Published on 14 February 2020

University of Chester students raised awareness about type 1 diabetes and hypoglycaemia at the uni’s Nutrition Fair recently.

Awareness of type 1 diabetes and understanding hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) was the focus of a health information stall held by a trio of students at the University of Chester recently.

Laura Osborne (20), Mia Williams (21) and Bethany Mason (20) are third year students studying BSc Nutrition and Dietetics (Hons) at the University of Chester.

On the third and final year of the course the Nutrition and Dietetics and Human Nutrition department opens the Nutrition Fair to the public.

Laura said: “We chose to increase the public health awareness of type 1 diabetes and increase hypoglycaemia awareness, as we feel this is a poorly understood and stigmatised condition in the public eye.

“Many aspects of health education such as first aid training fail to mention how to respond to a person experiencing hypoglycaemia (also known as a hypo). Failure to recognise symptoms can be life threatening.”

Groups chose what they felt was important in public health and designed their own stall to showcase to visitors on the day.

The process involved planning, collecting resources and producing leaflets. The students sourced a selection of the DRWF diabetes information leaflets to display and distribute from their stall.

The process was assessed by internal and external examiners, and the grade contributes to each student’s degree.

Laura added: “Our stall aimed to contextualise how type 1 diabetes affects people living with the condition, and how people who are in contact with people living with type 1 diabetes can correctly respond to instances of hypoglycaemia.”

A selection of sugar cubes.

On the day Laura, Mia and Beth distributed DRWF diabetes information leaflet resources on their stall in addition to producing their own leaflet – for which they won a prize!

Laura said: “The event was a huge success! Our stall won one of two prizes available on the day, for the most informative leaflet.

“We tried our best to translate a very complex condition to something understandable to adults who have not before heard of type 1 diabetes.

“The judges said that the need for hypoglycaemia awareness in the general public was crucial, and with gaps in education, for example in first aid training, our stall was extremely relevant, and the leaflets were insightful.”

“We would like to thank DRWF for being so helpful and generous in providing resources for our stall!”

Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)

Symptoms of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) can include a person feeling dizzy, sweaty, shaky, or lightheaded. This should be treated quickly with glucose tablets or sweets, though not chocolate.

Causes of hypoglycaemia can include; not enough sugar being consumed, too much blood sugar being used up through increased physical activity, or diabetes medication doses being too high.

Alcohol, hot weather, diarrhoea and vomiting can also increase the risk.

Spotting the signs and reducing the risk of hypoglycaemic episodes is something people with type 1 diabetes deal with every day as part of their management of the condition.
The FREE DRWF Diabetes Check-up Card includes a list of symptoms of hypoglycaemia, of low blood sugar levels, to remind people with type 1 diabetes what to look out for. 
Read the full series of DRWF diabetes information leaflets
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