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When Blood Sugar Is Low What Happens

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Listen To Your Doctor

How to Lower Blood Sugars Immediately | The Ultimate Guide

If you follow a meal plan or take medications that increase insulin to manage low blood sugar, its important to stick to the plan your doctor prescribed to help prevent drops in your blood sugar level.

Not eating the right foods or taking the right medications at the correct times can cause your blood sugar to drop. Check in often with your doctor so they can adjust your treatment plan if and when necessary.

S For Treating A Person With Symptoms Keeping Them From Being Able To Treat Themselves

  • If the glucagon is injectable, inject it into the buttock, arm, or thigh, following the instructions in the kit. If your glucagon is inhalable, follow the instructions on the package to administer it into the nostril.
  • When the person regains consciousness , they may experience nausea and vomiting.
  • Dont hesitate to call 911. If someone is unconscious and glucagon is not available or someone does not know how to use it, call 911 immediately.

    Do NOT:

    • Provide food or fluids

    Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes

    If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes your doctor most likely has recommended dietary changes to manage your blood sugar levels. Simple carbohydrates or simple “carbs” are the primary culprit in raising blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. “Glycemic index” and “glycemic load” are terms used to measure the impact some foods have on your blood sugar levels. Low glycemic foods, for example complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, steal cut oatmeal, vegetables, some fruits , beans, and lentils don’t raise blood sugar levels very much. However, high glycemic foods for example, sugar, white flour and bread, cookies, pastries, and white potatoes can raise blood sugar levels dangerously high.

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    No Symptoms Be Alarmed

    Surprisingly, the most dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia occur with little or no warning. When low blood glucose occurs on a regular basis, the body can become used to the warning signs and the person may stop noticing symptoms. This is a particularly dangerous condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness. People with this condition might not realize they have low blood glucose until it’s dangerously low seizures and coma are sometimes the first indication of a problem. The good news is that this condition can often be reversed allowing people to once again notice the signs of low blood glucose if hypoglycemia is avoided for a few weeks through careful monitoring of blood glucose.

    What’s Considered Low Blood Sugar

    What are the Warning Signs of Prediabetes?

    Typically, blood sugar should be between 70 and 120 milligrams per deciliter . Below 70 mg/dL is considered hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

    Blood sugar levels are a lot like temperatures, though. Whats too low for one person may not cause another person to have any adverse effects or symptoms. Its best to try to focus on how the person feels and responds more than focusing too much on the difference between 68 and 70 mg/dL.

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    Your Legs And Feet Are Swollen

    When thereâs too much sugar in the system, it can pull water into cells, which will swell up over time if you donât get these fluids moving through your body regularly.

    The American Diabetes Association claims that people who have diabetes tend to have legs and feet up to five times larger than they should be, which can lead to complications within the circulatory system, including infections and reduced blood flow.

    If you notice your feet and ankles begin to swell up, make sure to keep them elevated when possible. Itâs important to treat swelling as soon as possible by elevating your legs higher.

    What Are The Causes Of Hypoglycaemia

    The usual causes of low blood glucose level are:

    • not eating enough carbohydrate with your meal, eg, steak and salad with no carbohydrate such as bread/potato/kumara/rice/pasta
    • missing or delaying a meal
    • doing physical activity without either reducing your insulin or taking more carbohydrate before, during or after physical activity
    • taking too much insulin
    • drinking alcohol in excess or without taking carbohydrate food and/or reducing your insulin.

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    Talk To Your Doctor Or Nurse

    If you use insulin and your blood sugar is frequently or consistently low, ask your doctor or nurse if you:

    • Are injecting your insulin the right way
    • Need a different type of needle
    • Should change how much insulin you take
    • Should change the kind of insulin you take

    Do not make any changes without talking to your doctor or nurse first.

    Sometimes hypoglycemia can be due to accidently taking the wrong medicines. Check your medicines with your pharmacist.

    Severe Low Blood Sugar

    Fasting and Blood Glucose | Jason Fung

    As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

    • Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
    • Acting strange or feeling confused.
    • Having seizures.

    Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.

    People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.

    Also Check: When To Check Blood Sugar

    Key Points About Hypoglycaemia

  • Hypoglycaemia needs to be treated right away to prevent the risk of unconsciousness.
  • Treatment is to have 10 to 15g of a quick-acting carbohydrate immediately, then retest your glucose level in 10 minutes. If it is above 4 mmol/L, have a carbohydrate snack . If it is still below 4 mmol/L, repeat the glucose and retest in 10 minutes.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, low blood glucose can occur due to having too much insulin or not enough food.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes, you should only be at risk of hypoglycaemia if you are taking insulin or sulphonylurea tablets for your diabetes and miss or delay your meal.
  • With both type 1 or type 2 diabetes, if you are getting hypos often talk to your GP, nurse or diabetes specialist.
  • It is recommended that people with diabetes wear a medical alert bracelet this can alert people you may have hypoglycaemia if you are unable to ask for help.
  • Severe hypoglycaemia is a medical emergency. Call 111 and ask for an ambulance if someone has a blood glucose level less than 4 mmol/l and any one of the following:
    • is extremely drowsy or disorientated
    • is having a convulsion .

