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What To Do If You Have Low Sugar Levels

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What Are The Signs Of Hypoglycemia

WHAT IS LOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL?LOW BLOOD SUGAR EXPLAINED

An individual may frequently wake up in the middle of the night as a result of nighttime hypoglycemia. In other instances, though, people may know if they experienced hypoglycemia during their sleep if they notice the following symptoms:

  • Waking up with a headache
  • Waking up in a sweat
  • Getting unusual feelings of tiredness throughout the day
  • Experiencing anxiety or heart palpitations
  • Feeling confused, dizzy or weak

How Common Is Low Blood Glucose

Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2

Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3

When To Call The Doctor

If signs of low blood sugar do not improve after you have eaten a snack that contains sugar, have someone drive you to the emergency room or call your local emergency number . DO NOT drive when your blood sugar is low.

Get medical help right away for a person with low blood sugar if the person is not alert or cannot be woken up.

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Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Dangerous

Yes, low blood sugar symptoms can cause problems such as hunger, nervousness, perspiration, dizziness and even confusion if untreated, low blood sugar may result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma, or death. Low blood sugar levels begin at 70 mg/dL or less. People with diabetes who take too much medication or take their usual amount but then eat less or exercise more than usual can develop hypoglycemia. Although much rarer, hypoglycemia may develop in some people without diabetes when they take someone elses medication, have excessive alcohol consumption, develop severe hepatitis, or develop a rare tumor of the pancreas . The treatment for hypoglycemia is oral glucose intake (15. 0 grams of sugar, for example, 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, corn syrup, or IV fluids containing glucose. Recheck your blood sugar levels in about 15 minutes after treatment is advised.

A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving

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You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or you’re at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but you’ll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while you’re driving.

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

For more information, see:

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Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes

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 body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s 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.

What Are Blood Sugar Levels

Blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose level, is the level of sugar/glucose present in the blood. Glucose is a simple version of sugar which comes from the food we eat. Therefore, the more food you consume with high sugar levels over a period of time, will typically increase your blood sugar level.

Glucose comes from the foods we eat and its sugar content. When a person consumes a food with high sugar content, that is turned into glucose. The glucose is then absorbed into the bloodstream with the support of insulin. This is then distributed between the bodys cells and used as energy.

Foods high in glucose include most carbohydrates and a handful of proteins and fats. Most foods contain glucose as it is simply a natural sugar that occurs in most dietary forms. However, it is carbohydrates that contain the most sugar and 100% of it turns into glucose, through the process mentioned above, once consumed. The concentration of glucose present in the blood will determine your blood sugar level.

Here is a quick video explaining Blood sugar levels chart :

Your blood sugar level can either be low, normal or high. Depending on what you eat and health conditions, it will vary from person to person. Here is a breakdown of how your blood sugar works and how low or high blood sugar levels happens:

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What Extreme Conditions Can Occur If Hypoglycemia Is Left Untreated

Although severe episodes which can trigger potentially life-threatening comas are rare, they require immediate emergency room care, so its best to make sure you are tracking your blood sugar so that you never have to worry about getting to that point. A drop in blood sugar means less fuel for your brain, so its critical for your body to receive enough glucose. Hypoglycemia that leads to extended, reduced brain function is the biggest concern, as this can lead to seizures and loss of basic bodily functions controlled by the brain, which can ultimately lead to death, explains Dr. Dyer.

What To Do If You Have Low Blood Sugar Symptoms

Treating Low Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes and are experiencing mild to moderate hypoglycemia symptoms, you need to immediately eat or drink 15 grams of easily digestible carbohydrates.

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.

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High Blood Sugar Level Causes

Several types of diabetes and medical conditions are the primary cause of high blood sugar levels. Most of which are unpreventable issues but are the reason for a spike in high blood sugar. The causes for high blood sugar levels are as follows:

Causes of low blood sugar levels are very different and are as important to be aware of, as they are in fact easier to control.

How Is Hypoglycemia Treated

When your blood sugar levels are too low, eating carbohydrates is key. If you have diabetes, try to keep high carbohydrate snacks on hand.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that your snack have at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. Some good snacks to keep on hand are:

  • hard candies
  • jelly beans or gumdrops
  • fresh or dried fruit

You also can take glucose tablets to rapidly raise your blood sugar if its low. These are available without a prescription. Its important to check how many grams are in each tablet before taking them. Aim to get 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates.

Wait 15 minutes after eating or taking a glucose tablet and test your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is not going up, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrates or take another dose of glucose tablets. Repeat this until your blood sugar level starts to rise.

Be sure not to overeat. This could lead to blood sugar levels that are too high.

If your blood sugar remains unresponsive, contact your doctor or emergency services right away. When in doubt, treat.

