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Question:

From Hutchinson, Minnesota, USA:

My son is 12 years old and has diabetes since he was 6. When he experiences a low glucose reaction one of his most common symptoms is hunger. We are wondering what would raise his blood sugar faster, a food or a drink? He insists that they are the same however it seems we are always told the liquid is faster. I would think it is the drink because of faster absorption but our pharmacist said both food and drink are metabolized at the same rate.

Answer:

When you think about the recommended treatments for low blood glucose, it is glucose or sugar. This is rapidly taken into the system and requires no breakdown to be used by the body. The closest thing to glucose tablets is probably juice, since the form is liquid and does not have to be chewed. There are many foods that will work also but when you take a blood sugar and it is low, you really do not know if it is on the way down or is stable. The quickest form of glucose should be used. Foods containing slower sources of carbohydrate, fat and protein may work, but I believe treating lows with other foods initially can be risky. The fact is many things work; it is a matter of being sure you get something there that will raise the blood sugar for sure and if the next planned meal is more than an hour away, add the other types of food to keep the blood sugar from going low again.

JM

Original posting 16 Mar 1998
Posted to Hypoglycemia

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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