Low Blood Sugar Level Causes
Most low blood sugar level causes are preventable and are caused due to a persons lifestyle and diet habits. Low blood sugar is common among diabetic patients who take medications to increase insulin levels.
All of the above causes are risk factors that may or may not be able to be inhibited. They are important to be aware of and act accordingly to keep yourself from getting a too high or too low blood sugar level.
If a person has medical, lifestyle or diet habits that cause irregular blood sugar levels, symptoms will begin to develop along with the drop or spike in blood sugar, and are as follows:
How To Test Your Blood Sugar: A Step
It can be intimidating to test your blood sugar if youre new to diabetes. There are several steps to follow, and its important to get an accurate reading so you know how much insulin to administer. Heres a breakdown of the 10 steps you should take to accurately test your blood sugar.
Best Times Of Day To Check Your Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar can change constantly throughout the day. Checking your blood sugar with test-strips or an FBGM several times throughout the day is just as important as taking your medications.
For example, checking your blood sugar before breakfast tells you how well your body is managing during the 8 hours you were asleep, but it doesnt tell you how well your body handles meals.
Here, well look at the best times to check your blood sugar for the most information about your diabetes management!
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Common Problems To Avoid
It’s important to regularly maintain your glucose meter to avoid potential problems. Follow these tips to ensure good functioning:
- Make sure you keep batteries in stock that fit your glucometer.
- Make sure your test strips are not expired, as expired test strips can provide an inaccurate result.
- After taking a test strip out, close the lid tightly. Too much light or moisture can damage the strip.
- Clean your device at regular intervals and run quality-control checks when prompted.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar More Frequently
- If your diabetes medicine changes
- If you begin taking other kinds of medicines
- If you change your diet
- If your exercise routine or activity level changes
- If your stress level increases
- If youre sick. When you are sick, even without eating, your sugar levels may run high, so testing is important.
Follow your doctors testing recommendations during this time. Continue testing more often until you have maintained your blood sugar goal values for at least 1 week. Or continue testing until your doctor advises you that more frequent testing is no longer necessary.
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What Should I Aim For
Effective management of diabetes is all about aiming for a careful balance between the foods you eat, how active you are and the medication you take for your diabetes. Because this is a delicate balance, it can be quite difficult to achieve the best possible blood glucose management all the time.
The ranges will vary depending on the individual and an individuals circumstances. While it is important to keep your blood glucose levels as close to the target range of target range between 4 to 6 mmol/L as possible to prevent complications, it is equally important to check with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator for the range of blood glucose levels that are right and safe for you. Therefore the following information should be treated only as a general guide.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This test is not now usually used to diagnose diabetes. However, the test may be done if it is thought your body doesn’t control glucose levels normally but not badly enough to be called diabetes. This is referred to as pre-diabetes . The test may also be used to see whether a woman has developed diabetes associated with pregnancy.
For this test, you fast overnight. In the morning you are given a drink which contains 75 g of glucose. A blood sample is taken two hours later. Normally, your body should be able to deal with the glucose and your blood level should not go too high. A glucose level of 11.1 mmol/L or more in the blood sample taken after two hours indicates that you have diabetes. See the separate leaflet called Glucose Tolerance Test for more details.
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How To Check Blood Sugar Levels
A health care professional will teach you and your child how to properly use a blood glucose meter.
- Clean hands with soap and water. Make sure the finger is dry before obtaining the blood sample wet fingers can alter the value.
- Prick the side of the fingertip. The forearm also can be pricked with certain meters using a lancet device. Do not use the forearm if you suspect a low blood sugar or when the blood sugar is rapidly changing, such as after meals or exercise.
- Insert strip into meter.
- Obtain a drop of blood.
- Apply the drop of blood to a test strip.
- Read the result and enter it in a logbook.
Bring the meter and logbook to all doctor visits.
Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .
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How Do I Pick A Glucose Meter
Your doctor will make a recommendation. Check with your health insurance plan to see if it will pay for your BGM, its supplies, or a CGM. If so, your plan may only pay for a certain meter.
Shop around and compare costs. Consider what features are important to you. For example, some meters are made for people who have poor eyesight. If you want to pay a little more money, you can get a BGM that stores the results in its memory. This allows you to compare results from several days at one time.
Manage Your Carb Intake
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars , and then insulin helps your body use and store sugar for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
However, there are several things you can do about this.
The American Diabetes Association recommends managing carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many you need .
Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can help with blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber is the most effective.
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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.
Recommended Blood Sugar Targets For Most People With Diabetes*
Your targets may not be the same as the examples in this chart. Your targets are important and should be specific to you.
|4.0 to 7.0
|5.0 to 10.0
* This information is based on the Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada and is a guide.** A1C is a measurement of your average blood sugar control for the last two to three months and approximately 50 per cent of the value comes from the last 30 days.
