Chocolate Is Not Good for Hypoglycemia!

| Mar 1, 2008

One of the cartoons you recently published, where a character eats chocolate because his sugar is too low, gave the wrong message. Chocolate should not be used for treating hypoglycemia. There is too much fat in it for it to be effective.

I would not have included that cartoon in your magazine as it may have given the wrong impression that chocolate is used to treat hypoglycemia.

Linda Cohen, RN, MSN, MPH, CDE
Assistant Director of Nursing
Downstate Medical Center
SUNY Brooklyn

(Editor's Note: Nurse Cohen makes a good point — Chocolate may take longer to raise BG's than other choices.  Most recommend that the fastest way to increase BG's is my taking glucose tablets or gel.)

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Categories: Desserts, Diets, Letters to the Editor, Low Blood Sugar, Nutrition Advice

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Posted by Anonymous on 2 March 2008

in the contrary, fat for hypoglycemia helps stabilize the blood sugars, eating raw sugar just starts the rollercoaster of hypo's all over, and for me(following the advice of a GP) made the entire condition worse, plenty of protien, with fat, with less than 100 carbs per day is what works for people(myself included) with hypoglycemia, the more fat, the more stable the blood sugar.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 March 2008

I hope someone can help me, I am not a diabetic but have worked with a hypoglycemic child on a couple of occasions. He eats large amounts of chocolate and drinks a lot of coca cola. For example on Saturday afternoon he had eaten a 150g bar of chocolate, 2 mars bars, and 2 cans of coke.He had in his pocket another 2 mars bars and 1 other can of coke. He also says he has to eat every hour. Is this the norm.

Your experiences would be gratefully received and make me more understanding of his situation.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 March 2008

The point is, for Type 1 diabetics (those most prone to hypoglycemia and those who make no insulin), chocolate will not bring the blood sugar up fast enough during a severe low. The above comments really don't apply to a person with no insulin secretion of their own (autoimmune Type 1 diabetes).

I wish those with Type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, obesity, etc. would remember that there ARE other forms of diabetes...

Posted by Anonymous on 7 March 2008

you are correct, type one is a different beast altogether,(perhaps the article could have specified that they were referring to type 1)
chocolate would be a bad idea for that, the high quality chololates are a rare treat.
for the child eating sugar all the time he is just riding the roller coaster, up and down up and down with the blood sugars. as long as the parents think that this is ok, there is probably not much that you can do, for my child that is pre-diabetic with hypoglycemia, she is on a low carb, high protein diet. Sugar(carbs) is akin to rocket fuel for us.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 March 2008

Yes, all of that is true, but come on, it's a comic! Not everything has to be completely correct everywhere- we're human for goodness sakes! No one is going to base what they eat during a low on a comic picture! I couldn't even remember it a day later!

Posted by Anonymous on 8 March 2008

As a type 1 diabetic for 30 years, the most dangerous complication I have is severe hypoglycemic unawareness. I have had 2 motor vehicle accidents that luckly did not kill anyone or myself. Both vehicles were destroyed.

As a diabetes educator and registered dietitian I teach ALL patients who take medications which can potentially cause hypoglycemia NEVER to use chocolate to bring their blood glucose up to a safe level.

If your reading is

Posted by fatfaria on 27 June 2008

As a T1 under an intensive insulin therapy I always check my BG before going to bed. I take Lantus+Humalog with a split Lantus doseage. If my BG is less than 120 at around midnight I take a slice of bread (8 g CH) + (two pieces of wholenut chocolate
that has around 50 g of glucose/100gr of chocolate which is equiv. to 16 g of CH) and a small glass of lowfat milk and the next day my BG comes round the 100 mg/dl mark. As Lantus works all night I absolutely need to avoid a long lasting Hypo. I just worked out this scheme which seems to work fine for me.

Posted by Seymour on 27 June 2008

The child who is living on sweets has all the same problems as the non-diabetic child. The description you have given is the reciepe for a grossly overweight child before he becomes an adult with the capacity to make correct diet decisions.

Is this child under the care of a physican? Sounds like his parents do not understand how, (or do not care), to treat type 1 diabetics. What ever the case, he needs to get off the sugar diet and start eating foods with nutritional value.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 July 2008

As a 38-year (out of 47 years) type 1, I can tell you that chocolate works a whole lot better for extreme lows than the "orange juice and a Life Saver" treatment they used to insist on. If I tried to treat my lows the way the doctors told me, I would have been passed out before the Life Saver was gone! Chocolate tastes better, too.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 September 2008

Being T1, it is also much easier to open a chocolate bar when your vision isn't quite straight, heart pounding and sweat dripping from your nose and stinging your eyes, than it is to open ANY small, individually wrapped piece of candy that you'll most likely need more than ONE of...while in your mouth, chocolate is absorbed quicker than candies.

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