How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia
You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:
- Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
- Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
- Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
- Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
- Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
- Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.
How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar levels happen when theres too little glucose left in the bloodstream to continue supplying fuel to your organs, muscles, and tissues. It most often occurs when you dont eat enough food, especially carb-containing foods, given your blood-sugar-lowering medications and physical activity levels, ONeill says. Levels can decrease gradually or suddenly.
When the amount of glucose in the bloodstream drops to too-low levels, the body reacts by releasing epinephrine, also called adrenaline or the fight or flight hormone. Epinephrine revs your heart rate and can cause sweating, shaking, anxiety, and irritability. If not enough glucose is able to reach the brain, the result may be difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, and slurred speech. In extreme cases, a lack of glucose within the brain can lead to seizures, coma, and even death, she says.
People with low glucose levels can use the ADAs 15-15 Rule, which advises people consume 15 g of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check their levels again. If the number is still low, repeat until reaching at least 70 mg/dL.
You can find 15 g of carbs in:
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 small piece of fresh fruit
- cup of yogurt
- Three to four hard candies
- Glucose tablets as indicated on the label
- Glucose gel as indicated on the label
Once your glucose levels are back to normal, the ADA suggests going ahead and eating your next scheduled meal or snack, which will help prevent levels from dropping again.
The Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar levels can happen to kids with diabetes because of the medicines they have to take. Kids with diabetes may need a hormone called insulin and/or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood. These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the level of sugar in the blood go down.
But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act, and blood sugar levels can get too low. Kids with diabetes need to keep their blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low. How do they do it? With help from grown-ups, they keep three things in balance:
Each one of these can affect the other. For instance, eating more might mean a kid needs more insulin. And exercising might create the need for an extra snack. Again, a grown-up can help you learn how to juggle those three activities so you keep feeling good.
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely to happen are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food at a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating something extra
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
- taking a long bath or shower right after an insulin shot
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When Should I Call The Doctor For Dizziness
Dizziness is a common complaint and often has resolved by the time the patient arrives to see a health care professional. Usually there is no rush to seek care. However, while the complaint of dizziness is not often an emergency, seek care immediately if it is accompanied by any of the following:
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations. These symptoms should not be ignored, as they suggest the heart may be the source of the dizziness.
- Dehydration. Often there may be an associated illness including fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- People with diabetes may have dizziness due to low blood sugar or high blood sugar , and may need emergent care to stabilize their insulin and medication requirements.
- Bleeding from any source.
- Altered mental status or thinking. This may include symptoms such as confusion, change in vision, change in speech, facial droop, weakness of one side of the body, or headache. These may be signs of stroke, bleeding in the brain, or tumor.
- FAST warning signs of a stroke:
- Face — facial droop
- Arm — arm or leg weakness
- Speech — difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Time — time is of the essence. Call 911.
Prevention Of Low Blood Sugar
Do not skip or delay meals. If your diet plan includes snacks, make sure to take these.
Measure insulin dosage carefully and inject it properly. If you cannot see well, a family member or a visiting nurse can prepare your insulin injections for you.
Take only the prescribed amount of insulin or oral medication for diabetes that your doctor has ordered.
Keep exercise consistent from day to day. Eat a snack or reduce your insulin prior to unusual exercise.
If you are taking insulin, notify your doctor if you have low blood sugars four or more times per week or if you have a severe low blood sugar. Severe low blood sugars are those less than 40 mg., those requiring help from another person, or those which cause you to have a convulsion or become unconscious.
If you are taking oral medication for your diabetes notify your doctor or nurse if blood sugars are running less than 80 mg. or if you have a severe low blood sugar.
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Severe Low Blood Sugar
As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:
- Feeling weak.
- Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
- Acting strange or feeling confused.
- Having seizures.
Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.
People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.
Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes
People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.
These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.
People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.
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Dizziness Dizziness Associated With Hyperglycemia Can Result From Dehydration And Other Effects Of High Glucose Levels
Although it often occurs without obvious symptoms people sometimes experience headaches nausea or dizziness with elevated blood pressure. Nov 29 2017 The condition can be diagnosed by measuring blood-sugar levels after eating sugar. Dec 18 2018 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which causes higher than normal blood sugar levels as described by the American Diabetes Association 1 2 4Blood sugar also called glucose is one of the bodys main sources of energy.
High blood sugar levels. In order to clear the sugar from the blood your body will try to eliminate the sugar by urinating it out explains Dr. And a classic symptom of dehydration is dizziness.
Treatment of hyperglycemia includes taking diabetes medication as prescribed staying hydrated following an eating plan and staying physically active. Both high and low blood sugar can cause cognitive issues. Interestingly brain cells.
Other symptoms and signs of high blood sugar levels in the blood are blurred vision hunger hangry and headaches. Hyperglycemia elevated blood sugar can cause excessive urination leading to dehydration. Eat 2 medium size guavas they instantly reduce your high glucose levels.
