Exercise Food And Alcohol
For people with type 1 diabetes, maintaining the correct blood glucose level involves balancing how much insulin you inject, the amount of food you eat, and how much energy you burn during exercise.
Hypoglycaemia may occur if you’ve taken your dose of insulin as usual, but your carbohydrate intake is lower than normal or has been used up more quickly. This may happen if you delay or miss a meal or snack, don’t eat enough carbohydrate, or exercise more than usual.
People with diabetes who’ve drunk too much alcohol, or drank alcohol on an empty stomach, can also get hypoglycaemia.
However, it’s not always possible to identify why a particular episode of hypoglycaemia has occurred, and sometimes it happens for no obvious reason.
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.
Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes symptoms often take several years to develop. Some people dont notice any symptoms at all. Type 2 diabetes usually starts when youre an adult, though more and more children and teens are developing it. Because symptoms are hard to spot, its important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Make sure to visit your doctor if you have any of them.
Also Check: Do I Need Prescription For Insulin
Causes And Risk Factors Of Hypoglycemia
For most people with diabetes, hypoglycemia is more complex than simply not getting enough glucose. Your medication may cause low blood sugar, for example.
If you have type 1 diabetes or if you have type 2 diabetes and take insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels, you can experience low blood sugar if you do not take the proper amount of insulin, Dr. Dodell says. This is also noted by the American Diabetes Association.
Other diabetes medication can interfere with insulin production and make your glucose drop, too. Among these are the insulin-increasing drugs for type 2 diabetes called sulfonylureas and their less potent counterparts called meglitinides.
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:
- the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
- skipping or delaying a meal
- not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
- exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
- drinking alcohol
Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.
Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.
You May Like: Type 1 Diabetes Books For Parents
What To Do To Prevent Hyperglycemia:
- Always take your diabetes medicine unless your doctor tells you not to.
- Test your blood sugar every four to six hours.
- If you usually take insulin, test your urine for ketones. Call your doctor if moderate to large ketones are present.
- If your blood sugar is over 150, drink 8 ounces of sugar-free liquid every one to two hours.
Remember to call your doctor if your blood sugar stays above the goals youve been given for 24 hours.
What Are The Risks Of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia can be a sign that your body isnt getting enough insulin. It is normal for patients with T1D to get hyperglycemia, and most of the time this is simply treated with insulin. If the body does not have insulin for approximately 8 hours, you could develop a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
In DKA, your body breaks down fat for energy because it doesnt have enough insulin to use the sugar in your blood. This produces chemicals called ketones, which make your blood more acidic.
DKA is dangerous. Too much acid in your blood can make you pass out or even cause death.
Don’t Miss: Diabetes Feet Tingling At Night
How Does Hyperglycemia Occur Without Diabetes
Similarly, hyperglycemia can occur in people with and without diabetes.
If you dont have diabetes, various factors can cause high blood sugar, either suddenly or gradually. For example, some medical conditions increase blood sugar. These include polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushings syndrome.
If you have an infection, your body might also release a high amount of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Too much of these hormones can interfere with your bodys ability to use insulin properly. As a result, your blood glucose level increases.
Other factors that can lead to hyperglycemia without diabetes include obesity and a lack of physical activity. You might also have higher blood sugar if you have a family history of diabetes.
Managing Blood Sugar Levels
Many people with diabetes must check their blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. This device takes a drop of blood, usually from a finger, and displays the sugar level within a few seconds.
People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their doctor recommends, usually several times a day.
Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may need to change their diet and exercise habits. They may also need to take oral medications or insulin.
A number of strategies can help prevent hyperglycemia.
