What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.
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 .
Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia
The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.
For example, this could be:
- a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
- between three and five dextrose tablets
- a handful of sweets
At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.
After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.
It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.
When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.
It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.
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Blood Sugar Level After 2 Hours:
Another crucial time to check blood glucose level is about an hour and a half after a meal. Generally, around this time the process of digestion and absorption is near its end. So, high blood sugar during this time generally means that the body cant process sugar properly.
In case of a normal individual, blood glucose level at this time is below 7.8 mmol/L. If the sugar level is 11.1 mmol/L or more, then the individual is considered to be diabetic.
What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as
- how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
- medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
- educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes
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How To Control Blood Sugar Level:
Maintaining blood sugar is very important in order to live a healthy and disease-free life. For diabetes patients, the doctrine of the three Ds is the best possible method to keep blood glucose under check. These three Ds are Dose, Diet and Discipline.
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What To Do If You Have Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
If you have diabetes and are experiencing mild to moderate hypoglycemia symptoms, you need to immediately eat or drink 15 grams of easily digestible carbohydrates.
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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How To Recognize Hypoglycemia
The first signs of hypoglycemia include feeling sweaty, shaky, and hungry. However, not everyone has these symptoms or notices them in time to prevent low blood sugar from getting worse. Its also important to know that your symptoms of hypoglycemia will change the longer you have T1D.
As hypoglycemia gets worse, symptoms can include:
- Feeling weak
- Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly
- Acting strange or getting disoriented
- Having seizures
Severe hypoglycemia may make you faint or pass out. This is dangerous if you are driving, climbing stairs, or doing other activities where you need to stay aware of things around you.
Hypoglycemia can happen at night. If it does, you are likely to wake up, but its important not to rely on your body to wake you up. A continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, can alert you and those around you with an alarm to let you know if your blood sugar starts getting low while you are sleeping.
Its a good idea to check your blood sugar often when lows are likely, such as in hot weather or when you travel. Your CGM can also let you know when your blood sugar is getting lower.
Watch out for hypoglycemia unawareness.
You might not have early warning signs of low blood sugar. This is called hypoglycemia unawareness, and it raises the risk of having severe lows. It is more likely if:
- You have had diabetes longer than 5 or 10 years
- You have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia
- You take certain medicines, such as beta blockers for high blood pressure
What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Drops
Well, one of the best ways is to eat to get blood sugar up. If you are suffering from diabetes and you think that you have hypoglycemia, it is important to check your blood sugar levels. If you feel that the blood sugar levels drop after you eat a meal, you need to change the diet you are following. You need to avoid taking any foods that are high in sugar content and stick to eating small meals during the day.
If you are having low blood sugar levels even when you havent eaten anything, you can try having a snack before hitting the bed. You can eat a snack that is rich in protein or complex carbohydrate.
In case the doctor finds out that too much if insulin is causing trouble, he/she might as well reduce the dose and observe the levels. Do follow the below mentioned routine when you have low blood sugar levels.
Test The Sugar Levels Well, this goes without saying. But, remember that the value less than 70 milligrams per deciliter means you have low blood sugar.
Try To Eat or Even Drink Some Fast Acting Carbs When you are suffering from low blood sugar, you certainly need to act quickly. You need to consume at least 15 gms of carbs. You can try taking about 4 ounces of juice or just have a tablespoon of sugar with water.
Glucose Tablets or Gel You can as well take glucose tablets or opt for the glucose gel. Medical experts say that people who take medications for diabetes need to carry glucose tablets with them for sure.
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How To Treat It
If you have hypoglycemia, you need to have food or a drink that is a fast-acting carbohydrate. Good sources include fruit juice, regular soda, glucose tablets, or glucose gel. A good rule of thumb is to eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait 15 minutes, and then test your blood again. If your blood glucose is still lower than 70 mg/dl, take another 15 grams and test again 15 minutes later. Although you may feel like you want to eat more, be aware that eating too much can send your glucose too high.
There are about 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate in:
4 ounces of juice or soda
8 ounces of skim milk
56 Life Savers candies
If you use glucose tabs or gel, check the package, because doses vary from brand to brand.
A person who passes out from hypoglycemia should not be given food or drink. Instead, he or she needs a shot of glucagon. If your health care provider thinks that you may be at risk of a severe low, you will be given a prescription for a glucagon kit, which you should have with you at all times. Your friends, family, and other people around you, like a coworker or coach, will need to learn how to give you a glucagon shot if you are unable to treat yourself. If you have a severe low and glucagon is not available, someone must call 911.
Not Eating Enough Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in foods like grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, and some dairy products. Carbohydrates turn into blood sugar when digested, so they significantly impact blood glucose levels than proteins and fats.
Not eating enough carbohydrates, especially while also taking blood sugar-lowering medications, can cause hypoglycemia.
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Possible Causes With Diabetes
Diabetes affects your bodys ability to use insulin. Think of insulin as the key that unlocks your cells, letting in glucose for energy.
If you have diabetes, a variety of treatments can help the cells in your body use the glucose in your blood. Among these are insulin injections and oral medications that increase insulin production.
