Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Glucose
Each person’s reaction to low blood glucose is different. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. Taking time to write these symptoms down may help you learn your own symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. From milder, more common indicators to most severe, signs and symptoms of low blood glucose include:
- Color draining from the skin
- Feeling weak or having no energy
- Blurred/impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing low blood glucose is to check your blood glucose levels, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood glucose for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia.
A low blood glucose level triggers the release of epinephrine , the fight-or-flight hormone. Epinephrine is what can cause the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as thumping heart, sweating, tingling, and anxiety.
If the blood sugar glucose continues to drop, the brain does not get enough glucose and stops functioning as it should. This can lead to blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, slurred speech, numbness, and drowsiness. If blood glucose stays low for too long, starving the brain of glucose, it may lead to seizures, coma, and very rarely death.
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How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
Trying to learn how to lower morning blood sugar? Heres why your glucose levels rise in the morning and a few things you can try to keep them in range.
Waking up with high glucose levels may feel like it doesnt make sense. You spend several hours asleep, not consuming any carbs, and yet somehow your glucose levels are still high when you wake up in the morning.
Why does this happen? What can you do to make sure your glucose levels are safely in range in the morning? Learn more about some tips on avoiding high morning blood sugar levels so you can start your day off right.
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When Should You Check Your Blood Sugar
People with diabetes are encouraged to check their blood sugars often, and with the latest technology like continuous glucose monitors , the frequency of checking has increased more than ever.
But what if youre using a glucometer, lancet device, and test strips? How often, and maybe more importantly, exactly when should you check your blood sugar?
This article will outline the importance of checking your blood sugar, how often, and when you really should check for better diabetes management.
How Food Affects Blood Sugar Testing
Testing your blood sugar both right before and after meals will give you an idea of how food affects your sugar levels. Ideally, youre looking for numbers of 80-130mg/dL before and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating. According to Wolf, Someone should check blood sugar before meals when they are on a medication, such as insulin, that requires them to adjust their dose based on their blood sugar reading. This so-called correction dose is given if your blood sugar is above your target. It is helpful to check blood sugar one to two hours after eating as well because it tells you how your body responded to your meal.
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What Happens During A Blood Glucose Test
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out.
For some types of glucose blood tests, you will drink a sugary liquid and wait for an hour before your blood sample is taken:
- A glucose challenge test is used to test for gestational diabetes in pregnancy. If your blood glucose level is higher than normal, you may have gestational diabetes. You’ll need an oral glucose tolerance test to get a diagnosis.
- An oral glucose tolerance test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in people who aren’t pregnant. A blood sample will be taken before you have a sugary drink and then again, every hour for the next 2 or 3 hours.
What To Eat When You Have Low Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar dips, it can leave you feeling hungry, shaky, and lightheaded. This can happen to anyone who hasnt eaten in several hours. When blood sugar drops below normal levels, its called hypoglycemia. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening complication of diabetes medication, other health problems like infection, or inadequate caloric intake.
You can lower your chances of low blood sugarand treat it when it occurswith some simple steps.
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When Should I Test My Blood Sugar
You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low.
Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood sugar. If you’re sick, you’ll probably need to test your blood sugar more often.
Example #: Carbohydrate Coverage At A Meal
First, you have to calculate the carbohydrate coverage insulin dose using this formula:
CHO insulin dose = Total grams of CHO in the meal ÷ grams of CHO disposed by 1 unit of insulin .
For Example #1, assume:
- You are going to eat 60 grams of carbohydrate for lunch
- Your Insulin: CHO ratio is 1:10
To get the CHO insulin dose, plug the numbers into the formula:
CHO insulin dose =
- The carbohydrate coverage dose is 6 units of rapid acting insulin.
- The high blood sugar correction dose is 2 units of rapid acting insulin.
Now, add the two doses together to calculate your total meal dose.
Carbohydrate coverage dose + high sugar correction dose = 8 units total meal dose!
The total lunch insulin dose is 8 units of rapid acting insulin.
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Testing Blood Sugar Levels In Dogs At The Vets
When deciding to conduct the test at your vets office, you are likely to face one common problem: your pet will get more stressed. When confined in a small, unfamiliar space for an extended period, it may refuse to eat when restrained for performing the test.
This is not a normal condition for your dog, and hence, the blood sugar readings obtained may not be an accurate reflection of what your dogs blood sugar level is on a regular day.
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What Should My Blood Sugar Be When I Wake Up
Checking your blood sugar first thing in the morning is important. In fact, fasting blood sugar readings really help you determine how to approach the rest of your day. You have to take steps considering how low or high your fasting blood sugar is, and understand how to set your morning target and what to do to achieve it. Let’s find out more about it.
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Best Times Of Day To Check Your Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar can change constantly throughout the day. Checking your blood sugar with test-strips or an FBGM several times throughout the day is just as important as taking your medications.
For example, checking your blood sugar before breakfast tells you how well your body is managing during the eight hours you were asleep, but it doesnt tell you how well your body handles meals.
