The Dex4 tablets and gels are super expensive. We don’t have any cheap versions in Canada. I was in the US a few weeks ago and picked up some of the Walgreens ones, but they didn’t seem any cheaper and I was disappointed to see that the ingredients list is longer and more artificial than the Dex4 brand.
For a long time I’ve hated getting up to eat glucose tablets in the middle of the night, to the point where I’ll ignore my Dex and roll over and go back to sleep. I tried using glucose gel as a quick, mindless way to treat lows without even having to sit up, and it worked well, but each tube of gel is $2.50 and only treats one to two lows. So I bought one of the below and have been filling it with corn syrup. It’s worked quite well, but the one downside is that the corn syrup doesn’t seem to kick in as fast as the dextrose syrup. I was wondering if I could buy some of the powdered dextrose available from NOW Foods and mix it in with the corn syrup to get something that’s more concentrated and will act more quickly. Does anyone know if this would work?
I was also wondering if it would be possible to make glucose tablets using the dextrose and something to made it turn solid in a mould. I have no idea how I would do that. But at the moment, Dex4 tablets cost about $10.00 for a container of 50, which seems ridiculously expensive to me. I go through quite a few of them. If I can figure out how to make my own for cheap, I’d want them to be almost the same size and shape as the real glucose tablets because I use the Dex4 tubes and the GoTubb to hold them.
I have no idea if that would work but it seems like an ingenious idea. I’m not sure about the moulds, but I’m guessing there are some candy moulds that would do the trick. I guess the issues would be solidification in a uniform shape and texture and peeling them out of the moulds easily. But I will be very very curious to see how this turns out!!
Hmm, I do have access to Amazon.com but only certain items ship to Canada. I’ll fill up my cart and see if the Dex4 tablets are one of them (and the plastic ice balls that @Michel mentioned, since they don’t seem to be available on Amazon.ca).
One solution is to use Giant Rockets (Smarties in the US), which are cheaper. I may just do that. if you buy them in large bulk amounts. I used those for a while, but I had bought an enormous quantity (enough to last several years) and just haven’t bothered to re-purchase such a large amount.
I don’t care about taste when low. In my opinion, nothing tastes “good” — just last night I over-treated a low with chocolate cookies and they tasted horrible, even though usually they taste great. My main concern is convenience and speed, and I doubt doughnuts fulfil either of those requirements.
I do agree that glucose gel is gross, but there’s no doubt it’s fast. I’ve only ever used glucose tablets to treat lows, even as a kid, so don’t mind it. Things like apple or orange juice taste disgusting to me during a low.
@docslotnick and I have joked about this a bit, but seriously one of the things I have for nighttime is a bag of mini-donuts. They last a long time, and I can easily break off whatever amount I need. 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, or a whole donut or 2. I just take what I need and drop the rest back in the bag for next time. I think it’s easy and kinda tasty too.
@Jen, we use the Dex4 tubes (or equivalent tubes), but we use Skittles or Jellybeans in them. We can put 30 to 32 of each in one tube, and each Skittle or Jellybean is about exactly 1 gram. So we don’t get quite as much density as the glucose tablets per tube, but it’s a lot cheaper and also more precise.
[EDIT] until a few months ago, we were able to put exactly 32 Skittles in each tube, after shaking the tube some to settle them all as well as can be. But the manufacturing changed slightly, and the new Skittles are just slightly larger (although 10 of them still weigh the same on average), so now you can typically fit one less. I don’t think anyone noticed except for PWDs who use the tubes
[EDIT] Corrected value of Skittles to 1 gram (not 1 carb)
I’m going to have to try skittles. We do use Jellybeans already, but you guys are right…there are much cheaper alternatives than the tablets, so we may start investing more money in those other (and yummier) options in the future.
My problem with this is that, when low, there is no way I’d be able to stop at 1/4 or 1/2 a doughnut! Plus, I’d probably have to bake my own (since I don’t know of any I can eat with my food allergies), which would make them even less likely to survive until I had a low. Now you’re making me want to bake some low-carb doughnut holes!!
Donuts would never make it through the night for me anyway. Skittles however… one skittle is approximately 1g of carb?? Am I understanding that right? I carry a huge bag around with me when I am out and about and often shovel them in when low… that might explain those rebounds.
I think it really depends on how fast the low is and how far away you see it coming. We’ve basically concluded that if you treat the low 5 to 10 minutes earlier, pretty much any carb will hit my son in about the same time and in any case there are many situations where he drops low even with the glucose tab…so why spend that time eating glucose tabs if we can help it?
If I’m on top of the low, I offer something he likes that’s more snacky, like cheddar bunnies or saltines. If he’s dropping quick I’ll resort to the candy. At school it’s pretty much glucose tabs.
But I think the idea that we need fast-acting carbs is a little overblown when we have Dexcom numbers, IOB numbers and can see the low coming a mile away most days.