Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For
Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:
- Take too much medication or insulin
- Are late eating a meal or snack
- Have increased physical activity
- Drink too much alcohol
Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.
Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.
It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.
Great Bedtime Snacks For People Living With Diabetes
For some people, a healthy bedtime snack helps to prevent glucose swings during the night. By eating a small snack that is full of protein and healthy fats , your body may be better able to avoid an overnight high but if you take insulin, be sure to cover the carbohydrates in your snack even if it only requires a small dose of insulin.
Here are some snack ideas:
Plain nuts or seeds try eating a small handful
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or tomatoes, with a small amount of hummus or peanut butter
Plain yogurt, and you can add berries or cinnamon
Remember, a bedtime snack is only helpful for some people. To see if it works for you, youll have to carefully monitor your glucose before bed, during the night, and when you wake up.
Symptoms Of Nocturnal Hypoglycemia
Is 250 High Blood Sugar What Happens If Blood Sugar Is Above 500 untreated.
The Guardian Connect System got its Machine that reads blood sugar without pricking What Is Normal Blood Sugar What Is Normal Blood Sugar Level FDA approval in the year 2018.
Most foods will not Low blood sugar levels causes lower glucose levels, but certain foods have shown Is 250 High Blood Sugar they can help Prevention Of Complications control .
You May Like: What Do I Do When My Blood Sugar Is Low
Processed Foods And Artificial Sweeteners
Diet affects every individual differently. But there is an observable trend of certain foods prone to cause diabetes. For example, processed foods with more sugar, fat, and artificial sweeteners can spike blood sugar. Research highlights the role of artificial sweetener sucralose in elevating serum glucose.
How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Overnight
The most important thing you can do to stabilize your blood sugar is monitor your glucose levels at bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up to look for patterns. This will help you determine whats going on in your body and how you can fix it. While there are many strategies people use to stabilize blood sugar at night, every person is different youll have to look for trends in your body, experiment with ways to lower glucose levels over a period of time, and learn what works best for your body.
Check your blood sugar before bed. If its already high, your blood sugar levels may remain high throughout the night. To address this, youll want to start by adjusting when you eat your evening meal and what it consists of, and how much mealtime insulin you take to cover it.
Avoid eating lots of food close to bedtime. For diaTribe writer Adam Brown, the key to staying in range overnight is low-carb, early dinners, with no snacking after dinner.
Consider eating less food at night and taking more basal insulin to cover your evening meal.
Check your blood sugar during the night, between midnight and 3am. If you were in range before bed but have high glucose levels between midnight and 3am, you may need to adjust your basal insulin dosage and timing. If you are low during that time, you may experience a rebound high blood sugar later on this is usually associated with overcorrecting the low.
Read Also: Is Sugar Bad For Parkinson’s Disease
Adopt A Healthy Morning Ritual
Developing a morning ritual is a great habit for a healthy mind and body and it will also help lower your morning blood sugar as well.
When you get up, have a small protein/ fat combined snack , then try doing some stretching or go for a shortwalk first thing in the morning just 5-10 minutes to get moving.
Exercise improves insulin sensitivity and moves glucose out of the muscles and into the cells.
Its often best to have that protein/ fat snack first though, before you do the exercise.
You May Like: How Many Carbs In Metamucil Sugar Free
What Factors Affect Blood Sugar
You can guess that carbohydrate intake and insulin production are at least partly responsible for your blood sugar levels. But the list is much longer — almost every lifestyle choice you make can affect your blood sugar. Here’s just a partial list.
- Exercise can affect insulin sensitivity, leading to lower blood sugar for up to 48 hours.
- Alcohol intake increases insulin production, causing low blood sugar.
- Stress hormones like cortisol can raise blood sugar, because your body wants access to energy in order to escape what it perceives as a dangerous situation.
- Medications, especially statins and diuretics, can raise blood sugar. Statins are used to treat cholesterol, and diuretics for high blood pressure.
- Diet is a major player in blood sugar. Eating too many simple carbs at once can cause levels to skyrocket, while protein intake leads to a slower increase in blood sugar.
- Dehydration raises blood sugar, because with less water in your body the glucose concentration will be higher.
Other surprising factors can affect your blood sugar, like a sunburn or gum disease, so if you’re dealing with a blood sugar issue and can’t figure out what’s causing your spikes and dips, talk to a healthcare professional.
