Baggies & Sugar Cubes

Anyone else remember when treating a low involved sugar cubes or tubes of cake frosting?

Options, gotta love options

Good old sugar cubes, and other, more up-to-date, choices for treating lows.

Have you ever had a tube of cake frosting break open in your pocket?  Or tried to carry around a baggie full of white powder that started off as a bunch of sugar cubes?

I’m thankful that today’s options travel well and are easier to carry.

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17 thoughts on “Baggies & Sugar Cubes

  1. Scott,
    Thank you for your help. Lots of good pointers from people who truely understand what we are all going through. My son is 20, and is over 6 foot and very strong, which makes these situations even harder. The majority of the time he seems to manage well,(he is on a pump) but there are times that the lows sneak up on him. This last time he did not eat a snack before he went to sleep, thought he was covered. You can think you are in control, but sometimes the lows come from nowhere. I try not to hover, but feel like he needs a safety net for those episodes. That is the least we can do for him. I just hope that he will find that special girl who will be a good support for him.
    I am going to buy some tube frosting today, and have it on hand. I have tried honey in the past, it worked ok, but he cannot stomach even the smell of it anymore! We do have a glucagon injection kit, but it would be too dangerous if he is awake and combative. We did use it once when he was unconscious, then he went into a seizure and we called 911. That is something that is forever etched in my mind, I have never been so scared.
    Thank you for letting me ramble, it is great to talk to someone who totally understands what we are dealing with.
    Thank you for your help!!

  2. I remember carrying around Charms candies and sugar tubes when I was a kid!! Now I will have either a fruit roll up, Skittles and of course, glucose tabs. I’ve come to dislike those and sometimes get cranky while low, so I don’t want to eat them, but they are a great tool.

  3. Scott,
    Do you or anyone you know have any tricks to get a Type 1 with a severe low (say under 40 ) that is confused and fights you when you try to help? My son is Type 1, and every once in awhile he will be low in the morning, and we have a hard time trying to get anything down him, he pushes a straw away, yells “what are you doing to me”, etc. It is so frightening to me, he has actually had 2 seizures from lows, he went low in the night and was unconscious in the AM. Any pointers would be a great help!

  4. I used to use sugar cubes and packets, or apple juice but got turned onto 4 gram dextrose tablets when I read one of Dr. Bernstein’s books. Best tip I ever got for controlling the inevitable BG roller coster that hypos caused me. My DE’s “15/15” solution (15 garams of carb, check BG in 15 min) was useless and made the roller coaster worse. The Dextabs are much much better now than they were in the “old days.” Not chalky like they used to be and come in some pretty good fruit flavors and can be broken into 1 gram pieces pretty easily. They also are pretty rugged in the 10 tab tubes they come in. You can by refills for the tubes in larger bottles making them pretty economical. They act quickly and are consistant in the way they raise my BG.

    I spent some time early on experimenting at different times of day and night to find out how much each gram of Dextab raised my BG and now now exactly how much to take to get me back into a “normal” range (84 mg/dl). 1 gram of dex will raise my BG 7 mg/dl within 30 minutes (starts raising in 15min) and stays there long enough for me to get a snack with some protein and fat in me. This technique has completely eliminated the roller coaster effect I used to experience after hypo events. YMMV, of course.

  5. When I was a kid in the mid-80s, my mother always made me carry Monojel. It was this radioactive-looking green sugary gel that came in a flat foil pouch — when you needed it, you tear off the end and squeeze it in your mouth, rolling it up as you go (like toothpaste) to get every last bit. After carrying it around for a long time, the pouch would ultimately leak, and the green sticky stuff would be everywhere. Truly disgusting.

  6. Scott when I was first dx with type 1 in 1976 I went to a diabetic camp. The camp counselors carried plastic containers full of sugar cubes. I would rather have a sugar cube anyday than a glucose tab! lol

  7. I remember carrying frosting tubes everywhere but having no idea how much to use…no nutrition label requirements in those days. My fondest memory of them was tucking one in my watchband to go snorkeling; for all their drawbacks I still haven’t found anything for lows that is quite so waterproof.

    • Khurt – don’t they fall apart in your pocket (or maybe you don’t carry them in your pocket)? Also, I have trouble carrying enough of them around. For example, I can fit about 40g worth of glucose tabs in one of the tubes, and it is smaller than that same amount of cho grams in smarties. Does that make sense?