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Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes

What Is a Low Blood Sugar and What Can You Do About It

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.

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.

Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Glucose

Each person’s reaction to low blood glucose is different. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. Taking time to write these symptoms down may help you learn your own symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. From milder, more common indicators to most severe, signs and symptoms of low blood glucose include:

  • Color draining from the skin
  • Feeling weak or having no energy
  • Blurred/impaired vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks
  • Nightmares or crying out during sleep

The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing low blood glucose is to check your blood glucose levels, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood glucose for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia.

A low blood glucose level triggers the release of epinephrine , the fight-or-flight hormone. Epinephrine is what can cause the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as thumping heart, sweating, tingling, and anxiety.

If the blood sugar glucose continues to drop, the brain does not get enough glucose and stops functioning as it should. This can lead to blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, slurred speech, numbness, and drowsiness. If blood glucose stays low for too long, starving the brain of glucose, it may lead to seizures, coma, and very rarely death.

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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 .

What Are The Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar

how to treat low blood sugar without diabetes ~ Jani Blood Sugar

The symptoms vary depending on whether you have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Find out how to spot the warning signs and stabilize your glucose.

One of the challenges of managing diabetes is maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. Even with diligence, some situations can cause high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, while others can bring on low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

After all, its not just carbohydrate intake that influences the amount of glucose coursing through your bloodstream when you have type 2 diabetes. Emotional stress and certain medications can increase your blood sugar levels, and a boost in activity can cause it to drop, says Megan ONeill, CDCES, a medical science liaison for diabetes care at Abbott healthcare company in Monterey, California. Sometimes people experience a spike in their blood sugar early in the morning due to the dawn effect, a temporary surge of hormones that occurs as the body prepares to wake, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

For people with diabetes, managing blood glucose levels is especially important, ONeill says. Levels that are too low or high can result in complications that affect your kidneys, heart, and vision, reduce your quality of life, require expensive interventions, or even be fatal.

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  • Between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals

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Signs Of Hypoglycemic Unawareness

Some people have no symptoms of low blood sugar. The only symptom you may have is confusion. Or you may become unconscious before anyone realizes you have low blood sugar.

You may have hypoglycemic unawareness if you:

  • Cannot tell by your symptoms that your blood sugar is low.
  • Have low blood sugar several times a week.
  • Have type 1 diabetes, or have had type 2 diabetes for a long time.

If you have hypoglycemic unawareness, test your blood sugar often, especially before activities like driving a car. Keep quick-sugar foods with you. If you take insulin, carry a glucagon emergency kit. You can also give friends and family instructions to treat low blood sugar.

Knowing Your High And Low Blood Sugar Symptoms Allows You To Test

Once you understand symptoms of high and low blood sugar, it is possible to test quickly and avoid serious problems.

Keeping to a clear target range is one of the key goals of diabetes management, and knowing when you have the symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels allows you to test your blood sugar and make a correction.

It can be important to recognise the difference between low and high blood sugar symptoms. Being able to spot when youre high or low and sugar can help you to manage your diabetes.

Where possible, its best to check with your blood glucose meter, whether you are high or low, before taking any remedial action. If blood sugar is regularly high you may get recurrent episodes of thrush.

High blood sugar is serious and can result in nausea, vomiting or loss of consciousness. In type 2 diabetes, this can in the form of a condition called Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State and in type 1 diabetes in the form of ketoacidosis.

It is important to seek emergency medical help.

Very low blood sugar can lead to convulsions and unconsciousness. It is important to seek emergency help if the person with diabetes is unable to bring their sugar levels back to normal.

The University of Birminghams Medical School states that if the body becomes used to being low on sugar, hypo symptoms can become less noticeable. Loss of symptoms of low blood sugar in particular can be dangerous.

If you have difficulty recognising the symptoms of hypoglycemia, speak to your doctor.

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How Can I Tell If My Blood Sugar Is Irregular

Again, only a doctor can diagnose a problem with your blood sugar. But you may be wondering how to know if its something you should get checked out. There can be two main issues with your blood sugar either its consistently too high or too low. Even if you dont have diabetes, there are some signs that your blood sugar levels are not functioning normally.

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar is too low. Signs include an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, shakiness and tingling or numbness in your face. If you consistently feel this way when you get hungry or between meals, talk to your healthcare provider.