- check their blood sugar levels as their doctor advises and take the correct amount of insulin, if they have type 1 diabetes
- speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian about which foods to eat or avoid, how much to eat, and how often
- take precautions to avoid infections, for example, through regular hand washing, as illness, such as a cold, can trigger a rise in blood pressure
- plan their food intake and exercise to balance blood sugar levels
- minimize stress, as far as possible, for example, through exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when a person:
- has certain medical conditions
- does a lot of exercise
- skips meals or eats too little
It can also be a side effect of diabetes medicines. Taking too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
- visit a doctor regularly
Also Check: Weight Loss Supplements For Diabetics
What Can You Do If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Too Low
It is important to react quickly enough and eat or drink something, like dextrose sugar or a sugary drink .
If someone has severe hypoglycemia they may feel drowsy and confused, and might even become unconscious. People who have type 1 diabetes often carry a pre-filled syringe on them in case that happens, containing the hormone glucagon. Glucagon makes the liver release sugar into the bloodstream. Someone else can then inject the hormone if necessary. If this is not possible, it is important to call the emergency services immediately and ask for medical help.
If your blood sugar levels keep on dropping too low, you should see your doctor. It could then be a good idea to change your lifestyle or medication.
Can This Be Diabetes
So since September I had off days where I would pee a lot. When I say a lot, I mean a lot like I had the urge to go every one hour and it was clear. The amount I urinated did not match with how much I drank. By late November and December it started to become a daily thing. The amount I urinated was not on par with how much I urinated in earlier months but I ended up having the urge every 2 hours and could only hold my pee up to 4 hours. I ended up going to my doctors because of this last week. Before I touch upon that date, I would like to also say that I have been experiencing excessive hunger and also an increase of pins and needles feeling in my legs and arms. Anyways, back to the doctor visit. During that visit I told them about what I have been experiencing and they ended up making me do a urine sample. My doctor said he couldn’t find any traces of sugar but they did find a trace of a uti. They prescribed me the medication that starts with a N . Now though I still experience hunger, and pins and needles . So I was wondering if I should go find another doctor and force them to do more tests on me? or is this all in my head?Continue reading > >
Also Check: Insulin Pills For Type 1 Diabetes
See Your Doctor If You Experience High Or Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
If your blood sugar drops to severely low levels it can lead to convulsions, coma or death. While prolonged high blood sugar can lead to eye, organ and other complications or diabetic ketoacidosis, which is also life-threatening. Thats why its important to see your doctor, explain which of the blood-sugar symptoms youre feeling, and go from there.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
Its especially important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia if you have type 1 diabetes. If hyperglycemia is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can develop into ketoacidosis, where ketones, which are toxic acids, build up in the blood. This condition is an emergency situation that can lead to coma or death.
Early symptoms of hyperglycemia include:
- High blood sugar.
- Unusual fruity smell on the breath.
- Deep labored breathing or hyperventilation.
- Rapid heartbeat.
Read Also: Best Fiber Supplement For Diabetics
Your Diabetes Devices And Hypoglycemia
Several insulin pumps are now available that make managing blood sugar levels easier, particularly when connected to a glucose meter or a CGM.
Some of the most important advantages of CGM devices are the improved insulin control and the ability to detect trends and lows early. With improved technology, it is now possible for parents to track blood sugar trends in their kids even when they are hundreds of miles apart .
In addition, automated insulin delivery systems, also known an artificial pancreas or a hybrid closed-loop system, will automatically adjust insulin to match your bodys need to help you spend more time in your target range.
Resources that provide people with T1D and their families with more detailed information about pumps and CGM devices are available through JDRF here. For people looking for a deeper understanding of technology that helps people with T1D better manage their blood sugar, JDRF resources are available here.
What Is Brittle Diabetes
Brittle diabetes is diabetes thats especially difficult to manage and often disrupts everyday life. People with brittle diabetes have severe swings in blood glucose . The swings can cause frequent episodes of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia .
Brittle diabetes is sometimes called labile diabetes or unstable diabetes.
Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Get An Insulin Pump
How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.
Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.
If you can, check often!
- Check before and after meals.
- Check before and after exercise .
- Check before bed.
- After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
- Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.
