When Its Time To Call A Doctor
If any of the symptoms mentioned have begun to impact your life, such as fatigue so severe you cant stay awake through the day, its a good idea to consult your physician. Dr. Fruge warns that unstable blood sugar levels could put you at higher risk of heart disease and stroke and it is a red flag for serious health issues so blood sugar issues should be taken seriously.
You should also see a doctor if youre experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia and havent been diagnosed with diabetes or any other underlying condition.;
If you do have diabetes and your hypoglycemia isnt responding to the treatments described above, thats another good cue to call your health care provider.;
If testing reveals you have Type 1 diabetes, youll need to continue to test your blood sugar levels as often as instructed by your physician, take insulin regularly and participate in regular exercise. This may mean you will need a new glucose monitoring system, so ask your doctor what they recommend. If youre diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, youll most likely need to do the same as for Type 1, as well as working with health care professionals to make lifestyle changes such as improving nutrition and planning workouts. Medication may be necessary as well.
Healthy eating, regular exercise and other lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms and possibly even reverse prediabetes.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar In The Morning
The causes of low blood sugar in the morning vary. If you have diabetes, you likely need to adjust your background insulin levels. Make sure youre aware of how any other medications you take can affect your blood sugar. Your doctor can help you make sure that your insulin dosage and any other medications you take are a good fit with your diet and exercise routines. Additionally, alcohol usage is a risk for hypoglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes, hypoglycemia is less likely to occur. However, some non-diabetes-related causes of hypoglycemia include the following:
- drinking too much alcohol the previous night, which makes it harder for your liver to release glucose into your blood, thus causing a low blood sugar
- chronic starvation
Treating low blood sugar is fairly simple. If you wake up with hypoglycemia symptoms, try to consume about 15 grams of carbohydrates as soon as possible. Snacks that provide this include:
- 3 glucose tablets
- 1/2 cup of non-sugar-free fruit juice
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1/2 can of non-diet soda
Make sure you dont eat too much to treat low blood sugar, as this can have an opposite affect and make your levels too high. Wait 15 minutes after your first snack. If youre not feeling better, have another 15 grams of carbohydrates. Pairing your carbohydrate with a protein and healthy source of fat, such as nuts, seeds, cheese, or hummus, helps to keep you full and prevent another big drop in blood sugar.
Treating Low Blood Sugars Quickly And Accurately
Its easy to panic when having a low glucose. Your heart is racing, your body is pumping out adrenaline, and your stomach says Feed me! FEED ME!!! Your brain isnt working logically, and if you live alone you may be afraid if you dont eat that chocolate cake, you might pass out and not wake up.
But binging to correct lows only causes rebound highs. Your body will also be raising your blood glucose by releasing stored glucose from the liver. Dual responses from you and your liver keep the roller coaster going. So eat quickly, but restrain yourself from piling on more carbs in a binge til you stop shaking routine. If you are on an AID, remember that your basal delivery has been reduced for some time beforehand, reducing the number of carbs that you need for treatment.
Also Check: What Happens To Your Body When You Cut Out Sugar
When It’s Time To Call A Doctor
If any of the symptoms mentioned have begun to impact your life, such as fatigue so severe you can’t stay awake through the day, it’s a good idea to consult your physician. Dr. Fruge warns that “unstable blood sugar levels could put you at higher risk of heart disease and stroke and it is a red flag for serious health issues” — so blood sugar issues should be taken seriously.
You should also see a doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia and haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes or any other underlying condition.;
If you do have diabetes and your hypoglycemia isn’t responding to the treatments described above, that’s another good cue to call your health care provider.;
If testing reveals you have Type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to continue to test your blood sugar levels as often as instructed by your physician, take insulin regularly and participate in regular exercise. This may mean you will need a new glucose monitoring system, so ask your doctor what they recommend. If you’re diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you’ll most likely need to do the same as for Type 1, as well as working with health care professionals to make lifestyle changes such as improving nutrition and planning workouts. Medication may be necessary as well.
