How Do I Treat Hypoglycemia
A mild case of hypoglycemia can be treated through eating or drinking 15-20g of fast acting carbohydrate such as glucose tablets, sweets, sugary fizzy drinks or fruit juice.
Some people with diabetes may also need to take 15-20g of slower acting carbohydrate if the next meal is not due.
A blood test should be taken after 15-20 minutes to check whether blood glucose levels have recovered. Severe hypoglycemia may require an ambulance, for example if loss of consciousness occurs or a seizure persists for more than 5 minutes.
Severe hypos can be treated with glucagon if a glucagon injection kit is available and in date.
- Read more detail on how to treat hypoglycemia
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”
- 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.
What Is Neonatal Hypoglycemia
Neonatal hypoglycemia occurs in between 1 and 3 of every 1000 births, making it the most common metabolic issue among newborns. The condition refers to a newborn baby with low blood sugar levels following birth. Among healthy newborns, its actually quite normal for blood sugar to dip right after a baby enters the world. However, when glucose concentrations drop in the first 24 hours of life, your infant may be diagnosed with neonatal hypoglycemia.
Without treatment, chronic low blood sugar could be associated with neurological damage and result in developmental issues. However, medical professionals are trained to closely monitor for symptoms of neonatal hypoglycemia and intervene quickly, which can drastically reduce the risk of complications.
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Other Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
While low blood sugar is often associated with diabetes, it can also be affected by other factors. According to Dr. Danine Fruge, Medical Director of the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida, the causes of blood sugar problems can include not only âdiabetes, prediabetes , reactive hypoglycemia or other health issues, but also by not eating enough, taking too much insulin or even taking certain diabetes medications.â
Other medications can also cause hypoglycemia, like quinine, or Qualaquin, which is used to treat malaria, or various medications for kidney failure. Exercising more than usual can also cause it, especially while taking such medications.
Some other potential causes for low blood sugar include:
- Heavy drinking without eating
- Eating without ingesting enough carbohydrates
- Eating fewer carbs than usual without reducing insulin amounts, or improper balancing of liquid/solid carbs and timing of insulin
- Hormone deficiencies due to adrenal or pituitary tumor disorders, or in children without sufficient growth hormone
- Long-term starvation, such as that which can occur with anorexia nervosa
- Serious illness like hepatitis, kidney disorders and liver disease
- Pancreatic tumors that make the body secrete too much insulin
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Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Glucose
Each person’s reaction to low blood glucose is different. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. Taking time to write these symptoms down may help you learn your own symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. From milder, more common indicators to most severe, signs and symptoms of low blood glucose include:
- Color draining from the skin
- Feeling weak or having no energy
- Blurred/impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing low blood glucose is to check your blood glucose levels, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood glucose for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia.
A low blood glucose level triggers the release of epinephrine , the fight-or-flight hormone. Epinephrine is what can cause the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as thumping heart, sweating, tingling, and anxiety.
If the blood sugar glucose continues to drop, the brain does not get enough glucose and stops functioning as it should. This can lead to blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, slurred speech, numbness, and drowsiness. If blood glucose stays low for too long, starving the brain of glucose, it may lead to seizures, coma, and very rarely death.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia is usually a result of diabetes treatment, often because there is too much insulin in the body.
Here are some reasons why hypoglycemia might occur:
Too much insulin administered for your bodys needs at the time.
Sulfonylureas stimulate insulin release from the pancreas, even if your glucose levels are in range this can lead to low blood sugar.
Too high levels of diabetes medications. If you are taking glucose-lowering drugs in combination with sulfonylureas or insulin, these medications can lower your blood sugar and increase your risk for hypoglycemia.
Not enough food, particularly carbohydrates.
Too much exercise at one time, particularly mild to moderate aerobic exercise. This is because exercise can increase your sensitivity to insulin, which allows your muscle cells to take up glucose from your bloodstream.
Illness, particularly if associated with vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Other medical conditions, including some liver and kidney illnesses, eating disorders, and certain hormone deficiencies.
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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.
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Your Diabetes Devices And Hypoglycemia
Several insulin pumps are now available that make managing blood sugar levels easier, particularly when connected to a glucose meter or a CGM.