How Does Hypoglycemia Occur Without Diabetes
Hypoglycemia usually happens to people living with diabetes, but its possible to have low blood sugar without diabetes.
Blood sugar, or glucose, is what your body uses for energy. After eating a meal or drinking a beverage, the hormone insulin allows sugar to enter your bodys cells, where its used for energy. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas.
Hypoglycemia occurs when you have too much insulin in your bloodstream. This might happen if you dont eat for several hours, such as 8 hours or more. A drop in blood sugar means there isnt enough glucose in your bloodstream to fuel your brain and body.
Low blood sugar without diabetes can also occur if you take a medication that lowers your blood sugar. These include pain relievers like:
- blood pressure medication
- some antibiotics
Other causes of low blood sugar without diabetes include binge-drinking and increased physical activity.
Plus, some medical conditions can increase the amount of insulin your pancreas produces. These include a pancreatic tumor, adrenal gland disorders, and hepatitis.
You could also experience low blood sugar if you have prediabetes, or if you eat a lot of refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and pastries.
You May Like: Is 6.2 A1c Diabetes
Managing Your Diabetes Devices
If you are using an insulin pump, talk to your diabetes team about how to best manage hyperglycemia. In general, be sure to check your pump first. Make sure all parts are connected and working correctly. Check your bolus history and temporary basal rate. Also check your insulin to make sure it has not expired or gotten too warm.
If you use a CGM, try not to react to it too often. You might be tempted to give another dose of insulin too soon, before the first one finishes working, which is known as stacking insulin this can cause low blood sugar .
What To Do In An Emergency
A diabetic emergency happens when symptoms relating to diabetes overwhelm the body.
At this point, home treatment is unlikely to help, and delaying medical care could cause permanent damage or death.
Some of the signs that can indicate a serious problem include:
- chest pain that radiates down the arm
- difficulty breathing
- a severe headache and weakness in one side of the body
- loss of consciousness
If there are signs of an emergency, the person should go to the emergency room, or they or someone with them should call 911 immediately.
Without rapid help, some diabetic emergencies can be life-threatening.
It is not always possible to prevent an emergency, but being able to recognize the signs can improve the chances of early treatment and a full recovery.
Strategies that can help to reduce the risk of an emergency include:
Following the treatment plan: Use medications as a doctor prescribes and keep in touch with the healthcare team. If a person cannot remember whether or not they took their last dose of drugs, they should ask a doctor before taking a further dose. This can help to prevent hypoglycemia. Anyone who notices a change in their symptoms should see a doctor.
Eating healthful, balanced, regular meals: People who use insulin or other medications that lower blood glucose should ask their doctor about what foods to eat, how much, and when, in order to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Small, frequent meals are better than fewer larger meals.
You May Like: What Types Of Diabetes Are There
Adverse Effects Of Diabetes Medication
Certain medications that a person might use to treat the complications of diabetes and other health problems may also cause adverse effects that contribute to fatigue.
Medications that can lead to fatigue include the following :
Corticosteroids: A person with diabetes might need to take corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to treat the inflammation, pain, and discomfort that develop due to other conditions and diseases.
- Statins: A doctor might prescribe statins to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein , or bad cholesterol, in the blood.
- Diuretics: People mainly use diuretics to treat high blood pressure. These lead people to pass more urine than they normally would.
- Diabetes sometimes increases urinary frequency, so this side effect can be particularly potent for people who have the condition.
- Beta blockers: Doctors recommend beta blockers for people who have high blood pressure and anxiety. However, their slowing effect on a persons heart rate might lead to chronic fatigue as an adverse effect.
Alongside the diabetes symptoms that contribute to fatigue, beta blockers can have particularly potent side effects in people who have diabetes.
Living with diabetes can often impact a persons mental and emotional health.
- changes in sleeping patterns
Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels
Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:
- Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
- Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
- Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!
Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.
Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
You May Like: Treatment Of Type 1 Diabetes In Child