What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:
- feel hungry or have “hunger pains” in their stomach
- feel shaky or like they’re trembling
- have a rapid heart rate
- feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
- have pale, gray skin color
- have a headache
- have seizures or convulsions
- lose consciousness
If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when you’re having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.
What Is Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a scale that ranks carbohydrates-containing foodsor drinks from 0 to 100 depending upon how much they raise blood glucose levels after its consumed. Low GI foods are considered better for diabetics due to there slow and steady increase in blood glucose levels. High GI foods increase blood glucose at a higher and faster rate and should be avoided as much as possible for those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Treating Mild To Moderate Hypoglycemia
If you start feeling any of the symptoms listed above, check your blood sugar as soon as possible, then follow the chart below to treat low blood sugar. If you have any concerns, or cant test immediately, its best to treat first and check when possible.
If your blood sugar is
What to do next
51 to 70 mg/dL
10 to 15 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice, 6 to 8 hard candies, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.
Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.
Under 50 mg/dL
Eat 20 to 30 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 8 ounces of fruit juice, 12 to 16 hard candies, or 6 to 8 glucose tablets.
Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Hypoglycemia
Children with hypoglycemia have different symptoms, and these vary from one child to another. But no matter what your childs symptoms, the overriding goal is the same to bring the blood sugar back up to normal as rapidly as possible and return your child to good health.
Most often, your childs blood sugar can be brought back up to normal by eating or drinking something that has sugar in it, such as fruit juice, regular soda, table sugar, maple syrup, candy, glucose tablets, glucose gel, or cake frosting. Consider encouraging your child to:
- eat regular meals throughout the day
- eat frequent snacks
For children with diabetes, the goal is to consistently maintain a blood sugar level that is in a healthy range. This involves testing blood sugar often, learning to recognize the earliest symptoms of low blood sugar, and treating the condition quickly, based on instructions given by your child’s healthcare providers.
If your child has recurrent or severe hypoglycemia, the first thing is to determine the cause, because different causes have different treatments. While the cause is determined, some children will receive glucose intravenously in the hospital to make sure their blood-sugar level stays normal.
Some causes of hypoglycemia can be treated with changes in your childs diet or medication. For some rare cases of severe hypoglycemia that dont respond to medical treatment, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove most of the pancreas.
Low Blood Sugar: Best Bites When Youre On The Go
Despite your best planning, you might find yourself experiencing low blood sugar when youre out and about, with no glucose tablets in reach. Here are tips to keep in mind:
Best bites at work Smart foods to keep in a drawer at work are 4-ounce cans or cartons of any type of 100 percent juice hard candy like peppermints or Life Savers and small boxes of raisins the ones that contain about 2 tablespoons, says Hope Warshaw, RD, a certified diabetes educator and author of Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy.
If you dont have these items on hand, head to the nearest vending machine for any snack containing carbohydrates or sugary candy but skip the chocolate. We do not recommend using chocolate as a treatment for hypoglycemia, despite what you might have read, says OConnor. She explains that the fat in chocolate slows down how fast the sugar and carbohydrates in the candy can get into the bloodstream.
If youre choosing foods to help treat hypoglycemia, you should also pay attention to where they fall on the glycemic index, or GI. The higher a food ranks on the GI, the more quickly your body breaks it down into sugar. Life Savers have a GI of 70, while raisins have a GI around 60.
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Medication And Supplements May Contribute To Blood Sugar Changes
Illness itself can increase blood sugar levels, but so can illness-fighting medication. A number of over-the-counter and prescription drugs even some vitamins and supplements can raise blood sugar. Examples include corticosteroids, asthma medication, birth control pills, certain antidepressants, and some medication for severe acne, Dodell says. While the exact causes arent completely clear, research suggests that changes in blood flow as well as direct effects on insulin release and receptors may explain why blood-pressure-lowering medication has the potential to spike blood sugar.
Its therefore important to let your doctor know about each and every medication you take, whether OTC or prescribed by another doctor, he says. They may be able to help you find an alternative medication that is better for your blood sugar levels or, alternatively, simply help you manage your blood sugar despite any sugar-increasing medicine.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
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Food As Medicine Impact Of Diet On Diabetes
When we think of diabetes treatment we generally think of pills and insulin injections to improve glycemic control. But what more and more doctors are realizing is that food is proving to be a muchmore powerfuldrug when it comes to diabetes.
While a poor diet can lead to obesity and insulin resistance and thus creating an environment for type 2 diabetes to exist, embracing a healthy diet has been found to do the exact opposite.
Foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fats and processed foods can improve blood glucose to the point of prevention andreversal of diabetes and prediabetes.
With that being said our hope is that by having access to this diabetic food list pdf you will feel more empowered when it comes to managing your chronic disease. Always remember that what you eat impacts your health, good and bad.
If you are interested in lowering your blood sugar and reversing your diabetes then be sure to check out our bookSMART & Skinny Habits.We designed this program to help diabetics not only lose weight but REVERSE their diabetes permanently.
