Hypo Awareness Week 2015

06 October 2015

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust encourages people who experience day- or night-time hypos to TALK Hypos with their doctor or nurse.

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust encourages people who experience day- or night-time hypos to TALK Hypos with their doctor or nurse.

New research shows that people living with diabetes are not managing night-time hypos: a serious complication of the condition.

Chelsea and Westminster is encouraging local residents with diabetes to TALK Hypos throughout Hypo Awareness Week 2015 (5–11 October). The TALK Hypos campaign encourages people with diabetes and their health teams to discuss hypoglycaemia (hypos); one of the most common complications of diabetes.

This year’s TALK Hypos campaign has an increased focus on night-time hypos. Findings of a survey being released to coincide with Hypo Awareness Week found that night-time hypos are common with approximately two-thirds (66%) of people having experienced a night-time hypo in the month prior to the survey. Despite this, one third (32%) fail to report their night-time hypos to their doctor or nurse. Encouragingly, the survey found that of those who did report, one third (34%) felt more confident about managing their night-time hypos.

Hypos occur when glucose in the blood falls to a low level, and symptoms can include a pounding heart, trembling, hunger, difficulty concentrating and blurred vision. Symptoms of night-time hypos include waking up with a morning headache, night sweats and extreme tiredness. Night-time hypos can be of particular concern as they can be unpredictable and hard to detect.

Night-time hypos have a significant impact on the lives of people living with diabetes and the survey showed that they can lead to absenteeism from work (21%), a loss of productivity at work (12%) and a reduced desire to socialise (13%) and exercise (12%). Almost half of people (47%) reported that their sleep had been affected by night-time hypos, and one quarter (25%) of people are scared of being alone when experiencing a night-time hypo.

Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence for Diabetes UK, said, “We encourage all people with diabetes to remember the simple TALK Hypos message and to take steps to better manage their day- and night-time hypos. These steps can include simple changes to lifestyle, diet and treatment so it is very important to discuss hypos as part of the regular consultation with your doctor or nurse.”

TALK Hypos is an awareness campaign from Novo Nordisk, supported by Diabetes UK. It provides an acronym to encourage people with diabetes to discuss hypos with their doctor or nurse: 

  • THINK: Do you know what a hypo is? Do you suffer from hypos?
  • ASK: your doctor or nurse about hypos and discuss them as part of your consultation
  • LEARN: what can be done to better manage your hypos, including lifestyle and treatment options
  • KEEP: track of your hypos for discussion with your healthcare professional

The campaign comprises several key patient education materials including waiting room posters and leaflets as well as a patient education video that is hosted on the Diabetes UK and Novo Nordisk websites.

Emily Jordan, The Diabetes specialist Nurse, commented: ”The TALK Hypos campaign that runs at Chelsea and Westminster through Hypo Awareness Week, with activities that include  a stand in the reception area on the ground floor. The team will have the opportunity to educate staff, patients and relatives on how to recognise and treat hypos appropriately.

“Hypo Awareness Week provides the perfect opportunity for us to be a part of a national campaign to help raise awareness of hypos and improve the wellbeing of people with diabetes. We are encouraging patients and healthcare professionals to TALK Hypos, whether they occur during the day or night, and ensure that they are being appropriately managed.”

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