Thursday, February 29, 2024

How To Tell If Blood Sugar Is Low

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When To Call 911

What Is a Low Blood Sugar and What Can You Do About It

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.

Other Causes Of Low Blood Sugar

While low blood sugar is often associated with diabetes, it can also be affected by other factors. According to Dr. Danine Fruge, Medical Director of the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida, the causes of blood sugar problems can include not only “diabetes, prediabetes , reactive hypoglycemia or other health issues, but also by not eating enough, taking too much insulin or even taking certain diabetes medications.”

Other medications can also cause hypoglycemia, like quinine, or Qualaquin, which is used to treat malaria, or various medications for kidney failure. Exercising more than usual can also cause it, especially while taking such medications.

Some other potential causes for low blood sugar include:

  • Heavy drinking without eating
  • Eating without ingesting enough carbohydrates
  • Eating fewer carbs than usual without reducing insulin amounts, or improper balancing of liquid/solid carbs and timing of insulin
  • Hormone deficiencies due to adrenal or pituitary tumor disorders, or in children without sufficient growth hormone
  • Long-term starvation, such as that which can occur with anorexia nervosa
  • Serious illness like hepatitis, kidney disorders and liver disease
  • Pancreatic tumors that make the body secrete too much insulin

Both High And Low Blood Sugar Levels Can Harm The Blood Vessels Of The Brain

Diabetes is a chronic condition that has a severe impact on your health. It occurs when your body does not produce sufficient insulin or is unable to effectively use the insulin that the pancreas produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose and allows the body to turn sugar or glucose into energy.

Both high and low blood sugar levels can harm the blood vessels of the brain. Hence, the effective use of insulin is essential for the proper functioning of your brain. If your blood sugar level reaches the bottom line then it is a signal for several brain diseases such as Alzheimers, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain, and more.

Here are some of the brain diseases that are caused by diabetes:

1. Brain Fog

Diabetes causes brain fog, a mental health condition that makes it difficult to focus and causes abrupt mood swings. Along with this, it also causes the problem of memory loss. Sugar builds up in your bloodstream when it cannot reach your cells, which further leads to the problem of Hyperglycemia.

2. Brain Stroke

Brain stroke harms brain tissue and results in disability or even death. If you are suffering from diabetes, then you should take certain precautions. People with diabetes should control their blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight to prevent brain stroke. As diabetes affects your bodys capacity to turn your food into energy, it increases the chances of brain stroke.

3. Alzheimers

4. Amnesia

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How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy

Follow these steps:

  • Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth so they do not choke.
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
  • If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If they’re fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • 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.

    Nausea Vomiting Confusion And More

    Low Blood Sugar Symptoms / Pin on Diabetes

    These seemingly disparate symptoms are all signs of a rare and life-threatening state called diabetic ketoacidosis , according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. DKA can cause the symptoms above, as well as stomach pain, trouble breathing, dry or flushed skin, fruity-smelling breath, or difficulty paying attention. It usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign they are sick, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. DKA happens when the liver is unable to use the sugar in the blood for energy without insulin and begins to break down body fat into a type of fuel called ketones at such a high rate that they become toxic and make the blood acidic, the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains. DKA can be fatal if left untreated, so anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek care immediately.

    Over time, untreated high blood sugar can cause additional symptoms, such as:

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    How To Get Your Blood Sugar Up

    A quick way to do it is the 15-15 rule:

  • Eat 15 grams of carbs, like glucose tabs, fruit juice, a few raisins, or some jellybeans. Avoid things like chocolate and ice cream, because those donât work fast enough.
  • Wait 15 minutes.
  • Check your blood sugar. If itâs still below 70 mg/dL, have some more carbs.
  • But donât eat too much — That could send your blood sugar sky-high. Stick with repeat doses of 15 grams until youâre back to normal.

    If your blood sugarâs very low or the 15-15 method doesnât work, you may need a shot of glucagon. This is a hormone your body makes that raises your blood sugar fast. Ask your doctor if you should have a glucagon rescue kit on hand. Be sure the people in your life know how to use it if you faint.

    Tell your diabetes team any time you have low blood sugar, especially if itâs serious. They can suggest things to do so it doesnât happen as often.

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    Low Blood Sugar: Warning Signs Ways To Treat And When To Call The Doctor

    Physicians explain how to tell when your blood sugar is dangerously low, and how to take action to prevent complications.

    KJ Callihan

    KJ Callihan is a freelance writer with a background in mental health and education. Her writing often covers product reviews and lists, animals and pet care, food and hospitality, health, wellness, and culture. When she isnt crafting the perfect sentence, you may find her bingeing true crime documentaries, browsing mid-Michigan farmers markets, and tasting her sons latest homemade cuisine

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 34 million people living in the United States had diabetes in 2018 and amazingly, 21% of adults with diabetes did not even know they had it. The scariest part is that, if left untreated, diabetes can be deadly. In fact, it was the seventh leading cause of death in the year 2017.

    And while normally associated with high blood sugar , diabetic folks can also experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, alongside its own bevy of problems including more severe and/or long-term effects like seizures, loss of consciousness, dementia and even death. Further, according to the Mayo Clinic, hypoglycemia can also cause low blood sugar in folks without diabetes due to a variety of conditions and medications.

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    Its Easy To Miss The Signs Of Low Blood Sugar

    Dr. Block explains, Most of the time, people experience symptoms of low sugar, but they may not recognize those symptoms. This can include irritability, anxiety, palpitations, confusion and fatigue. The symptoms are nonspecific, so it is important to have regular meals and snacks with a healthy well-balanced diet. If symptoms do not improve with dietary changes, it is important to check in with your physician to help assess hypoglycemia. They may recommend advanced blood testing, a professional continuous glucose monitor or nutrition counseling.

