How Do I Treat Low Blood Glucose
If you begin to feel one or more symptoms of low blood glucose, check your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose level is below your target or less than 70 mg/dL, follow these steps
How Do I Treat An Episode Of Hypoglycemia
The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule for an episode of hypoglycemia:
- Eat or drink 15 grams of carbs to raise your blood sugar.
- After 15 minutes, check your blood sugar.
- If its still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs.
- Repeat until your blood sugar is at least 70 mg/dL.
If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia but cant test your blood sugar, use the 15-15 rule until you feel better.
Note: Children need fewer grams of carbs. Check with your healthcare provider.
Questions Caregivers Should Ask
As a family member, friend, or caregiver, you want to do your best to keep your loved one, friend, or patient safe from severe hypoglycemia. But knowing whats best can be overwhelming. Here are some questions to help you get started.
- What are my loved ones/friends/patients chances for severe hypoglycemia?
- How often should my loved one/friend/patient check their blood glucose?
- What should I do if there is no change after giving the glucagon?
- What would be the best food or drink to give my loved one/friend/patient once they wake up?
- Should I talk with a diabetes educator?
- How can I help treat their hypoglycemia?
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When Your Blood Sugar Gets Low
Check your blood sugar whenever you have symptoms of low blood sugar. If your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL, treat yourself right away.
1. Eat something that has about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Examples are:
- 3 glucose tablets
- One half cup of fruit juice or regular, non-diet soda
- 5 or 6 hard candies
- 1 tablespoon or 15 mL of sugar, plain or dissolved in water
- 1 tbsp of honey or syrup
2. Wait about 15 minutes before eating any more. Be careful not to eat too much. This can cause high blood sugar and weight gain.
3. Check your blood sugar again.
4. If you do not feel better in 15 minutes and your blood sugar is still lower than 70 mg/dL , eat another snack with 15 g of carbohydrates.
You may need to eat a snack with carbohydrates and protein if your blood sugar is in a safer range — over 70 mg/dL — and your next meal is more than an hour away.
Ask your provider how to manage this situation. If these steps for raising your blood sugar do not work, call your doctor right away.
Examples Of Easily Digestible Carbohydrates
- 1/2 cup of juice or regular soda
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 4 or 5 saltine crackers
- 3 or 4 pieces of hard candy or glucose tablets
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
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.
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Severe Low Blood Sugar
As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:
- 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.
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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Upswing: Steroids And Water Pills
People take corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to treat rashes, arthritis, asthma, and many other conditions. But they can boost your blood sugar, and may even trigger diabetes in some people. Diuretics that help high blood pressure, also called water pills, can do the same. Some antidepressants also raise or lower blood sugar.
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Severely Low Blood Sugar
Severely low blood sugar is when your blood sugar falls below 54 mg/dL, making you faint.
There are a variety of symptoms related to a low blood sugar episode. Although these symptoms may start mildly, they tend to progress very fast
- Tingling sensations or numbness around the mouth
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Check Your Blood Sugar Often
Regularly checking your blood sugar level can help you keep it in your target range. If youve had low blood sugar episodes in the past, you may want to check your blood sugar levels before driving or operating machinery.
Talk with your doctor about when and how often you should check your blood sugar.
Treating Low Blood Sugar
If blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL, it should be treated by consuming food or drink containing 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Fruit juice and candies are preferred as they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. It doesnt take much juice to get to 15 grams of carbohydrates about one-half cup will suffice.
Glucose tablets or glucose gels are a popular treatment for low blood sugar because theyre easy to have on hand in all different types of situations.
They dissolve quickly and provide pure glucose, so the blood sugar rapidly absorbs them to raise blood sugar. They are available over the counter without a prescription, so this is a convenient option for most people.
For cases of severe hypoglycemia, you can use a glucagon injection. Like insulin, glucagon is a hormone the pancreas produces. However, glucagon has the opposite effect as insulin as it stimulates the breakdown of liver glycogen stores into glucose, which raises blood sugar.
Medical professionals must prescribe glucagon injections. Theyre especially helpful to use when hypoglycemia is severe, or the person is too unresponsive to take in food or drink to treat the low blood sugar.