What Do I Do With The Results
You need to keep track of your results. There are a few ways you can do this. You can write them down in a record book. Use a small notebook or ask your doctor for a blood testing record book. Depending on the type of monitor you have, you may be able to keep track of the results on your computer or smartphone. Whatever method you use, you may also want to keep track of what you have eaten, when you took medicine or insulin, and how active youve been during the day. This will help you see how these things affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about what is a good range for your blood sugar level and what to do if your blood sugar is not within that range.
Remember To Wash Your Hands
Before you test, wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Then, rinse and dry. Testing on unwashed hands may affect results. For example, say you just ate a bowl of cherries and then tested right after. The sugar from the cherries on your fingers may cause a high result, even though your blood glucose levels are not.
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Glucose Meter To Test Blood Sugar Levels
The first step is to find out which meter will suit you. Some meters give accurate readings but are difficult to use. The cost of the equipment is another factor that needs consideration. There are many different types of glucose meters on the market ranging in price from $20 up to $300+. So do your homework before buying any supplies.
One more thing whatever kind of glucose meter you select, its important to learn how to use it properly. So that readings can be as accurate as possible. Glucose meters do not test for ketones . So if your doctor wants you to check for ketones make sure you ask him/her which meter should be used. In the following post, we will talk about how to use a blood sugar chart and what you need to look for when filling it in.
The next step is going to your doctor, who might prescribe special insulin testing strips, a glucometer, and a logbook. This equipment enables you to monitor your own home-based glucose levels accurately over time, as often as required. Blood sugar levels rise after eating foods that contain carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, pasta, rice, or fruit juices. A lot of factors can change your blood sugar level these include the amount and type of food eaten and physical activity. The best way to monitor how different foods affect your blood sugar level is by using a blood sugar chart.
Check Your Blood Sugar If:
- You have symptoms of low blood sugar . This includes dizziness, shaking, sweating, chills, and confusion.
- You have symptoms of high blood sugar , which include sleepiness, blurry vision, frequent urination, and excessive thirst.
- You have a job in which poor blood sugar control could cause safety problems.
- You need help deciding if its safe to drive or perform other tasks that require concentration if you are taking insulin or have had hypoglycemia in the past.
You need to learn how meals, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar level.
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High Blood Sugar Level Causes
Several types of diabetes and medical conditions are the primary cause of high blood sugar levels. Most of which are unpreventable issues but are the reason for a spike in high blood sugar. The causes for high blood sugar levels are as follows:
Causes of low blood sugar levels are very different and are as important to be aware of, as they are in fact easier to control.
When And How Often To Check Levels
How often you should test your child’s blood sugar levels each day and when depends on a number of things and can even change from day to day. In general, most kids with diabetes test their blood sugar levels before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and at bedtime.
They may need to check more often when they’re sick or if there are changes in their diabetes treatment or daily habits. They may also need to check more often if they use an insulin pump or have a management plan that aims for very close control of blood sugar levels. The diabetes health care team can advise you on how often and when to check.
Sometimes parents need to check their child’s blood sugar levels in the middle of the night. For example, kids having problems with hypoglycemia episodes may need middle-of-the-night tests. And those who’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes may need more frequent tests while they and their families are learning how insulin or other diabetes medicines affect blood sugar levels.
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What If I Cant Get A Drop Of Blood For A Fingerstick
If you want to get blood from your fingertip, try washing your hands in hot water to get the blood flowing. Then dangle your hand below your heart for a minute. Prick your finger quickly and then put your hand back down below your heart. You might also try slowly squeezing the finger from the base to the tip.
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too Low
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia . It means your blood sugar level drops below 70. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it.
If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:
- chew 4 glucose tablets
- drink 4 ounces of fruit juice
- drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or
- chew 4 pieces of hard candy
After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away.
If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low.
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What Do My Results Mean
When you finish the blood sugar check, write down your results and note what factors may have affected them, such as food, activity, and stress. Take a close look at your blood glucose record to see if your level is too high or too low several days in a row at about the same time. If the same thing keeps happening, it might be time to change your diabetes care plan. Work with your doctor or diabetes educator to learn what your results mean for you. It can take time to make adjustments and get things just right. And do ask your doctor if you should report results out of a certain range right away by phone.
Keep in mind that blood glucose results often trigger strong feelings. Blood sugar numbers can leave you upset, confused, frustrated, angry, or down. It’s easy to use the numbers to judge yourself. Remind yourself that tracking your blood sugar level is simply a way to know how well your diabetes care plan is working, and whether that plan may need to change.
How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar Level
Follow your doctors advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, youll usually follow the steps below:
- Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
- Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that youre going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
- Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood.
- Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
- Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
- The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.
If you have a CGM, youll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once its warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.
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