Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's all in the Dex

Lately I’ve been in discussions of lows and their fixes.

I average at LEAST 1 low BG per day. Some days it’s 5, some days it’s none (that’s rare). Most days it’s at least one but more often more. There are different KINDS of lows too. Fast acting slippity slide down the rabbit hole lows. Slow sneaky stealthy lows. Either way, once they have my properties melting a low is a low is a low. I could be in the 3’s (50-70) or 2’s (36-50) and occasionally even the 1’s (18-36).

Is this too many? Depends who you ask. I would always rather be low than high because lows are quickly fixed and highs can take forever. Yeah they feel worse initially but the feeling I get from high BG is one I’d rather OD on insulin in order to avoid. It’s like climbing a hill. Would you rather get to the top the shortest steepest route or the longest slowest route? Bunny hill vs. double black diamond? I guess you could say I’m a risk taker. A chronic over-doser? Yeah, probably.

I am a big fan of glucose tablets.

They taste horrible, have a terrible chalky texture and are more expensive than candy. Sure there are flavours I favour more than others but they all taste nasty no matter what.

Sounds wonderful right? Mmmm.... mmm... mm.

There seems to be a divide in the diabetes community with people who use glucose tablets and those who refuse. I don’t really care what other people use but I’ve been asked why I use something as nasty as Dex.

Well, they’re easy to use, first of all. I know if I can just get 4 of them in that’s 16g of carbs. It doesn’t matter if I am half asleep or totally awake, eventually they will dissolve in my mouth. When I go low (especially lately for some reason) my whole mouth and tongue go numb. Chewing and swallowing become strenuous and difficult. With Dex I *chomp chomp* a couple times and then wait for it to dissolve. I also get what I call my “push puppet” scully where I completely lose all ability to hold myself upright. I can’t use muscles and that includes the ones in my jaw. I literally turn to mush when I’m low.

Dex packs a good glucose punch. It provides - according to their website – the exact sugar (d-glucose) your cells need for energy and quick relief from symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Now, I don’t know what the fuck d-glucose is but I’m sure is important.

Any way… they are fast. Nothing I’ve used fixes my lows faster than Dex. They aren’t full of chemicals and artificial ingredients which a lot of real candy has. Most importantly? It’s impossible for me to over-treat a low because glucose tablets taste like SHIT and I’m never tempted to eat them if I wasn’t low.

I know a lot of people use lows to sometimes have a tasty treat. I prefer a nasty fix I guess. I’m not usually in the right mindset to enjoy anything so it ends up being a waste of something good. Sure there are times I have juice boxes (only while at home) but because I have such a hard time chewing and swallowing while low, that omits most options. I also use bananas sometimes if the low is fairly… low key… get it? HA!

So any way… I use Dex, like, a lot.

I wish this was a review and I was getting free samples. Sadly, it is not. I buy all my own Dex out-of-pocket thankyouverymuch.


  1. I'm a Dex-girl too. They work well and they work quickly. And I actually like the taste.

    So, have you discovered any cheap places to buy them? I usually stock up at Shoppers or the grocery store but if you've found a cheaper option - I'm all ears.

    Can we claim them as medical expenses? I mean we're obviously not eating them just for the heck of it.

  2. Here in the US, Target makes their own brand of glucose tabs (it's labeled under their "up" brand). They are cheaper than Dex and are the exact same. Perhaps stock up next time you're at a Target? I also only use glucose tabs. I keep them everywhere.

    Just last night around 5:30 a.m. my DexCom alarmed saying I was 62. I ate 3 tabs, passed out again and woke up at 7:30 a.m. at 92. Nailed it.

    1. Yeah I often stock up on the UP brand when I'm down there. I don't find they dissolve quite the same though. They seem to need more chewing.
      I know it sounds silly but chewing is something I can't really do when I'm low!
      Awesome job on nailing the low. Half the time I don't remember eating many of them when I'm asleep but I do.

  3. I actually like the taste of Dex...especially the Green Apple flavour! I've been known to go through a bottle in a couple of days because I can't stop eating them! Do you do any shopping at Costco? I've found Dex there to be about $2 cheaper than anywhere else.

    1. Yes I remember our green apple twitter conversation. :P
      I was telling Celine that I go to Costco sometimes too but I also drive out of my way and pay a little extra for the green apple and tropical fruit flavours because those are the two that are less gross than the others.
      It's kind of worth it. The cost doesn't bother me so much.

  4. I hope when people talk about buying Dex they mean the big bottles of 50. The small tubes of 10 are great for carrying around, but they are more like ~$2 where the big ones are $5-7. There are many labels, but I've found any that say made with Dex4 are safe. The other ones were always chalky and gross and not worth the cheaper cost.

    I do keep juice at work and at home though. It's just so much easier to take a swig of juice than to chomp on dex, so I save them for ease of carrying around instead.

  5. I'm not sure you really care, but d-glucose (otherwise known as dextrose) is one of two stereo-isomers of glucose. The other isomer, l-glucose, while just as sweet as dextrose can't be used by the body for energy. That is, it's not going to help your lows.

    Also, it doesn't occur naturally and can only be synthesized in a lab; in my opinion this makes specifying d-glucose over just glucose as kind of ridiculous. Another marketing ploy... jeez!

  6. Yes Yes Yes! Glucose tabs are my go-to remedy for a bad low as well (you'd be hard-pressed to find juice in my house). They're easy to eat (but not open), don't expire, and I can fit four in my mouth at once...which is a good thing because sometimes I tend to lose count. I use the cheap ReliOn/Walmart ones usually: $1 for a tube of ten, $4 or so for 50.

    As for the 16 vs "prescribed" 15 carbs, I really don't give a rat's ass. I got in this situation by wrongly estimating something, so a one-carb difference in treatment is really insignificant.

    Love your take on d-glucose, by the way!

  7. I just saw a SACK of glucose tabs at CVS the size of a bag of flour. For the frugal pessimist. Or pragmatist. I guess lows happen and glucose tabs probably have a verrrrry long shelf life.


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