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Are you looking for an effective way to fight low blood sugars but unsure which product to take - candy, cake frosting, honey? These are all good choices. However, they contain sucrose, or white sugar, which takes a while to digest in the stomach - minutes which you might not want to waste when suffering from a low blood sugar.
Studies have found that glucose is the quickest form of sugar to be absorbed by the body to combat hypoglycemia. As a result, companies are now marketing pre-measured glucose supplements in liquid and tablet form.
Glucose tablets and gels are only for mild and moderate cases of hypoglycemia. According to the ADA, 10 to 15 grams of glucose is effective to treat mild hypoglycemia while a more moderate reaction will require an additional 10 to 15 grams. Remember to wait 15 minutes after the first dose of glucose so the body can digest it. Then, if the person is still experiencing low BGs, administer a second dose.
In addition, it is important not to give glucose gel to anyone who is unconscious and unable to swallow. In the case of severe hypoglycemia call an ambulance or administer glucagon if available.
Cost: Retail prices vary. Average price is $ 11.40 for a three-pack.
This liquid glucose gel has a cherry flavor. According to Karen Chapman, product manager for ICN, what sets Insta-Glucose apart from others is its higher carbohydrate content. "Insta-Glucose has 24 grams of carbohydrate. This makes it highly effective for fighting mild to moderate hypoglycemia."
One 24-gram tube of Insta-Glucose contains 96 calories (four calories per gram of carbohydrate). Currently, ICN is offering a $2.50 coupon savings on its Insta-Glucose. Call (800) 711-9486 for more information.
Paddock Laboratories Inc.
Product: Glutose 15
Cost: $8 to $9 dollars for a three-pack
Glutose 15 comes in three different forms: three pre-measured single dose squeeze tubes, one multi-dose tube which contains 45 grams of glucose, or a box of 12 chewable tablets (five grams of glucose in each tablet).
Nikki Fredricksen, product manager for Glutose 15, says that on the average their product costs at least two dollars less than ICN's. Glutose 15 comes in a lemon flavor. For more information call (800) 328-5113.
Product: Dex4 glucose tablets, MonoJel glucose gel
Dex4 costs $1.49 for a tube, $5.99 for a bottle of 50. MonoJel is $4.99 per four-pack.
"Five years ago educators were hesitant to recommend glucose tablets, because they were hard to find on the market," says Julie Arel, marketing manager for Can-Am. To fill this void Can Am now markets glucose tablets: lemon, orange, raspberry and grape flavors. The tablets have four grams of carbohydrate per tablet and come ten tablets to a tube. "We package the tablets in easy-to-open plastic tubes. We also sell the tablets in bottles of 50 so that the plastic tube can be refilled when low," says Arel.
MonoJel Insulin Reaction Gel comes in a flat foil pouch instead of a squeeze tube like the other gels. Each box carries four packets and costs $4.99 retail which also makes it cheaper than the other gels. There are ten grams of carbohydrate to each foil packet. MonoJel comes in an orange flavor. For more information call customer service at (800) 461-7448.
Product: Glucose tablets
Cost: $1.49 for a pack of six.
Each tablet contains five grams of carbohydrates and 19 calories. According to B-D, three glucose tablets will provide approximately a 30 mg/dL increase in blood sugar levels.
One package contains six orange-flavored tablets.
For more information call Becton-Dickinson at (800) 237-4554.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.