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What Does It Mean To Have Low Blood Sugar Levels

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Seeking Treatment For Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycaemia – How to Treat and Prevent Low Blood Sugar

Since the condition can quickly lead to serious complications, dogs with suspected hypoglycemia should be taken to a vet as soon as possible. Once there, a doctor will perform a physical examination and take note of your dogs symptoms. The next step will be to determine, and ultimately stabilize, your dogs blood sugar levels. This testing is usually done with an instrument called a glucometer, like the FreeStyle Libre.

In some cases, your dogs vet may give your dog glucose or corn syrup orally. For more severe symptoms, dogs may require an intravenous injection of concentrated dextrose, a simple syrup made from corn or wheat. They may also perform further diagnostic tests to monitor your pet for liver disease and check on other organs. Both the length of your dogs stay at the vet clinic and the treatment options available to them will depend on the underlying cause of their condition.

In general, dogs respond quickly to treatment. If overexertion is the cause of their low blood sugar, they may simply need to rest. Getting your dog proper nutrition can also help turn things around. In some cases, though, like with excess insulin in diabetic dogs, an ongoing management plan must be created.

What Causes Hypoglycemia In A Child

Hypoglycemia can be a condition by itself. Or it can be a complication of diabetes or other disorder. Its most often a problem in someone with diabetes. It occurs when theres too much insulin. This is also called an insulin reaction.

Causes in children with diabetes may include:

  • Too much insulin or oral diabetes medicine

  • The wrong kind of insulin

  • Incorrect blood-glucose readings

  • Tingling feelings around the mouth

  • Nightmares and confusion on awakening

The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Low Blood Glucose During Sleep

Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include

  • crying out or having nightmares
  • sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
  • feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up

Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.

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How To Calculate Your Blood Sugar Level: The Complete Guide

To get an accurate reading of your blood sugar level, the best and most effective method is using a glucose meter. This will involve a small prick in your finger so receive a blood sample. The strip is then inserted into the meter and tested.

You may be wondering what your reading should be. There is no normal reading, an ideal reading differs from person to person. Everyone will get different readings at different times of the day. However, there is a rough range to determining a low, normal and high blood sugar level. Blood sugar level is read in mmol/L, which stands for millimoles per liter. Here is a guide as to what an ideal reading is for each diabetic type and non-diabetic patients:

Child
4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L 4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L

It is advised to check it regularly if you are concerned, show regular symptoms or have diabetes. You should check before meals, exercise, before bedtime and after driving. Everyone is different so it is best to ask your doctor if you are unsure how many times and when you should check your blood sugar levels.

Research shows that over 50% who try to estimate their blood sugar level reading are incorrect. This may be due to over underlying medical conditions that did not know they had or poor lack of judgement. Therefore, this suggests it is very important to test at home to check in on your levels regularly to avoid any unnecessary future complications.

Severe Low Blood Sugar

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As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

  • Feeling weak.
  • 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.

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What Is Type 2 Diabetes

Decreasing insulin production leads to an accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream. This condition worsens gradually over time. In the end, it develops into type 2 diabetes. It is also a root cause of certain nervous and circulatory system diseases.

This condition can be caused by several factors, such as:

  • Neuropathy

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Why Do These Symptoms Matter For Diabetics

These symptoms are essential for diabetics to understand, because they may encounter high or low blood sugar levels from time to time.

A cold or virus can cause sudden high blood sugar levels, and understand the symptoms means knowing how to deal with hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

People with diabetes who can recognise the symptoms can avoid levels that lead to medical emergencies such as diabetic ketoacidosis

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Complications From Spells Of Hypoglycemia

Mildly low blood sugar levels are somewhat common for people with diabetes. However, severely low blood sugar levels can be life threatening. They may lead to seizures and nervous system damage if left untreated long enough. Immediate treatment is critical.

Its important to recognize your symptoms and treat them quickly. For people at risk for low blood sugar, having a glucagon kit a medication that raises blood sugar levels is important. Talk with your doctor for more information.

You may also want to talk with friends, family members, exercise partners, and co-workers about how to care for you if your blood sugar drops too low.

Its important for them to recognize low blood sugar symptoms and to know how to use the glucagon kit, as well as understand the importance of calling 911 if you lose consciousness.

Wearing a medical identification bracelet is a good idea. It can help emergency responders care for you properly if you need urgent medical attention.

Treat low blood sugar as soon as possible. Avoid driving if you are experiencing low blood sugar, as it can increase your risk for having an accident.

There are several ways you can prevent low blood sugar. Well look at each of these prevention methods in more detail below.

Diabetes Medication That Can Help You Control Your Blood Sugar

Treating Low Blood Sugar

If youve been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will likely discuss medication options to help bring your blood sugar down. If you have prediabetes, on the other hand, youll probably rely on diet and lifestyle changes to help stabilize your numbers, though in some cases, you may need medication, Dodell says.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is treated with emergency insulin and fluids administered intravenously. But the goal with blood sugar control is to prevent this type of medical emergency from happening in the first place. If your blood glucose readings are consistently higher than usual, you may not be getting enough insulin. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage. You should also tell them about any other prescription or over-the-counter medication you take, as these could affect your blood sugar, too. Corticosteroids for inflammation are just one example.

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How Can I Check My Blood Sugar Level Without A Meter

There are ways in which you can check blood sugar level without the traditional meter method, but do note that they are not as accurate. A device called the continuous glucose monitoring pump is like an insulin pump, which can help you find patterns and trends in your sugar levels. These non-prick methods use electromagnetic waves to read glucose in the body.

