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Severe Low Blood Sugar

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

  • Feeling weak.
  • 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.

How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemia

You may need to change what and when you eat to prevent low blood sugar levels. Follow the meal plan that you and the dietitian have planned. The following guidelines may help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.

  • Eat 5 to 6 small meals each day instead of 3 large meals. Eat the same amount of carbohydrate at meals and snacks each day. Most people need about 3 to 4 servings of carbohydrate at meals and 1 to 2 servings for snacks. Do not skip meals. Carbohydrate counting can be used plan your meals. Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian for information about carbohydrate counting.
  • Limit refined carbohydrates. Examples are white bread, pastries , regular sodas, syrups, and candy.
  • Do not have drinks or foods that contain caffeine. Examples are coffee, tea, and certain types of sodas. Caffeine may cause you to have the same symptoms as hypoglycemia, and may cause you to feel worse.
  • Limit or do not drink alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Drink alcohol with meals to avoid hypoglycemia.
  • Include protein foods and vegetables in your meals. Some foods that are high in protein include beef, pork, fish, poultry , beans, and nuts. Eat a variety of vegetables with your meals.

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Why Am I Having Lows

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If you are experiencing low blood sugar and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood sugar, insulin, exercise and food data to a health care provider. Together, you can review all your data to figure out the cause of the lows.

The more information you can give your health care provider, the better they can work with you to understand what’s causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood sugar by adjusting the timing of insulin dosing, exercise and meals or snacks. Changing insulin doses or the types of food you eat may also do the trick.

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Treating Low Blood Sugar

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

  • Skip or delay a meal or snack
  • Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
  • Exercise
  • Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates

Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Weakness and/or fatigue

If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :

  • Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
  • Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
  • If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.

Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.

How To Raise Blood Sugar Fast Soft Drinks Soda Pop And Fruit Juices

Sugary drinks are an easy way to quickly get digestible foods into your system.

When you are in need to increase your blood sugar level, try pouring yourself a 1/2 cup or 120 mL helping of apple juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, orange juice or pineapple juice.

Most soda pops have considerable sugar content and a 1/2 cup or 120 mL serving will also help combat low blood sugar but make sure you avoid sugar-free options.

If you dont have any soft drinks available, you can also dissolve a tablespoon or 7.5 mL of sugar into a glass of water.

We know that sugar helps raise blood sugar levels, but some people wonder is honey good to raise blood sugar? The answer is yes! So, you can substitute a tablespoon of honey or even jelly if youd prefer.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a good place to start. Simple carbohydrates break down much faster than fat and protein and offer a quicker boost to your blood sugar level.

When carbohydrates are broken down by the body, they are turned into glucose, which is absorbed by the cells.

So carbohydrates are an important part of the diet of anyone trying to increase their blood sugar levels.

If your blood sugar levels are below 70 mg/dL, try eating 15 grams of carbohydrates and waiting 15 minutes for your blood sugar levels to rise.

Fruits to raise blood sugar: Try eating some fruits to raise blood sugar levels within your body.

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Exercise In The Afternoon

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Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, which allows the body to use insulin and glucose more effectively, increasing glucose movement during and after exercise. Studies have shown that exercise will lead to optimal insulin regulation. Exercise after dinner will set you up for steady glucose levels through the morning.

Research has also shown that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise before breakfast reduced the morning rise of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients, partially counteracting the dawn phenomenon. The same study also found that exercise significantly reduced blood glucose fluctuations and improved blood glucose control throughout the day.

Some of the best exercises for avoiding morning blood sugar spikes include:

  • A walk

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How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself

Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:

  • Have a sugary drink or snack like a small glass of fizzy drink or fruit juice, 4 to 5 jelly babies, 3 to 6 glucose tablets or 1 to 2 tubes of glucose gel.
  • Test your blood sugar after 10 minutes if it’s improved and you feel better, move on to step 3. If there’s little or no change, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • You may need to eat your main meal if it’s the right time to have it. Or, have a snack that contains a slow-release carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or toast, a couple of biscuits, or a glass of cows’ milk.
  • 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.

    Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes

    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.

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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:

    Whats The Link Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

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    Hypoglycemia is most common, by far, in people with diabetes. Treatment for the diseaseoften involves taking medication to increase insulin. Hypoglycemia can develop if things like food, exercise and diabetes medications are out of balance.

    Common pitfalls for people with diabetes include:

    • Being more active than usual.
    • Drinking alcohol without eating.
    • Eating late or skipping meals.
    • Not balancing meals by including fat, protein and fiber.
    • Not eating enough carbohydrates.
    • Not timing insulin and carb intake correctly .

    Also, if someone with diabetes uses the wrong insulin, takes too much or injects it incorrectly, that can cause hypoglycemia.

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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.

    Heredity Need Not Be Destiny

    Many people think theyre destined for lifetime struggles with excess weight and ultimately diabetes because its in my genes. They had parents or grandparents who were overweight and had diabetes.

    And sure, genetic factors predispose some of us to become fatter than others, but for most Americans, heredity need not be destiny, argues Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, Medical Director and Educator at the Pritikin Longevity Center.

    To her patients at Pritikin, Dr. Fruge brings the enthusiasm and expertise of a doctor who practices what she preaches.

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    How To Avoid Low Blood Sugar Levels

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    Hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose level can lead to many symptoms and there are certain ways to prevent it. The best thing is to have small frequent meals and have a balanced diet. Skipping meals or doing excessive exercise without proper food intake should be avoided and care must be taken if you are a diabetic or have any other medical condition leading to low blood glucose levels. Here are a few things you can do to prevent a low blood glucose level:

    1. Have a Protein Rich Breakfast

    Breakfast is the first and definitely the most important meal of the day and skipping breakfast is bad for your health. People who do not take breakfast have higher levels of stress hormones in their blood. These hormones stimulate insulin, and as a result the blood sugar levels drop. Having a nutritious breakfast, especially one containing proteins like egg, sausages and bacon can keep the blood sugar levels stable for longer.

    2. Incorporate Healthy Fats in your Diet

    Not all fats are bad and recent studies have clearly indicated that a certain amount of fats is required by the body for optimal performance. The body takes longer to breakdown and digest fats as compared to carbohydrates. They provide satiety and you can avoid the nasty cravings and hunger pangs if you incorporate the good fats in your daily diet. All non processed fats like butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil and egg yolks, etc are good sources of healthy fats.

    3. Snack Right

    4. Get Proper Sleep

    5. Other Tips

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    Focus On The Positives

    As youre making the transition to a new diet and making lifestyle changes, it can be easy to feel like youre giving up old favorites. A good way to flip this on its head is to focus on the positives of new changes.

    Improved mood, improved energy, better body weight, better fitness, improved control over your life and your blood health focus on the changes that you will be able to see happening in your body.

    A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes

    A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.

    Possible causes include:

    • a gastric bypass
    • other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
    • some medicines, including quinine

    See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.

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