How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia
You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:
- Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
- Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
- Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
- Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
- Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
- Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.
How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemic Episodes
The key to preventing hypoglycemic events is managing diabetes:
- Follow your healthcare providers instructions about food and exercise.
- Track your blood sugar regularly, including before and after meals, before and after exercise and before bed.
- Take all your medications exactly as prescribed.
- When you do have a hypoglycemic event, write it down. Include details such as the time, what you ate recently, whether you exercised, the symptoms and your glucose level.
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How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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Preventing High Blood Sugars
Everyone with diabetes experiences high blood sugars sometimes there are simply too many variables in the human body out of your control to prevent them altogether.
That being said, there are a few guidelines we can all follow to minimize the frequency of high blood sugars:
- Avoid full-sugar beverages including soda, juice, coffee drinks, iced tea, etc.
- Choose your carbohydrates carefully starchy carbs from pasta, candy, bread, desserts, etc. will spike your blood sugar the most
- Take your medications as prescribed and contact your healthcare team if you miss a dose to determine if you can take it late
- Exercise daily even a 20-minute walk makes a big difference on a daily basis
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
And of course, if youre experiencing high blood sugars are a daily basis and youre unsure of the cause, talk to your healthcare team about making adjustments in your diabetes management regimen. A slight increase in your medications can have a big impact!
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Treating Severe Hypoglycemia With Glucagon
If left untreated, hypoglycemia can become severe. Severe hypoglycemia is a potentially life threatening condition that can cause seizures and loss of consciousness.
If you develop seizures or loss of consciousness, you wont be able to swallow any foods or drinks with fast-acting carbs safely. Instead, youll need a medication known as glucagon.
Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency kit or glucagon nasal powder. Consider telling your coach, trainer, or workout buddy where to find your glucagon. Teach them when and how to use it in case of an emergency.
If your blood sugar is lower than 150 mg/dL before your workout, eat a carbohydrate-rich snack to help keep your blood sugar up while youre exercising.
Aim to eat about 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates in your preworkout snack.
If youre planning to exercise for an hour or longer, include some protein in your snack, too.
Each of the following snacks typically contains about
- 2/3 cup of yogurt
- 2 slices of bread
If youre planning to exercise for an hour or more, check your blood sugar every 30 to 60 minutes. If your blood sugar drops below 100 mg/dL , take a break to snack on some carbs.
If you dont have a meal scheduled within the next hour or so, eat a postworkout snack that contains both carbs and protein to help stabilize your blood sugar.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar Immediately
Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
If you have high blood sugar, a condition also known as hyperglycemia, theres too much sugar in your blood and not enough insulin in your body to lower it. In people with diabetes, hyperglycemia can be caused by things like eating too many carbohydrates, lack of physical activity, stress from an illness or infection, nondiabetes medications , or skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication.
Hyperglycemia requires immediate treatment to prevent serious complications, including nerve, tissue, and organ damage diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . While taking rapid-acting insulin is the quickest way to lower your blood sugar, there are other ways like exercising and staying hydrated that can help. In cases of an emergency, contact your doctor immediately.
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Repeat Until Your Blood Sugar Is Back To Normal
Repeat steps 4 through 6 until your blood sugar level returns to normal.
If your next meal is more than an hour away, have a snack consisting of a carbohydrate and protein to keep your glucose levels in the target range. Examples include an apple or banana with peanut butter or some crackers and cheese.
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What Level Of Blood Sugar Is Dangerous
A lot is spoken about high blood sugar levels and ways to keep them in control. With the rising incidence of diabetes, many people are concerned about their sugar levels and wish to plan a routine that keeps their blood sugar levels with the normal range. So, what level of blood sugar is dangerous and how to bring it down quickly? This is a commonly asked question. Let us look at it in detail.
An ideal range of blood sugar level is 90-160. A level which points towards 160-240 is a called a very high level. Above 240 the diabetes is listed as out of control. And if you have a blood sugar level of 300 or up, remember its a medical emergency and you need to get consulted immediately.
Womens Menstrual Cycle Can Throw Blood Sugar Out Of Whack
Blood sugar can be affected due to hormonal changes during a womans pre-menstrual period. According to some studies, diabetic women become less sensitive to insulin during this period. Which results in an increase in blood sugar.
But, readings return to normal once menstruation starts. Remember, if your blood sugar consistently remains high the week before your period it is better to cut some carbohydrate intake and have a workout plan. If you are taking insulin, its better to consult with your doctor for adjustment of dose accordingly. This can be a reason who wonder what causes blood sugar to rise without eating.
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Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar
When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.
- As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage.
- As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall.
- When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar.
- This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar.
Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body cant make enough insulin or cant properly use the insulin it makes.
- Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops.
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
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What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
- Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and cystic fibrosis.
- Certain medications .