Here, well look at the best times to check your blood sugar for the most information about your diabetes management!
How Much Insulin Should I Take For Low Blood Sugar
Insulin will lower your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is already low, you shouldnt inject more insulin.
Signs that your blood sugar is too low include sweating, dizziness, blurred vision, and significant fatigue. If this happens, try to consume rapid-acting carbohydrates, like sugared sodas, fruit juice, or glucose tablets, to get your blood sugar levels back up quickly.
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Why Is The Test Performed
Fasting insulin is an important but often overlooked test that can help identify insulin resistance.
Insulin levels are usually out of order long before there are abnormalities in blood sugar levels. Thats why a blood sugar test might come back completely normal even if you are suffering from insulin resistance .
Other than to check for insulin resistance, your doctor may order this test to:
- To help determine the cause of low blood sugar
- Check how your beta cells in the pancreas are working
- To help diagnose an insulin-producing tumor in the pancreas
- To help determine when a person with type 2 diabetes needs to start taking insulin
Before And After Meals And Snacks
If you eat first thing in the morning, your first blood sugar check of the day can also count as your pre-meal check, but if you dont, youll need to check again before breakfast.
This can inform you as to how much insulin youll need for your meal . If youre running a little high, youll need to bolus extra, but if your blood sugar is on the lower end, you can take a little less insulin for any carbohydrates eaten.
Checking before every meal and snack can help curb postprandial glucose excursions, otherwise known as the stubborn high blood sugars you sometimes can experience after eating a meal and not adequately bolusing for said meal.
Ideally, you should also be checking 2 hours after all meals as well, to determine if your meal bolus was adequate, if you took too much insulin, or if you need to adjust and take more insulin.
Two hours is the recommended time frame, because by then most carbohydrates have been absorbed into the body and most fast-acting insulin has already peaked.
When checking before snacks , make sure youre calculating any active insulin on board so you dont overtreat a high and end up going low.
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Do Count Your Carbs Before Using Mealtime Insulin
The amount of mealtime insulin you need to inject is based on the number of servings of carbohydrates you plan on eating during a meal. Over time, youll get better at figuring out your carb intake. In the meantime, a dietitian can help you come up with a meal plan that works for you.
There are also several smartphone applications and internet-based calculators available to help you figure out your carb intake and your corresponding insulin dosage.
Hypoglycemia can happen when you take the wrong insulin dose, dont eat enough carbs right after taking your insulin, exercise more than usual, or when youre stressed.
You should take the time to learn the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia, including:
- loss of consciousness
You should also learn how to manage hypoglycemia if it happens to you. For example, you can eat or drink glucose tablets, juice, soda, or hard candies. You should also be extra cautious after vigorous exercise, as it can lower blood sugar for hours after the workout.
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Example #: Formulas Commonly Used To Create Insulin Dose Recommendations
This example illustrates a method for calculating of your background/basal and bolus doses and estimated daily insulin dose when you need full insulin replacement. Bear in mind, this may be too much insulin if you are newly diagnosed or still making a lot of insulin on your own. And it may be too little if you are very resistant to the action of insulin. Talk to your provider about the best insulin dose for you as this is a general formula and may not meet your individual needs.
The initial calculation of the basal/background and bolus doses requires estimating your total daily insulin dose:
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What Is Insulin And Why Do I Need It
Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of blood sugar in your body. People with diabetes may not have enough insulin or may not be able to use it properly. The sugar builds up in the blood and overflows into the urine, passing out of your body unused. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems.
All people with type 1 diabetes, and some people with type 2 diabetes, need to take insulin to help control their blood sugar levels. The goal in treating diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level within a normal range.
How Often Should You Get A Blood Test
There are different types of diabetes. In patients with Type I diabetes, the body doesnt make enough insulin. The immune system attacks the pancreas that monitors glucose levels. Those with Type II diabetes have cells that dont respond to insulin, causing the pancreas to make more and more until it breaks down and affects 90 to 95 percent of adults with diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes develop the illness while pregnant and it often goes away over time. However, women whove developed gestational diabetes have a greater chance of developing Type II later in life. Diabetes can be inherited, also known as Monogenic diabetes. The type of diabetes will determine how often should you check your blood sugar. Developing a blood sugar monitoring routine should be a priority. However, certain times are best for monitoring sugar:
- Before every meal
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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.
What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
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Can I Check My Own Blood Sugar
You can do blood sugar level check by doing a finger-prick test, or by using an electronic blood sugar monitor called a flash glucose monitor or CGM. You can do this several times a day helping you keep an eye on your levels as you go about your life and help you work out what to eat and how much medication to take. Find out your ideal target range.
Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their levels like this. Youll need to if you take certain diabetes medication. Always talk to your healthcare team if youre not sure whether thats you theyll give you advice on whether to check them yourself and how often.
And theres also something called an HbA1c, which is a blood test to measure your average blood sugar level over the last three months. Everyone with diabetes is entitled to this check.
High blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing serious complications. However you manage your diabetes, stay in the know about your blood sugar levels
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