How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar Quickly
If you feel symptoms of low blood sugar, test your levels with a blood glucose monitor as soon as possible. If your sugar levels are low , you can follow the 15-15-15 Rule:
Eat 15 g of a fast-acting carbohydrate . Common examples of 15 g include: a half cup of fruit juice, 6 to 8 hard candies, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.
After 15 minutes, retest your sugar levels.
If they are still low, eat 15 g more.
If you are having a severe hypoglycemic attack or are unable to treat yourself, you may need a trained person to administer an emergency injection from your glucagon kit or a nasal spray of Baqsimi. If needed, you can eat 15 g of a fast-acting carbohydrate right after. If, after 15 minutes, you are still feeling confused or unconscious, have someone call 9-1-1.
What Are Examples Of Good Food Choices For A Prediabetes Diet
Choosing quality fats and proteins means choosing real food rather than processed versions. Believe it or not, a serving of organic full-fat Greek yogurt with real raspberries will be much more satisfying, and better for your blood sugar and weight, than the fat-free fruity version.
Good protein choices include:
- Dark meat from pastured poultry
Check labels because hydrogenated fats are often are used in packaged bakery products.
Monitoring And Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
Use home blood sugar tests to determine whether your blood sugar is in your target range. Work with your doctor to set your individual treatment goals. If you can consistently maintain this level of control, you will have very few blood sugar level emergencies.
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Always Follow Up With The Doctor
It is very important to call your doctor as soon as possible after experiencing nocturnal hypoglycemia. The patient and doctor should try to figure out what caused the episode and how to prevent it from happening again.Often the doctor will suggest:
Changing the dose or timing of insulin or other medications
Setting an alarm for the early morning so that the patient can test their blood glucose levels and determine how often the episodes occur
Having the person wear a continuous glucose monitor that checks blood glucose every five minutes with an alarm that wakes the patient from sleep if levels start to drop too low. This option is usually reserved for patients who experience frequent or severe nocturnal hypoglycemia
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Sweat contains fatty acids and mineral matter as well as a potent anti-infective agent dubbed dermicidin. The first antimicrobial agent discovered that is produced by cells in the skin, dermicidin is active against many different types of bacteria, including Escherichia coli , Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and the common fungus Candida albicans.
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Antiperspirant and deodorant are not one and the same. Antiperspirants feature a chemical barrier that helps to prevent excessive sweating under the armpits. Deodorant helps to combat body odor caused by sweating by masking it with fragrance. Antiperspirants and deodorants are commonly sold in combination as a single product to reduce sweating and dilute odor.
When Should I See A Doctor About My Seizures
The first time you experience a seizure, you should go to the hospital to rule out any potential problems or injuries. If you have experienced several seizures, and you notice an increase in numbers, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. It is a good idea to see a neurologist, a doctor that specializes in the brain, along with your doctor that manages your diabetes. They can make sure that it is indeed the diabetes that is causing the seizures, and not some neurological disorder.
Important things that you should tell your doctor about are:
- How often you are having seizures
- What time of day they occur
- How long they last
- What symptoms you have before it happens
- What your typical diet consists of
- How often you exercise and at what time of the day
- What you do to increase your blood sugar when you notice it is getting low
- How often your blood sugar drops to a level that you have to treat it
- It is also very important to keep a log of blood sugars
After telling the doctor about these things, questions that you should ask them include:
- What am I doing that is causing my blood sugar to drop?
- Do I need a prescription for a Glucagon injection for emergency situations?
- Would a continuous monitoring device be beneficial for me?
- Should I raise my target blood sugar levels?
- Are any of my medications causing this?
- How can I prevent my blood sugar from dropping?
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What If Im Experiencing Hypoglycemic Episodes Even Though My Doctor Has Confirmed That Im Not Diabetic Or Prediabetic
If you have low blood sugar and dont have diabetes or prediabetes, it can be a sign of another serious health issue such as a tumor, hormone deficiency, kidney disorder, anorexia, or other eating disorder, all of which can cause dangerously low blood sugar.
Anorexia has the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder, and the cause of death can be hypoglycemia, so take your illness seriously and seek help if you suspect your eating disorder may be progressing to the point where it is causing you to faint or experience other signs and symptoms of dangerously low blood sugar. The National Eating Disorders Association has resources on how to identify the signs that you may have an eating disorder, a hotline for help, as well as easily accessible information on everything from how to know when you need help to how to find quality treatment options in your zip code.
People who are not diabetic don’t spontaneously have hypoglycemia for no reason, explains Dr. Christofides. Its often an indication of another underlying issue, such as a hormone deficiency or eating disorder, so its important to schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause in order to prevent complications.
Common causes of hypoglycemia in people without diabetes include:
- Pancreatic tumor
- Medication that inhibits the proper production of insulin
- Hepatitis or kidney disorders
- Hormone deficiencies
- Anorexia and other eating disorders
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
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How Is Hypoglycemia Treated
When your blood sugar levels are too low, eating something made of carbohydrates is key. If you have diabetes, try to keep high-carbohydrate snacks on hand.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that your snack have at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. Some good snacks to keep on hand include:
- glucose tablets
- honey or table sugar
- jelly beans or gum drops
You also can take glucose tablets to rapidly raise your blood sugar if its low. These are available without a prescription. Its important to check how many grams are in each tablet before taking them. Aim to get 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates.
