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Fighting off hypoglycemia with glucose tablets

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Hypoglycemia is always a concern for diabetics whose sugar may tend to drop hard fast. It is clinically defined as when the blood glucose level falls below approximately 60 mg/dL. Glucose tablets can help. They are fast acting tablets that raise blood sugar when it gets dangerously low ... and they work!

The tablets come in travel size bottles of 10 or in a larger size of 50 tablets, which naturally can be used to refill the travel size. They come in different flavors: Assorted Fruit, Fruit Punch, Grape, Orange, Raspberry, Sour Apple and Strawberry. The Sour Apple one (which naturally is the one I prefer!) is not available in the larger size container. They can be purchased at any pharmacy in the diabetic supply section of the store. Each tablet is just four grams of fast acting carbohydrates. They do not contain sodium or caffeine.

The 50 tablet bottle normally costs $6.99. Both CVS and Walgreens this week have it listed on sale for $5.99. The smaller size - the 10 tablets - generally run $2.27 a tube. Walgreens this week is advertising it one for $1.89 or two for $3. CVS has it on sale for $1.99.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia are both adrenergic symptoms and neuroglycopenic symptoms. The first includes apprehension, tremors, sweating, or palpitations. The latter includes fatigue, headache, confusion, coma, or seizure. Personally, instead of sweating per se I tend to feel clammy.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests eating 10 to 15 grams of rapidly absorbable carbohydrate. The examples the CDC gives is 3 to 5 pieces of hard candy, 2 to 3 packets of sugar, or 4 ounces of fruit juice. Test again in 15 minutes, and repeat as necessary.

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