What To Do If You Have Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
If you have diabetes and are experiencing mild to moderate hypoglycemia symptoms, you need to immediately eat or drink 15 grams of easily digestible carbohydrates.
Very low blood sugar is a medical emergency. If you or someone else with diabetes is experiencing severe symptoms, such as unconsciousness, its important to administer a medication called glucagon and contact emergency services immediately.
If youre at risk for low blood sugar, its important to talk with your doctor about getting a prescription for glucagon.
You should never give an unconscious person anything by mouth, as it could cause them to choke. If you have diabetes, make sure your family and friends know not to do this if you lose consciousness.
Low blood sugar can occur for a number of reasons. Its usually a side effect of diabetes treatment.
What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose
Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.
Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to
- high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
- hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low
Stick To An Eating Schedule
Eating at regularly scheduled intervals allows your body to get the nutrition it needs as well as allowing it the time to break down and store glucose as energy.
Eating at irregular intervals can result in there being more glucose in your blood than the body can break down. Eating at regular intervals means staying within the limits of the bodys ability to break down glucose.
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Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
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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.
How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies
Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.
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How To Raise Blood Sugar Levels
If you haven’t had anything to eat or drink for sometime or have done excessive exercise there are chances that your blood sugar levels will drop. In diabetics, an insulin dose without carbohydrate intake can lead to hypoglycaemia. The symptoms of hypoglycaemia appear when the blood glucose levels drop below 3.35 mmol/l or 70 gm/dl.
The most effective and immediate way to raise blood sugar level is to take glucose rich foods. Consuming 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates can restore the blood sugar level. Here is a list of the best options to eat if the blood glucose levels drop:
Fresh juice, energy drinks, sports drinks, milk and other juices are ideal for increasing blood sugar level immediately. ½ cup of apple or pineapple juice or ½ cup of milk or any other sweet drink like soda or sports drink contains sufficient amount of glucose to raise blood sugar levels. These are rapidly absorbed and the symptoms get better very quickly.
2. Sweets and Candies
If you know that you are prone to getting low blood sugar levels, always keep some sweets or candies with you. The minute you feel the symptoms, pop some in your mouth for fast relief. Though not a very healthy choice, these are very effective to raise blood sugar levels instantly.
4. Glucose Tablets and Gels
Honey or any other sweet drink or sauce can be taken for correction of hypoglycaemia.
How Long Does It Take To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
Whether youre trying to prevent the development of diabetes or you want to manage your blood sugar or type 2 diabetes, you probably want to know how long it’s going to take to lower your blood sugar naturally.
Without taking diabetes medication, like long-acting insulin, you can successfully begin to lower your blood sugar naturally in 2 3 weeks.
There is some evidence to suggest that you could reverse diabetes with natural blood sugar-lowering methods, though it may take longer and is unlikely to be permanent.
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Take Supplements Product To Improve Blood Sugar Levels
The blood sugar balance formula claims to regulate your glucose levels. However, it can also interact with prescription and natural supplements, causing more harm than good. For this reason, you should always consult a medical professional before taking any supplements. The best way to find out if a supplement is right for you is to talk to your doctor. Read on for more information. You can also check out the reviews of the product to see if it has worked for others.
A Supplement To Improve Blood Sugar Levels may be able to help you lose weight, stop unhealthy food cravings, or support healthy hormone production. The best products work in multiple ways to meet your goals and maintain the health of your blood sugar. The best products are backed by real scientific studies to prove their benefits. Some of the supplements claim to use a pinch technique that has been developed by the United States Marines. Other products cite studies conducted on individual ingredients to show the effects of the supplement.
It is important to understand the difference between a diet supplement and an effective diabetes lifestyle. Although the best way to manage blood sugar is to follow a balanced diet, a healthy diet, exercise, a well-made supplement can help you manage your condition without harmful side effects. This will help you stay away from dangerous drugs like metformin. This way, you can focus on your lifestyle and improve your blood sugar levels.
