Monday, August 8, 2022

What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Is Low

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What To Do If The Person Is Unconscious Drowsy Or Unable To Swallow

Hypoglycaemia – How to Treat and Prevent Low Blood Sugar

If a person with diabetes is unconscious, drowsy or unable to swallow THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.

Do not give them any food or drink by mouth, treat as follows:

  • Place them on their side making sure their airway is clear
  • Give an injection of Glucagon if available and you are trained to give it
  • Phone for an ambulance stating the person is unconscious AND that the person has diabetes
  • Wait with them until the ambulance arrives
  • Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels

    Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:

    • Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to 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.
    • Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
    • Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!

    Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.

    Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

    Pay Attention To Volume

    Resist grabbing a whole bag of chips or other food to snack on. Measuring out portions and choosing small plates to help with portion control are mindful eating habits to work on developing.

    Once youve finished one helping, give yourself time before going back for a second. You may even want to try another stress-relieving technique, like deep breathing, in the meantime.

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    Whats The Link Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia is most common, by far, in people with diabetes. Treatment for the diseaseoften involves taking medication to increase insulin. Hypoglycemia can develop if things like food, exercise and diabetes medications are out of balance.

    Common pitfalls for people with diabetes include:

    • Being more active than usual.
    • Drinking alcohol without eating.
    • Eating late or skipping meals.
    • Not balancing meals by including fat, protein and fiber.
    • Not eating enough carbohydrates.
    • Not timing insulin and carb intake correctly .

    Also, if someone with diabetes uses the wrong insulin, takes too much or injects it incorrectly, that can cause hypoglycemia.

    What Else Can You Do To Control Blood Sugar Levels

    The Effects of Low Blood Sugar on Your Body

    Yes. People with diabetes should wear identification stating they have diabetes and whether they have recurrent low blood sugar. Those at risk for the health condition should be counseled on checking blood sugars before they drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or do anything physically taxing. In addition, it is important to carry a quick-acting glucose source at all times, and keep a source in their car, office, and by their bedside. Efforts should be made to minimize the hypoglycemic effects of drug regimens and to avoid variable surges in exercise, activity, and drinking alcohol.

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    Low Blood Sugar Without Diabetes

    Low blood sugar is uncommon in people who don’t have diabetes.

    Possible causes include:

    • eating large carbohydrate-based meals this is called “reactive hypoglycaemia”
    • binge drinking
    • fasting or malnutrition
    • having a gastric bypass
    • other medical conditions including Addison’s disease a non-cancerous growth in the pancreas or a problem with the liver, kidneys or heart
    • some medicines, including quinine

    See your GP if you think you keep getting low blood sugar. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.

    Dont Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar

    It’s dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if needed. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on. Be prepared. Keep a sugar source, such as glucose tablets, in your car at all times for emergencies.

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    What Causes Low Blood Glucose In People With Diabetes

    Low blood glucose levels can be a side effect of insulin or some other medicines that help your pancreas release insulin into your blood. Taking these can lower your blood glucose level.

    Two types of diabetes pills can cause low blood glucose

    • sulfonylureas, usually taken once or twice per day, which increase insulin over several hours
    • meglitinides, taken before meals to promote a short-term increase in insulin

    The following may also lower your blood glucose level

    You Develop Sores That Tend To Heal More Slowly Than Usual

    WHAT IS LOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL?LOW BLOOD SUGAR EXPLAINED

    Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other wounds heal more slowly in the presence of uncontrolled blood sugar, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes causes nerve damage and affects circulation, especially in the lower legs and feet, which can delay healing because there isnt enough blood flow to the area. Even minor wounds are more prone to infections, which can become very serious and even result in amputations of the foot. You may notice drainage seeping onto your socks or an unpleasant smell if you develop a foot ulcer, notes the American Podiatric Medical Association.

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    Youre Hungrier Than Usual But Losing Weight

    Many people with uncontrolled high blood sugar find that theyre hungrier than usual, which signals a symptom called polyphagia, MedlinePlus notes. And although youre eating more, you may be losing weight for no apparent reason if your blood sugar levels are too high, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    Since your body is not getting energy from the preferred source, glucose, it has to turn to muscle and fat, Zanini explains. When your body starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy, you experience unintentional and unhealthy weight loss. In addition to these changes in weight and appetite, you may notice weakness in your muscles and experience more frequent falls, Emanuele adds.

    Treating Mild To Moderate Hypoglycemia

    If you start feeling any of the symptoms listed above, check your blood sugar as soon as possible, then follow the chart below to treat low blood sugar. If you have any concerns, or cant test immediately, its best to treat first and check when possible.