    The Role Of Stress In Blood Sugar Regulation

    Stress can play a significant role in blood sugar regulation. When we are stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which can interfere with the action of insulin and lead to higher blood sugar levels.

    Chronic stress can also contribute to the development of insulin resistance, which can lead to long-term high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    On the other hand, low levels of stress can help to lower blood sugar levels. This is because when we are relaxed and not under stress, our bodies are better able to use insulin effectively and regulate blood sugar levels.

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    What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels

    Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:

    • skipping meals and snacks
    • not eating enough food during a meal or snack
    • exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
    • getting too much insulin
    • not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise

    Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:

    • taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
    • injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
    • injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .

    All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar How Do I Know Im Experiencing A Low Blood Sugar

    Low Blood Sugar

    All this talk about lows, and we havent told you what to watch out for! Shame on us.

    The signs and symptoms of low blood sugars happen quickly, can vary a lot, and can even be different each time. The American Diabetes Association has a comprehensive list:

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    Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen

    Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.

    Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.

    Summary

    Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.

    Treating Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Drowsy

    Follow these steps:

  • put the person in the recovery position and don’t put anything in their mouth so they don’t choke
  • give them an injection of glucagon medicine, if it’s available and you know how to do it – if not, call 999 for an ambulance
  • wait about 10 minutes if you’ve given them an injection move on to step four if the person wakes up and starts to feel better and call 999 for an ambulance if they don’t improve within 10 minutes
  • give them a sugary drink or snack, followed by a carbohydrate-containing snack the drinks and snacks used to treat a low blood sugar yourself should work
  • Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

    Read Also: What Should Be My Blood Sugar

    Type 1 Diabetes High Blood Sugar Symptoms

    Wondering about the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemiaor high blood sugar? High blood sugar occurs in type 1 diabetes when the body has too much glucose/food or not enough insulin. Having hyperglycemia symptoms doesnt immediately put you in danger but regular high blood-sugar levels over time does. Thats because they can lead to complications including blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputation. What are the symptoms of high blood sugar? Thirst Frequent urination Stomach pain Blurry vision Increased Hunger Other signs of hyperglycemia With high blood sugar, you may also experience drowsiness, exhaustion, nausea or vomiting, confusion, fruity or sweet-smelling breath, impaired concentration and sweating. And, having very high blood-glucose levels for an extended period can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA happens when the body starts to burn fat and body tissue for energy. This releases toxic acids called ketones that build up in the blood and urineand can lead to a diabetic coma. So if youre experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, its important to get checked out by your doctor. The earlier high blood-sugar issues are treated, the better. Your support is more critical than everContinue reading > >

    What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycaemia

    10 Alarming Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

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

    • rapid change in behaviour or irritability
    • 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.

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    Low Blood Glucose During Sleep

    Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include

    • crying out or having nightmares
    • sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
    • feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up

    Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.

    I Feel Fine So I Dont Need To Test My Levels

    Zanini points out that having high blood glucose can come as a surprise to anyone. âIts possible they didnt notice any symptoms or were simply feeling more tired than usual,ââ she says. âIts easy to attribute being tired to many other things. . .so this is why regular physicals with your healthcare provider are important.â The bottom line? Listen to your body, take note of symptoms as they arise, and consider monitoring your continuous glucose values.

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    Examples Of Appropriate Snacks May Be:

    • 6 saltine crackers
    • 1 slice toast and 1/2 cup milk

    The food eaten for a reaction need not be subtracted from a meal plan.

    Obtain a blood sugar when symptoms occur if you are able. If symptoms are severe, treat the reaction first and then obtain a blood sugar. Do not drive nor operate equipment if you feel your blood sugar is low.

    If your blood sugar drops low enough for you to become unconscious, you must be taken to the hospital and/or treated with glucagon.

    Glucagon is a hormone that causes the blood sugar to rise. It can only be given by injection. It is used to treat a low blood sugar if a person becomes semi-conscious or unconscious due to a severe low blood sugar. Please ask your nurse for instruction on glucagon. Your doctor will need to write a prescription for glucagon so you can have it available at home.

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    Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes

    Low Blood Sugar Symptoms  14 Signs &  Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

    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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    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 Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels

    Signs of high blood sugar levels include:

    • Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
    • Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
    • Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isnt enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
    • Feeling tired: Because the body cant use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
    page 2

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    Preventing Low Blood Sugar

    Eating regular meals and snacks is the best way to keep blood sugar on an even keel. Here are some guidelines for those who have had recurring bouts of hypoglycemia:

    • Try not to skip or delay meals. Dont go more than three hours without eating something.

    • Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol can cause blood sugar to drop.

    • Have a light snack before exercising. Good choices are crackers and peanut butter, yogurt and fruit, half a turkey sandwich, or a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk. A snack at bedtime can help keep blood sugar levels normal during the night.

    • If you have diabetes, you need to match your carbohydrate intake to your diabetes medications to avoid low blood sugar. A dietitian or diabetes educator can help you put together an eating plan. If you take mealtime insulin like insulin aspart , insulin lispro , or insulin glulisine , make sure you eat the right amount of carbohydrates at your meal to match your insulin dosage. Skipping meals or not eating enough carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar level to dip significantly.

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