Does Everyone Have Symptoms From Hypoglycemia
Some people dont have symptoms or dont notice them. Healthcare providers call that situation hypoglycemia unawareness. People with such a challenge arent aware when they need to do something about their blood sugar. Theyre then more likely to have severe episodes and need medical help. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should check their blood sugar more often.
Diabetic Fainting: Two Types Of Syncope
Fainting, also called syncope, results from a temporary insufficiency in the supply of blood to the brain. Syncope can be the result of many disorders, some benign and some more serious. Some of the complications of diabetes can lead to episodes of syncope.
Two Types of Syncope
There are two primary body systems that are responsible for fainting. The first is the autonomic nervous system – the brain, nerves and spinal cord. These are the areas of the body that automatically regulate such functions as heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure. The second is the cardiovascular system.
Autonomic Nervous System Syncope
This type of syncope is also known as neurally mediated syncope, and it is the most common cause for fainting. It results from a failure of the autonomic nervous system to maintain blood pressure at an appropriate level. This may be due to a momentary slowing or pause of the heart or, conversely, an abnormal speeding of the heart rate upon standing .
The triggers can also be as simple as seeing something unpleasant , sudden heat or sudden pain.
Coughing or sneezing, or even laughing can also cause a fainting spell. This is called situational syncope.
Blood sugar levels also have an impact. If blood glucose is not well controlled, it can damage nerve fibers. This damage can happen to the nerves that control blood pressure, resulting in ineffective control of blood pressure, increasing the incidence of fainting.
The Science Behind A Blackout
A blackout occurs when alcohol causes a disruption in the link between your long-term and short-term memory. Medically speaking, there can be a partial disruption between the two types of memory, and this is referred to as a brownout. During a partial disruption, you may remember events by a verbal or visual clue, as opposed to a total blackout where you have no idea what happened. During a blackout, the memory loss is permanent.
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Warning Signs Of Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia can cause both short- and long-term complications. Know the signs so that you can treat the condition as soon as you’re aware of it.
As a person living with diabetes, you know how important it is to reduce blood sugar when it is too high, a phenomenon called hyperglycemia. But blood sugar that is too low, or hypoglycemia, is equally critical to avoid.
“Hypoglycemia happens when the amount of blood glucose drops to a level that’s too low to sustain normal functioning,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, who is based in Sparta, New Jersey. “In most people, this is defined as a blood sugar level at or below 70 milligrams per deciliter .”
Hypoglycemia is common among people with type 2 diabetes, according to a review published in June 2015 in the journal PLoS One. Individuals with the condition had an average of 19 mild or moderate episodes of hypoglycemia per year and nearly one severe episode per year on average, according to the researchers. Low blood sugar was particularly common among those taking insulin.
This decrease in blood sugar levels can cause both short-term complications, like confusion and dizziness, as well as more serious issues, including seizures, coma, and, rarely, death, according to the American Diabetes Association .
Hypoglycemia is usually the result of a too-high dose of insulin or a change in diet or exercise habits, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Dont Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar
It’s dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if needed. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on. Be prepared. Keep a sugar source, such as glucose tablets, in your car at all times for emergencies.
Allina Health: âNon-diabetic Hypoglycemia.”
Endotext: “Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia.”
UW Health: âNutrition Management of Low Blood Sugar without Diabetes .â
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: âHow to Give an Emergency Glucagon Injection to Treat Low Blood Sugar.â
American Diabetes Association: âHypoglycemia .â
Joslin Diabetes Center: âDriving with Diabetes,â âHow To Treat A Low Blood Glucose,â âIs Low Blood Glucose Dangerous?â âOral Diabetes Medications Summary Chart,â âPrandin âOral Hypoglycemic Agent.â”
Journal of the American Medical Association: âFactitious Hypoglycemia Due to Chlorpropamide: Report of a Case, with Clinical Similarity to an Islet Cell Tumor of the Pancreas.â
AMN Healthcare: âAdvances in Diabetes, Part II: Oral Medications.â
Physiciansâ Desk Reference: âAllopurinol,â âCoumadin,â âProbenecid.â
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: âLow Blood Glucose .â
Hormone Health Network: âNon Diabetic Hypoglycemia.â
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: âHypoglycemia .â
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Causes Symptoms Diagnosis Treatments And Support
When youre diabetic, a severe drop in blood sugar can strike even when youre doing everything right. Glucose is your bodys main source of energy and fuels your brain, so its critical to recognize the early signs of an episode before it becomes severe enough to cause you to pass out or worse. Were here to empower you with clear answers to all your pressing Qs.