Get the CNET Now newsletter
Read Also: What Should Be Random Blood Sugar Level
What Causes High Morning Blood Sugars
Two main culprits prompt morning highs: the dawn phenomenon and waning insulin. A third, much rarer cause, known as the Somogyi effect, may also be to blame.
The occasional morning high will have little impact on your A1C, a measure of your average blood sugar levels over time that indicates how well managed your diabetes is. But if those highs become consistent, they could push your A1C up into dangerous territory.
What Is Considered A Normal Blood Sugar Level
The normal blood sugar level for a healthy, non-diabetic adult is determined by when and how blood sugar levels are tested.
The below information describes what normal blood sugar levels are prior to and after meals and what the recommended HbA1c and Haemoglobin A1c levels are for those with and without diabetes.
If you are diabetic, it is advisable to consult with your doctor in order for appropriate blood sugar level targets to be set based on your age, the severity of your condition, medications taken and overall health status.
Read Also: What Fruit Has The Lowest Sugar
What You Should Know About Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar levels are of utmost concern for people with diabetic conditions. If you are worried about being prediabetic but do not know what level of blood sugar should be regarded as too high, you should find out immediately.
The American Diabetes Association sets some benchmarks for calling someone diabetic. You should consider yourself diabetic if you have
- A blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL or higher after fasting or before a meal.
- A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher 2 hours after taking a meal
- A hemoglobin A1C level of 6.5 or above.
These identifiers answer the question asked before 200 is too high for your blood sugar if youve checked your sugar level at least two hours after consuming a meal.
As pointed out already, whether youre diabetic or not depends on several conditions and symptoms. These symptoms may vary from person to person. It is recommended that you check your blood sugar levels if you suspect yourself as prediabetic but feel perfectly okay.
Who Is Most At Risk For Developing Diabetes
The following categories of people are considered “high-risk” candidates for developing diabetes:
- Individuals who have overweight or obesity.
- Individuals who are 45 years of age or older.
- Individuals with first-degree relatives with diabetes .
- Individuals who are Black, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asia American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders.
- People who developed diabetes while they were pregnant or gave birth to large babies .
- Individuals with high blood pressure .
- Individuals with high-density lipoprotein below 25 mg/dl or triglyceride levels at or above 250 mg/dl.
- Individuals who have impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance.
- Individuals who are physically inactive engaging in exercise less than three times a week.
- Individuals who have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS.
- Individuals who have acanthosis nigricans, which are dark, thick and velvety skin around your neck or armpits.
In addition to testing the above individuals at high risk, the American Diabetes Association also recommends screening all individuals age 45 and older.
You May Like: How Do You Know If Your Sugar Level Is Low
Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Want to know how to lower blood sugar? Here are six things to do to combat with high blood pressure.
Blood sugar is a tricky little beast. Yes, you can get a high reading if you throw caution to the wind and eat several slices of cake at a wedding.
The problem is that you can also have a high blood sugar reading if you follow every rule in the type 2 diabetes handbook. Thats because its not just food that affects blood sugar. You could have a cold coming on, or stress may have temporarily boosted your blood sugar. The reading could be wrong, and you need to repeat it. Or it could mean that your medicine is no longer working, and its time to try a new one.
The point is, its the pattern that matters, not a single reading.
Whatever you do, dont feel bad or guilty if you have a high blood sugar reading. A 2004 study found that blood sugar monitoring often amplifies feelings of being a success or failure at diabetes, and when readings are consistently high, it can trigger feelings of anxiety or self-blame.
This can cause some people to give up on testing completely. Try not to think of blood sugar monitoring as a test administered by a sour-faced teacher lurking in your distant past. Blood sugar monitoring is simply a tool that you can use to fight the disease. Here, six things you should know about how to lower your blood sugar when its way too high.
What Levels Of Blood Sugar Are Dangerous
If you live with diabetes, you probably know that life with the condition is similar to walking on a tightrope.
Staying in range without too many high and low blood sugars is a constant balancing act.
But what levels of blood sugar are actually considered dangerous?
This article will explore the issue and provide advice for how you can help manage both the highs and lows of diabetes, literally!
You May Like: Will Artificial Sweetener Raise Blood Sugar
What Is Blood Sugar
When you eat, the carbohydrate in your food is broken down into a usable form of energy called glucose. Glucose also known as sugar enters the bloodstream and a hormone called insulin helps move it into our cells.
