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Impact of hypoglycaemia

Jun 03, 2015

Hypoglycaemia is a real but unpredictable, unsettling and potentially dangerous part of living with diabetes whatever one’s age. No matter what a person with diabetes, or their family does, they will experience a hypoglycaemic event, minor, serious or severe at some time in their life, and when they least expect it.

No matter how hard one tries, hypos in one form or another are unavoidable. The question is how does one reduce the risk, and when they do occur, what is the best way to manage them and their effects on the person with diabetes and their loved ones?

The very nature of hypo makes this a difficult question to answer. HCPs, unless they have diabetes, have a loved one with diabetes or in their work are exposed to hypoglycaemic events, will never experience a hypo, and may never witness one. Theory is all they can rely on. This gap in their experience means they will have difficulty understanding the reactions of the person with diabetes and their loved ones before, during and after an event, creating barriers for providing the support and education needed.

The purpose of this discussion is to explore the gaps in knowledge, practice and resources on hypoglycaemia. How can education and support for PWDs and their loved ones be more effective, not only in managing that initial hypo, but also to deal with the psychological effects afterwards? In addition, we would like to know if you have experienced or witnessed a hypo and if sharing that experience with your team helped to improve your practice.

What are the gaps in knowledge and capabilities when educating people about the physical and psychological impact of hypoglycaemia?

Information about the discussion leader

The discussion will be moderated by Gordon Bunyan (IDF Vice-President; Chair of IDF Board Governance & Membership Committee; Stream lead of the Living with Diabetes Stream at the World Diabetes Congress 2015) and Prof Trisha Dunning (IDF Vice-President; member of IDF Diabetes Education Consultative Section; Chair in Nursing at Deakin University, Australia)


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  2. Böhme P, Bertin E, Cosson E, Chevalier N, GEODE group. Fear of hypoglycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes: do patients and diabetologists feel the same way? Diabetes Metab. 2013 Feb;39(1):63–70.

  3. Jódar-Gimeno E, Álvarez-Guisasola F, Ávila-Lachica L, Palomares-Ortega R, Roldán-Suárez C, Lizán-Tudela L. Quality of life and fear for hypoglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Rev Clin Esp. 2015 Mar;215(2):91–7.