How Can I Stop My Blood Sugar From Crashing
Here are a few ways to avoid hypoglycemic episodes:
- Get in the habit of self-monitoring your blood glucose. Keeping track of when your blood sugar drops can help you recognize aspects of your routine that may be contributing to your hypoglycemia. Dr. Klonoff recommends a continuous glucose monitor. Its the best tool for automatically checking your blood glucose levels around the clock, he says.
- Change your meal plan. When, what, how much, and how often you eat all play a big part in your blood glucose levels. A dietitian can teach you about healthy, well-balanced food choices that will make it easier for you to maintain an acceptable blood sugar range.
- Keep a stash of glucose tablets on hand. With your doctor’s recommendation, make sure you always have glucose tablets with you. You can stick them in your briefcase, purse, car, desk, school locker, etc. You may also want to keep snacks nearbyfor example, cheese or peanut butter crackers, although doctors suggest over-the-counter glucose tablets for more accurate dosage. Do not eat a healthy sugar-free candy bar during hypoglycemia, warns Dr. Klonoff. Its lack of sugar means that it will not raise your blood glucose level sufficiently when you want it to.
- Certain drinks can help get your blood sugar up as well. Try 8 oz. of fruit juice, a soft drink , or a cup of milk.
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When To Call 911
Your friend, relative, or coworker should call 911 for help if:
- You pass out and no glucagon is available
- You need a second dose of glucagon
- You had glucagon, but are still confused
- Your blood sugar stays too low 20 minutes after treatment or doesnt respond to your usual treatments
The emergency medical technicians can give you IV sugar . This raises your blood sugar level right away. You might need to stay in the hospital for a few hours.
NEVER be afraid to call 911 or ask someone to call 911 for you if you are concerned .
Other things to know about hypoglycemia:
It takes time for blood sugar to rise after eating, and its important to give your first treatment time to work. Use the table above to guide your treatment and timing instead of eating until you feel better, which will almost always lead to eating too much.
Hypoglycemia can be common with certain types of exercise. Managing blood sugar during and after physical activity is important and is something that a lot of people with T1D have questions about. JDRF has a number of resources available for people with T1D and their families, many of which can be found here.
Replies On Blacked Out From Hypoglycemia
hypoglycemia is low blood sugar below 70 mg/dL or 3.89 mmol/Lhyperglycemia is diabetes high blood sugar above 126 mg/dL or 7.00 mmol/L
hypo will cause dizzy blackout coma because not enough sugar going to the brain. i dont think you have hypo if heredity is suspected. because your grandpa is hyper
i had a blackout missed the subway station often, the brain scan shown a dark spot at the back of the brain , the neurologist didnt pursue farther.
you should see a neurologist for the blackout.
a portable meter measure the sugar in the plasma. in the lab blood test they measure sugar in plasma A1C sugar in red blood cells hemoglobin average reading for the past 6 wks. .
you should have a blood test done by the lab
sugar in plasma is not reliable, it is up and down depends on the time of day , could lead to wrong diagnostic. so most doctors rely on A1C results to prescribe medication
A1C = 3.63 for hypo and A1C = 5.70 for hyper
the relationship of A1C and plasma glucose in the internet is not uniform, the most reliable is using the following experimental formula%A1C = / 35.6 or%A1C = / 1.98
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Alcohol And Blood Sugar
However, its not only the high sugar content of alcohol that can affect your body drinking to excess has also been shown to have a negative effective on blood sugar.