How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia
You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:
- Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
- Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
- Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
- Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
- Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
- Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.
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How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
Do Not Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar
It’s very dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if necessary. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on.
Be prepared. Keep a sugar source in your car at all times for emergencies.
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When To Look For Care
Its necessary that you get immediate medical attention if your blood sugar drops and you have serious symptoms, like seizures or loss of awareness.
If you have diabetes & your blood sugar drops, & the normal quick-fix treatments dont help raise your blood sugar above 70 mg/dL, its likewise important to get treatment as soon as possible. This happens more frequently with taking excessive long-acting insulin or sulfonylurea diabetes pills. Likewise, make sure to get healthcare if you dont have diabetes but have symptoms of hypoglycemia that dont go endlessly or get worse after youve tried at least 15 grams of carbohydrates.
What Causes Low Blood Glucose In People With Diabetes
Low blood glucose levels can be a side effect of insulin or some other medicines that help your pancreas release insulin into your blood. Taking these can lower your blood glucose level.
Two types of diabetes pills can cause low blood glucose
- sulfonylureas, usually taken once or twice per day, which increase insulin over several hours
- meglitinides, taken before meals to promote a short-term increase in insulin
The following may also lower your blood glucose level
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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 it’s something you should get checked out. There can be two main issues with your blood sugar — either it’s consistently too high or too low. Even if you don’t 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 health care provider.
On the flip side, 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 you’re hyperglycemic and can’t keep fluids or food down, call for emergency medical assistance.
Tips On How To Lower Blood Sugar At Home
High levels of blood sugar can be indicative of a range of problems, including a reduced level of insulin sensitivity, prediabetes, and even diabetes.
Lowering your blood sugar can help to boost overall health as well as delay or prevent the development of chronic health conditions.
Understanding what causes blood sugar spikes and how to lower your overall blood sugar level in a natural way can help to keep you in good health.
Whether you want to understand at-home blood sugar management for your health or to manage a preexisting health condition, this article can help you out.
In this article, were going to take a look at a few ways that you can lower your blood sugar at home, including:
- Keep a daily log of your blood glucose levels
- Cut down on carbs
- Include foods rich in chromium and magnesium
- Include foods with a low glycemic index
- Choose health snacks between meals
- Include blood-sugar-lowering foods in your diet
- Eat small portions more frequently
- Stick to an eating schedule
- Never skip breakfast
- Dont rely solely on supplements or vitamins
- Keep your muscles busy with exercise
- Get a handle on stress
- Take care of your sleep schedule
- Get your weight under control
- Get regular checkups from your doctor
- Signs of high blood sugar
- Reasons why you need to lower your blood sugar in the first place
- How long does it take to lower your blood sugar naturally?
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Preventing Low Blood Sugar
Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
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Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels .
However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia.
Internal causes for high blood sugar include when your liver produces too much glucose, your body makes too little insulin, or your body cant effectively use insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance (
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes and that another 34.5% have prediabetes. This means that close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes .
Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to limb and life threatening complications (
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can more effectively use the available sugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction .
Whats more, researchers recommend doing so-called exercise snacks to lower blood sugar and prevent the damage that sitting all day can do .
Ramp Up Your Movement Each Day
Exercise helps improve blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and the bodys ability to use glucose as energy, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 2, exercise helps improve insulin resistance, says James G. Beckerman, MD, a cardiologist in Portland, Oregon. The end result is lower blood sugars.
Crandall Snyder tells patients that exercise is like spring cleaning for the body. It takes the stored form of glucose and uses it for energy so the next time you eat carbohydrates there’s a place to put it, she says.
Because exercise can immediately reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, work with your healthcare team to determine the right amount of activity and timing for you. A study published in September 2017 in Frontiers in Endocrinology found exercising 30 minutes after the start of a meal is usually best for maintaining blood sugar controls.
Learn more about managing your blood sugar in Diabetes Daily’s article “HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.”
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