JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (October 26, 2020) – In conjunction with Diabetes Awareness Month in November, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE) today announced the launch of the ‘The Lowdown on Low Blood Sugar’ campaign to raise awareness of hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, and help people at risk be prepared for a low blood sugar emergency.
Approximately 100,000 emergency room visits per year in the U.S. are due to episodes of low blood sugar, which are more common for people with diabetes. The Lowdown on Low Blood Sugar campaign aims to educate the public, people with diabetes and their support circles on the signs and common causes of low blood sugar, in addition to providing tips to ensure people with diabetes and their loved ones are prepared and equipped to respond to a low blood sugar emergency.
Symptoms can vary from mild, such as dizziness or unusual irritability, to more severe and life-threatening issues such as seizures. Some people with milder symptoms may have episodes that might go unnoticed, while others may have more serious symptoms and need family members or their support circles to be prepared to help. Hypoglycemia can take an emotional toll on people with diabetes, disrupting their daily lives.
“Low blood sugar is a lot more common than people think, affecting thousands of Americans yearly,” said Howard M. Lando, M.D., FACP, FACE, president of AACE. “For many, experiencing a low blood sugar emergency can be extremely scary, disorienting and potentially life threatening, so it’s imperative that people and their loved ones know the signs and stay prepared for a potential emergency.”
Low blood sugar can often result from complications with diabetes treatment, such as accidentally injecting too much or the wrong type of insulin, along with injecting directly into the muscle. Common causes can include:
- Skipping a meal or eating less than usual
- Exercising more than usual
- Taking more medication than needed
- Drinking alcohol, especially without food
The Lowdown on Low Blood Sugar campaign encourages people with diabetes to be prepared:
- Talk to an endocrinologist, a physician who specializes in hormones and metabolism, about blood glucose targets and treatment options
- Check blood sugar levels regularly
- Have a few pieces of hard candy or a sugary drink nearby
- Always have an emergency hypoglycemia rescue therapy kit on-hand containing prescribed glucagon in any delivery method (e.g. injected or via nasal spray)
- Educate friends and family on steps to take if they are experiencing an emergency
"It’s important to note that certain populations are disproportionally affected by diabetes and its complications, which could also impact the likelihood of experiencing a low blood sugar emergency,” said Rodolfo J. Galindo, M.D., FACE, an AACE member and endocrinologist. “For example, Hispanic and Black adults are more impacted by diabetes complications than white adults. It’s crucial that physicians talk with their patients about how to prepare for, how to recognize and how to respond to an emergency low.”
Visit bloodsugarlows.com to learn more about low blood sugar.
About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE)
Established in 1991, AACE is a global, inclusive community of over 5,700 endocrine-focused clinical members, affiliates, and partners from every walk of professional life. We are the human face and the professional hands of endocrinology that touch tens of millions of patients a year with the latest clinical advances, to improve the health and the lives of those who live with endocrine & metabolic disorders. As the vital hub of knowledge and experience in clinical endocrinology, we define the best paths of patient care and disease prevention, educate multi-disciplinary care teams and our patients, and set the factual record straight about endocrine diseases. Together, we are elevating the practice of clinical endocrinology to benefit each individual patient and the health of our society.”