Symptoms of low blood sugar usually get worse if theyre left untreated. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have diabetes and experience low blood sugar levels often, or if you have symptoms, even if you dont have diabetes.

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What Is Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose occurs when your blood glucose level is less than 4 mmol/L, or where symptoms of hypoglycaemia are experienced at a level close to this.

Normally, when blood glucose lowers, your body lowers the amount of insulin it is putting out. This stabilises blood glucose by stopping glucose moving into your bodys cells and releasing stored glucose from your liver. This may not happen if you have diabetes.

When you have diabetes and are taking insulin , you can still get the same low blood glucose level if you run out of glucose coming in from your food. But when your body senses that your blood glucose is becoming lower and it tries to switch off its insulin, it cant. This is because you have injected your insulin .

This means the insulin continues to move glucose into your bodys cells and your liver doesnt start releasing stored glucose. So, your blood glucose level keeps going down and can soon be dangerously low.

Because your brain needs glucose all the time to function, if you cut off the supply of glucose and do not take action, you will eventually become unconscious.The following video from Diabetes UK helps explain the common symptoms, causes and treatment.

What If The 15

Los Angeles Medical Clinic: Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

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 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.

Who Is Most At Risk For Hypoglycemia

Aside from people with diabetes, Dr. Jennifer Shine Dyer notes that children are more prone toexperience episodes of hypoglycemia because of their smaller body size, as well as having less fat to burn to maintain energy when glucose levels are low. Eating meals every 4 to 6 hours should maintain glucose levels if this is the only cause of hypoglycemia, she says.

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Possible Causes Without Diabetes

Even if you dont have diabetes, you may experience low blood sugar. However, hypoglycemia is much less common in people without diabetes.

Some possible causes of low blood sugar in people who dont have diabetes are:

  • certain medications, such as quinine
  • some medical conditions, such as hepatitis and kidney disorders
  • a tumor that produces excess insulin
  • endocrine disorders, such as adrenal gland deficiency

What Are The Treatments For Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycaemia – How to Treat and Prevent Low Blood Sugar

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 you’re 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.

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What Causes Low Blood Sugar

Despite advances in the treatment of diabetes, low blood sugar episodes occur as a side effect of many treatments for diabetes. In fact, these episodes are often the limiting factor in achieving optimal blood sugar control, because many medications that are effective in treating diabetes carry the risk of lowering the blood sugar level too much, causing symptoms. In large scale studies looking at tight control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, low blood sugars occurred more often in the patients who were managed most intensively. This is important for patients and physicians to recognize, especially as the goal for treating patients with diabetes becomes tighter control of blood sugar.

While people who do not have any metabolic problems can complain of symptoms that resemble low blood sugar, true hypoglycemia usually occurs in people with diabetes mellitus . People with pre-diabetes or insulin resistance also can have low blood sugars on occasion if their high circulating insulin levels are further challenged by a prolonged period of fasting. There are other rare causes for the condition, such as insulin-producing tumors and certain medications.

These uncommon causes of hypoglycemia will not be discussed in this article, which will primarily focus on the condition occurring with type 1 or 2 diabetes and its treatment.

How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia

Treatment for hypoglycemia involves both the immediate steps needed to raise your blood sugar level in addition with the later treatment or medication dose adjustment to prevent recurrence.

To immediately raise your blood sugar level, Dr. Shah advocates the rule of 15eating 15 grams of carbohydrates and then checking your blood sugar level 15 minutes later. Fast-acting carbohydrates include:

  • 4 glucose tablets
  • 4 ounces of fruit juices

Keep repeating these steps every 15 minutes until your blood sugar reaches above 70 mg/dL, he explains. Once your level has stabilized, its important to then eat a snack or even a full meal to maintain that balance, Dr. Shah adds.

If your symptoms are more severe and/or a person is unable to swallow, you may need an injection of glucagon, he says.

To prevent episodes of hypoglycemia in the future, Dr. Shah says that treatment may involve the changing of prescribed regimens and dosages or adjusting your meal plans.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycaemia

Symptoms of mild to moderate hypoglycaemia may include one or more of the following:

  • looking pale
  • rapid change in behaviour or irritability
  • confusion
  • blurred vision.

Over time you come to recognise the feelings you get when your blood glucose goes low. However, if you have had diabetes for a long time, you may not get any symptoms when your blood glucose goes low.

Low Blood Sugar Level

Hypoglycemia low blood sugar symptoms

In humans normal blood glucose levels are around 90 mg is 105 blood sugar bad dl, equal to 5mM mmol l Diabetes In Australia Statisticshigh blood sugar at 30 Firstly, examine your blood sugar blood sugar stays at 84 degree with a blood glucose meter at any time especially earlier than a meal or after two hours of a meal However, most individuals verify it earlier than meals and before they go to bed at night time.

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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.

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