How Is Hypoglycemia Treated In A Child

Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

For children with diabetes, the goal of treatment is to maintain a safe blood glucose level. This is done by:

  • Testing blood glucose often

  • Learning to recognize symptoms

  • Treating the condition quickly

To treat low blood glucose quickly, your child should eat or drink something with sugar such as:

  • Orange juice

  • Cake icing

  • A hard candy

Don’t use carbohydrate foods high in protein such as milk or nuts. They may increase the insulin response to dietary carbohydrates.

Blood glucose levels should be checked every 15 to 20 minutes until they are above 100 dg/dL.

If hypoglycemia is severe, your child may need a glucagon injection. Talk with your childs healthcare team about this treatment.

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If You Dont Have Diabetes

Even if you dont have diabetes, its important to eat regularly to prevent hypoglycemia. Ideally, meals and snacks should contain a balance of carbs, protein, and heart-healthy fats to help support healthy blood sugar levels.

You may also want to keep a few healthy snacks on hand in case you start feeling side effects such as hunger, sweating, or shakiness. Fresh fruit, trail mix, and crackers with peanut butter are a few quick and easy snack ideas for low blood sugar levels.

If you regularly experience low blood sugar levels, talk with your doctor to see whether underlying factors could play a role.

Hypoglycemia is a serious condition that can occur when your blood sugar levels drop too low. Although its more common in people with diabetes, it can also be caused by other health conditions.

If left untreated, hypoglycemia can cause serious side effects and long-term health consequences.

However, there are plenty of ways to prevent hypoglycemia, including eating regularly, following a healthy diet, monitoring your blood sugar levels carefully, taking medications as directed by your doctor, and, in some cases, surgery.

Key Points About Hypoglycemia In Children

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  • Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood glucose is too low to fuel the brain and the body.

  • It may be a condition by itself, or may be a complication of diabetes or another disorder.

  • To treat low blood glucose right away, your child should eat or drink something with sugar, such as orange juice, milk, cake icing, or a hard candy. They should follow with food with complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein, such as a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread.

  • Severe or long-lasting hypoglycemia may result in seizures and serious brain injury.

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What Causes Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia comes from having too much insulin in your blood. It usually happens within a few hours after you eat. Other possible causes include:

  • Having prediabetes or being more likely to have diabetes

What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

Symptoms of hypoglycemia can start quickly, with people experiencing them in different ways. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant. But they provide good warnings that you should take action before blood sugar drops more. The signs include:

  • Shaking or trembling.
  • Tingling or numbness in the face or mouth.

During a severe hypoglycemic event, a person may:

  • Be unable to eat or drink.
  • Have a seizure or convulsions .
  • Lose consciousness.
  • Slip into a coma or die .

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What Causes Hypoglycemia

The vast majority of episodes of hypoglycemia in children and adolescents occur when a child with diabetes takes too much insulin, eats too little, or exercises strenuously or for a prolonged period of time.

For young children who do not have diabetes, hypoglycemia may be caused by:

Single episodes:

  • stomach flu or another illness that may cause them to not eat enough
  • fasting for a prolonged period of time
  • prolonged strenuous exercise and lack of food

Recurrent episodes:

  • accelerated starvation, also known as ketotic hypoglycemia, a tendency for children without diabetes, or any other known cause of hypoglycemia, to experience repeated hypoglycemic episodes
  • medications your child may be taking
  • a congenital error in metabolism or unusual disorder such as hypopituitarism or hyperinsulinism

What Is Hypoglycemia

Low Blood Sugar vs High Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia is a condition caused by low blood glucose levels. Glucose is the main way your body gets energy. The condition is most common in people with diabetes who have issues with medicine, food, or exercise. But sometimes people who don’t have diabetes can also get low blood glucose. There are two kinds of nondiabetic hypoglycemia:

  • Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens a few hours after you eat a meal
  • Fasting hypoglycemia, which might be linked to medicine or a disease

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What If The 15

If you dont feel better after three tries, or if your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider or 911. Healthcare providers can use a medication called glucagon. They inject it with a needle or squirt it up your nose. Glucagon is also available for home use. Your healthcare provider can prescribe it and teach a family member or friend how to use it in the event of severe hypoglycemia.

How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed In A Child

The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your familys health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have blood tests to check blood sugar levels.

When a child with diabetes has symptoms of hypoglycemia, the cause is most often an insulin reaction.

For children with symptoms of hypoglycemia who dont have diabetes, the healthcare provider may:

  • Measure levels of blood sugar and different hormones while the child has symptoms

  • See if symptoms are relieved when the child eats food or sugar

  • Do tests to measure insulin action

Your child may need to do a supervised fasting study in the hospital. This lets healthcare providers test for hypoglycemia safely.

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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.

How Can I Prevent Insulin

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  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Know what causes low blood sugar.
  • Eat at regular mealtimes. Do not delay or skip meals and do not eat partial meals.
  • Take all medicines exactly as prescribed.
  • Check your blood sugar more often when you are exercising more or eating less, or when you are sick, according to your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
  • Keep your follow-up appointments with your provider.

Developed by RelayHealth.Published by RelayHealth.This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.© 2018 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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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.

How Common Is Low Blood Glucose

Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2

Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3

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Causes Of Low Blood Sugar

There are many reasons why you may have low blood sugar, including:

  • Taking too much insulin.
  • Not eating enough carbs for how much insulin you take.
  • Timing of when you take your insulin.
  • The amount and timing of physical activity.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • How much fat, protein, and fiber are in your meal.
  • Hot and humid weather.
  • Unexpected changes in your schedule.
  • Spending time at a high altitude.
  • Going through puberty.
  • Menstruation.

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