If you take too much of these types of medications, your blood sugar may drop too low. You may also sometimes experience low blood sugar if you plan to eat a big meal but then do not eat enough.
Skipping meals, eating less than usual, or eating later than usual but taking your medication at your usual time can also lead to low blood sugar levels.
Unplanned excess physical activity without eating enough can also cause a drop in blood sugar levels.
Drinking alcohol when youre on these medications can also lead to low blood sugar, especially if it replaces food. When your body is trying to get rid of alcohol, it becomes worse at managing blood sugar levels.
Causes Of Reactive Hypoglycemia
The answer isnât always clear. Itâs likely the result of your body making too much insulin after a large, carb-heavy meal. Scientists arenât sure why, but sometimes your body continues to release extra insulin even after youâve digested your meal. This added insulin makes your blood glucose level drop below normal.
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Hypoglycemia: What Should You Do If Your Child Has Low Blood Sugar
What your child eats, their energy, stress, illness, or even a sunburn all of these can cause changes in your childs blood sugar. Its normal for their blood sugar levels to go up and down throughout the day and night, and if it stays in a healthy range, it may not even be noticeable.
When your childs blood sugar is too low , you need to take action to get their blood sugar levels back to a safe range. Without treatment, your child may be at risk for dangerous symptoms, such as fainting, seizures, or a coma.
Fortunately, you can easily treat your childs blood sugar during the day or at night. Heres what you should know about keeping your childs blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
Effects Of Severe Hypoglycemia
Without emergency treatment, prolonged severe hypoglycemia results in permanent brain damage and irreversible cardiac problems, especially if you already have heart disease. Hypoglycemia causes weakness, tremors, rapid heartbeat and dizziness. Serious injuries can result from loss of consciousness while driving or falling down stairs, according to Joslin Diabetes Center. Drug-induced hypoglycemia is often responsible for falls that cause serious injuries in the elderly who take diabetes medications, such as chlorpropamide, reports the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy. Because many health conditions have similar symptoms, do not ignore recurring symptoms of hypoglycemia, whether mild or severe, as they can be a sign of a serious, undiagnosed medical condition.
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Treatment For Reactive Hypoglycemia
Treatment depends on whatâs causing your hypoglycemia.
If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels. For people with diabetes, a reading below 70 mg/dL means youâre hypoglycemic.
Eat 15 grams of carbohydrates, then check your blood sugar after 15 minutes. If itâs still below 70 mg/dL, have another serving. Repeat until your blood sugar is at least 70 mg/dL. Talk to your doctor to see if you need a new treatment plan.
If you know the specific cause of your hypoglycemia, your doctor will treat that cause. For example, if a medicine or tumor is triggering your hypoglycemia, you may need a new drug or possibly surgery.
How Long After Eating Does Blood Sugar Return To Normal
The blood sugar level falls back to a normal level around 1-2 hours after taking food. During this time digestion slows down and the sugar is absorbed by the tissue.
In diabetics, there can be a sudden spike in blood sugar after eating causing headache, dizziness and discomfort. This is called a post-prandial reaction. Normally, taking prescribed insulin medication can help mediate this problem.
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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.
What Causes A Drop In Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter the cells where it is used for energy. The pancreas releases insulin in response to high blood sugar levels. When glucose enters the cell, it leaves the bloodstream, causing a blood sugar drop.
There are several potential causes of low blood glucose levels, which well discuss below.
What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops
Each and every cell present in the body does need the energy to function properly. But do you know what the main source of energy is? Well, it might come as a surprise to you but it is the glucose that provides your body with the energy it needs to complete its day to day activities.
Blood sugar is very important and it helps with the proper functioning of the brain, the digestive system and the heart as well. It also helps to maintain the well being of the skin and the vision. But do you as to what happens when your blood sugar drops? Lets read on to learn more about it.
Before knowing or checking for the symptoms of low blood sugar, it is important to learn about the blood sugar levels as well. When the levels are below normal, it is known as Hypoglycemia. You need to check for the symptoms and then opt for a blood glucose test to know if you have low blood sugar.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
You might want to measure your blood sugar before meals to get a baseline, and then two hours after your meal to measure your normal blood sugar level. Your doctor might also suggest measuring blood sugar before bed to be sure you have been eating well throughout the day and can go to sleep with peace of mind.
These are considered within the range of normal:
- Less than 140 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- Less than 180 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
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How Can I Help My Child Live With Hypoglycemia
Children with type 1 diabetes or other conditions that may cause hypoglycemia need to follow their care plan. Its important to test blood glucose often, recognize symptoms, and treat the condition quickly. It’s also important to take medicines and eat meals on a regular schedule.
Work with your child’s healthcare provider to create a plan that fits your child’s schedule and activities. Teach your child about diabetes. Encourage them to write down questions they have about diabetes and bring them to healthcare provider appointments. Give them time to ask the provider the questions. Check that the answers are given in a way your child can understand. Work closely with school nurses, teachers, and psychologists to develop a plan that’s right for your child.