    If your blood sugar is

    Eat this

    What to do next

    51 to 70 mg/dL

    10 to 15 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice, 6 to 8 hard candies, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.

    Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.

    Under 50 mg/dL

    Eat 20 to 30 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 8 ounces of fruit juice, 12 to 16 hard candies, or 6 to 8 glucose tablets.

    Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.

    Recommended Reading: High Blood Sugar What To Do

    Key Points About Hypoglycaemia

  • Hypoglycaemia needs to be treated right away to prevent the risk of unconsciousness.
  • Treatment is to have 10 to 15g of a quick-acting carbohydrate immediately, then retest your glucose level in 10 minutes. If it is above 4 mmol/L, have a carbohydrate snack . If it is still below 4 mmol/L, repeat the glucose and retest in 10 minutes.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, low blood glucose can occur due to having too much insulin or not enough food.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes, you should only be at risk of hypoglycaemia if you are taking insulin or sulphonylurea tablets for your diabetes and miss or delay your meal.
  • With both type 1 or type 2 diabetes, if you are getting hypos often talk to your GP, nurse or diabetes specialist.
  • It is recommended that people with diabetes wear a medical alert bracelet this can alert people you may have hypoglycaemia if you are unable to ask for help.
  • Severe hypoglycaemia is a medical emergency. Call 111 and ask for an ambulance if someone has a blood glucose level less than 4 mmol/l and any one of the following:
    • is extremely drowsy or disorientated
    • is unconscious
    • is having a convulsion .

    How To Recognize Hypoglycemia

    Blood Sugar 101  Diabetes Daily

    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

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    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.

    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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    Managing Blood Sugar Levels

    Many people with diabetes must check their blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. This device takes a drop of blood, usually from a finger, and displays the sugar level within a few seconds.

    People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their doctor recommends, usually several times a day.

    Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may need to change their diet and exercise habits. They may also need to take oral medications or insulin.

    A number of strategies can help prevent hyperglycemia.

    People should:

    • check their blood sugar levels as their doctor advises and take the correct amount of insulin, if they have type 1 diabetes
    • speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian about which foods to eat or avoid, how much to eat, and how often
    • take precautions to avoid infections, for example, through regular hand washing, as illness, such as a cold, can trigger a rise in blood pressure
    • plan their food intake and exercise to balance blood sugar levels
    • minimize stress, as far as possible, for example, through exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga

    Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when a person:

    • has certain medical conditions
    • does a lot of exercise
    • skips meals or eats too little

    It can also be a side effect of diabetes medicines. Taking too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels.

    Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:

    • visit a doctor regularly

    The Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On Your Body

    Low Blood Sugar

    Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy might come as a surprise: Its sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential to proper brain, heart, and digestive function. It even helps keep your skin and vision healthy.

    When your blood sugar levels fall below the normal range, its called hypoglycemia. There are many identifiable symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is by taking a blood glucose test.

    Learn more about the symptoms of low blood sugar, as well as the long-term effects on the body.

    most common reasons for low blood sugar are some medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin.

    In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, or your body cant use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetic medication can lower the blood sugar level, leading to hypoglycemia.

    However, contrary to popular belief, low blood sugar isnt exclusive to diabetes, though it is rare. It can also happen if your body makes more insulin than it should.

    Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over long periods of time. This can interfere with the livers ability to create a buildup of glucose and then release it into your bloodstream when you need it.

    Other causes include:

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    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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    How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemic Episodes

    The key to preventing hypoglycemic events is managing diabetes:

    • Follow your healthcare providers instructions about food and exercise.
    • Track your blood sugar regularly, including before and after meals, before and after exercise and before bed.
    • Take all your medications exactly as prescribed.
    • When you do have a hypoglycemic event, write it down. Include details such as the time, what you ate recently, whether you exercised, the symptoms and your glucose level.

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    What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Is Low

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    Hypoglycemia unawarenessThe body and brain no longer produce signs and symptoms that warn of a low blood sugar, such as shakiness or irregular heartbeats. When this happens, the risk of severe, life-threatening hypoglycemia increases.

    Furthermore, can you die from low blood sugar? Low blood sugar levels can also cause a variety of problems within your central nervous system. Early symptoms include weakness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Untreated, severe low blood sugar can be very dangerous. It can result in seizures, loss of consciousness, or death.

    Beside this, how do you feel when your sugar is low?

    Symptoms of mild low blood sugar

  • Sweating . Check for sweating on the back of your neck at your hairline.
  • Nervousness, shakiness, and weakness.
  • Extreme hunger and slight nausea.
  • Dizziness and headache.
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