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What Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

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No Symptoms Be Alarmed

WHAT LOW BLOOD SUGARS FEEL LIKE?

Surprisingly, the most dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia occur with little or no warning. When low blood glucose occurs on a regular basis, the body can become used to the warning signs and the person may stop noticing symptoms. This is a particularly dangerous condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness. People with this condition might not realize they have low blood glucose until its dangerously low seizures and coma are sometimes the first indication of a problem. The good news is that this condition can often be reversed allowing people to once again notice the signs of low blood glucose if hypoglycemia is avoided for a few weeks through careful monitoring of blood glucose.

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

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Causes Not Related To Diabetes

According to the Endocrine Society, non-diabetes-related hypoglycemia is rare but can occur. There are two types:

  • fasting hypoglycemia, often associated with an underlying condition
  • reactive hypoglycemia, which occurs within a few hours of a meal

Causes of fasting hypoglycemia may include:

  • binge drinking or heavy alcohol consumption
  • liver, heart, or kidney disease
  • tumors that affect the pancreas
  • low hormone levels
  • certain medications, such as salicylates or sulfa

Causes of reactive hypoglycemia include:

  • a person with prediabetes
  • enzyme deficiency
  • stomach surgery

Doctors are still not clear about what exactly causes reactive hypoglycemia. However, they know people with this condition tend to have excessive insulin in their blood.

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Treating Someone Having A Seizure

Follow these steps if someone has a seizure due to low blood sugar:

  • stay with them and stop them from hurting themselves lie them down on something soft and move them away from anything dangerous
  • give them a sugary snack once the seizure stops if the seizure stops in a few minutes, treat them as you would treat a low blood sugar yourself once youre able to
  • Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure.

    A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes

    What a Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

    A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.

    Possible causes include:

    • a gastric bypass
    • other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
    • some medicines, including quinine

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

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    Low Blood Sugar And Driving

    Having a low blood sugar while driving could be dangerous for you and others.

    You can usually still drive if youre at risk of low blood sugar. But youll need to take extra precautions to reduce the chance of this happening while driving.

    You also need to tell the Driver & Vehicle Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.

    For more information, see:

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    Hope Has A Milder Experience

    I have a low blood sugar on occasion. It usually only happens about once a year, and for that I am grateful. It has only gone as low as 58 . I had to treat it with carbohydrates. It started out with a feeling of apprehension, and then I got pretty shaky. I noticed the beads of sweat starting on my forehead.

    I had been to my diabetes classes, so I knew exactly what to do, and I had glucose tablets ready in my purse. I took 3 of them, and I waited 15 minutes and checked again. That time it was 80, so I had a snack coming up. I ate that, and then two hours later, I was at 120 .

    So far, my few lows havent caused me too much of a problem. Maybe it is because I dont wait too long, and I always keep my glucometer, supplies, and some quick carbohydrates to deal with a low blood sugar.

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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.

    Ut University Health Services

    What a Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

    For some people, a blood sugar below 90 mg/dL can make them feel like this. For others, it takes a lower blood sugar to cause these symptoms.

    You must watch your blood sugar level closely. Regular testing of your blood sugar may allow you to detect and treat hypoglycemia before it causes serious symptoms. You may be able to prevent ever having low blood sugar.

    Some high blood pressure medicines called beta blockers hide the symptoms of hypoglycemia. If you are taking medicine for high blood pressure, ask your healthcare provider if the medicines you are taking could have this effect.

    You should know the difference between the symptoms of low blood sugar and high blood sugar . High blood sugar doesnât always cause symptoms, but when it does the symptoms may include blurry vision, extreme thirst, and a lot of urination.

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    Overdose Of Diabetes Medication

    A common cause of hypoglycaemia is taking too much insulin for your current needs. Insulin is a medication that helps control your blood glucose levels. It’s commonly used to treat type 1 diabetes and is also recommended for some people with type 2 diabetes.

    A fall in blood glucose levels can also occur after taking too much oral hypoglycaemia medication, such as sulphonylurea, which causes a release of insulin. This medication is often used to lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

    Examples Of Appropriate Snacks May Be:

    • 6 saltine crackers
    • 1 slice toast and 1/2 cup milk

    The food eaten for a reaction need not be subtracted from a meal plan.

    Obtain a blood sugar when symptoms occur if you are able. If symptoms are severe, treat the reaction first and then obtain a blood sugar. Do not drive nor operate equipment if you feel your blood sugar is low.

    If your blood sugar drops low enough for you to become unconscious, you must be taken to the hospital and/or treated with glucagon.

    Glucagon is a hormone that causes the blood sugar to rise. It can only be given by injection. It is used to treat a low blood sugar if a person becomes semi-conscious or unconscious due to a severe low blood sugar. Please ask your nurse for instruction on glucagon. Your doctor will need to write a prescription for glucagon so you can have it available at home.

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    When You Have Low Blood Sugar

    First, eat or drink 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as:

    • Three to four glucose tablets
    • One tube of glucose gel
    • Four to six pieces of hard candy
    • 1/2 cup fruit juice
    • 1 cup skim milk
    • 1/2 cup soft drink
    • 1 tablespoon honey

    Fifteen minutes after you’ve eaten a food with sugar in it, check your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is still less than 70 mg/dL, eat another serving of one of the foods listed above. Repeat these steps until your sugar becomes normal.

    Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes

    Funny Doe, Tumblr, and Type

    People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.

    These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the bodys cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes its a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.

    People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.

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    How Do You Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

    Here are some of the complaints that you may feel when your blood sugar is too high,

    • Headache and body aches
    • Loss of consciousness, coma or a seizure
    • Difficulty in concentration

    These symptoms can go on for a while till some food containing sugar is given. If this continues for long without any intake of sugar or any carbs, the condition can worsen and the blood sugar levels may further drop down, leading to complications. Very low blood sugar level can be a medical emergency too, which is why it is very important to be aware of the symptoms coming up because without an immediate treatment the patient can faint, may experience a seizure, or can even go into a coma.

    Both the high and the low blood sugar level can lead to an emergency, and therefore knowledge of how do you feel when your blood sugar is too high or low is very necessary. Early you come up with a solution faster the condition can be eased and the complication can be avoided.

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    Eating Or Drinking Carbohydrates

    If your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL, it should be treated by eating or drinking something containing 15 grams of carbohydrate.

    Fruit juice and candies are preferred since they are rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. It doesnt take much juice to treat low blood sugar about one-half cup of juice contains around 15 grams of carbohydrates.

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    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

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    What Causes Hypoglycemia

    What Is a Low Blood Sugar and What Can You Do About It

    Hypoglycemia can happen for different reasons. Anyone with diabetes can get low blood sugar, even people who follow their care plan carefully. Sugar levels can drop if your child:

    • skips or delays meals or snacks or doesn’t eat as much carbohydrate-containing food as expected when taking their diabetes medicine. This happens often in kids who develop an illness that causes loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
    • takes too much insulin, takes the wrong type of insulin, or takes insulin at the wrong time
    • exercises more than usual without eating extra snacks or adjusting the dosage of diabetes medicines

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    Why Am I Having Lows

    If you are experiencing low blood sugar and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood sugar, insulin, exercise and food data to a health care provider. Together, you can review all your data to figure out the cause of the lows.

    The more information you can give your health care provider, the better they can work with you to understand whats causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood sugar by adjusting the timing of insulin dosing, exercise and meals or snacks. Changing insulin doses or the types of food you eat may also do the trick.

    What Is Low Blood Sugar

    Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, occurs when your blood sugar level drops below 70 mg/dL. It is often due to having too much insulin in the bloodstream.

    However, not eating for a long period and strenuous exercise can also contribute to low blood sugar.

    Hypoglycemia is more likely to occur in those that have type 1 diabetes but can occur in others.

    Those with diabetes are expected to have fluctuations in their glucose levels. However, a blood sugar less than 70 mg/dL requires individuals to take action to bring their blood sugar back into their target range.

    Its one thing to understand what this condition is, but what does low blood sugar feel like?

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    Causes Of Low Blood Glucose

    Low blood glucose is common for people with type 1 diabetes and can occur in people with type 2 diabetes taking insulin or certain medications. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience up to two episodes of mild low blood glucose each week, and thats only counting episodes with symptoms. If you add in lows without symptoms and the ones that happen overnight, the number would likely be higher.

    Dealing With An Episode

    What a Bad Low Blood Sugar Feels Like True Fact Created by Meredith ...

    The symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia can be mitigated by taking certain steps to return blood glucose levels to normal:

    First, follow the 15-15 Rule, which involves eating 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and checking your blood sugar after 15 minutes. If its still below 70 mg/dL, have another serving.

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    Treating Low Blood Sugar

    You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:

    • Skip or delay a meal or snack
    • Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
    • Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates

    Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:

    • Weakness and/or fatigue

    If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :

    • Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
    • Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
    • If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.

    Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.

    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.

    For some people, a blood sugar below 90 mg/dL can make them feel like this. For others, it takes a lower blood sugar to cause these symptoms.

    You must watch your blood sugar level closely. Regular testing of your blood sugar may allow you to detect and treat hypoglycemia before it causes serious symptoms. You may be able to prevent ever having low blood sugar.

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    Low Blood Sugar Symptoms But Normal Levels

    High blood sugar usually feels bad. Kerri Sparling of the blog Six Until Me said, Its a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someonesreplaced your gray matter with sticky jam.

    Other people report physical symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, headaches, blurry vision, thirst, and frequent urination. These symptoms often drive people to seek help, which is a good thing.

    Other people can get used to high sugars. They may feel few or no symptoms. Thats not good, because blood vessel damage is still going on, even if you cant feel it.

    To get cutting-edge diabetes news, strategies for blood glucose management, nutrition tips, healthy recipes, and more delivered straight to your inbox, !

    If your body gets comfortable with higher blood sugars, normal sugars may start to feel bad. A woman named Angela posted to Diabetes Daily, I feel so crappy when my is in the 90s. That seems to be about 50% of the time. Sometimes I test when Im feeling GOOD and its . I want a low A1C, but I dont want to feel fuzzy all the time either.

    What is happening is that Angelas body adjusted to higher sugars. Now shes getting tighter control, but shes not used to it. On another site, diabetes educator Janet Mertz explained, Because your body is accustomed to the higher levels, the lower numbers may now be perceived as too low. Your body reacts like youre having low blood sugar . It generally takes a couple of weeks for the body to adjust to the new, healthier numbers.

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