist treatment of hypoglycemia, etc., for any emergencies. It would be prudent to also have checks once or twice/night after such vigorous activity to make sure that 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. hypoglycemia does not occur as well.


[Editor's comment: Be sure also to read our web page on Flying with Diabetes so that you know what supplies she is allowed to have on her person. All her supplies should be taken as carry-on baggage due to extreme temperatures in the cargo hold and so that nothing is lost. BH]

Original posting 13 Apr 2008
Posted to Hypoglycemia and Other


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