Healthy eating, regular exercise and other lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms and possibly even reverse prediabetes.
What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
Read Also: What Is The Best Blood Sugar Test Kit
How Serious Is Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemic episodes can range from mild to severe.
Mild hypoglycemia can usually be treated by the individual and are to be expected to some degree in people on insulin. Mild hypos are not associated with significant long term health problems unless they are occurring very regularly or for long periods of time.
Severe hypoglycemia, however,;will require treatment from someone else and may require an ambulance. Severe hypos can lead to immediate danger if not treated immediately. Whilst rare, severe hypos can potentially lead to coma and death.
- What is dead in bed syndrome ?
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Despite advances in the treatment of diabetes, low blood sugar episodes occur as a side effect of many treatments for diabetes. In fact, these episodes are often the limiting factor in achieving optimal blood sugar control, because many medications that are effective in treating diabetes carry the risk of lowering the blood sugar level too much, causing symptoms. In large scale studies looking at tight control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, low blood sugars occurred more often in the patients who were managed most intensively. This is important for patients and physicians to recognize, especially as the goal for treating patients with diabetes becomes tighter control of blood sugar.
While people who do not have any metabolic problems can complain of symptoms that resemble low blood sugar, true hypoglycemia usually occurs in people with diabetes mellitus . People with pre-diabetes or insulin resistance also can have low blood sugars on occasion if their high circulating insulin levels are further challenged by a prolonged period of fasting. There are other rare causes for the condition, such as insulin-producing tumors and certain medications.
These uncommon causes of hypoglycemia will not be discussed in this article, which will primarily focus on the condition occurring with type 1 or 2 diabetes and its treatment.
You May Like: How Do You Test Your Blood Sugar
Low Blood Sugar: Warning Indicators Ways To Treat And When To Call The Doctor
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 34 million folks dwelling in the United States had diabetes in 2018 and amazingly, 21% of adults with diabetes didnt even know that they had it. The scariest half is that, if left untreated, diabetes will be lethal and, actually, it was the seventh main reason behind dying in the 12 months 2017.;
And whereas usually related to excessive blood sugar , diabetic of us also can expertise hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, alongside its personal bevy of issues together with extra extreme and/or long-term results like seizures, lack of consciousness, dementia and even dying. Further, in accordance to the Mayo Clinic, hypoglycemia also can trigger low blood sugar in of us with out diabetes due to quite a lot of circumstances and drugs.
So, unnecessary to say, it is vital to preserve wholesome blood sugar ranges. But how is that this performed, particularly if you do not know the very first thing about blood sugar?
Our Health & Wellness e-newsletter places the greatest merchandise, updates and recommendation in your inbox.
Now What Do You Do While You Wait For Your Blood Sugar To Rise
The waiting can be the hardest part listening to some calming music or an interesting podcast can help you stay calm and keep busy while you wait.; Deep breathing and meditation can help curb anxiety associated with lows in the moment.; Also, setting a timer can be helpful as you will know when 10 or 15 minutes have passed.; After that time, you can evaluate if you need additional carbohydrates to increase your blood sugar even more.
Treating low blood sugars is part of having Type 1 diabetes and should be something you feel comfortable doing even though you would rather avoid them altogether.; Ask your health team to help guide you or reach out to an IDS staff member.; We are here to help!
Treatment Plan For Lows
*** Remember that IOB calculations CANNOT be accurate unless your Active Insulin Time or Duration of Insulin Action time is set to at least 4.5 hours or LONGER!
More grams of carbs than these will likely be needed:
- If you forget and take 2 boluses/injections for a meal, or
- If you took a meal bolus but never ate the meal .
Quick treatment reduces stress hormone release and the chances of your glucose rising sharply afterward. Plus youll quickly feel better and your brain, muscles, and cells will thank you for resupplying the fuel that shortens their misery.
