Author Topic: Hypoglycemia and the military  (Read 6082 times)

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Offline MissMercury

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Hypoglycemia and the military
« on: September 10, 2015, 00:20:10 »
Hello to all the medical folks,

Theoretically speaking, if someone had Hypoglycemia, is it grounds for release or can this be actively treated and managed within the ranks?

Thanks,

MissMercury
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Offline ModlrMike

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 00:52:59 »
Firstly, no one here is going to be able to give you the answer you seek.

That being said, hypoglycemia can generally be managed by diet and close glucose monitoring. Unfortunately one of the BFORs within Universality of Service is "able to tolerate irregular meal hours, sometimes missing meals". I'm sure you can see how hypoglycemia may be incompatible with that requirement.

If I had to give you a number, I would think that you would have at least a G4 category.

Disclosure: I've not done a T-Cat/P-Cat medical on someone in eight years, so my information may be out of date.
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Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 05:57:13 »
Hello to all the medical folks,

Theoretically speaking, if someone had Hypoglycemia, is it grounds for release or can this be actively treated and managed within the ranks?

Thanks,

MissMercury

Not speaking theoretically, hypoglycemia is an emergent symptom, quickly treated by giving someone glucose and fluids.

The cause of the hypoglycemia is usually a larger condition which may or may not be easily addressed.
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Offline BinRat55

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2015, 10:17:10 »
Not speaking theoretically, hypoglycemia is an emergent symptom, quickly treated by giving someone glucose and fluids.

The cause of the hypoglycemia is usually a larger condition which may or may not be easily addressed.

Is this like "My diabetes causes me to have hypoglycemia..."? Is there a difference between hypo / hyperglycemia and diabetes, or are they symptomes of the disease?
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Offline MissMercury

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2015, 12:28:27 »
Thanks All,

I appreciate your responses. I think I would just monitor it myself with a $40 gluco-meter and educate myself on what I should/shouldn't be eating.
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Offline ModlrMike

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2015, 12:33:19 »
Thanks All,

I appreciate your responses. I think I would just monitor it myself with a $40 gluco-meter and educate myself on what I should/shouldn't be eating.

And seek medical care now. You can die from hypoglycemia.
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher,smarter, faster and better looking than most people.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. (H.L. Mencken 1919)
Zero tolerance is the politics of the lazy. All it requires is that you do nothing and ban everything.

Offline BinRat55

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2015, 12:42:15 »
Thanks All,

I appreciate your responses. I think I would just monitor it myself with a $40 gluco-meter and educate myself on what I should/shouldn't be eating.

Most glucometers are free when purchasing the strips that go with it... can run quite expensive depending on the type of meter you have. In my opinion, for the 30 bucks extra, I would go with the one that measures your cholesterol as well! Cool tool!
Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake - Napoleon Bonaparte

Offline MissMercury

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2015, 13:01:36 »
I mentioned that I was getting sugar lows to my MO a few weeks ago. She seemed skeptical and told me I don't have diabetes (I was like, I know I don't have diabetes, that's not what I said). She said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Tons of people have hypoglycemia and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Just make sure you eat enough protein and keep a snack available"
I know I could die from it, and there have been a few times where I feel like I'm going to pass out if I don't get food into me. She didn't seem to concerned.

My friend has type 1 diabetes and I was at her place last night. We checked my blood a couple times and I was at 4.4 and 4.1, that was after supper then after a snack. And that was me feeling "normal". She didn't even want to let me drive home and gave me a granola bar... But I also don't want to lose my career. I love what I do. I would love to have my test strips covered and see an endocrinologist and a dietitian, but not if it means losing my career. My trade is a G2, an I'm already on a G3 PCAT for another condition. It's scary to think that going for medical help could spell the end of my career.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2015, 13:06:22 »
Better to lose your career than to suffer permanent damage to your health.

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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2015, 13:11:49 »
Better to lose your career than to suffer permanent damage to your health.

Or cause someone else harm if you pass out behind the wheel.

Go see your MO again, list all the symptoms and be very frank with them. Also keep in mind this from the QR&Os:

Quote
19.18 - CONCEALMENT OF DISEASE

An officer or non-commissioned member who is suffering or suspects he is suffering from a disease shall without delay report himself sick.

Offline BinRat55

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2015, 13:17:18 »
This is me - JUST me and my humble opinion, but I want to think you are overly concerned. I wouldn't worry about it. You say you would love to have your test strips covered.... why do you have test strips to begin with? Was your sugar level noted in some bloodwork you had recently? And was it noted with some great importance? I honestly do not think a couple 4.0 readings are abnormal (taken on it's face). Do you smoke? Consume alcohol? Have any other medication in your system at any given time? How about coffee? There are a plethora of reasons you may have low blood sugar. Pain and sleep also affects sugars.

You can go into any pharmacy at any time and they will test you for free. You can also see your doc and ask for a referral to a dietitian - for free!

I was told that you are not diagnosed with any form of diabetes until you have had 3 consecutive tests (not with a glucometer, but an A1C1 or a fasting plasma test). I can't seem to get my sugars below 14 and I am on 3 different pills. Never went over a G3. But again, that's my experience.

I think your career is safe at the moment - just do like you said - see a dietitian, eat as well as you can, exercise as frequently as possible and pay attention to your body.
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Offline BinRat55

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2015, 13:19:07 »
Puck is very right. If you mention it to your MO, and after a workup is done your MO is not concerned, carry on!
Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake - Napoleon Bonaparte

Offline MissMercury

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2015, 13:27:28 »
I probably don't even have anything. I will get the gluco-meter and track my blood sugar over the coming months. I have another appt with her before Christmas. I'll hand over the meter and discuss with her then if I need to take further action.

Thanks BinRat. I am only concerned because of the episodes I've been having where I feel like I'm going to pass out if I don't eat. I don't smoke or drink at all. I can afford a couple hundred test strips from now till Dec to test myself when I'm feeling one of those lows, to see if it is indeed low blood sugar, or something else. I seriously doubt I have diabetes, as it seems that my insulin is over-producing and not the opposite.

I will touch base with my MO about it again. I should mention for the record, that I made no attempt to hide this from my MO. From my perspective, I have done my due diligence in that regard.
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Offline BinRat55

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Re: Hypoglycemia and the military
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2015, 13:41:50 »
I hear you loud and clear. I know that you're on the up-n-up, just concerned for your health and your career. It's not wrong. If I may suggest, a couple hundred test strips is an awful lot - use wisely. No need to test many times a day. If you test for three days upon rising from bed and get the same # each time, stop testing for that period. It will be a given. You know your sugars will be out after meals (it is also a given). Do a random test maybe a few hours after lunch, stagger that an hour either way for a week. Then do one more an hour or two before bed time. Stagger that one as well for a week. And when you notice your lightheaddedness (low bloodsugar also comes with nausea) test immediately (while drinking juice or lemonade (I love lemonade!!). Record your scores on a chart. People will say your meter will keep these - that's all well and good, but your meter can't tell you what you ate an hour ago, exercise or stress patterns. Write these and any other pertinant info you think could be important into your chart.

You should use about 20 for the first two weeks, then test every other day or every 3-4 days. Good luck and I hope it works out well for you!
Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake - Napoleon Bonaparte