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How It Feels To Have Low Blood Sugar

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Overdose Of Diabetes Medication

What It Feels Like to Have a Low Blood Sugar

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. Itâs 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.

What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level

  • Check your blood sugar level, if possible. Your blood sugar level is too low if it is at or below 70 mg/dL.
  • Eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate. Fast-acting carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Examples of 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates:
  • 4 ounces of fruit juice
  • 4 ounces of regular soda
  • 2 tablespoons of raisins
  • 1 tube of glucose gel or 3 to 4 glucose tablets
  • Check your blood sugar level 15 minutes later. If the level is still less than 100 mg/dL, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrate. When the level returns to 100 mg/dL, eat a snack or meal that contains carbohydrates. This will help prevent another drop in blood sugar.
  • Teach people close to you how to use your glucagon kit. Your blood sugar may be too low for you to be awake. People need to know when and how to use your kit.
  • Think About Whats Going On

    Irene Dunbar, 73, of Durham, N.C., woke up one morning recently to discover her blood sugar was at 119, which is high for her. âI had a cold and had had orange juice yesterday and I normally do not drink orange juice and I thought, âI better not do that,â she said. When she gets a high blood sugar reading, she tries to remember if she had anything recentlylike breadthat she knows are triggers, and avoids them next time.

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    Stages Of Low Blood Sugar

    You will notice certain signs when your blood sugar begins to drop. These signs arise in stages, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Each stage is characterized by a specific set of symptoms.

    Nausea is one of the signs that occur in the mild stage, but it can also be present in later stages. Many organizations like the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases combine the mild and moderate stages into one.

    Other signs of mild to moderate low blood sugar include:

    • Blurred vision

    Signs of severe low blood sugar include:

    • Unable to eat or drink

    Symptoms of hypoglycemia during sleep include:

    • Crying out or having nightmares
    • Sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
    • Feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up

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    What Does Low Blood Sugar Feel Like

    symptoms of low blood sugar

    To fully understand what hypoglycemia feels like, I will list all the symptoms and follow up with my individual experiences.

    Common symptoms of low blood sugar include:

    • Feeling shaky
    • Tingling of the lips and mouth
    • Pale skin
    • Nightmares
    • Seizures

    Now that you have the list of symptoms, it is important to note that each persons hypoglycemia symptoms may differ. And patients may not experience all symptoms, but only a few.

    Over the years of living with type 1 diabetes, I have had countless low blood sugar events, so I have a pretty good idea of what it feels like.

    The first symptoms I often experience are a fast heartbeat and tingling lips. As my blood sugar drops more, I will often start to experience sweating, nervousness, nausea, and clamminess.

    If my blood sugar becomes lower and more severe, Ill experience some confusion and a lack of coordination.

    For example, there have been a few times where I have woken up from my sleep with my heart racing, covered in sweat, and feeling shaky. At this moment, there is no doubt that I need fast-acting carbohydrates to get my blood sugar up.

    On my way to the kitchen to get a cup of orange juice or another snack, I often have to use a wall to help keep my coordination.

    In the more severe cases that I have experienced, I have had to sit against a wall and put my head between my knees as I try to get down a glucose gel. For me, severe low blood sugar like this feels like you have to vomit and pass out at the same time.

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    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 it’s intense or unplanned
    • drinking alcohol

    Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.

    Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.

    If A Person Is Unconscious

    If a person loses consciousness because of severe hypoglycaemia, they need to be put into the recovery position and given an injection of the hormone glucagon . The injection will raise their blood glucose level.

    The injection should be carried out by a friend or family member who knows what theyre doing, or by a trained healthcare professional.

    You should dial 999 to request an ambulance if:

    • a glucagon injection kit isnt available
    • theres nobody available whos trained to give the injection
    • the injection is ineffective after 10 minutes

    Never try to put food or drink into the mouth of someone whos unconscious as they could choke.

    If youre able to give a glucagon injection and the person regains consciousness, they should eat some longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar or a sandwich.

    You should continue to monitor the person for signs of recurring symptoms in case they need to be treated again.

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    Anxiety Over Diabetes Management

    Managing your blood sugar and other aspects of your health when you have diabetes can be time consuming and stressful, and also contribute to anxiety.

    For people with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar usually involves a home finger prick test. Fear of needles, as well as fear of the results, may lead to anxiety.

    One study found that 33% of people with diabetes experience anxiety specific to the finger prick method of glucose testing. Thirty percent of people with diabetes in this same study had generalized anxiety related to their diabetes management.

    Other areas of diabetes management may also lead to stress and anxiety. This includes monitoring potential symptoms of vision loss , nerve damage , slow-healing wounds on the feet or extremities, kidney damage, and more.

    What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

    What a low blood sugar feels like from type 1 diabetes

    By Elisabeth Almekinder RN, BA, CDE

    In this article, we will explore what low blood sugar feels like for different people with diabetes. We will look at the symptoms, how they can change over time, and how they are often different from person to person. We will look at planning ahead, and the treatment of hypoglycemia, hereafter referred to as low blood sugar.

    To get started, patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were interviewed and asked the question:

    What is it like and what do you do when life hands you the low blood sugar agenda for the day? Describe your experience.

