Why, Can-Am Care of course. You just don't know you're calling on them. 'Cause this is the company that makes 80-90% of the drugstore variety glucose tab and gel products on the market, under various regional brand names at all the big-name stores -- including Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Sam's Club, Longs, CVS, Target, Kmart, and Costco. They're gearing up for a big hypoglycemia awareness campaign to promote their own brand-name, Dex4 products.
"Hypoglycemia is the number one side effect of insulin... and right now, our only real competition for treating it is candy, cola and juice," a company marketing exec tells me. Weird to think of lows as a business proposition. But he has point: "None of those options treat your hypoglycemia any faster, plus they pack in additional calories, and fat, and they're hard to gauge, so you end up over-treating with too many carbs."
They're especially proud of their new glucose tab flavors, including grape-raspberry, watermelon, sour apple, and cremÃ©. Eccchhh... I usually prefer nice juicy raisins to pasty sweet tabs these days. But over-treating is an ongoing issue, 'cause I do love raisins.
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The Dex4 folks have an answer to that, too. It's another one of these, duh-why-hasn't-anyone-done that-before? moves: they've created glucose gel, and also a new concentrated drink, that actually have indicator markings on the side of the package so you can see exactly how many grams of carb you've ingested.
They've also created little 15-gram drinks they were originally calling "Glucose Shots," but killed that name for obvious reasons. The new name, "Glucose Liquid Blast," definitely makes hypoglycemia sound more fun. Or at least makes the treatment sound more turbo-charged :)
I tasted lemon-lime and berry flavor at the AADE expo recently. You could make nice cocktails with this sweet stuff! Not that I remember what those taste like...
The company's big on reminding us that "the fastest way to combat hypoglycemia and get your blood sugar where it should be is to take d-glucose (i.e. dextrose), the exact kind of glucose in Dex4 products. They contain exact amounts of d-glucose to rapidly get your blood sugar level to where it needs to be."
Meanwhile, if you're not dropping quite so dramatically, but need just a little pick-me-up, say on a long walk, try Glucose RapidSpray from Generex. This one's also composed mainly of dextrose, with a little all-natural orange or raspberry flavoring and binding agents thrown in. Five squirts or more should do you. And hey, this sugar spray's not just for us PWDs, you know. The company notes that "athletes use it for energy, students for concentration, and some people even use it as a fat-free snack." Really?
btw, note that Generex is also the company developing Oral-lynâ„¢ oral insulin spray, which they tell me is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials, meaning headed to market within 2-3 years if all goes well. Hmm, fresh breath and basal dosing, too? And this means that soon, we can spray our blood sugar UP or DOWN, as needed? Wow.
Meanwhile, for the next few years, at least we know who to call if we're feeling weird, and it don't look good...