What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can start quickly, with people experiencing them in different ways. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant. But they provide good warnings that you should take action before blood sugar drops more. The signs include:
- Shaking or trembling.
- Tingling or numbness in the face or mouth.
During a severe hypoglycemic event, a person may:
- Be unable to eat or drink.
- Have a seizure or convulsions .
- Lose consciousness.
- Slip into a coma or die .
Other Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
If hunger and low blood sugar dont make you angry, they might make you tired, sleepy, or interfere with your concentration and coordination. You might find yourself making mistakes in your work or in risky arenas like driving. People who have diabetes or pancreatic or liver disorders should be especially careful.
Slurred Speech And Clumsiness
Your sugar-starved brain may change the way you sound. Slurred speech is a common symptom associated with blood sugar levels that drop below 40 mg/dL, according to University of Michigan Health Systems. Combined with clumsiness another sign of low blood sugar you may seem as though youve had a few too many cocktails, even if you havent touched a drop, according to the National Health Service.
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Low Blood Sugar For Children Age 6 And Older
A blood sugar less than 70 is too low.
- Take 10 to 15 grams of quick-acting carbohydrate right away, such as:
- Drink 3 to 4 ounces of juice
- Drink 3 to 4 ounces of soda pop that has sugar
- Chew 3 to 4 glucose tabs
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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Talk To Your Doctor Or Nurse
If you use insulin and your blood sugar is frequently or consistently low, ask your doctor or nurse if you:
- Are injecting your insulin the right way
- Need a different type of needle
- Should change how much insulin you take
- Should change the kind of insulin you take
Do not make any changes without talking to your doctor or nurse first.
Sometimes hypoglycemia can be due to accidently taking the wrong medicines. Check your medicines with your pharmacist.
Being Hungry Leads To Being Hangry Which Can Push You Into Conflicts
- Low blood sugar is linked to irritability.
- Low blood sugar may also be linked to low self-control.
- Fluctuating blood sugar may be hurting your relationships.
- Get checked for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
When you’re hungry, your blood sugar drops. You might briefly have less self-control. You might grab sweets. And you might snap at a cashier who seems distracted and slow, scold your child in a harsh tone you regret, or pick a fight with your partner.
In short, hunger can make you “hangry.”
Fluctuating blood sugar levels are one of those ongoing problems many of us endure for years. Americans often run out of time to eat, and too often eat meals entirely made of “white carbs” like bagels. About 40 percent of American adults are pre-diabetic, which means they’re in danger of developing Type 2 diabetes and may experience early symptoms of problems handling glucose in their food. Many people feel hungry shortly after a meal, which may be a symptom of blood-sugar issues.
So how does anger fit in? A blood-sugar drop can trigger a cascade of hormones, including cortisol, the stress hormone, and adrenaline, the fight-or-flight hormone. Your body is trying to raise your blood sugar. You feel stressed and may opt for the fight side of fight-or-flight.
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Always Remember ‘if In Doubt Treat’
1. Eat or drink 1 serving of a quick-acting carbohydrate. Each of the following is 1 serving:
- 3 teaspoons of glucose powder in water
- of glucose tablets
- 3 teaspoons of jam or sugar
- a small glass of sugar-sweetened lemonade or cordial
- 6 large jelly beans/5 Mentos.
2. After 10 minutes test your blood glucose again. If it is still less than 4mmol/L, have another serving of quick-acting carbohydrate from the list above.
3. Once your blood glucose is above 4mmol/L, eat some carbohydrate food or if it’s your mealtime, eat your meal.
Manage Low Blood Glucose Early
Learn to recognise your early warning signs of having a hypo. Be alert to what these are and test your blood glucose levels if any of these symptoms develop. Also make sure to always carry your emergency treatment with you. Keep it in your bag, at work and at home so you can treat low blood glucose early before it becomes more serious.
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Examples Of Easily Digestible Carbohydrates
- 1/2 cup of juice or regular soda
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 4 or 5 saltine crackers
- 3 or 4 pieces of hard candy or glucose tablets
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
Very low blood sugar is a medical emergency. If you or someone else with diabetes is experiencing severe symptoms, such as unconsciousness, its important to administer a medication called glucagon and contact emergency services immediately.
If youre at risk for low blood sugar, its important to talk with your doctor about getting a prescription for glucagon.
You should never give an unconscious person anything by mouth, as it could cause them to choke. If you have diabetes, make sure your family and friends know not to do this if you lose consciousness.
