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How To Take Care Of Low Blood Sugar

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Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

Why Treat Low Blood Sugars With Glucose Tablets

How you react to low blood sugar may not be the same as how someone else with low blood sugar reacts. Its important to know your signs. Common symptoms may include:

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Hunger

If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.

You may not have any symptoms when your blood sugar is low . If you dont have symptoms, it will be harder to treat your low blood sugar early. This increases your risk of having severe lows and can be dangerous. This is more likely to happen if you:

  • Have had diabetes for more than 5-10 years.
  • Frequently have low blood sugar.
  • Take certain medicines, such as beta blockers for high blood pressure.

If you meet one or more of the above and you have hypoglycemia unawareness, you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low. This is very important to do before driving or being physically active.

What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels

Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:

  • skipping meals and snacks
  • not eating enough food during a meal or snack
  • exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
  • getting too much insulin
  • not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise

Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:

  • taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
  • injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
  • injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .

All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.

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Treating Low Blood Sugar At Night

There are two ranges of blood sugars to treat if your child is low because they need more carbohydrates if their blood sugar is less than 50.

Nighttime Low Blood Sugar Treatment For Children UNDER 5 Years Old:

Blood Sugar 50 or less Blood Sugar 51-100
  • Any 15 gram carbohydrate item

Remember:

  • 14 cup = 2 ounces
  • 12 cup = 4 ounces

Do you still have questions about managing your childs blood sugar levels during the day or at night? Contact the diabetes team at Childrens Diabetes Center, Childrens Hospital & Medical Center at for more information about how to treat your childs blood sugar levels to keep them safe.

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Talk To Your Doctor Or Nurse

If you use insulin and your blood sugar is frequently or consistently low, ask your doctor or nurse if you:

  • Are injecting your insulin the right way
  • Need a different type of needle
  • Should change how much insulin you take
  • Should change the kind of insulin you take

DO NOT make any changes without talking to your doctor or nurse first.

Sometimes hypoglycemia can be due to taking the wrong medicines. Check your medicines with your pharmacist.

What Extreme Conditions Can Occur If Hypoglycemia Is Left Untreated

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

Although severe episodes which can trigger potentially life-threatening comas are rare, they require immediate emergency room care, so its best to make sure you are tracking your blood sugar so that you never have to worry about getting to that point. A drop in blood sugar means less fuel for your brain, so its critical for your body to receive enough glucose. Hypoglycemia that leads to extended, reduced brain function is the biggest concern, as this can lead to seizures and loss of basic bodily functions controlled by the brain, which can ultimately lead to death, explains Dr. Dyer.

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How To Prevent It

Check your blood glucose regularly with your meter. You should also test your blood:

  • when you are on a new medication or a new dose

  • before driving a car or operating big machinery

  • before and after exercise

It is also a good idea to wear a medical alert bracelet, in case you have low blood glucose and pass out. And you should always carry fast-acting carbohydrates, like a roll of Life Savers candy or glucose tablets.

Personalizing Your Diet Based On Blood Sugar Response

In addition to seeing your healthcare provider, there are steps you can take to reduce your blood sugar levels. If you check your blood sugar after meals and keep track of those measurements, along with the types and amounts of food you ate, you may be able to see which foods are problematic.

Although an increase in blood sugar is usually due to eating high-carb foods, all carbs are not the same when it comes to raising blood sugar. Because starchy foods digest down to glucose very quickly, some starchy foods may end up having a much greater impact on blood sugar than you might expect.

For instance, even though a banana tastes sweeter than a baked potato, the potato may actually have a bigger impact on blood sugar.13

Because high-carb foods have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels, it makes sense to reduce them, no matter what type of diet you follow. The American Diabetes made this point in a 2019 paper on nutrition for people with diabetes.14

Sometimes making gradual changes can work best. Our guide, Eating better: six steps down carb mountain, can help you lower your carb intake, one step at a time.

If youve been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, our guide to the best foods for diabetes can help you make choices that may reduce your need for blood sugar control medications.

If a food or beverage seems to be causing your blood sugar to rise too much, try leaving it out of your diet for a few days to see if you notice a difference.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

Each person’s reaction to low blood sugar is different. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood sugar is low. Taking time to write these symptoms down may help you learn your own symptoms of when your blood sugar is low. From milder, more common indicators to most severe, signs and symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Feeling shaky
  • Color draining from the skin
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Feeling weak or having no energy
  • Blurred/impaired vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue or cheeks
  • Headaches
  • Nightmares or crying out during sleep
  • Seizures

The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing low blood sugar is to check your blood sugar, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood sugar for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia.

A low blood sugar 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 level 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 sugar stays low for too long, starving the brain of glucose, it may lead to seizures, coma and very rarely death.

Cause Of Low Blood Sugar

Insulin Questions: How do I treat my low blood sugar?

Some common causes of low blood sugar levels include:

  • When some people, even those who are not diabetic, eat very high carbohydrate, low-protein, low-fat meals or snacks , the high-carbohydrate foods enter the bloodstream very quickly and stimulate the pancreas to make a lot of insulin. All that insulin causes the blood sugar level to fall quickly and it can actually fall below the normal range and cause symptoms. This is called postprandial hypoglycemia.
  • When diabetics take insulin, they can take more insulin than is needed, and this will cause a low blood sugar level.
  • Rarely, nondiabetics can have an insulin-producing tumor in their pancreas that causes frequent low blood sugar levels.
  • Other causes of hypoglycemia include: starving the body for prolonged periods by skipping or delaying meals, sudden and dramatic increase in physical activity , or excessive alcohol intake on an empty stomach.

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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.

The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.

How Long Does It Take For Intermittent Fasting To Lower Blood Sugar

Not eating can affect your blood sugar levels. It can take a few hours for glucose to enter the cells in the body, thereby, lowering your blood sugar levels.

