When To Call 911
Your friend, relative, or coworker should call 911 for help if:
- You pass out and no glucagon is available
- You need a second dose of glucagon
- You had glucagon, but are still confused
- Your blood sugar stays too low 20 minutes after treatment or doesnt respond to your usual treatments
The emergency medical technicians can give you IV sugar . This raises your blood sugar level right away. You might need to stay in the hospital for a few hours.
NEVER be afraid to call 911 or ask someone to call 911 for you if you are concerned .
Other things to know about hypoglycemia:
It takes time for blood sugar to rise after eating, and its important to give your first treatment time to work. Use the table above to guide your treatment and timing instead of eating until you feel better, which will almost always lead to eating too much.
Hypoglycemia can be common with certain types of exercise. Managing blood sugar during and after physical activity is important and is something that a lot of people with T1D have questions about. JDRF has a number of resources available for people with T1D and their families, many of which can be found here.
What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself
Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.
If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by
- talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
- teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
- wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.
What Is Low Blood Sugar
You may have briefly felt the effects of low blood sugar when you’ve gotten really hungry or exercised hard without eating enough. This happens to nearly everyone from time to time. It’s easy to correct and usually nothing to worry about.
But low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can also be an ongoing problem. It occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low to give your body energy.
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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.
How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.
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Giving Sugar Saves Those With Low Blood Sugar
On the other hand, giving sugar to someone with low blood sugar could save a life. In most cases when a person known to have diabetes becomes confused, weak, or dizzy, the cause is low blood sugar and the person will get better after eating sugar. Their blood glucose level will rise and their brain will again have fuel to function.
The most important thing is to recognize when giving sugar doesn’t help. In that case, you’ll need to get the patient to a doctor as soon as possible or .
High Blood Sugar And The Brain
People with high blood sugar can get confused, weak, and dizzyjust like people experiencing low blood sugarbut for a completely different reason. It’s not the lack of fuel for the brain it’s the pollution that comes from burning fat. When the rest of the body is burning fat, byproducts known as ketones are released into the bloodstream. Ketones are very acidic and the brain is finicky it can’t work in an environment with too much acid and begins to malfunction. It’s a dangerous condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis .
Note that diabetic ketoacidosis differs from nutritional ketosis, which is the aim of the ketogenic or “keto” diet. In the keto diet, levels of ketones are much lower than in DKA.
It takes an excessive amount of ketones in the blood to affect the brain, so high blood sugar levels don’t often affect the brain for dayssometimes weeks. In that time, the actual sugar levels can go up or down. It’s the lack of insulin and the burning of fat rather than the presence of extra sugar that causes the problem.
So, giving sugar to people with high blood sugar isn’t going to helpthey already have too much. But it’s not going to hurt, either.
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If Your Childs Blood Sugar Is Less Than :
It is important to use quick-acting carbohydrate. Do not just eat a snack if your blood sugar is too low. Food does not bring the blood sugar up quickly.
If your childs blood sugar is low at bedtime, always recheck the blood sugar and make sure it is over 90 before falling asleep.
Do not take too much carbohydrate for a low blood sugar because your blood sugar will go too high later on.
When Glucose Level Is Low Should I Take My Insulin
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 11 years age, and have been taking insulin injections for the last 6 years. I recently fell out after taking an injection when my glucose klevel was all ready low. I don’t recall anyone ever warning me not to. Has anyone ever gotten advise on this subject?
Hi,I have read this somewhere and i think would be helpful to you.A low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia or an insulin reaction, is defined as a blood glucose level below 60 to 70 mg/dl. It is usually companied by one or more of the symptoms described below. Low blood sugars or insulin reactions can occur whenever insulin is used. Although less frequent, it can also occur with use of drugs that stimulate insulin production in Type 2 diabetes, such as Diabenese, Glyburide, Glipizide, and Starlix.
Hypoglycemia symptoms vary greatly. Lows may occur with no symptoms, minor symptoms, or full-blown symptoms. They will vary from person to person and from one low to the next in the same person. A single symptom may make you aware that your blood sugar has become low, or you may suddenly become aware of several symptoms at once. Symptoms are created both by the effect of the low blood sugar on the brain and other organs, and by the effects of adrenaline and glucagon which are released in large quantities to raise the blood sugar.
Insulin Reaction Symptoms
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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.
Treating Low Blood Sugars Quickly And Accurately
Its easy to panic when having a low glucose. Your heart is racing, your body is pumping out adrenaline, and your stomach says Feed me! FEED ME!!! Your brain isnt working logically, and if you live alone you may be afraid if you dont eat that chocolate cake, you might pass out and not wake up.
But binging to correct lows only causes rebound highs. Your body will also be raising your blood glucose by releasing stored glucose from the liver. Dual responses from you and your liver keep the roller coaster going. So eat quickly, but restrain yourself from piling on more carbs in a binge til you stop shaking routine. If you are on an AID, remember that your basal delivery has been reduced for some time beforehand, reducing the number of carbs that you need for treatment.
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Further Tips After A Hypoglycaemic Episode
- Don’t exercise for the rest of the day after a severe hypoglycaemic episode.
- After a severe hypo your blood glucose needs to be checked more often. Checking your blood glucose level more often will help you know if your blood glucose level is dropping again.
- Try and work out why you had the low blood glucose.
- Did you do more exercise or more intense exercise than usual?
- Did you forget that you had taken insulin or diabetes tablets, and take another dose?
- Did you inject into a new area or an area that warmed up with exercise and absorbed more quickly?
- Was there not enough carbohydrate in your last meal?
- Is there a particular time of day that hypoglycaemia occurs for you?
What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
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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.
For People With Diabetes
Check your blood sugar when you start to experience symptoms. If it’s below 70 milligrams per deciliter, eat 15 to 30 grams of fast-absorbing carbohydrates. Wait 15 minutes, then recheck your blood glucose level.
If your reading is below 100 milligrams per deciliter, eat another 15 grams of quick-absorbing carbohydrates. After waiting another 15 minutes, recheck to see if it’s within the target range your doctor outlined for you. Repeat these steps if necessary.
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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Is Low Right Before A Meal
Treatment For Severe Hypoglycaemia
In cases of severe hypoglycaemia the person cannot treat themselves, and needs the help of someone else. Call triple zero for an ambulance immediately.
If the person can’t swallow or follow instructions do not give them any treatment by mouth.
If you are trained in how to prepare and inject glucagon and feel comfortable injecting it, then this can be administered.
Ambulance paramedics have the resources to manage severe hypoglycaemia.
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How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Before a meal.
- Two hours after a meal.
- At bedtime.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
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What Else Should I Do
- Always carry fast acting carbohydrates with you
- Wear identification that says you have diabetes
- Make a note of any hypos you have and discuss it with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator
- Make sure your family, friends, co-workers, school staff and carers know how to recognise and treat hypoglycaemia
- Look for the cause of your hypo so you can try to prevent it from occurring again
- Contact your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator if you are having hypos often
- If youre taking medication called Acarbose carry pure glucose with you such as glucose tablets, glucose gel or Lucozade
- Eat carbohydrates if you are drinking alcohol
- Test your blood glucose level and ensure it is above 5mmol/L before driving a motor vehicle.