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How can I recognize when someone's having low blood sugar levels?

Diabetes Info For Family And Friends

Anne Peters, MD, FACP, CDE (Professor and Director of Clinical Diabetes Programs, USC Keck School of Medicine) gives expert video advice on: How can I recognize when someone's having low blood sugar levels? and more...

What do I do if a person with diabetes loses consciousness?

Well, if someone with diabetes loses consciousness and you think it's from a low blood sugar reaction, you either treat it right away with glucagon if you have glucagon, or you call the paramedics. But the important things that you want to do is to make sure the person isn't going to fall from a height. So you want to put them on the floor so that they're not going to fall off something, and then tilt their head to the side in case they vomit or have a seizure. Then they're not going to aspirate, which means sort of inhale the vomit or the fluid into their lungs. So just keep them safe. And, even if they're having a seizure, it's okay; they're going to get over it. It seems awful, but just make sure they're safe and in a place they won't hurt themselves, and then help will come or you'll be able to help them. So it's staying calm that I think helps a lot.

What local resources are available for diabetics and their friends and families?

Well, there are many local diabetes organizations that are subsets of national organizations, so there's the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, there's the W.H.O, there's the International Diabetes Federation, there's the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a lot of different places which have national websites, and then local links. There's also specific help for those going experiencing diabetes whilst pregnant, with <a href="http://www.videojug.com/interview/gestational-diabetes">Gestational Diabetes</a> support groups too. In many places, there's recognition for certain programs, centers of excellence, there's people who are certified diabetes educators, there's all sorts of local programs that people can get hooked into, often your health care provider will know, and if not, you could search on the internet and find the more international organizations to try to get to a more local place. The other possibility is, if there's a university near you, or even a ways away, you could contact their diabetes department and find out what the resources there are, or get local referrals.