How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed
The only way to know if you have hypoglycemia is to check your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. Its a small machine that measures blood sugar. Most of these devices use a tiny prick of the finger to take a small amount of blood.
People with hypoglycemia unawareness may need a continuous glucose monitor. These wearable devices measure glucose every few minutes, day and night. An alarm sounds if blood sugar drops too low.
What Signs And Symptoms Do You Have If You Have Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar symptoms might strike without warning. They are as follows:
vision unclear due to light skin
unexplained weariness and unexpected nervousness
Inability to think properly or concentrate
loss of consciousness
seizure, or coma
Hypoglycemic unawareness occurs when a person is unaware that their blood sugar is decreasing. Your blood sugar may drop without you realizing it if you have this illness. You could pass out, have a seizure, or even slip into a coma if you dont get help very away.
Recognizing Hypoglycemia: Symptoms To Look For
Early symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- Stubborn behavior
- Extreme sleepiness
If your childs blood sugar levels stay low and continue to drop, symptoms will get worse. This can lead to seizures or unconsciousness if not treated immediately.
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How To Avoid Low Blood Sugar During The Night
Individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes experience low blood sugar while sleeping more often than they or their doctors may realize, according to a 2013 study reported in the Quality of Life Research journal. Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent nighttime low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
Avoiding Nighttime Hypoglycemia: 8 Tips
1. Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Feeling anxious and/or having a rapid pulse before bedtime can indicate approaching hypoglycemia. When blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dl during the night, you may experience sweating, shakiness, headache, confusion and even nightmares. You can also wake up to a high glucose reading owed to your body compensating for the nighttime low.
2. Before turning in at night, check your blood sugar. A typical bedtime target is 140 mg/dl. If your glucose is low, a healthy snack in proportion to the drop in blood sugar will help if your blood sugar is slightly low, eat a small-sized snack. Pump users, consider a reduction in insulin dosing.
3. Avoid strenuous late-night exercise. Complete your exercise routine at least two hours before bedtime. Strenuous exercise before turning in can contribute to low overnight glucose levels. If you exercise late and your glucose is less than desirable at lights out, you may need to increase your bedtime snack.
6. Keep a remedy at hand. Keep juice or glucose tablets near your bed to quickly treat nighttime lows, especially if this is a recurring problem for you.
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:
- the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
- skipping or delaying a meal
- not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
- exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
- drinking alcohol
Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.
Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.
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How To Treat Low Blood Sugar
If you think you have low blood sugar, be sure to check it.
Keeping your blood sugar levels on target as much as possible can help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems. While this is important, closely managing your blood sugar levels also increases your chance for low blood sugar . Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. If you think you have low blood sugar, check it. If you arent able to check it, go ahead and treat it.
Untreated low blood sugar can be dangerous, so its important to know what to do about it and to treat it immediately.
Why Is My Blood Sugar High At Night
There can be various reasons for your blood sugar levels to increase at night. Too little insulin or diabetes medication, too little exercise, too much food, menstruation, pregnancy, injury or medical operation, illness or infection, stress or non-diabetic medication are all factors that can cause the blood sugar spike at night.
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After You Have Low Blood Sugar
If your low blood sugar was mild , you can return to your normal activities once your blood sugar is back in its target range.
After you have low blood sugar, your early symptoms for low blood sugar are less noticeable for 48 to 72 hours. Be sure to check your blood sugar more often to keep it from getting too low again, especially before eating, physical activity, or driving a car.
If you used glucagon because of a severe low , immediately call your doctor for emergency medical treatment. If you have had lows several times close together , you should also tell you doctor. They may want to change your diabetes plan.
Low Blood Sugar During The Night
While low blood sugar can strike at any time of day, some people may feel it while sleeping. This could occur or a variety of reasons, including:
Had a busy day.
Using an excessive amount of insulin.
Consumption of alcoholic beverages late at night.
Regularly eating meals and not skipping them will help you avoid low blood sugar at night. Its also a good idea to eat while youre drinking alcohol. If youre worried about low blood sugar overnight, eat a snack before going to bed.
You may wake up if your blood sugar is low, but this isnt a reliable indicator. If your blood sugar drops while youre sleeping, a continuous glucose monitor might sound an alarm.
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How To Prevent The Dawn Effect
At this moment, I believe that you know a bit more about how your body works. Now you know why you have low blood sugar at 3:00 am and high blood sugar after waking up.
It is quite clear which action you have to take if you will have a Somogyi or a Dawn effect. But, both effects give high fasting blood sugar levels so how will you know which effect you are experiencing?
Just continue reading further because you are on the right track
What Causes Nighttime Hypoglycemia
A number of things can throw off the balance. Injecting too much insulin or injecting the right amount at the wrong time can lower blood glucose more than desired. Eating less food than usual during the day or eating the evening meal or snack at a different time than usual can affect blood sugar during the night. Exercising more than usual during the day can also cause low blood glucose at night.