This process lowers the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. When this process works efficiently, your muscles and organs have the fuel they need without there being too much glucose remaining in the blood.
What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level
Blood sugar level means the amount of glucose dissolved in the blood at any given time. It is an important indicator which shows the bodys overall metabolic condition. The normal range of blood sugar is from 3.5 mmol/L to 6.1 mmol/L during fasting and less than 7 mmol/L after having a meal.
If your blood sugar is higher than the normal range, it could be a sign of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes is the name of the condition where the body cannot properly process and absorb the glucose taken during eating, causing it to remain in the bloodstream. This can lead to many serious complications like nerve damage and loss of vision.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat High Sugar Level
Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
Complications From Chronic High Blood Sugar
Over time, high blood sugar damages the arteries and vessels of the body. When these vessels are damaged, complications can occur.
- Heart disease: people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes. People with diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
- Stroke: Diabetes increases the risk of stroke, as well as increases mortality when a stroke occurs.
- Kidney disease and failure: High blood sugar damages the kidneys and can lead to kidney disease. About one in four people with diabetes have kidney disease.
- Poor wound healing leading to amputations: High blood sugar inhibits proper wound healing. Diabetes is thought to be the leading cause of leg amputations worldwide.
- Neuropathy: Damage to the nerves, which can cause painful symptoms like numb and tingling legs and feet, as well as delayed stomach emptying from damage to the stomachs nerves.
- Retinopathy and blindness: Damage to the nerves in the eyes is called retinopathy, which can lead to blindness if not treated.
Don’t Miss: What Food Has No Sugar Or Carbs
Think About Whats Going On
Irene Dunbar, 73, of Durham, N.C., woke up one morning recently to discover her blood sugar was at 119, which is high for her. I had a cold and had had orange juice yesterday and I normally do not drink orange juice and I thought, I better not do that,’ she said. When she gets a high blood sugar reading, she tries to remember if she had anything recentlylike breadthat she knows are triggers, and avoids them next time.
You May Like: What Is Blood Sugar Level
Blood Sugar: When Its Too Low Or Too High
The hormone insulin takes sugar from food and uses it for energy. With type 2 diabetes, you dont have enough insulin or your body isnt effective at using insulin, and excess sugar continues to circulate in your bloodstream.
A target blood sugar range for most people with type 2 diabetes is 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before a meal and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after starting a meal, according to the American Diabetes Association.
A reading of 160 mg/dl or higher is typically considered high blood sugar . Over time, blood sugar in the range of 160 to 250 mg/dl can affect every organ in your body, Dr. Reddy says. It’s associated with heart disease, eye disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, stroke, and vascular disease. If blood sugar goes as high as 500 mg/dl, you may experience symptoms such as thirst, the urge to urinate more often, weight loss, low energy, and drowsiness, he says.
Low blood sugar occurs when levels fall to less than 70 mg/dl. This is a risk when you take insulin or other diabetes medications, have gone too long without a meal, have been active, or have been drinking alcohol.
If your blood sugar goes too low, youll probably feel shaky and sweaty and you may develop tremors, Reddy says. Other symptoms may include a racing heart, headache, weakness, confusion, hunger, irritability, lack of coordination, and pale skin. If your blood sugar continues to drop to 30 mg/dl and below, you could slip into a diabetic coma.
You May Like: Is 88 Blood Sugar Good
Techniques To Manage Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
Based on your glucose levels and trends, there are a few things you can do to manage your glucose levels so they dont run high in the morning. Some of these strategies focus on adjusting medications to better suit your needs. Other strategies include adjusting your exercise routine, as well as what and when you are eating before bed.
If your glucose levels are in range before bed, they may rise throughout the night without enough insulin. This can be especially true for people who take long-acting insulin in the morning, since it may be wearing off before your next dose.
Consider changing the time of day when you take your long-acting insulin. You may also benefit from switching to either twice-daily basal insulin or ultra-long-acting insulin, or from starting on an insulin pump. Read our article, Are You on the Right Kind of Insulin, to learn more.
Check your blood glucose during the night between 3 am and 8 am. If you are running high during these hours, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon.
Talk with your healthcare team about finding the best nighttime insulin regimen for you. If you take basal insulin, you may need to delay the timing of your dose to as close to bedtime as possible. Another option is to try an insulin pump or automated insulin delivery system. AID systems will automatically adjust your basal insulin doses throughout the night to help keep your glucose levels stable.