If Your Mind Is Cloudy Hands Shake And You Begin To Sweat You Might Be Experiencing Low Blood Sugar
The balance between glucose, or sugar, and insulin in an individuals bloodstream is a delicate one. For people with diabetes, glucose and insulin levels are vitaltoo little insulin can cause glucose to climb to dangerous levels. Too much insulin, however, can cause low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, which can be an emergency. Individuals living with diabetes and those around them should know the signs of low blood sugar, and how to quickly treat the condition.
Hypoglycemia can cause seizures or loss of consciousness, making it an important condition to detect and treat as soon as possible. Levels that fall below 70 milligrams per deciliter are considered low and often dangerous.
A drop in blood sugar in diabetics can be caused by a number of factors, including too much insulin or other medication for diabetes, unusually vigorous exercise, drinking alcohol or skipping meals.
Know the symptoms: The first step in treating a drop in blood sugar is knowing the signs. In addition to educating yourself on the symptoms of hypoglycemia, its important to let your family, friends and others around you know what to look for.
The symptoms of low blood sugar usually begin quickly, with mild signs like headache, shakiness, sweating, hunger and irritability. Its possible for low blood sugar to occur at night when an individual is sleeping, too. Nightmares, profuse sweating and confusion when waking can signal a drop in blood sugar.
Examples Of Easily Digestible Carbohydrates
- 1/2 cup of juice or regular soda
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 4 or 5 saltine crackers
- 3 or 4 pieces of hard candy or glucose tablets
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
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.
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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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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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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Reversing A Sugar Crash
When your blood sugar crashes, you can quickly bring it back up to normal. You need a rapidly absorbing form of carbohydrate, also known as a simple carb. Eating 15 to 30 grams of fast-digesting carbs is often enough to quickly reverse a sugar crash.
These each represent 15 grams of simple carbohydrates: half a banana 1/2 cup of apple sauce 1/2 cup of apple, orange or pineapple juice six large jelly beans or five small gum drops.
Caution: Birth Control Pills
Types that have estrogen can affect the way your body handles insulin. Still, oral contraceptives are safe for women with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association suggests a combination pill with norgestimate and synthetic estrogen. The group also says birth control shots and implants are safe for women with the condition, though they can affect your blood sugar levels.
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What You Can Do
Most of the sugar or glucose in your blood comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches in grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, milk and milk products, honey, and sugar. If you dont have diabetes and youre feeling the unpleasant effects of a drop in blood sugar, eat or drink something with carbohydrates. Good choices are a piece of fruit, a few whole wheat crackers, a glass of milk, or a carton of yogurt.
In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can come on suddenly and needs to be treated right away so it doesnt get worse. Eat or drink a quickly digested carbohydrate food, such as:
½ cup fruit juice
½ cup of a regular soft drink
1 cup of milk
5 or 6 hard candies
4 or 5 saltine crackers
2 tablespoons of raisins
3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar or honey
3 or 4 glucose tablets or a serving of glucose gel
Each of these choices provides about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Wait for 15 or 20 minutes, then check your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. If your blood sugar is still low, have another portion of carbohydrates.
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.
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What Are The Treatments For Hypoglycemia
Make an appointment with an endocrinologist if you feel like youre having episodes of hypoglycemia, even if youre not diabetic. Theyll talk you through treatment strategies, including:
- Adjusting your medications. You may need to change how often you take insulin or other medications, which medications youre on, how much you take, and when you take them.
- Working with a registered dietitian on a personalized meal plan that stabilizes blood sugar levels. Theres no one-size-fits-all hypoglycemia diet, but a nutritionist can help you figure out a consistent meal plan tailored to you, and teach you how to count carbohydrate grams to go along with your health and routine.
- Increasing and improving self-monitoring of your blood glucose levels. Knowing your blood glucose level throughout the daywhen you get up, before meals, and after meals etc.can help you keep it from getting too low.
- Limiting consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol interferes with the way your body metabolizes glucose. If youre prone to hypoglycemia, consider decreasing how much alcohol you consume.
- Glucose tablets . Make sure you always have glucose tablets on hand, whether at home, school, the office, or the gym. After taking the tablet, check your blood sugar. If its still low, take another tablet. If that doesnt help, check with your doctor.
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
Preventing low blood sugar is better than having to treat it. Always have a source of fast-acting sugar with you.
- When you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Make sure you have snacks with you.
- Talk to your provider about reducing insulin doses on days that you exercise.