Some of the most important advantages of CGM devices are the improved insulin control and the ability to detect trends and lows early. With improved technology, it is now possible for parents to track blood sugar trends in their kids even when they are hundreds of miles apart .
In addition, automated insulin delivery systems, also known an artificial pancreas or a hybrid closed-loop system, will automatically adjust insulin to match your bodys need to help you spend more time in your target range.
Resources that provide people with T1D and their families with more detailed information about pumps and CGM devices are available through JDRF here. For people looking for a deeper understanding of technology that helps people with T1D better manage their blood sugar, JDRF resources are available here.
What Is Hypoglycemia And Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia is the state of having a blood glucose level that is too low to effectively fuel the body’s cells.
Glucose, which comes from carbohydrates found in foods, is a main source of energy for all of the cells of the body and, especially, the brain. While the body is quite good at extracting glucose from the foods we eat, it relies on a hormone called insulin to actually get the glucose inside the cells of specific organs: the liver, fat, and muscle.
We can think of insulin as holding the key to a cell without insulin, the glucose just remains in the blood, where its also known as blood sugar. During an episode of hypoglycemia, theres not enough glucose in the blood. The normal range is approximately 70 to 150 mg/dl .
Hypoglycemia is most common in newborns. In older children, its most often seen as a complication of insulin therapy for diabetes but can sometimes have other causes as well.
In the majority of cases, hypoglycemia is temporary, easily treated, and usually does not have serious consequences. There are several rare disorders in which hypoglycemia is recurrent and potentially life-threatening. However, with timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment, these can be effectively managed.
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In situations the place the blood strain is too low, the catecholamine response described above doesn t discriminate, and bloodbloodsugar level that causes coma sugar may even rise consequently The similar is true if the bloodsugar goes too low the catecholamine response is the first thing that the body uses to compensate, and this can raise.
Metformin can cause low blood sugar . However, this can also occur if you delay or miss a meal or snack, drink alcohol, exercise more than usual, cannot eat because of nausea or vomiting, take certain medicines, or take metformin with another type of diabetes medicine.
Physical activity can also cause low blood sugar, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center 4. Exercise lowers blood sugar, even for people without diabetes. But for people with diabetes who are taking insulin, the combination of insulin and exercise can lower blood sugar levels too far. Read more: Advantages and Disadvantages of Exercise.
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Treatment By Medical Professionals
In a healthcare setting, treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and intravenous access. If a patient is conscious and able to swallow safely, food or drink may be administered, as well as glucose tabs or gel. In those with intravenous access, 25 grams of 50% dextrose is commonly administered. When there is no intravenous access, intramuscular or intra-nasal glucagon may be administered.
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How To Treat Low Blood Sugar Yourself
If your blood sugar levels on a blood glucose meter are less than 3.5 millimoles per Litre , or you have symptoms of low blood sugar levels, then you can try treating it yourself.
First, try having a sugary drink or a snack. For example, have a small glass of fruit juice, three to six glucose tablets, or one to two tubes of glucose gel.
Retest your blood sugar levels ten minutes later. If they have not changed much, then have another sugary drink or snack. Test your blood sugar levels again in another ten minutes.
Once things have improved and you are feeling better, eat a meal. Make sure this meal contains a slow release carbohydrate. For example, you could have a slice of bread, a piece of toast, or a few crackers.
Once you feel better, you dont usually need to seek immediate medical help. However, if you keep having instances of low blood sugar, then let your type 1 or type 2 diabetes team know.
If you stop having symptoms to warn you that you have low blood sugar, its also important to let them know that. This is what we call hypoglycemia unawareness.
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What Is Hypoglycaemia
Hypoglycaemia means low blood glucose or not having enough glucose in the blood.
A low blood glucose level is usually 4.0 mmol/L or less. In frail older people a low blood glucose level may be under 6.0 mmol/L .
Hypoglycaemia is sometimes referred to as a hypo’.
Hypoglycaemia can be classified as mild or severe.
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.
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What Is Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose, also called low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below what is healthy for you. For many people with diabetes, this means a blood glucose reading lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter .1 Your number might be different, so check with your doctor or health care team to find out what blood glucose level is low for you.
What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself
Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.
If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by
- talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
- teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
- wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.
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