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    Signs You May Have Hypoglycemia

    Many people – even those without diabetes – exhibit signs of low blood sugar. Read on for 5 subtle signs of hypoglycemia. Feeling suddenly weak or shaky is one of the better known signs of low blood sugar, but that doesnt mean its always easy to notice. Weakness, particularly in the arms or legs, or a feeling of being jittery or trembling could also mean its time to eat. Physical symptoms arent the only signs of low blood sugar emotional instability can also occur. In fact, if you suspect you have fluctuating blood sugar, your symptoms might include things such as feeling suddenly overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, irritated, or like you could burst into tears. Find yourself breaking into a cold sweat for no reason? Low blood sugar may be to blame. The stress on your body means that it has to work harder, and a cold sweat is a classic sign that your body is having to work too hard to function. Other symptoms might be a rapid or irregular heartbeat, or even blurred vision. Hypoglycemia can bring on feelings of nausea or extreme hunger. Traditionally, eating sugar helps raise blood sugar levels, but try to eat a balanced snack or meal soon afterward, to avoid a repeat sugar crash. When blood sugar is low, it can make you a little spacey. You may find yourself rambling, or others may have a tough time following your conversation. But slurred speech or confusion are more serious signs of dangerously low blood sugar, and should not be taken lightly.Continue reading > >

    How Common Is Low Blood Glucose

    Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2

    Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3

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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 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
    p

    The Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On Your Body

    HYPOGLYCEMIA, RECOGNIZING IT AND MANAGING IT

    Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy might come as a surprise: Its sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential to proper brain, heart, and digestive function. It even helps keep your skin and vision healthy.

    When your blood sugar levels fall below the normal range, its called hypoglycemia. There are many identifiable symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is by taking a blood glucose test.

    Learn more about the symptoms of low blood sugar, as well as the long-term effects on the body.

    most common reasons for low blood sugar are some medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin.

    In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, or your body cant use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetic medication can lower the blood sugar level, leading to hypoglycemia.

    However, contrary to popular belief, low blood sugar isnt exclusive to diabetes, though it is rare. It can also happen if your body makes more insulin than it should.

    Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over long periods of time. This can interfere with the livers ability to create a buildup of glucose and then release it into your bloodstream when you need it.

    Other causes include:

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    What If The 15

    If you dont feel better after three tries, or if your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider or 911. Healthcare providers can use a medication called glucagon. They inject it with a needle or squirt it up your nose. Glucagon is also available for home use. Your healthcare provider can prescribe it and teach a family member or friend how to use it in the event of severe hypoglycemia.

    What Is Low Blood Sugar

    Here are 10 fast facts about hypoglycemia . A hypo, as episodes of low blood sugar are known, is when your blood sugar is lower than 3.9mmol/l. It can make you feel strange, and it means you need to eat or drink something sugary very quickly to bring your blood sugar up. If you dont treat low blood sugar it can lead to a diabetes emergency. You need to know how to test your blood sugar properly in order to get an accurate reading.

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    Blood Sugar Spike: What To Do

    Its important to know the symptoms of hyperglycemia. If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, perform a finger stick to check your level.

    Exercising and drinking water after eating, particularly if youve consumed a lot of starchy carbs, can help lower your blood sugar.

    You can also use an insulin injection, but be careful only to use this method while closely following the recommendation of your doctor regarding your dose. If used improperly, insulin can cause hypoglycemia .

    What Symptoms To Watch For

    How it feels to have high blood sugar

    There are several common symptoms associated with low blood sugar. These symptoms arise due to the adrenal glands releasing both epinephrine and cortisol in response to hypoglycemia.

    However, not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and low blood sugar reactions can change. If you suspect you have low blood sugar, the best thing to do is check your blood sugar to confirm.

    People who have had diabetes for a long time or who have experienced hypoglycemia frequently may develop hypoglycemia unawareness.

    Hypoglycemia unawareness is a diabetes complication where people dont experience the usual warning signs of low blood sugar before it occurs. Up to 40% of people with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia unawareness.

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    What Should Be The Diet For A Person With Nondiabetic Hypoglycemia

    If you suffer from episodes of hypoglycemia without even having diabetes, you will need to carry a pack of sugar candies or biscuits wherever you go. Ask your doctor or dietician about what your diet should be, which can help you prevent hypoglycemic episodes. The following may help you avoid episodes of hypoglycemia:

    • Eat frequent, small meals each day instead of three large meals
    • Do not skip meals
    • Cut back on refined carbohydrates
    • Have a well-balanced diet that is rich in proteins, contains carbohydrates, fat , fruits, and vegetables
    • Limit alcohol or drink it along with meals or after meals

    Eat Fat Fiber And Protein At Each Meal

    Boosting energy levels when you have diabetes is largely tied to making sure weâre doing everything we can to promote stable blood sugar levels. This goes for people with type 2 diabetes and any other type of diabetes. This is where balancing our meals and snacks with fat, fiber, and protein comes into to play.

    Dont totally ditch carbs with meals and snacks. Carbohydrates are the bodys preferred source of fuel. It is ok to add fruit, beans or rice to a salad. A salad with chicken is great but your body may need a bit more than that to keep you going, says KeyVion Miller RDN, LD/N, Food and Nutrition Blogger of The Millers Kitchen.

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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.

    Nighttime Low Blood Sugar

    WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE 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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