- Ask your provider if you need a bedtime snack to prevent low blood sugar overnight. Protein snacks may be best.
Do not drink alcohol without eating food. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day and men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. Family and friends should know how to help. They should know:
- The symptoms of low blood sugar and how to tell if you have them.
- How much and what kind of food they should give you.
- When to call for emergency help.
- How to inject glucagon, a hormone that increases your blood sugar. Your provider will tell you when to use this medicine.
If you have diabetes, always wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. This helps emergency medical workers know you have diabetes.
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What Causes Low Blood Glucose
- Symptoms occur when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl a condition known as hypoglycemia.
- In most cases, low blood glucose results from overtreatment: Either taking too much diabetes medication or not eating enough food. Higher doses of medicine than the person actually requires can also lead to hypoglycemia.
- People who aim for too-low values on their A1C test tend to experience more frequent drops in blood glucose.
- Vigorous exercise doesn’t just burn calories, it also burns blood glucose! Hypoglycemia can occur unless blood glucose levels are carefully monitored during and after exercise.
- Not eating on a regular basis can deprive the body of glucose and make it difficult to prevent hypoglycemia. Eat balanced meals throughout the day and always keep a snack on hand.
The Importance Of Treating Low Blood Sugar Immediately
Always treat hypoglycemia right away. Even if an emergency doesnt occur, a continued drop in blood sugar levels can affect your thinking for example, you might not even realize you have to eat or drink something to bring up your blood sugar. That means youll have to rely on someone else tohelp you. If no ones around, things can get much more serious. For instance, you might decide to drive, but because your muscles are affected by low blood sugar, you could be at higher risk to get into an accident.
If your blood sugar drops below 20 mg/dl you may lose consciousnses.This is an emergency situation and requires prompt care as it can leadto serious consequences such as heart attack or a seizure.
Teach people close to you what to be aware of and what to do in case you cant treat yourself. You might also want to teach them how to test yourblood sugar.
Although its useful to know what to do when your blood sugar drops, its easier to prevent low blood sugar levels rather than treat it after its happened. Monitor your blood sugar levelsregularly with a glucometeror home testing kit. If you continue to have repeated episodes of hypoglycemia, talk to your healthcare professionals to discuss changes to your diabetes treatmentplan.
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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.
Too Much Insulin Or Diabetes Medications
Many people take diabetes medications to manage their blood sugar levels. Out of all the available diabetes medicines, injectable insulin carries the greatest risk of low blood sugar, especially rapid-acting insulin.
Because insulin lowers blood sugar, taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications can cause hypoglycemia.
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The Rule Says To Have 15 Grams Of Fast
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a life-changing moment. While many who have had diabetes for a long time would know what low blood sugar could result in, newly diagnosed ones are still figuring it out.
As we know, diabetes is a lifestyle disorder that doesnt have a cure yet. It can only be managed. With such a disease, knowing every little detail becomes extremely important.
Representational image.Image by Martin Büdenbender from Pixabay
Fluctuations in blood sugar levels keep happening throughout the day – even in healthy people. These changes arent noticeable when they happen within a certain range. Once blood sugar goes below the normal range , it is called hypoglycemia or low blood sugar in diabetics. It’s called non-diabetic hypoglycemia when it happens to non-diabetics and has two types – fasting and reactive .
Dr Ayush Pandey, a doctor associated with myUpchar.com, said that low blood sugar, also known as an insulin reaction or insulin shock, can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening sometimes.
How Do I Treat Low Blood Glucose
If you begin to feel one or more symptoms of low blood glucose, check your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose level is below your target or less than 70 mg/dL, follow these steps
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Checking For Low Blood Sugar Levels
The warning signs of hypoglycemia are the body’s natural response to low blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels fall too low, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which helps get stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. This can make someone:
- start shaking
- have an increased heart rate
If the hypoglycemia isn’t treated, more serious symptoms may happen, such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
The only way to know for sure if you’re having a low blood sugar level is to test. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a . This computerized device measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. But if you can’t quickly check your blood sugar level, it’s important to treat yourself for hypoglycemia immediately to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Sometimes a person with diabetes may have symptoms of low blood sugar levels, but blood sugar levels are not actually low. This is a called a false reaction. The hormone adrenaline is not just released when blood sugar drops too low it’s also released when blood sugar levels fall quickly when they’re too high. If you’re having a false reaction, you might actually have blood sugar levels in a healthy range but feel as if you have low blood sugar. Testing blood sugar levels before treating yourself for hypoglycemia can help you figure out if you’re having a false reaction.