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Checking For Low Blood Sugar Levels
The warning signs of hypoglycemia are the body’s natural response to low blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels fall too low, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which helps get stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. This can make someone:
- start shaking
- have an increased heart rate
If the hypoglycemia isn’t treated, more serious symptoms may happen, such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
The only way to know for sure if you’re having a low blood sugar level is to test. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a . This computerized device measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. But if you can’t quickly check your blood sugar level, it’s important to treat yourself for hypoglycemia immediately to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Sometimes a person with diabetes may have symptoms of low blood sugar levels, but blood sugar levels are not actually low. This is a called a false reaction. The hormone adrenaline is not just released when blood sugar drops too low it’s also released when blood sugar levels fall quickly when they’re too high. If you’re having a false reaction, you might actually have blood sugar levels in a healthy range but feel as if you have low blood sugar. Testing blood sugar levels before treating yourself for hypoglycemia can help you figure out if you’re having a false reaction.
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When To Contact Your Doctor
Hyperglycemia can turn into a medical emergency like DKA and HHS that requires immediate intervention by your doctor or a local emergency department. If you have two blood sugar readings of 300 mg/dL or more, or have blood sugar above your target range for more than a week, seek immediate medical help.
Signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Ketones in your urine
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
Check Your Blood Sugar
I mean really. Check like crazy.
I recommend before meals, and 2 hours after meals. Then I recommend checking before bedtime and upon waking hours in the morning.
When you have very high blood sugar you have to know what is going on with your body. Also you can get an idea of what is working and when your blood sugar is the highest. This one piece of advice has helped so many people its not even funny.
There are ways to check your blood sugar that make it so easy youll never fret about testing. Ill tell you more on that in a minute. But testing is really the Key to getting your blood sugar levels perfect again.
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When To Call 911
Your friend, relative, or coworker should call 911 for help if:
- You pass out and no glucagon is available
- You need a second dose of glucagon
- You had glucagon, but are still confused
- Your blood sugar stays too low 20 minutes after treatment or doesnt respond to your usual treatments
The emergency medical technicians can give you IV sugar . This raises your blood sugar level right away. You might need to stay in the hospital for a few hours.
NEVER be afraid to call 911 or ask someone to call 911 for you if you are concerned .
Other things to know about hypoglycemia:
It takes time for blood sugar to rise after eating, and its important to give your first treatment time to work. Use the table above to guide your treatment and timing instead of eating until you feel better, which will almost always lead to eating too much.
Hypoglycemia can be common with certain types of exercise. Managing blood sugar during and after physical activity is important and is something that a lot of people with T1D have questions about. JDRF has a number of resources available for people with T1D and their families, many of which can be found here.
Faqs Alcohol Consumption And Blood Sugar Levels
Does alcohol lower blood sugar in non diabetics?
Possibly. Alcohol may lower blood sugar levels in non-diabetics if they are in the fasting state . However, as each person is unique, the effects of alcohol on blood sugar levels will vary.
How long does alcohol affect blood sugar?
The amount of time that alcohol affects blood sugar levels will vary according to the amount of alcohol consumed, as
What is the best alcohol to drink for a diabetic?
Due to the potential effects of alcohol on blood sugar levels, individuals with diabetes face a higher risk of health problems. Alcohol may interact with diabetes medications, and even worsen side effects associated with such drugs. Individuals living with diabetes who would like to drink alcohol should therefore speak with their doctors first. Healthcare professionals can best determine the options available.
Can diabetics drink whiskey?
A standard drink of whiskey may not have any serious effect on blood sugar levels. However, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before consuming alcohol.
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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.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia tends to present as a cluster of symptoms, and they often occur together. The most common signs of dangerously low blood sugar include:
- Dizziness, disorientation, light-headedness, and an inability to think clearly
- Hunger, especially if youve just eaten
- Heightened irritability, confusion, and anxiety
- Clamminess and sweating, with cold hands and feet
- Drastic mood swings
If you have one or more of these symptoms contact your doctor.