* An unresponsive person should always receive emergency medical treatment.*
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Checking For Low Blood Sugar Levels
The warning signs of hypoglycemia are the body’s natural response to low blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels fall too low, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which helps get stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. This can make someone:
- have an increased heart rate
If the hypoglycemia isn’t treated, more serious symptoms may happen, such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
The only way to know for sure if you’re having a low blood sugar level is to test. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a . This computerized device measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. But if you can’t quickly check your blood sugar level, it’s important to treat yourself for hypoglycemia immediately to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Sometimes a person with diabetes may have symptoms of low blood sugar levels, but blood sugar levels are not actually low. This is a called a false reaction. The hormone adrenaline is not just released when blood sugar drops too low it’s also released when blood sugar levels fall quickly when they’re too high. If you’re having a false reaction, you might actually have blood sugar levels in a healthy range but feel as if you have low blood sugar. Testing blood sugar levels before treating yourself for hypoglycemia can help you figure out if you’re having a false reaction.
Treating A Low Blood Sugar Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You don’t 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 them or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar goes low.
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What Is Low Blood Sugar
When the body absorbs food, blood sugar goes up and the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin so the food can be digested and converted into energy. However, if blood sugar drops too low, the body tells the liver to release a type of sugar called glycogen, which is designed to help restore balance when the body perceives a problem.
For people who arent living with diabetes, this release of glycogen from the liver naturally occurs without them ever realizing it. However, for people living with diabetes, the bodys response to hypoglycemia is impaired.
Eventually, and sometimes on delay, the glycogen will release from the liver and the person with diabetes will experience hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. This rebound impact of hypoglycemia, followed by hyperglycemia, doesnt feel very good and can make the person feel tired and worn out.It is not just high blood sugars and lack of insulin that people with type 1 diabetes have to deal with, said Dr. Jordan Pinsker, Vice President and Medical Director for Tandem Diabetes Care who is also a leading endocrinologist. Many people do not realize that even shortly after the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is made, the cell signaling that the body uses to raise blood sugar is also not always working correctly. This makes it even harder to respond to a low blood sugar.
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It Can Also Cause A Rapid Rise In Your Blood Sugar
Drinking alcohol can also trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar. This often occurs when you drink sweet wine or beer, both of which are high in carbohydrates, or cocktails made with sugary mixers, soda, or fruit juice.
These liquid carbs go quickly into your bloodstream and you may see that temporary spike in blood sugar followed by a delayed low-blood sugar reaction, warns Sheth.
Alcoholic beverages also tend to make us hungry for, well, chips, pizza, pretzels, and other high-carb, blood sugar-raising foods, which may make the rollercoaster rise-and-fall of blood glucose even more pronounced.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
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Treating Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Drowsy
Follow these steps:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
Listen To Your Doctor
If you follow a meal plan or take medications that increase insulin to manage low blood sugar, its important to stick to the plan your doctor prescribed to help prevent drops in your blood sugar level.
Not eating the right foods or taking the right medications at the correct times can cause your blood sugar to drop. Check in often with your doctor so they can adjust your treatment plan if and when necessary.
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What Is The Cure For Low Blood Sugar
What is the cure for low blood sugar? One very effective natural cure for low blood sugar is licorice. This herb has a mild sweet taste and helps increase the blood sugar level in the body. Drink a cup of licorice root tea whenever you experience symptoms of low blood sugar.
How do you fix low blood sugar? Use During Hypoglycemia. Orange juice is one of the recommended sources of carbohydrate for treating low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, in diabetics because it quickly increases your blood sugar levels. For this condition, drink 4 ounces of orange juice and recheck blood sugar levels after 10 to 15 minutes, repeating the treatment if blood sugar levels are still too low.
What are the symptoms of blood sugar drop? When blood sugar levels drop, symptoms can include trembling, anxiety, palpitations , sweating, clammy skin, and hunger.
How do you treat hypoglycemia? Treatment of hypoglycemia is by eating foods high in simple sugars or taking dextrose. If a person is not able to take food by mouth, an injection of glucagon may help. The treatment of hypoglycemia unrelated to diabetes includes treating the underlying problem as well and a healthy diet.
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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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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.
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Hypoglycemia is the medical word for low blood sugar level. It needs to be treated right away. Why? Because glucose, or sugar, is the bodys main fuel source. That means your body including your brain needs glucose to work properly.
When blood sugar levels go lower than theyre supposed to, you can get very sick. Your parents and your diabetes health care team will tell you what your blood sugar levels should be and what to do if they get too low.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.