- Gestational diabetes, which happens in 4% of pregnancies, and is due to decreased insulin sensitivity.
- Surgery or trauma.
Cheese And Diabetes Risk
While it is possible to establish a link between a factor, such as cheese consumption, and an outcome, such as the development of diabetes, it is not easy to prove the mechanism that connects the two factors.
Chan is not the first person to look at cheese and diabetes, although hers is one of the few studies trying to find out how exactly cheese affects the metabolism. It is also the first to make the bold claim that cheese consumption may improve insulin sensitivity.
The InterAct study was funded by the European Union Research Framework to investigate the interplay between genetics and lifestyle in the development of diabetes. A 2012 paper by the InterAct Consortium found total dairy intake had no positive or negative effect on diabetes risk.
The authors suggested a modest reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, possibly mediated by the saturated fatty acids or probiotic bacteria found in cheese.
Meanwhile the ADA, in their most recent update on the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, have lifted the restriction on sodium in the diet of those with diabetes. This brings the recommended daily levels of sodium for people with diabetes in line with the general population at 2,300 milligrams per day. They also acknowledge that there is not a single diet that fits all people with diabetes.
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Ut University Health Services
For some people, a blood sugar below 90 mg/dL can make them feel like this. For others, it takes a lower blood sugar to cause these symptoms.
You must watch your blood sugar level closely. Regular testing of your blood sugar may allow you to detect and treat hypoglycemia before it causes serious symptoms. You may be able to prevent ever having low blood sugar.
Some high blood pressure medicines called beta blockers hide the symptoms of hypoglycemia. If you are taking medicine for high blood pressure, ask your healthcare provider if the medicines you are taking could have this effect.
You should know the difference between the symptoms of low blood sugar and high blood sugar . High blood sugar doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when it does the symptoms may include blurry vision, extreme thirst, and a lot of urination.
Low Blood Sugar After Exercise
When you exercise, your body pulls sugar from your bloodstream to fuel the activity. It also draws on sugar stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver.
This is why your blood sugar level tends to drop during a workout. Its common for blood sugar to continue to drop for several hours after exercise, too.
If your blood sugar level drops to 70 mg/dL or lower, its known as low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. In most cases, hypoglycemia can be treated by eating or drinking fast-acting carbohydrates. In severe cases, hypoglycemia must be treated with a medication known as glucagon.
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Adrenaline Can Raise Blood Glucose Levels
Using your muscles helps burn glucose and improves the way insulin works. Thats why blood glucose levels usually come down during exercise. But you might see blood glucose go up after exercise, too. Some workouts, such as heavy weightlifting, sprints, and competitive sports, cause you to produce stress hormones . Adrenaline raises blood glucose levels by stimulating your liver to release glucose.
The food you eat before or during a workout may also contribute to a glucose rise. Eat too many carbs before exercising, and your sweat session may not be enough to keep your blood glucose within your goal range.
Low Blood Sugar Treatment
The treatment plan for low blood sugar completely depends on what is causing the drop-down in your sugar levels. Hypoglycemia can fall into two categories low blood glucose in diabetic patients and people who are not diabetic.
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Extreme Weather Conditions Can Hinder Diabetes Management
Whether its freezing cold or sweltering hot weather, extreme temperatures can cause erratic blood sugar levels. Some diabetic people may see a sudden rise in blood glucose on hot days because warm weather can put stress on the body.
On the other hand, people who are taking insulin may be the opposite. High temperature can dilate the blood vessels which enhances insulin absorption and ultimately leads to a decrease in blood sugar level.
What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.
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Foods And Drinks High In Refined Carbs Can Throw Blood Sugar Levels Soaring
If you have type 2 diabetes, you know the importance of counting carbohydrates for blood-sugar control. But its not just the number of carbs in a given food that determines how that food will affect your blood sugar levels.
While all carb-rich foods convert to sugar in our body, a foods fiber, protein, and fat content all influence the impact of that food on blood-sugar levels, says Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, whos based in Los Angeles. All these are factors play a role in setting a foods glycemic index, a ranking of how drastically it raises blood sugar levels compared to straight glucose, which has a GI of 100. Low GI-foods score 55 or lower while anything 70 and up is considered a high GI food, per the Mayo Clinic.
While GI offers an idea of how a food impacts the body, its not the whole story, which is where glycemic load comes in, says Sara Thomas, PhD, RDN, a research scientist and dietitian specializing in diabetes at the healthcare company Abbott. GL is an equation that considers the portion size of a food, as well as the GI. A foods GL equals its GI value divided by 100 and multiplied by the total grams of carbohydrate, a definition supported by researchers at the University of Sydney, who pioneered research on GL.
Fortunately, if you have type 2 diabetes, you dont need to whip out a calculator or start searching the internet for the glycemic load of every food out there.
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.
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