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I’m a type 1 diabetic which started when I was about 12 for no reason as far as I know (and I’m now 18). As a kid I’ve managed really well with my insulin with help from my mum and dad, but obviously as I’ve got older I want to be able to control and manage everything myself. I’ve been really lucky and haven’t had many hypos but I’m hoping to go to University in the next year and am worried that it might happen – I want to be a doc. I want to know the real problem is with hypos? I get that it means low sugar in my blood but that’s about it. Why are they so dangerous and how can I avoid them?

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Hi! Before I try and help you out I’d like to say what a really forward thinking thing it is asking about your diabetes and how it might affect you – it shows a real mature attitude and illustrates how aware kids can be, and that it is possible to be responsible from a young age, so you should be really proud of yourself.

To try and give you an idea about hypos – yeh, you’re completely right, it does mean low blood sugar, but the reason you get low blood sugar is because your body doesn’t produce insulin which is a hormone which helps control blood sugar levels. People who have your type of diabetes have to inject insulin to control that amount of sugar in their blood, and either too much or too little isn’t a good thing. If you give yourself too much insulin, or don’t eat when you’ve given yourself insulin then there’s a chance you’ll have a hypo. What’s bad about them is that it means that you’ll maybe get shaky, dizzy, feel a little weird and maybe not know what you’re doing. It also means that you won’t necessarily know what to do to get yourself right. If you get serious hypoglycaemia it is possible to become unconscious, and if you’re driving that is really, really dangerous so it’s really important that you don’t have hypos. You know the rules – make sure you eat and take your insulin as you’re supposed to, make sure people around you know what to look for and what to do if you do have a hypo, and never feel afraid to ask for help. Good luck! And I hope you make it in your dream career!

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