Low blood sugar can occur for a number of reasons. Its usually a side effect of diabetes treatment.
Treatment By Medical Professionals
In a healthcare setting, treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and intravenous access. If a patient is conscious and able to swallow safely, food or drink may be administered, as well as glucose tabs or gel. In those with intravenous access, 25 grams of 50% dextrose is commonly administered. When there is no intravenous access, intramuscular or intra-nasal glucagon may be administered.
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Dont Sit On The Couch Or Lie Down Right After A Meal
While you may want to plop on the couch and turn on the television after a long day of work and a satisfying meal, you should resist the urge to become sedentary.
Sitting on the couch or laying down after a meal will likely make blood sugar worse because you are sedentary and your muscles arent burning off the extra glucose in your bloodstream, Harris-Pincus explains.
Plus, it is a common GERD trigger, so be wary if you are prone to indigestion after eating a meal, especially one containing trigger foods, like acidic tomato sauce on pizza or pasta, for example. Wait a bit before nestling under the covers.
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How Do I Measure Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes, you probably already keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar through the use of a continuous glucose monitor or a blood sugar meter . Blood sugar measurement is also typically included in routine lab work for people without diabetes your physician will usually order a glycated hemoglobin test, which measures your average blood sugar over the past two to three months.
Say your A1C test comes back with no sign of diabetes constantly measuring your blood sugar can still be helpful. For instance, some people experiment with using a CGM to see how their body responds to different types of food. However, its good to note that this is a fairly cost-intensive way of figuring out your nutrition, and writing down a food diary that includes how you felt after each meal will also help you figure out what to eat.
Check out these blood sugar monitors if youre looking for recommendations on how to keep track of your levels at home.
Treating Someone Having A Seizure
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure due to low blood sugar:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure.
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:
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Treating Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Drowsy
Follow these steps:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
Why Do Hypos Happen
Understanding why you get hypos can help you prevent them from happening as often.
We dont always know why hypos happen, but some things make them more likely. These include:
- missing or delaying a meal or snack
- not having enough carbohydrate at your last meal
- doing a lot of exercise without having extra carbohydrate or without reducing your insulin dose
- taking more insulin than you needed
- drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.
Insulin and some other diabetes medications can make you more likely to have a hypo. Check with your diabetes healthcare team if youre not sure whether the treatment youre on is likely to cause hypos.
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Questions Caregivers Should Ask
As a family member, friend, or caregiver, you want to do your best to keep your loved one, friend, or patient safe from severe hypoglycemia. But knowing whats best can be overwhelming. Here are some questions to help you get started.
- What are my loved ones/friends/patients chances for severe hypoglycemia?
- How often should my loved one/friend/patient check their blood glucose?
- What should I do if there is no change after giving the glucagon?
- What would be the best food or drink to give my loved one/friend/patient once they wake up?
- Should I talk with a diabetes educator?
- How can I help treat their hypoglycemia?
The Dangers Of Low Blood Glucose
At some time, most people with diabetes experience the sweating and shakiness that occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl a condition known as hypoglycemia. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience symptoms of low blood glucose up to two times a week. However, not all are aware that these symptoms can rapidly progress to seizures, coma and even death if hypoglycemia is severe. Though hypoglycemia can be common and occur repeatedly in some people with diabetes, symptoms of low blood glucose should always be taken seriously. People with diabetes and their families, friends or coworkers should be prepared to act quickly and responsibly at the earliest signs of low blood glucose.
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How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemic Episodes
The key to preventing hypoglycemic events is managing diabetes:
- Follow your healthcare providers instructions about food and exercise.
- Track your blood sugar regularly, including before and after meals, before and after exercise and before bed.
- Take all your medications exactly as prescribed.
- When you do have a hypoglycemic event, write it down. Include details such as the time, what you ate recently, whether you exercised, the symptoms and your glucose level.
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.
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Causes Of Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose 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 glucose 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.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Two hours after a meal.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
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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 Are The Symptoms Of Dangerous Levels Of Blood Sugar
A patient with high blood sugar presents the symptoms such as a dry mouth, fatigue, dry, and itchy skin and an increased appetite. Some people also experience being more thirsty and increased frequency of urination, especially at night.
If not corrected early it can lead to symptoms of dangerous levels of blood sugar like difficulty in breathing, dizziness, rapid weight loss and confusion of mind. Blood sugar level of 300 or above is dangerous and if not treated a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis or diabetic coma can occur.
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