Barriers to talking about hypoglycaemia
Research in type 2 patients has shown that:
One study showed that of those patients who failed to report hypoglycaemia:*
Also, many patients may be under-reporting their hypoglycaemia due to a fear of losing their driving licence, although not all incidents of hypoglycaemia need to be reported to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). For further information on DVLA restrictions, please visit www.dvlaguide.org.
Research shows that patients with diabetes ranked 'fear of hypoglycaemia' as their most significant challenge.
These incidents are particularly concerning as, though patients are reluctant to discuss hypoglycaemia with a healthcare professional, fear of hypoglycaemic episodes can cause patients to 'self-treat' and make changes in their dosing regimen, which may result in poor diabetes control and diminished quality of life.
Additionally, having repeated episodes of hypoglycaemia can, over time, lead to 'hypo unawareness', where the warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia stop being felt, making it harder and more difficult to manage.
*statistics refer to patients experiencing night-time hypoglycaemia.
Encouraging conversations around hypoglycaemia
To raise the subject of hypoglycaemia with your patients as part of your consultation, the below questions may be useful:
Further information for primary and secondary care healthcare professionals can be found in the Joint British Diabetes Societies Inpatient Hypo Guidelines.
Hypoglycaemia is a two way conversation
We are encouraging people living with diabetes to come prepared for their next appointment by using the Hypo Journal. This is a downloadable tool to help support patients track any hypos they experience from month to month and any potential triggers.
This page is intended for UK healthcare professionals only
UK/WB/0616/0022(1) September 2016
Information about the impact of hypoglycaemia
Access information, resources and practical guidance on how to manage hypoglycaemia (hypos)
Awareness campaign and information on day and night-time hypoglycaemia
Watch the Below the Surface films to learn more about the varying symptoms of hypos
Download the Hypo Journal and find out where to access more information on hypos