If you enjoyed this article or have any questions please feel free to let us know and we will be happy to get back to you!
Stay happy. Stay healthy.
What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low
People who use insulin and other diabetes medications are at risk for hypoglycemia. Keep this action plan handy so you’re prepared.
If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may be at risk of developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Without quick attention, hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications, so its important to know what to do if it happens to you or someone close to you.
In very severe cases, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness, says a clinical assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford Health Care, and chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic.
It’s possible to have hypoglycemia but have no symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . On the other hand, symptoms can also come on rapidly. While symptoms vary from person to person, if you develop mild to moderate low blood sugar you may:
- Feel shaky or jittery
- Have a headache or be lightheaded
- Be irritable or combative
- Have blurred vision or see double
Some people feel tingling or numbness in their extremities too, says Rodolfo Galindo, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and lipids at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and chair of the inpatient diabetes taskforce.
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Why Am I Having Lows
If you are experiencing low blood glucose and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood glucose, 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 what’s causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood glucose 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.
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.
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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
Blood Sugar Levels: How To Tell If You’re In The Normal Range
Here’s what to know about how much blood sugar is healthy, and how to find out your own levels.
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Caroline Roberts writes articles and notifications for CNET. She studies English at Cal Poly, and loves philosophy, Karl the Fog and a strong cup of black coffee.
People with diabetes are all too familiar with their blood sugar levels, but the rest of us might not even think about it outside of the occasional doctor’s visit. However, consistently high blood sugar levels can coexist with Type 2 diabetes and cause serious health conditions like kidney disease, nerve problems or stroke.
While that’s no reason to panic, when it comes to our health, it’s important to know exactly what’s going on inside of our bodies. Let’s get into what blood sugar means, how to measure it and everything else you need to know.
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Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.
Symptoms Signs Causes Of Levels Of High Blood Sugar In The Blood
High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is an abnormally high blood sugar level in the blood. Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes and prediabetes.
Signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia include blurred vision, headaches, hunger, and …
The normal ranges for blood sugar levels in adults who do not have diabetes while fasting are 72-99 mg/dL. These ranges may increase to 80-130 mg/dL for those being treated for diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should have
- blood sugar levels of 80-130 mg/dL before eating a meal , and
- less than 180 mg/dL about 1-2 hours after eating a meal
High blood sugar ranges for people who dont have diabetes begin at 140 mg/dL, while those being treated for diabetes have a high range beginning at 180 mg/dL.
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How To Deal With Low Blood Sugar
âWhen blood sugars are low, the first goal is to bring them up to above 70 mg/dL with a simple and fast-acting source of sugar,â says Crean. âOnce your blood sugar is above this goal, you want to eat a balanced meal or snack that contains some additional carbohydrates, plus protein and fat to help keep it stable.â Think: A handful of whole-grain crackers topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
The general rule of thumb is to consume 15 grams of carbs, then wait 15 minutes before checking your blood sugar again. If itâs still too low, repeat the process. âA good premeal blood sugar range to comfortably stay within would be 80 to 130 mg/dL,â says Crean.
Here are some super-convenient ways to get your blood sugar back on track, stat.
When To Seek Care
Its essential that you get immediate medical attention if your blood sugar drops and you have severe symptoms, like seizures or loss of consciousness.
If you have diabetes and your blood sugar drops, and the usual quick-fix treatments dont help raise your blood sugar above 70 mg/dL, its also important to get medical care as soon as possible. This happens more commonly with taking too much long-acting insulin or sulfonylurea diabetes pills.
Also, be sure to get medical care if you dont have diabetes but have symptoms of hypoglycemia that dont go away or get worse after youve eaten at least 15 grams of carbohydrates.
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Pre Diabetes Pills Make You Lose Weight
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How To Help Others Help You
Knowing the signs of low blood sugar, having an action plan, and being prepared with your glucose meter and glucose tablets are vital, but sometimes you might need to rely on other people to help when youre blood sugar drops too low. Take these additional steps so youre prepared and they are, too:
Teach your loved ones. If youre unable to help yourself, friends, family, or colleagues may need to treat you with an injection of glucagon, a hormone that tells your liver to release stored glucose, the American Diabetes Association says. For this reason, its a good idea to teach those close to you what to do. If they dont know how to give you the injection or if glucagon isnt available, they must call 911 and get you the help you need, Evans says. Low blood sugar thats sustained for a prolonged time can lead to irreversible brain damage, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Wear an ID bracelet. Evan suggests that everyone with diabetes should get a tattoo or wear a medical ID bracelet. The bracelet should say diabetes and whether youre on insulin or take other medications, the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston recommends.
Talk to your doctor about your low blood sugar risk. If you have frequent bouts of hypoglycemia, be sure to talk with your doctor. The solution may be as simple as changing how much or the kind of diabetes medicine you take. However, never make any changes to your medication regimen without your doctors approval.
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