When a person drinks alcohol, the body reacts to it as a toxin, and channels all energy into expelling it.
This means that other processes are interrupted including the production of glucose and the hormones needed to regulate it. This is most noticeable is in heavy drinkers, as over time drinking too much alcohol decreases the effectiveness of insulin, which leads to high blood sugar levels.
Alcohol also affects blood sugar levels each time its consumed, which means occasional drinkers can also be negatively impacted. Alcohol consumption causes an increase in insulin secretion, which leads to low blood sugar . This causes light headedness and fatigue, and is also responsible for a host of longer-term alcohol-related health problems.
What Can You Do If You Feel Like You’re Going To Faint
- Lie down flat with your legs up on a chair or against a wall or sit down on the ground with your head between your knees. Do not just sit on a chair.
- Squatting down on your heels can be very effective and is less noticeable in public.
- When feeling better, get up carefully. If symptoms return, resume the position.
If you faint again:
- Discuss with your doctor stopping any medication that may be responsible.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Drink more fluids such as water or soft drinks.
- Wear support stockings.
- Do leg crossing and arm tensing exercises.
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How Long Will The Effects Last
The effects of low blood sugar will continue and may even get worse until treatment brings your blood sugar level back to normal. It may take several minutes for the symptoms to go away after you start treatment. This may be a temporary problem while you and your healthcare provider are adjusting your medicine. If you are always prone to having low blood sugar, you may need to take special care for the rest of your life to keep your blood sugar at the proper level.
What If Im Experiencing Hypoglycemic Episodes Even Though My Doctor Has Confirmed That Im Not Diabetic Or Prediabetic
If you have low blood sugar and dont have diabetes or prediabetes, it can be a sign of another serious health issue such as a tumor, hormone deficiency, kidney disorder, anorexia, or other eating disorder, all of which can cause dangerously low blood sugar.
Anorexia has the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder, and the cause of death can be hypoglycemia, so take your illness seriously and seek help if you suspect your eating disorder may be progressing to the point where it is causing you to faint or experience other signs and symptoms of dangerously low blood sugar. The National Eating Disorders Association has resources on how to identify the signs that you may have an eating disorder, a hotline for help, as well as easily accessible information on everything from how to know when you need help to how to find quality treatment options in your zip code.
People who are not diabetic don’t spontaneously have hypoglycemia for no reason, explains Dr. Christofides. Its often an indication of another underlying issue, such as a hormone deficiency or eating disorder, so its important to schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause in order to prevent complications.
Common causes of hypoglycemia in people without diabetes include:
- Pancreatic tumor
- Medication that inhibits the proper production of insulin
- Hepatitis or kidney disorders
- Hormone deficiencies
- Anorexia and other eating disorders
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Get A Free Diabetes Meal Plan
Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.
What Is The Treatment For Fainting
Fainting is not normal, although the cause may not be serious. If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, call 911 or go to the nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Department. If an AED is available, have a bystander begin CPR.
- If the fainting episode is resolves quickly, and the person returns to normal function with no evidence of injury, it may be appropriate to contact a primary care doctor to discuss care options.
- Often, if the fainting episode does not go away quickly, the person will be placed on a heart monitor, have intravenous line fluids, and oxygen supplied. A fingerstick blood sugar may be checked to test for low blood .
- Treatment for the cause of fainting will be tailored to each person.
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A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving
You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or you’re at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but you’ll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while you’re driving.
You also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.
For more information, see:
How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.
Low Or High Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar occurs when your blood glucose drops below your target range. This usually happens at less than 70 mg/dl, but everyones range is different. It is best to talk to your doctor about what is healthy for you. Often, when you experience low blood sugar, you will need to take action to fix it quickly.
Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level
If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:
- Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
- Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
- Do not skip meals.
- Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
- Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
- Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you’re asleep
If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.
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