One symptom of dehydration is dizziness. You can get dizzy if it drops too low. Dizziness is an episode of unsteadiness and unbalance as a result of something affecting the brain or ears.
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Listen To Your Doctor
If you follow a meal plan or take medications that increase insulin to manage low blood sugar, its important to stick to the plan your doctor prescribed to help prevent drops in your blood sugar level.
Not eating the right foods or taking the right medications at the right times can cause your blood sugar to drop. Check in often with your doctor so they can adjust your treatment plan if and when necessary.
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Is It Your Circulation
Some causes of low blood flow to the brain include blood clots, clogged arteries, heart failure, and an irregular heartbeat. For many older people, standing suddenly can cause a sharp drop in blood pressure.
It’s important to get medical help immediately if you’re dizzy and faint or lose consciousness.
Parents Of Children With Diabetes
If your child has diabetes and shows symptoms of hypoglycemia, it’s important to check their blood glucose level with a glucometer. If this is not possible, it is best to treat them as if they have hypoglycemia by giving them carbohydrates to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Your child should have a safety plan in place for when they are not in your care, such as when they are at school, friends homes, or daycare. The plan should include whom they should talk to if they are not feeling well.
Talking to your child about their diabetes and the symptoms to be aware of helps keep them safe. When your child is aware that how theyre feeling is related to their blood sugar levels and diabetes management, they can learn to both self-identify and verbalize or signal to their parents when they need treatment.
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You Feel Confused And Out Of Sorts
With hypoglycemia, all of your cells hunger for fuel, including your brain, says Kathleen Wyne, M.D., Ph.D, director of the Ohio State University Adult Type 1 Diabetes Program in Columbus. As a result, you may feel spacey and confused, and you may have trouble communicating. With diabetes, ask friends and family to generally stay alert and ask, Hey, are you struggling to talk right now? advises Janet G. Zappe, R.N., a clinical program manager for the Diabetes Research Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Low Blood Sugar: Glucagon
In severe cases of low blood sugar, when the 15:15 approach is insufficient, people may need glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that the pancreas produces to release stored glucose. A person can speak with their doctor to check whether they require prescription glucagon.
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How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:
- the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
- skipping or delaying a meal
- not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
- exercise, especially if itâs intense or unplanned
- drinking alcohol
Sometimes thereâs no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.
Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.
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Your Hypoglycemia Action Plan
If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, its important to take action. Start with these steps:
Test your blood sugar. If you recognize any of these symptoms and believe your blood sugar may be too low, the first step you should take is to test your blood sugar with your glucose meter, Tan says. Anything less than 70 milligrams per deciliter is considered low blood sugar, according to the National Library of Medicine . However, target levels are often individualized, so talk with your healthcare provider about your optimal numbers, Tan adds.
Eat or drink fast-acting carbs. If you have low blood sugar, you need to take action right away. Your best bet is to consume about 15 grams of carbohydrates, the NLM says. Some options include:
- ½ cup or 4 ounces of orange juice
- ½ cup or 4 ounces of regular soda
- 1 tablespoon of sugar dissolved in water
- 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
- 5 or 6 hard candies, jelly beans, or gumdrops
- 1 tablespoon of cake frosting
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- ½ cup of applesauce
You can also take three to four glucose tablets or a tube of glucose gel. Everyone who takes medications for diabetes should always have glucose tablets with them, Galindo urges.
Wait, then retest. The next step is to wait 15 minutes, then test your blood sugar again. If blood sugar has reached 100 mg/dl or greater, youre fine. If not…
Nighttime Low Blood Sugar
While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:
- Having an active day.
- Being physically active close to bedtime.
- Taking too much insulin.
- Drinking alcohol at night.
Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.
You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.
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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.
Low Blood Pressure As A Cause Of Dizziness
Dizziness, lightheadedness, and the feeling of passing out is a common complaint in people who have low blood pressure. When the blood pressure is too low, not enough oxygen-rich blood is delivered to the brain, and its function can be affected. If the brain’s blood supply is decreased too much, the person may pass out . Symptoms may worsen when changing position from lying down or sitting to standing up.
In addition to feeling dizzy, associated symptoms may include:
In individuals who are dehydrated or anemic, blood pressure readings may be normal when they are lying flat however, the lack of fluid is unmasked when they stand up quickly. The lack of blood to the brain may cause dizziness and lightheadedness. This feeling may pass in a few seconds as the body adapts. However, if dehydration or medications prevent the body from reacting by constricting blood vessels and increasing the heart rate, the dizziness may persist to the point at which the patient passes out .
Some diseases are associated with an inability to compensate for changes in body position . Normally when a person stands, blood vessels contract to increase blood pressure slightly, and the heart rate also increases slightly, to pump blood uphill to the brain against gravity. In autonomic dysfunction, a person may become dizzy when they move from a lying position to sitting or standing up. Examples of these diseases with this syndrome include diabetes, Addison’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.
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