Ask Dana: How To Treat Your Low Blood Sugar Readings
For years I have struggled to get my blood sugars under control. This year, I started to use a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump for the first time and have noticed a big improvement in my management. Now, my biggest problem is that I feel low even when Im not actually low. I also struggle with overeating when I am low I get so nervous and anxious that I cant seem to stop. Do you have any advice or direction for me?
Leslie OMalley, Miami, Florida
You bring up some great questions and are dealing with issues that many people struggle with while improving their diabetes management.; Congratulations on your hard work and dedication to managing your diabetes in a new way!
Lets discuss two things to begin with. First, we always want to find a way to stop the lows.; The use of a continuous glucose monitor can help tremendously with predictive alarms and ways to help you prevent lows from occurring on a regular basis.; You always want to make sure that your pump settings are optimized and not causing these lows on a regular basis.; However, we know that despite all of our hard work and focus on diabetes management, lows STILL occur even to the best of us!; You may not have experienced so many lows when your blood sugars were running on the higher side in years past.; So, second, we need to talk about how you are treating your lows.
Also Check: What Should Fasting Blood Sugar Be
Can You Raise Blood Sugar Without Food
Two products glucose gel and chewable glucose tablets are also effective at quickly raising blood sugar. Theyre available without a prescription and are recommended for people who experience frequent episodes of low blood sugar.
If youve had severe low blood sugar symptoms in the past, speak with your doctor about whether a glucagon kit is right for you. Glucagon is a hormone that triggers your liver to release glucose into the bloodstream.
These kits are only available by prescription. Theyre used to raise your blood sugar when youre not able to eat or drink, such as in a state of unconsciousness. Therefore, someone else, like a friend or family member, typically administers this medication for you.
An episode of low blood sugar that necessitates assistance from another person is by definition severe hypoglycemia. The kits come with a syringe and needle that can be used to inject glucagon into your arm, thigh, or buttocks.
Be sure to ask your doctor when and how to use a glucagon kit. Also, let your family and friends know how to use it and how to recognize a hypoglycemic emergency.
There are many different factors that can cause a dip in your blood sugar levels. Here are some of the most common causes.
How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar
Weve all been in the position of having a bad low blood sugar, where all you want to do is eat everything in sight. Theres no reasoning with yourself. Its like a demon has hijacked your self-control!
It makes perfect senseyour body just wants to get your blood sugar back up to a safe level, and its doing its best to ensure that the low is corrected.
But eating your weight in carbs is just going to result in high blood sugar, and then you are dealing with the opposite problem. Whats a person with diabetes to do?
First of all, fix the low. Get your blood glucose level above 70 mg/dl .
Its best to use a dextrose-based treatment, like glucose tablets or gel, to get the BG up to a safe level. Using something high glycemic index is important when you are very low and need to quickly raise the blood glucose, especially if you have a lot of insulin on board.
Be careful to treat with the right amount of carb, as opposed to over-treating.
- If you weigh less than 60 lbs, a gram of carb will raise your BG about 6 points.
- If you weigh 100-160 lbs, a gram of carb should raise your BG about 4 points.
- If you weigh 160-220 lbs, a gram of carb might raise you 3 points.
And give the carbohydrates 15-20 minutes to raise the BG. Do a follow-up fingerstick because there is a lag time with CGM sensors, and the BG you get with a fingerstick will be a more accurate reflection of your response to your treatment. If you are still low, repeat the treatment.
You May Like: How To Lower Sugar Levels Fast
If Your Childs Blood Sugar Is Less Than :
It is important to use quick-acting carbohydrate. Do not just eat a snack if your blood sugar is too low. Food does not bring the blood sugar up quickly.
If your childs blood sugar is low at bedtime, always recheck the blood sugar and make sure it is over 90 before falling asleep.
Do not take too much carbohydrate for a low blood sugar because your blood sugar will go too high later on.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Is Elevated Blood Sugar
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.