Wait 15 minutes after eating or taking a glucose tablet, and test your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is not going up, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrates or take another dose of glucose tablets. Repeat this until your blood sugar level starts to rise.
If your regularly scheduled meal is not for a while, eat a small snack after the low blood sugar episode.
Be sure not to overeat! This could lead to blood sugar levels that are too high.
When Is Blood Sugar Considered To Be Too High Or Too Low
Slight fluctuations in blood sugar levels are completely normal, and also happen every day in people who dont have diabetes, in response to the food they eat. Between around 60 and 140 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood is considered to be healthy. This is equivalent to a blood sugar concentration of between 3.3 and 7.8 mmol/l. Millimoles per liter is the unit that blood sugar is measured in. It describes the amount of a certain substance per liter.
If someone has readings over 7.8 mmol/l , they are considered to have hyperglycemia. These high blood sugar levels mainly occur if there isn’t enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work properly. Without the effect of insulin, the organs can’t make good use of the sugar in the blood, so the sugar builds up. If type 1 diabetes is left untreated, blood sugar levels can increase to over 27.8 mmol/l . Such high levels tend to be uncommon in type 2 diabetes.
Blood sugar levels below 3.3 mmol/l are considered to be too low. But, as you can see in the illustration below, there are no clear-cut borders between normal blood sugar levels and too high or too low blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar: Normal range between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
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Can You Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia might sound a little scary, so you might wonder if you can avoid it. No matter how well they take care of themselves, kids with diabetes will sometimes have low blood sugar levels. But taking these steps can help:
- Try to eat all your meals and snacks on time and don’t skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
- Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
What else can you do? Wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace that says you have diabetes. Then, if you are not feeling well, whoever’s helping you even if the person doesn’t know you will know to call for medical help. Medical identification also can include your doctor’s phone number or a parent’s phone number. The quicker you get help, the quicker you’ll be feeling better.
Nighttime Low Blood Sugars
You may experience a low blood sugar night. The low blood sugar might wake you up and your symptoms might be similar to those you have during the day. However, the symptoms may be different. You might have nightmares, sleep poorly, perspire, or feel hot and cold. In the morning you may have a headache, feel nauseated, or feel confused. Notify your doctor if this happens. Check your blood sugar at the time you have the symptoms.
Treatment for a low blood sugar that occurs at night is the same as described earlier.
Your doctor may request that you check a 3:00 a.m. blood sugar 1 to 2 times per week in order to detect any low blood sugars during the night.
Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.
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What Happens When Blood Sugar Is Low: The Body
The body has its own mechanism for trying to raise blood sugar levels: the hormone epinephrine more commonly called adrenaline. Its adrenalines job to tell the body to release its store of glucose.
The effect of adrenaline is what results in some of the hypoglycemia symptoms . Its the bodys way of telling you that it wants you to eat more, so that it can have more energy.
If blood sugar levels continue to fall, the body runs out of energy for doing what it needs to do. The brain needs glucose, which is why symptoms such as headaches, confusion, or difficulty concentrating occur without that glucose.
If left untreated for a long time, the body will begin to shut down, leading to a coma. The good news is that hypoglycemia is easily and swiftly treated even in more severe cases.
What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose
Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.
Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to
- high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
- hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low
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British Columbia Specific Information
Diabetes is a condition where your body is not able to regulate levels of glucose in your blood. This results in too much or too little sugar in your blood. There are 3 types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas stops producing insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to use an insulin injector to make sure your body gets enough insulin. For more information about type 1 diabetes, visit the Diabetes Canada Living with Type 1 Diabetes web page.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not respond properly to the insulin it produces. Treatment includes medication and lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise routine. To learn more about how healthy eating can help you manage your blood sugar, see our Healthy Eating Diabetes and Hypoglycemia web page. For more information about diabetes, visit the Diabetes Canada Living with Type 2 Diabetes web page.
Gestational diabetes may occur during pregnancy if your level of blood glucose becomes too high. This may cause problems for you and your baby. Controlling blood sugar levels with treatment and a healthy lifestyle will minimize the risks. To learn more about healthy eating with gestational diabetes, see our Healthy Eating Guidelines for Women with Gestational Diabetes web page. For more information about diabetic screening when pregnant, visit BC Womens Hospital Diabetes and Pregnancy web page.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia tends to present as a cluster of symptoms, and they often occur together. The most common signs of dangerously low blood sugar include:
- Dizziness, disorientation, light-headedness, and an inability to think clearly
- Hunger, especially if youve just eaten
- Heightened irritability, confusion, and anxiety
- Clamminess and sweating, with cold hands and feet
- Drastic mood swings
If you have one or more of these symptoms contact your doctor.
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How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. Most kids who have low blood sugar need to:
- eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your mom or dad may give you really sugary foods or drinks, like regular soda, orange juice, cake frosting, glucose tablets, or glucose gel
- wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work
- recheck their blood sugar levels with a blood glucose meter to see if the levels are back to normal
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get very low and you might not feel well enough or be awake enough to eat or drink something sugary. When this happens, kids need to get a glucagon shot. Glucagon is a hormone that helps get your blood sugar level back to normal very quickly. Your doctor and diabetes health care team can tell you if you need to keep these shots on hand and will help you and your parents understand when it’s necessary to use one.
Your parents and other grown-ups who take care of you should know how to give glucagon shots. If you don’t have a glucagon shot or the person you’re with doesn’t know how to use one someone should call 911.
Severe Low Blood Sugar
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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