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    Checking For Low Blood Sugar Levels

    Do This And Bring Your Blood Sugar Down Quickly

    The warning signs of hypoglycemia are the bodys natural response to low blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels fall too low, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which helps get stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. This can make someone:

    • have an increased heart rate

    If the hypoglycemia isnt treated, more serious symptoms may happen, such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

    The only way to know for sure if youre having a low blood sugar level is to test. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a . This computerized device measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. But if you cant quickly check your blood sugar level, its important to treat yourself for hypoglycemia immediately to prevent symptoms from getting worse.

    Sometimes a person with diabetes may have symptoms of low blood sugar levels, but blood sugar levels are not actually low. This is a called a false reaction. The hormone adrenaline is not just released when blood sugar drops too low its also released when blood sugar levels fall quickly when theyre too high. If youre having a false reaction, you might actually have blood sugar levels in a healthy range but feel as if you have low blood sugar. Testing blood sugar levels before treating yourself for hypoglycemia can help you figure out if youre having a false reaction.

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    How To Treat Low Blood Sugar

    If you think you have low blood sugar, be sure to check it.

    Keeping your blood sugar levels on target as much as possible can help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems. While this is important, closely managing your blood sugar levels also increases your chance for low blood sugar . Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. If you think you have low blood sugar, check it. If you arent able to check it, go ahead and treat it.

    Untreated low blood sugar can be dangerous, so its important to know what to do about it and to treat it immediately.

    What Are The Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar

    The symptoms vary depending on whether you have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Find out how to spot the warning signs and stabilize your glucose.

    Alamy

    One of the challenges of managing diabetes is maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. Even with diligence, some situations can cause high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, while others can bring on low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

    After all, its not just carbohydrate intake that influences the amount of glucose coursing through your bloodstream when you have type 2 diabetes. Emotional stress and certain medications can increase your blood sugar levels, and a boost in activity can cause it to drop, says Megan ONeill, CDCES, a medical science liaison for diabetes care at Abbott healthcare company in Monterey, California. Sometimes people experience a spike in their blood sugar early in the morning due to the dawn effect, a temporary surge of hormones that occurs as the body prepares to wake, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

    For people with diabetes, managing blood glucose levels is especially important, ONeill says. Levels that are too low or high can result in complications that affect your kidneys, heart, and vision, reduce your quality of life, require expensive interventions, or even be fatal.

    • Between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals
    • Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals

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    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.

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    If A Person Is Unconscious

    Low Blood Sugar Tips â Chart â Live Uthing

    If a person loses consciousness because of severe hypoglycaemia, they need to be put into the recovery position and given an injection of the hormone glucagon . The injection will raise their blood glucose level.

    The injection should be carried out by a friend or family member who knows what they’re doing, or by a trained healthcare professional.

    You should dial 999 to request an ambulance if:

    • a glucagon injection kit isn’t available
    • there’s nobody available who’s trained to give the injection
    • the injection is ineffective after 10 minutes

    Never try to put food or drink into the mouth of someone who’s unconscious as they could choke.

    If you’re able to give a glucagon injection and the person regains consciousness, they should eat some longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar or a sandwich.

    You should continue to monitor the person for signs of recurring symptoms in case they need to be treated again.

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    What Do They Mean

    Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level is a key component of optimal health. Hereâs why:

    When we eat sugar, our body creates a surge of the feel-good brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Immediately following, our pancreas kicks into gear producing insulin to absorb the excess glucose and help regulate our blood. Once the insulin has done its job, our blood sugar drops again, leaving us feeling cranky and drained. Our body craves more sugar to give it a temporary boost and the cycle continues.

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    Parents Of Children With Diabetes

    If your child has diabetes and shows symptoms of hypoglycemia, itâs important to check their blood glucose level with a glucometer. If this is not possible, it is best to treat them as if they have hypoglycemia by giving them carbohydrates to prevent symptoms from getting worse.

    Your child should have a safety plan in place for when they are not in your care, such as when they are at school, friends homes, or daycare. The plan should include whom they should talk to if they are not feeling well.

    Talking to your child about their diabetes and the symptoms to be aware of helps keep them safe. When your child is aware that how theyre feeling is related to their blood sugar levels and diabetes management, they can learn to both self-identify and verbalize or signal to their parents when they need treatment.

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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.

    How Can Parents Help

    LOW blood SUGAR in Diabetics (hypoglycemia). Everything you NEED to know!

    Nearly every child with diabetes will have an episode of mild hypoglycemia at times. Rarely, an episode will be a serious emergency. You can help make this less likely, and be ready if it does happen. Here are some tips:

    • Follow your childs diabetes care plan. This is the best way to keep their sugars in a healthy range. The plan will guide you on the timing of:
    • blood sugar checks
  • Track and adjust sugar levels before and during exercise. And make sure your child eats snacks as needed to keep or bring blood sugar levels into the healthy range.
  • Keep sugar handy and give it to your child right away if they have symptoms.
  • Teach adult family members, caregivers, and school staff the signs of hypoglycemia, when and how to give glucagon, and when to get emergency medical care.
  • Get your child a medical ID. Your child should wear or carry identification stating they have diabetes and includes who to contact in case of an emergency.
  • If you have questions about how to prevent or treat hypoglycemia, or about the diabetes care plan, call your child’s diabetes health care team.

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