Info for my brother

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Info for my brother

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Old 09-23-2012, 00:46   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Default Info for my brother

Hi all,
Im new to the forum and hoping to learn more about Diabetes in order to help my 25 year old brother. He was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2001 and sufferd many of the difficulties involved in getting his Diabetes under control.

Things seemed to be relatively under control for a number of years despite a couple of emergency hospital admissions. However in the past year or so it seems he is unaware of when he is experiencing a hypo (sorry if im not using the correct terminology) But basically he seems competely oblivious to the fact that he is dripping with sweat, weak, irritable and suffering all the other symptoms of a drastic low!

Its awful to see him like this and a massive concern for when he is out alone and nobody is around to tell him. Has anybody else experienced this problem? He says he has no idea when he's dropping but I have to admit part of me wonders if he does know and is trying to hide it (like a typical man) trying not to cause a fuss? I cannot understand how he doesnt recognise when he is soaked in sweat if nothing else??

Its such a worry that he's seemingly become unaware of his hypos! Any advice would be grately appreciated.

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Old 09-23-2012, 00:57   #2
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Welcome to our group and altho' I know nothing as I'm a lucky type 2, I know nothing about Type 1, we have many good members who should be able to help you along soon...I just wanted to say 'hi' to you.

Good luck to you and your brother...he's a lucky guy to have you on his team.


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Old 09-23-2012, 01:01   #3
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Hi there, thanks for reading anyway and for dropping in to welcome me

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:10   #4
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From what I have read on this and other diabetic forums, hypo unawareness is not uncommon. I'm sure some T1s will come along soon and give you the benefit of their experience with this.

Has your brother talked to his endo about this problem? The thing that comes to my mind (bearing in mind though that I'm a T2 not on insulin) is a continuous glucose monitor - which I have read that some hyo-unaware diabetics use which will sound an alarm if their BG gets low.

My low-carb recipe collection on Pinterest
70 yrs. Dx May 2010
Diet controlled: VLC/HF
BG steady with no highs or lows.
A1C in the 5% range.
Gluten intolerant, sensitive to dairy & eggs.
Eat no grains

Last edited by VeeJay; 09-23-2012 at 02:12.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:49   #5
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Location: Blair, NE, USA
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Hypo-unawareness is areal thing. I have suffered from it for more than 12 years. Part of it is not that he can't feel it but that his brain is being starved and is totally unable to react to it. I would recommend that he take more precautions and test before activities as well as during activities and treat as needed.


Type 1 for 40 years now so dont tell me how to eat.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:12   #6
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Hi and welcome.

When I was taking insulin I suffered from hypo unaware unless my levels got really low, down in the 30s low. The advice for a constant glucose monitor is a good idea. Perhaps an insulin would be something to look into as we'll since many of these incorporate a CGM. The CGM will sound alarms based on predefined settings such as hypo levels, rate of change, etc. there are several members here who use pumps and CGMs that can offer better explanations.

Another thing to look into is his diet. Perhaps he has changed it causing his insulin:carb ratio to change. Or has he changed insulin types and he's more sensitive to the new insulin. I had that when I went from novolin to Novolog.

There's so many variables that its hard to say without knowing more about diet, meds, exercise etc. but these are some quick ideas.

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Old 09-23-2012, 19:53   #7
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Hello, and welcome! It is very nice of you to want to help your brother. I have been type 1 for 67 years and have experienced hypounawareness several times. My doctor has suggested that I purposely reduce my basal insulin until I started feeling the hypos again. Reducing the basal causes higher blood sugar, and the body experiences fewer lows. Eventually the body is no longer accustomed to lows, so recognition is restored. It has worked for me. Trial and error is needed to determined how much less basal is needed. He does not want to go too high, but does want to avoid lows while his body readjusts.

I have been Type 1 for 73 years. My A1c is 6.2. I pump with the MM 630, and I am using the Dexcom G5.
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Old 09-23-2012, 20:55   #8
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Thank you all very much for your responses!
Im extremely grateful and have noted much of the advice and experiences you have responded with, ready for my brothers Diabeties specialist, who he has an checkup with this week.

My brother also suffers academically with learning difficulties. This is why a pump is apparently not suitable. Unfortunately he would struggle with the basic mathematics of amending his dose when required.

I believe currently, his insulin pen dosage is pretty much set so he able to cope when his carers arent with him.

It might be worth mentioning we live in the UK. It seems (to me atleast) that we are either way behind, or yet to approve many of the diabeties advances/technologies curently available in the US

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:25   #9
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Location: Timberon N.M. USA
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Diagnosed in 1951

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Hi there, glad to see that you are interested in helping out your brother. I have had type l for 62 years now and was on insulin shots and now have an insulin pump. You can help mostly by your interest and being with him when he goes to your endo specialist. My best times have been since I got my insulin pump (4+ years now) For me the pump has taken a lot of my problems out of my control and am enjoying my senior years now much easier. Good luck !!

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:59   #10
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Being a T1 ignorant T2 my attitude is that I would rather be at 250 than 20 (I am hypo-phobic) so I if I feel the least bit odd I grab and chew a glucotab or 2 before I even look for my meter and I have glucotabs almost anywhere I am going to be.

ColaJim, Age 73
Type 2 (very advanced Metabolic Syndrome ) for about 15 years but "insulin/oxygen resistant" for about 40 years
HbA1c 6.4 October 2014

now taking:

Novolog as required
'Guessing is a scientific method" ~ Richard Feynman

I am not your librarian! Do your own research!. ~ ColaJim

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill
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