This is why when you need to undergo fasting blood glucose to measure the sugar in your blood, you have to fast for at least 8 hours.

Thats how long your body works to sweep all glucose molecules from the bloodstream and make them enter your cells.

Thus, the longer you fast, the lower your blood sugar levels will be. If you dont eat and theres no more glucose available, your body starts to use up stored fats.

When your body starts to use fats for energy, your body burns more calories.

If youre obese and you fast intermittently for a few months, youll lose a significant amount of weight. But thats not a definite result.

Some people practice intermittent fasting but still gain weight. Why?

Thats because they binge or overeat after their fasting period is over. Its one reason you still need to monitor your calorie intake when you do IF.

However, you may not need to monitor your calorie intake if you eat twice a day and you consume less sugar.

Furthermore, some people still gained weight after intermittent fasting for a few weeks because they have a false sense of security.

They think that just because they practice IF, they dont have to follow a positive eating habit.

They eat whatever they want including processed foods.

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How To Use A Glucose Meter

Glucometers are easy to use. Take the following steps to successfully test blood glucose:

  • Set out the glucose meter, a test strip, the lancet device, and an alcohol prep pad.
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water.
  • Switch on the glucose meter, and insert a test strip when the device is ready.
  • With an alcohol prep pad, wipe the planned site of injection. Wait for the alcohol to evaporate.
  • Prick the finger with the lancet, and gently squeeze the finger until a small drop of blood develops.
  • Place the drop of blood on the strip.
  • Wait for the glucose meter to process the data.
  • Read the result on the screen of glucose meter.
  • Follow your doctors instructions in line with whichever reading shows on the screen.
  • Keep a log of each glucose reading, as this helps the doctors find the best treatment plan. More modern devices allow automatic storage of data.
  • People with type 2 diabetes normally need to test blood sugar concentrations at least once each day.

    Those who need to take insulin, which includes all people with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2, have to test their blood several times a day.

    An accurate reading of the blood glucose level can help achieve good diabetes control.

    Overdose Of Diabetes Medication

    Pin on h e a l t h

    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. It√Ęs 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.

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    Best Foods For Low Blood Sugar

    For patients with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is a part of daily life.

    Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can occur for many people with diabetes who are on certain medications, including insulin. It can occur for a variety of reasons including skipping a meal, exercising strenuously, taking too much insulin or consuming alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.

    Low blood sugar can be as minor as a slight inconvenience or as serious as a life-threatening emergency. Thats why it is important to boost blood sugar before it becomes problematic.

    Angela Norton, a diabetes educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, has diabetes herself, so she knows firsthand the tips and tricks of keeping blood sugar on track. Although blood glucose is considered normal if above 70 mg/dL, Norton says patients with diabetes should not wait until they reach below that threshold to take action.

    Treat when you feel the symptoms, even if your blood sugar is not below 70, because as long as it is less than 100, it may be dropping fast, she says.

    When it comes to treatment, Norton shares these five foods to help boost low blood sugar.

    1. CandyWhen hypoglycemia occurs, patients should follow the 15-15 rule. Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise blood glucose and check your levels again after 15 minutes. When the numbers return to normal, eat a snack to stay on track.

    Gummy candies contain carbohydrates, which have a large impact on blood sugar levels.

    Nighttime 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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    How To Deal With Low Blood Sugar

    How To Treat Low Blood Sugar

    In this article:

    Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, happens when the glucose level in the blood falls below the normal range.

    Given that glucose is your bodys primary source of energy, this condition can make you run out of steam and can give rise to a range of discomforting symptoms. Thus, you have to take measures to pump up your dwindling blood sugar back within the normal range in order to feel normal again.

    If left untreated, your blood sugar level can fall further, which could induce serious complications such as loss of consciousness and seizures. Plus, a severely low blood sugar level poses a risk to your life if not treated immediately.

    For those taking insulin, a low blood sugar level is considered to be less than 70 mg/dL. For those who are not diabetic and/or dont take insulin, blood sugar levels typically need to fall below 60 mg/dL before they would experience symptoms.

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    Hypoglycemia In Children: Pediatric Ketotic Hypoglycemia

    Some children experience pediatric ketotic hypoglycemia, involving low blood sugar levels and high levels of a substance known as ketones.

    Doctors do not know exactly why this happens, but causes may include:

    • metabolism problems that the child was born
    • conditions that lead to excess production of certain hormones

    Symptoms usually appear after the age of 6 months and disappear before adolescence.

    They include:

    • mood changes
    • clumsy or jerky movements

    If a child shows any of the above signs or symptoms, they should see a doctor as soon as possible.

    How To Treat It

    If you have hypoglycemia, you need to have food or a drink that is a fast-acting carbohydrate. Good sources include fruit juice, regular soda, glucose tablets, or glucose gel. A good rule of thumb is to eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait 15 minutes, and then test your blood again. If your blood glucose is still lower than 70 mg/dl, take another 15 grams and test again 15 minutes later. Although you may feel like you want to eat more, be aware that eating too much can send your glucose too high.

    CARBS IN A HURRY

    There are about 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate in:

    • 4 ounces of juice or soda

    • 8 ounces of skim milk

    • 56 Life Savers candies

    If you use glucose tabs or gel, check the package, because doses vary from brand to brand.

    A person who passes out from hypoglycemia should not be given food or drink. Instead, he or she needs a shot of glucagon. If your health care provider thinks that you may be at risk of a severe low, you will be given a prescription for a glucagon kit, which you should have with you at all times. Your friends, family, and other people around you, like a coworker or coach, will need to learn how to give you a glucagon shot if you are unable to treat yourself. If you have a severe low and glucagon is not available, someone must call 911.

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