Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, happens when blood glucose levels drop below their normal range. This can occur very fast and catch you off guard. Symptoms of mild hypoglycemia include: dizziness, sweating, hunger, confusion, anxiety, and weakness. A blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL is considered low, or hypoglycemia.
Most of the time hypoglycemia is mild and can be easily treated with an edible dose of dextrose. Dextrose is chemically identical to glucose and is made from corn. It’s always important to be prepared by carrying dextrose at all times.
If you do not have dextrose on you, hypoglycemia can progress into more severe symptoms like seizures and even a coma. Diabetics should never skip meals because this could lead to a drop in blood glucose. Also, injecting too much insulin can cause hypoglycemia. Some other causes of low blood sugar are exercising or too much activity and drinking alcohol.
If you’re having an episode of low blood sugar, you should supplement with a dextrose product to raise blood glucose levels quickly. Always alert family and friends as to where you keep your dextrose in case they need to get it for you in an emergency.
There are several dextrose products on the market. Liquids, gels, powders, tablets, and even a glucagon kit. Choosing which product to use can be hard. We will explore gels in this article. Gels are typically preferred over liquids, powders and tablets because they are easier to swallow than a tablet and can be taken more quickly than a liquid.
Gels also act fast, so they restore blood sugar levels very quickly. Glucagon kits should only be used in emergency situations where a person is not responsive and therefore cannot swallow a dextrose product. Let’s take a look at the most popular dextrose gel products.
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Dex4 Glucose Gel is comes in a handy, single dose, pouch that is easy to use. It’s only offered in one flavor but most people who’ve had the fruit punch flavor say it’s very good. One pouch contains 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrates to raise blood sugar quickly. It’s easy to squeeze out and swallow, which makes it a good choice for children and adults alike.
The pouches are sold at CVS, Kroger, Target, and Walmart. You can also buy a 6 pack of 15 gram pouches on Amazon (we recommend amazon) for $16.43. That comes out to $2.74 per pouch. Dex4 is perfect for people on the go, students, athletes, children, even busy moms.
Glutose 15 contains the recommended 15 grams of glucose in a 37.5 gram tube of gel. It comes in grape and lemon flavors. Instructions for use are to twist off the cap and squeeze entire contents into mouth. If blood glucose hasn’t risen within fifteen minutes, you should take another dose.
Always consult your physician if blood sugar is still low and you’re experiencing symptoms after thirty minutes. According to those who have tried Glutose 15, they say it’s easy to use and works well.
You can purchase Glutose 15 in a three pack on Amazon and other places for about $15.
Glutose 45 is the same formula of glucose but comes in one tube that’s 112.5 grams. The tube is marked with directions on how much to squeeze for one dose. The tube contains enough gel for 3 doses.
You can purchase Glutose 45 in as a single tube at CVS, Kroger, Target, Amazon and Walmart for about $15. Lemon is the only flavor offered in Glutose 45. Having a single tube of gel is easier to carry that toting around two or three separate ones. The cap easily twists on and off to use multiple times.
Insta-Glucose comes in single dose tubes. Each tube contains 24 grams of cherry flavored dextrose gel. Many emergency medical technicians (EMTs) carry Insta-Glucose on them when responding to calls for hypoglycemia. The cap easily twists off which allows you to administer the gel very quickly. Insta-glucose is not available in many local stores but can be purchased online via Amazon for about $15. Insta-Glucose has been noted as a life saver on several Amazon reviews.
ReliOn is Walmart’s Diabetic brand. They offer a fruit punch gel in a 1.2 ounce pouch. The price is a little over three dollars for one pouch. There are 15 grams of dextrose in each pouch. As with all gels, ReliOn gel is fast acting. It’s easy to carry in a backpack or purse.
To use simply tear the plastic and squeeze into your mouth. In one review the person stated it took about five minutes to feel 90% better. You can also order it on Amazon.
Transcend 15 gram glucose gel is manufactured by Transcend Foods. It’s only available online but there are several options to purchase. Pouches are available in two three packs, or packs of 12, 20, or 30 single pouches. The two three packs cost about $12. Transcend gel is offered in strawberry or orange flavors. The pouches are naturally flavored and are gluten free. There are not a lot of added ingredients in Transcend’s glucose gel. It has a syrup like consistency making it easy to swallow.
You can order them on Amazon.
TruePlus Glucose Gel
TRUEplus glucose gel is is only offered in fruit punch flavor. It contains 15 grams of dextrose. You can purchase a single pouch, a three pack, or a six pack of pouches. TRUEplus gel is perfect for people on the go, tear the top off and squeeze the gel into your mouth. TRUEplus gel is fat free, gluten free and lactose free. It’s available for about $5 per pouch.
You can order these on Amazon.
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As you can see there are many gels to choose from but it’s important to always keep fast acting gel on you at all times. When symptoms like dizziness and hunger strike and your blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dL you need to take action before severe hypoglycemia occurs.
Always alert family and friends as to where you keep your dextrose in case they need to get it for you in an emergency. Gels are typically preferred over liquids, powders and tablets because they are easier to swallow than a tablet and can be taken more quickly than a liquid. Gels also act fast, so they restore blood sugar levels very quickly.