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What Are The Signs Of Nighttime Hypoglycemia
Signs that youve experienced nighttime hypoglycemia can include:
- Sweating: waking up with damp clothes/sheets
- Waking up with a headache
- Having nightmares
- Feeling unusually tired in the morning
- Waking up with a higher than usual glucose level
You may also wake up with a higher glucose reading, which is a result of your body rebounding from the overnight low glucose. Experiencing a fast heartbeat and anxiety before bed may be an indication of approaching hypoglycemia.
Tips To Manage And Prevent Nocturnal Hypoglycemia
If you experience an occurrence of nighttime hypoglycemia, you should take the same actions as you do to manage hypoglycemia in the daytime: Eat a quick-acting carbohydrate and a slow-acting carbohydrate.
If youre caring for someone who exhibits the signs of low blood sugar, wake them up. If they wake up and can sit by themselves, give them fast-acting glucose like juice or hard candy. They should then eat a meal and test blood sugar every few hours.
Once the person wakes up fully following the glucagon injection, they should eat a meal and test their blood sugar every few hours.
To prevent nocturnal hypoglycemia on an ongoing, long-term basis, consult a healthcare professional. You should also:
- Test blood glucose levels before going to bed.
- Stick to regular meals and snacks.
- Adjust insulin dose if necessary before going to sleep.
Diabetes Canada recommends that if youre using intense insulin therapy, you should periodically check your overnight blood glucose level at a time when your overnight insulin should be peaking. The goal is to avoid hypoglycemia during the day and lower the risk of it happening at night.
Some people with type 1 diabetes may use
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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.
How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
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What Should Blood Sugar Be At : 00 Am And How To Maintain It
It is important to maintain a 3:00 am blood sugar level between 100180 mg/ dL and prevent it from dropping. Make sure that you are following these guidelines:
How to manage low blood sugar? Know it all from our expert Dr Arpit.
Now that you know why you are waking up in the middle of the night with low blood sugar, lets discuss another phenomenon that diabetics experiences, called high fasting blood sugar.
Is The Low Predictable Or Unpredictable
Generally, a low blood sugar is predictable if there is a reasonable explanation for it . Unpredictable lows are when no obvious reason can be found. In this case, the unpredictable low could be a one off that occasionally happens and is more common with cloudy or N insulin. If it happens more than once, it could be a sign that you need to change your insulin routine either the dose or type. For example, it could be a change in your weight or that the liver is not making as much sugar overnight , or just being on the wrong type of insulin that is peaking in the night.
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How Much L Lysine To Lower Blood Sugar
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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.
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How To Prevent Low Blood Sugars In The Future
There is probably no way to completely eliminate low blood sugars at night, but I have learned how to limit them quite a bit. What I do is pretty simple I try to learn from my mistakes. If I have a low during the night, Ill go back and see how my bolus and basal patterns were the day before, what I ate, and what I did.
For example, my last low blood sugar was at 4 am a few nights ago, and when I went back and analyzed the data, this is what I found:
Since it was 4 am and my last snack was at 11 pm, the low couldnt be due to my last bolus. I also hadnt changed my basal amount. However, I had moved my workout to later in the evening. So my conclusion was that to limit future nighttime lows, I should take less basal insulin before I go to bed if I work out later in the evening. Thats a pretty easy fix. I reduced my nightly basal and now Im sleeping through the night again and waking up with perfect sugars.
Treating Severely Low Blood Sugar
Blood sugar below 55 mg/dL is considered severely low. You wont be able to treat it using the 15-15 rule. You also may not be able to check your own blood sugar or treat it by yourself, depending on your symptoms. Make sure your family members, friends, and caregivers know your signs of low blood sugar so they can help treat it if needed.
Injectable glucagon is the best way to treat severely low blood sugar. A glucagon kit is available by prescription. Speak with your doctor to see if you should have a kit. Be sure to learn how and when to use it. Let family members and others close to you know where you keep the glucagon kit and make sure theyve been trained in how to use it too.
Its important to contact a doctor for emergency medical treatment immediately after receiving a glucagon injection. If a person faints due to severely low blood sugar, theyll usually wake up within 15 minutes after a glucagon injection. If they dont wake up within 15 minutes after the injection, they should receive one more dose. When the person is awake and able to swallow:
- Feed the person a fast-acting source of sugar .
- Then, have them eat a long-acting source of sugar .
Its also important that friends, family, co-workers, teachers, coaches, and other people you may be around often know how to test your blood sugar and treat severely low blood sugar before it happens.
If any of the following happens, your friend, relative, or helper should call 911:
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