Almost half of the 700,000 diabetics in Hong Kong experience symptoms of low blood sugar levels to varying degrees, a study showed on Monday.
The symptoms, which have been observed in 46 per cent of diabetics, include sweating, dizziness and difficulty standing, according to a study conducted by the Chinese University.
This can be dangerous, the study suggests, as 61 per cent of patients experience these symptoms when they are alone. Seventeen per cent had to be admitted to accident and emergency departments.
Diabetes Hong Kong, a non-subvented charitable organisation that initiated the study, said irregular meal times, taking medicine without consulting doctors, excessive exercise and incorrect coordination of medicine and food intake are the main causes.
Dr Leung Yin-yan, chairman of Diabetes Hong Kong, pointed out that public awareness of this problem is quite low, given that diabetes is a common condition worldwide. The study showed that almost half the patients interviewed did not know what constituted a low blood sugar level.
Diabetes Hong Kong recommends that diabetics maintain a regular lifestyle, carefully follow doctors’ instructions on taking diabetes medication and always carry snacks containing glucose.