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Lose Weight And Exercise
Participants in the program are encouraged to lose 7% of their body weight and exercise for 150 minutes a week. A clinical trial found that people who followed the program reduced their risk for Type 2 diabetes by 58% over three years.
Reflect On The Amount Of Sugar In Your Diet
Hyperglycemia occurs when there is too much glucose in the blood.
Therefore, one way of reducing your blood glucose levels is reflecting on where sugar may be consumed in the diet. Think about any refined and processed foods that may be in your diet as these are often high in sugar. This can be achieved through a low carbohydrate diet.
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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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Choose Low Glycemic Index Foods
The glycemic index measures and ranks various foods by how much they cause blood sugar levels to rise. Research shows that following a low glycemic index diet decreases fasting blood sugar levels.
Low glycemic index foods are those that score below 55 on the glycemic index. Examples of low glycemic foods include:
- sweet potatoes
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Likely Effects Of Metformin On Blood Sugar Levels
Metformin can change your blood sugar level in both the direction, it can make blood sugar level go up too high, or it can drop it extremely low, and it varies from person to person.
Usually, Metformin does not cause low blood sugar , unlike other diabetic medicines. However, it can cause low blood sugar if you do not eat on time, go for an excessive workout, take Metformin with other diabetic medicines and consume alcohol. Also, low blood pressure can lead to unconscious state below mentioned are the few symptoms of low blood sugar and you need to be extremely careful about your approach while dealing with low blood sugar.
- Behavioral change similar to intoxication
- Blurred vision and cold sweats
- Confusion and difficulty in thinking and perceiving
- Pale skin and drowsiness
- Nausea nervousness, nightmarish restlessness and slurred speech
- Unusual weakness
Anytime you experience symptoms of low blood sugar make sure to take necessary precautionary measures and remedies. Take glucose or tablets whichever is available, if possible take corn syrup. If you are at home, then you can choose usual home remedies such as honey, sugar cubes, fruit juice and check your sugar level. If things get worse such as convulsions and unconsciousness, then use glucagon. Make sure you keep glucagon kit with needle and syringe at home and learn to use it by yourself and ask your family members to learn to use it, in case you required them to inject.
How To Reduce Your Blood Sugar Level Naturally
Its possible to reduce your blood sugar level naturally without medication. However, you will need to make one or more significant lifestyle changes that promote better overall health and decrease insulin resistance or increase insulin sensitivity. Follow the below steps to lower your blood sugar naturally.
Dr. Raja gives her five tips that can help reduce your blood sugar, The first thing is to eat a low carb diet, low in starchy foods, highly processed foods or concentrated sugars. Second is to regularly exercise, a minimum of 30 minutes five days a week. The third way is to incorporate some form of strength conditioning, simple body weight exercises that help build muscle, since muscle decreases insulin sensitivity. The fourth way is intermittent fasting and the fifth is weight loss, even a few pounds. All these should help patients lower their insulin resistance, and lower their blood sugar naturally.
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How To Treat Someone Whos Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
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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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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.
Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Experts agree that individuals living with type 2 diabetes can improve their symptoms with a few simple lifestyle tweaks.
Its the Holy Grail for people with diabetes: Checking your blood sugar and seeing the numbers right in line. Can lifestyle changes help? Yes, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, a diabetes nutrition expert based in Newport News, Virginia.
If you have diabetes, lowering blood sugar isnt just a short-term goal according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it helps prevent or delay diabetes complications, including heart, kidney, eye, and nerve diseases. It can change the course of the disease entirely.
It’s 100 percent important that try and lower their blood sugars through dietary approaches first, says Jessica Crandall Snyder, RD, CDCES, with Vital RD in Denver. For some people, it not only can be preventive, but it can also help with reversal of the actual disease.
Crandall Snyder says making a few key lifestyle changes can sometimes eliminate the need for medication. Poking yourself with insulin isn’t fun, she says. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and you really have to figure out how to take control.
Here are 10 ways to do it, no prescriptions required.
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