One 17 year old had such a bad time from teachers who didn't understand her diabetes, that she started a poster awareness campaign for local schools
Having a 'hypo' is one of the great fears of a person with diabetes and a particular problem if you are a young person at school.
Emma Steven-Jones (17) found herself in that position. A schoolgirl from East Anglia, she was having a hypo and was told off for eating in class. Her teacher did not believe she had diabetes.
This prompted her to spearhead an awareness campaign and she has distributed 1,000 posters to schools throughout the East Anglia area. She won 'Campaigner of the Year' in Cosmo Girl for her endeavours.
The attitude of her teacher may seem a bit extreme, but it underlines the importance of good communication between your family and your school.
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycaemia - that's where the term 'hypo' comes from.
When you take insulin, sometimes your blood sugar might become low. If that happens you can feel sweaty or shaky. You may feel anxious or dizzy, turn pale and lose concentration.
When you lose your concentration, it becomes difficult to keep up in class or in a game.
If you feel any of these things, it is important that you eat or drink something with sugar in it.
If your blood sugar becomes so low that you pass out, your parents should give you a glucagon injection and may need to call an ambulance. It is very important that you always have a glucagon kit with you.
When your blood sugar becomes low, you might have forgotten to eat a meal or a snack or you might have been playing or doing sports more actively than usual. You may even have taken too much insulin by mistake.
If you take too little insulin, eat more than usual, or if you eat something with a lot of sugar in it, your blood sugar will get high. This is called hyperglycaemia. This is one of the reasons why you cannot eat as many sweet things as other people.
Your blood sugar can also become high if you are sick and have a fever or if you don't take as much exercise as usual.
If your blood sugar is too high, you will become extremely thirsty and have to go to the bathroom frequently. You might feel hungry or tired and sleepy. You might have trouble seeing straight; things may look blurred. If your legs cramp up, it could be because of high blood sugar.
Your doctor will have given you instructions as to what to do and your parents will know how to help.
Issue September 03
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