Hypo Unwareness

WI am having a lot of hypo unawareness. The transmitter on my Dexcom CGM expired about a month ago. I will get another once I can save up the $900. I have been T1D for 35 years. In the past year I have had hypo unawareness occurring more and more. My overall health is good with no severe complications. I am only 52 and have been advised by my Dr not to live alone. My daughter goes to college in the fall so I am nervous. Anyone else out there living with this issue?

I am. And have been a T1 for 40 years. I dont feel when a low is approaching and can drop quickly from 100 to 40. The more lows I have the less I feel them. I always have sugar in some form on me and keep it at my bedsise. The CGM i tegrated to the medtronic pump which goess into suspend mode automatically has been a lifesaver.

I am considering going to the Medtronic with the integrated CGM. I need something that can take over when I cannot. I’ve been happy with the Dexcom CGM thus far but I’ve had difficulty hearing it at times if I am in a deep sleep. I woke up this morning at 30 and did not even know I was low but I was not using a sensor. I keep a coke by my bedside and in my purse. I just need to know at all times my BG.

Same issue. My kids left for college 8 years age and I’ve lived alone since then. I use a dexcom but am not sure it really helps with those lows that come on super-fast. I won’t deny there have been some scary times!

I have tried to ease up a bit on my target BG. And I often have a snack before bed (I like extend bars that I get at Walgreens. They say they’ll keep your blood sugar level for 9 hours.). Also it helps to have a friend who will check in on you daily. My ex-husband texts me morning and night and if he doesn’t hear back, he will investigate further. A little strange I guess, but reassuring.

@synstokesyahoo-com hi Synthia, hypo unawareness is an issue for a lot of us with t1 a long time. in my opinion, it’s a kind of neuropathy.

The best bet is to work with your endocrinologist. They will likely want you to keep your blood sugar at 140 +/- 50 for a few weeks. This helps some people regain some awareness. The theory is that your body can get used to anything. IF you run around at 60mg/dl (fill in a number here it doesn’t matter if it’s 55 or 300 mg/dl) it will eventually feel normal. Once that happens your body does not react as strongly with stress hormones, which is where your hypo awareness comes from. Also, the endo can help determine if you have an adrenaline issue which would be a physical problem preventing hypo awareness.

the CGM is a good idea because if it is working it can alarm. upping your finger stick monitoring is also good advice. I have heard that service animals, such as dogs, can actually tell if you have low blood sugar, and can be trained to get your attention. this may be of some help - but I have no idea who to contact for service animals.

good luck!


To live alone, you definitely need your Dexcom CGM. Be sure to get it before your daughter moves away.

I have had T1D for 43 years. In 2016 I had 2 low blood sugars episodes while driving 2 weeks in a row. 2 car accidents, one with my car and one with a rental. Because my new insurance waited a long time to approve sensors (I use medtronic enlite sensors with my pump). I also live alone, both of my kids are in college. I’ve gotten used to being alone and I would recommend that you check more often. Set a timer to remember. That’s all you can do until you can afford a new Dexcom.

Hi Lisa @lisabw26,
I certainly hope that your new CGM will work properly and alert you when dropping so there will not be any more car crashes. Now with 60 years trying to manage living on insulin I suppose it is time for me begin a new CGm - I test drove a CGM 15+ years ago that kept giving false alarms. BUT, as a safety, I have a rule that I do not remove the steering wheel lock bar [I drive a 27 year old 2-seat ragtop] until I use my BG Meter - just last week when cleaning the car I had to empty about a hundred used check-strips from the ashtrat - yeah, remember ashtrays?

Thank you all for your insight. I have included them in my arsenal of ideas to manage this insidious disease. We are lucky that technology has made such great strides. I see my Endo on Friday and will discuss this with him. Thanks again!

Hi Dennis. I like the idea of having something in the car to remind you to check. I think my niece had something that prevented her from driving if her blood sugar was low (she lives in the UK). I check BS automatically when coming and going to work, but there are times…I keep lots of glucose tabs and juice boxes in the car too.

Dennis, 60 years is incredible. When I was diagnosed there were only beef and pork insulin and BG meters were just becoming available. You must have lived thru the years of boiling syringes. How old were you when diagnosed?


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Hello Synthia! I’ve been diabetic for almost 11 years and have had all too much experience with hypo unawareness. It looks like you’ve already gotten a few good suggestions, but here’s one more. Have you considered getting a diabetes service dog? They are scent trained using cotton balls soaked in your saliva while you are experiencing hypos. The idea is that they will smell when you are starting to go low and alert you. This may not be any more cost effective than a CGM, but you may want to look into it. My younger sister was able to have her dog trained as a diabetes service dog for FREE, I think by getting a grant or other assistance from the organization that trained the dogs. Seems like that may be a good option to help you maintain independence.

Yes Synthia @synstokesyahoo-com I had one glass syringe and two stainless steel needles which had to be boiled before use. The needles were about the size of 3d nails and the syringe had two scales for measuring insulin doses; a green scale for U-80 NPH Insulin and a U-40 scale for Regular Insulin. I don’t want to return to those days.

I will always remember the day and date of diagnosis - july 4th the day following my 16th birthday - took that long for the hospital to get a “sugar reading” on my blood. Yeah, on my 16th I was too weak to stand, having been in denial for a few months telling everyone nothing was wrong with me and that I felt great. How foolish can a 15 year old guy be.

Blood sugar was determined by dripping blood drawn from a vein on yeast and watching for a couple of days to see what would grow - something like brewing beer. In the 1970’s the first “home” BG checking was done with a reaction strip on which a drop of blood was placed for exactly 25 seconds, whipped off and the shade of blue compared against a chart - not very good. The first meters attempted to aid in reading the color on the check-strip and were somewhat OK. Later in the 1980’s the first digital BG Meters arrived and those and the check-strips were very expensive.

Life now is GREAT!

The stories you could tell. An awesome testimony. Every T1D should hear about those times. Thank you for sharing.


Kara I once read about a lady whose chihuahua service dog would lie around her neck when she was driving to alert her to lows. I am a dog lover and have three. That may be something to consider. I hope this worked well for your sister.

What about setting up a Go Fund Me account to get m money for your transmitter? Blessings.

I’ll get it soon enough. That is what tax refunds are for right. LOL

Hey. I have had this about the same amount of time and have the same issue. I like the Freestyle Libre. It’s not a pump but it can help you keep track of your numbers. I love it! Ask your doctor about it, and it’s not as expensive as the Deacon.

Hi Synthia,
I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 28 years now and only on Medtronic insulin pump. I have experienced many hypoglycemic episodes myself, and it’s a good thing you are on the CGM as well!!! I would get it but I don’t feel like having another object attached to my body as the pump is enough to handle for me right now.
I hope I am addressing this to the right person who said they are hard of hearing, and my advice would be if it is possible, to put the CGM on vibrate, so you will feel it.

I agree the Dexcom CGM is hard to hear. I usually have it on the nightstand next to me. I think they are addressing this issue in the next version. I have a pump band belt that I sometimes wear. I should probably put it on when I sleep.


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