On the flipside, hyperglycemia happens when your blood sugar is too high, and can happen to nondiabetics. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst and headache. If you think youre hyperglycemic and cant keep fluids or food down, call for emergency medical assistance.

Can You Pass Out From Low Blood Sugar

LOW blood SUGAR in Diabetics (hypoglycemia). Everything you NEED to know!

As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

  • 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.

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Treating Severely Low Blood Sugar

Blood sugar below 55 mg/dL is considered severely low. You wont be able to treat it using the 15-15 rule. You also may not be able to check your own blood sugar or treat it by yourself, depending on your symptoms. Make sure your family members, friends, and caregivers know your signs of low blood sugar so they can help treat it if needed.

Injectable glucagon is the best way to treat severely low blood sugar. A glucagon kit is available by prescription. Speak with your doctor to see if you should have a kit. Be sure to learn how and when to use it. Let family members and others close to you know where you keep the glucagon kit and make sure theyve been trained in how to use it too.

Its important to contact a doctor for emergency medical treatment immediately after receiving a glucagon injection. If a person faints due to severely low blood sugar, theyll usually wake up within 15 minutes after a glucagon injection. If they dont wake up within 15 minutes after the injection, they should receive one more dose. When the person is awake and able to swallow:

  • Feed the person a fast-acting source of sugar .
  • Then, have them eat a long-acting source of sugar .

Its also important that friends, family, co-workers, teachers, coaches, and other people you may be around often know how to test your blood sugar and treat severely low blood sugar before it happens.

If any of the following happens, your friend, relative, or helper should call 911:

How To Calculate Your Blood Sugar Level: The Complete Guide

To get an accurate reading of your blood sugar level, the best and most effective method is using a glucose meter. This will involve a small prick in your finger so receive a blood sample. The strip is then inserted into the meter and tested.

You may be wondering what your reading should be. There is no normal reading, an ideal reading differs from person to person. Everyone will get different readings at different times of the day. However, there is a rough range to determining a low, normal and high blood sugar level. Blood sugar level is read in mmol/L, which stands for millimoles per liter. Here is a guide as to what an ideal reading is for each diabetic type and non-diabetic patients:

Child
4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L 4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L

It is advised to check it regularly if you are concerned, show regular symptoms or have diabetes. You should check before meals, exercise, before bedtime and after driving. Everyone is different so it is best to ask your doctor if you are unsure how many times and when you should check your blood sugar levels.

Research shows that over 50% who try to estimate their blood sugar level reading are incorrect. This may be due to over underlying medical conditions that did not know they had or poor lack of judgement. Therefore, this suggests it is very important to test at home to check in on your levels regularly to avoid any unnecessary future complications.

You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:

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Low Blood Glucose During Sleep

Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include

  • crying out or having nightmares
  • sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
  • feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up

Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.

When Should I Test My Blood Sugar

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You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low.

Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood sugar. If youâre sick, youâll probably need to test your blood sugar more often.

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Act Quickly To Treat The Situation

If you suspect you have low blood sugar, Dr. Fruge recommends quickly treating the situation, which she says should include “eating healthy foods such as complex carbohydrates, beans or fruit.”

“At the Pritikin Longevity Center we serve a cup of fruit with a cup of veggies to prevent a spike in insulin, which can sometimes lead to a later drop in blood sugar again,” she explains. “Adjusting your diabetes medication as prescribed by your physician may also be necessary. It’s important to retest your blood sugar 20 minutes after eating to confirm it has improved.”

Keep a fast-acting carbohydrate snack or two on hand in case your blood sugar dips below healthy levels.

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, it’s 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 you’re looking for recommendations on how to keep track of your levels at home.

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What Affects Your Results

If you have certain conditions, like anemia or gout, or if itâs hot or humid or youâre at a high altitude, that can affect your blood sugar levels.

If you keep seeing unusual results, recalibrate your meter and check the test strips.

The chart below gives you an idea of where your blood sugar level should be throughout the day. Your ideal blood sugar range may be different from another personâs and will change throughout the day.

Time of Test

As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

  • 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.

What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia

WHAT IS LOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL?LOW BLOOD SUGAR EXPLAINED

Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.

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