Can Low Blood Sugar Wake You Up At Night
What are the signs of hypoglycemia? An individual may frequently wake up in the middle of the night as a result of nighttime hypoglycemia. In other instances, though, people may know if they experienced hypoglycemia during their sleep if they notice the following symptoms: Waking up with a headache.
When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
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Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
- To lower your blood sugar, it’s important to exercise regularly and lose weight.
- You should make sure to drink lots of water, eat less unhealthy carbohydrates, and increase your fiber intake.
- It’s also important to manage stress if you want to lower blood sugar and keep it under control.
- This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A& M College of Medicine.
- This story is part of Insider’s guide to Diabetes.
High blood sugar occurs when your body cannot convert sugar in the blood to energy for cells. This is a common issue for those with diabetes, or those at risk. If you don’t lower your blood sugar, you will be at an increased risk for serious health complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and vision loss.
That’s why, if you already have diabetes, it’s important to frequently check your blood sugar to make sure your levels stay in a normal, healthy range.
Plus, about one-third of Americans have prediabetes or elevated blood-sugar levels and 84% of them don’t know they have it. If you have prediabetes, it’s also important to lower your blood-sugar levels to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Here are six ways you can lower your blood sugar over time:
What Complications Can Be Caused By Hypoglycemia
Passing out from low blood sugar because you have not recognized the early signs and symptoms is called hypoglycemia unawareness, and can be quite dangerous depending on where you are, explains Dr. Klonoff. As doctors are required to report such incidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it can also mean a suspended drivers license.
If this is something youre worried about, Wearing a continuous glucose monitor with an alarm for hypoglycemia can alert a person who is prone to developing low blood sugar levels that their blood glucose concentration is becoming dangerously low, so appropriate preventive action can be taken before they lose consciousness, explains Dr. Klonoff.
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Are There Any Newer Technologies To Prevent Hypoglycemia
We are lucky that in this day and age, we can predict hypoglycemia and prevent it through technology like continuous glucose monitors, explains Dr. Shah. Additionally, he notes that there are newer insulins available to help decrease episodes of hypoglycemia.
One of our roles as your doctor is to educate every patient about the self-management of diabetes and to create a personalized care plan, explains Dr. Shah. By self-managing your condition you will really feel empowered enough to take control of your health.
Dr. Shah is located at the Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group Diabetes Center, part of Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group. Call to schedule an appointment at the office in Old Bridge.
Our care network can help you better manage your health. Visit HMHMedicalGroup.org to find a practice near you.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water may help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess sugar through urine.
One observational study showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk for developing high blood sugar levels (
Its important to monitor your waistline, as its perhaps the most crucial weight-related factor for estimating your diabetes risk.
A measurement of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and type 2 diabetes .
Having a healthy waist measurement may even be more important than your overall weight .
Keeping a moderate weight and waistline will help you maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease your risk for developing diabetes.
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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 bodys cells, which makes the level of sugar in the blood go down.
But sometimes its 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:
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
- taking a long bath or shower right after an insulin shot
Example #: Formulas Commonly Used To Create Insulin Dose Recommendations
This example illustrates a method for calculating of your background/basal and bolus doses and estimated daily insulin dose when you need full insulin replacement. Bear in mind, this may be too much insulin if you are newly diagnosed or still making a lot of insulin on your own. And it may be too little if you are very resistant to the action of insulin. Talk to your provider about the best insulin dose for you as this is a general formula and may not meet your individual needs.
The initial calculation of the basal/background and bolus doses requires estimating your total daily insulin dose:
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When To Avoid Exercise
People with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL should check their urine for ketones before engaging in physical activity. If ketones are present, do not exercise. Ketones are the result of stored fat being broken down for energy. Your liver starts breaking down fat when theres not enough insulin in your bloodstream to absorb blood sugar into cells. When too many ketones are quickly produced, they can cause DKA. In this state, ketones may actually make your blood sugar level go even higher and you may need intravenous fluids to rebalance.
Is Sugar Bad For You
If you love sweets, don’t despair. You don’t have to give them up forever. Sugar will raise your blood sugar levels more quickly than other carbs, but diabetes experts now say the total amount of carbs is most important. So keep your serving sizes small and take into account the total carbs and calories.
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Roller Coaster: Female Hormones
When a woman’s hormones change, so does their blood sugar. Keep a monthly record of your levels to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make blood sugar even harder to control. Talk to your doctor about whether hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.
Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is common for people with type 1 diabetes and can occur in people with type 2 diabetes taking insulin or certain medications. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience up to two episodes of mild low blood sugar each week, and thats only counting episodes with symptoms. If you add in lows without symptoms and the ones that happen overnight, the number would likely be higher.
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What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low
People who use insulin and other diabetes medications are at risk for hypoglycemia. Keep this action plan handy so youre prepared.
If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may be at risk of developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Without quick attention, hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications, so its important to know what to do if it happens to you or someone close to you.
In very severe cases, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness, says a clinical assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford Health Care, and chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic.
Its possible to have hypoglycemia but have no symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . On the other hand, symptoms can also come on rapidly. While symptoms vary from person to person, if you develop mild to moderate low blood sugar you may:
- Feel shaky or jittery
- Be irritable or combative
- Have blurred vision or see double
Some people feel tingling or numbness in their extremities too, says Rodolfo Galindo, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and lipids at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and chair of the inpatient diabetes taskforce.
Sulay Shah, M.D. contributes to topics such as Diabetes.
Can You Avoid Diabetes If It Runs In Your Family
Yes, your genes dont have to define you! There are genetic factors that can predispose some people to be heavier than others. Yet, your heredity doesnt define your health. Your health is determined by your environment. And, you can control your environment. For example, researchers have noticed stark differences between Pima Indians living in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico eating a traditional diet, and those living in urban areas of Arizona eating a traditional Western diet. The Pima Indians of Arizona are among the most obese groups of people in the world and have a diabetes rate that is 8 times greater than the national average. Their lifestyle is mostly sedentary, and their diet is a typical American diet . Meanwhile, despite their genetic similarities, the Pima Indians of Mexico, weigh an average of 65 pounds less than their Arizona counterparts, and fewer than 4% have type 2 diabetes. The reason is in the stark differences of their lifestyles: the Pima Indians live an active lifestyle working their farms, and eat a diet rich in the whole foods . It is clear that lifestyle has an extremely powerful influence on health. You can adopt a healthy lifestyle, and enjoy a healthy body, irrespective of your genetic heritage.
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Sweet Potatoes And Yams
Regular potatoes have a high GI score, but sweet potatoes and yams have low scores and are very nutritious.
Reporting the findings of an animal study, the researchers also noted that sweet potato consumption may lower some markers of diabetes.
While there is still no conclusive evidence that sweet potatoes can help to stabilize or lower blood sugar levels in humans, they are undoubtedly a healthful, nutritious food with a low GI score.
People can substitute sweet potatoes or yams for potatoes in a variety of dishes, from fries to casseroles.
Oats have a GI score of 55 or lower, making them less likely to cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.
Oats also contain B-glucans, which can do the following:
- reduce glucose and insulin responses after meals
- improve insulin sensitivity
Avoid legume products that contain added sugars and simple starches, such as those in syrups, sauces, or marinades. These additions can significantly increase a products GI score.
Garlic is a popular ingredient in traditional medicines for diabetes and a wide variety of other conditions.
People can eat garlic raw, add it to salads, or use it in cooked meals.
Treating Mild To Moderate Hypoglycemia
If you start feeling any of the symptoms listed above, check your blood sugar as soon as possible, then follow the chart below to treat low blood sugar. If you have any concerns, or cant test immediately, its best to treat first and check when possible.
If your blood sugar is
What to do next
51 to 70 mg/dL
10 to 15 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice, 6 to 8 hard candies, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.
Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.
Under 50 mg/dL
Eat 20 to 30 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 8 ounces of fruit juice, 12 to 16 hard candies, or 6 to 8 glucose tablets.
Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.
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You’ll Need To Calculate Some Of Your Insulin Doses
You’ll also need to know some basic things about insulin. For example, 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight.
Your provider will prescribe an insulin dose regimen for you however, you still need to calculate some of your insulin doses. Your insulin dose regimen provides formulas that allow you to calculate how much bolus insulin to take at meals and snacks, or to correct high blood sugars.
Overdose Of Diabetes Medication
A common cause of hypoglycaemia is taking too much insulin for your current needs. Insulin is a medication that helps control your blood glucose levels. It’s commonly used to treat type 1 diabetes and is also recommended for some people with type 2 diabetes.
A fall in blood glucose levels can also occur after taking too much oral hypoglycaemia medication, such as sulphonylurea, which causes a release of insulin. This medication is often used to lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
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