Hypoglycemia And Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes may experience hypoglycemia if their blood sugar levels drop too low. They can treat this by consuming the right amount of suitable types of carbohydrates. However, severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency.
There are numerous misconceptions about hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes. According to a 2020 review, people have believed that hypoglycemia cannot occur in people with type 2 diabetes or that it cannot have serious consequences.
Authors of the review found that as many as 25% of people with type 2 diabetes who have taken insulin for 5 years may experience severe hypoglycemia. The researchers also noticed a similar prevalence in people with type 1 diabetes.
This article explains what hypoglycemia is and how it may affect someone with type 2 diabetes. It discusses symptoms and treatment and what to do in severe hypoglycemia. It also discusses strategies to prevent blood sugar from dropping too low.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of glucose in the blood becomes insufficient. Doctors may also refer to low blood sugar as insulin reaction or insulin shock.
According to the American Diabetes Association , blood sugar levels can rise and fall naturally. Typically, a person will not be able to notice this if blood sugar stays within normal ranges. However, if it drops below a certain level and a person does not seek treatment, it can be dangerous.
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Overdose Of Diabetes Medication
A common cause of hypoglycaemia is taking too much insulin for your current needs. Insulin is a medication that helps control your blood glucose levels. It’s commonly used to treat type 1 diabetes and is also recommended for some people with type 2 diabetes.
A fall in blood glucose levels can also occur after taking too much oral hypoglycaemia medication, such as sulphonylurea, which causes a release of insulin. This medication is often used to lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
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S For Treating A Person With Symptoms Keeping Them From Being Able To Treat Themselves
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.
- Provide food or fluids
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.
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Several Factors May Cause A Persons Postprandial Blood Sugar To Remain Elevated
Smoking after the meal: Studies show that smoking raises blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Extreme stress: Stress produces the bodys fight-or-flight response triggering the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones cause the body to release the glucose it has previously stored for energy. Eating or drinking after the meal and before testing the blood sugar: Continuing to eat will keep blood sugars closer to their immediate post-meal levels.
Studies show that 15 to 20 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, shortly after a meal may improve glucose metabolism and reduce postprandial glucose levels.
Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
How you react to low blood sugar may not be the same as how someone else with low blood sugar reacts. Its important to know your signs. Common symptoms may include:
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
You may not have any symptoms when your blood sugar is low . If you dont have symptoms, it will be harder to treat your low blood sugar early. This increases your risk of having severe lows and can be dangerous. This is more likely to happen if you:
- Have had diabetes for more than 5-10 years.
- Frequently have low blood sugar.
- Take certain medicines, such as beta blockers for high blood pressure.
If you meet one or more of the above and you have hypoglycemia unawareness, you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low. This is very important to do before driving or being physically active.
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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.
Why Am I Having Lows
If you are experiencing low blood glucose and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood glucose, insulin, exercise, and food data to a health care provider. Together, you can review all your data to figure out the cause of the lows.
The more information you can give your health care provider, the better they can work with you to understand what’s causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood glucose by adjusting the timing of insulin dosing, exercise, and meals or snacks. Changing insulin doses or the types of food you eat may also do the trick.
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How Serious Is Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemic episodes can range from mild to severe.
Mild hypoglycemia can usually be treated by the individual and are to be expected to some degree in people on insulin. Mild hypos are not associated with significant long term health problems unless they are occurring very regularly or for long periods of time.
Severe hypoglycemia, however, will require treatment from someone else and may require an ambulance. Severe hypos can lead to immediate danger if not treated immediately. Whilst rare, severe hypos can potentially lead to coma and death.
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Treatment By Family Friends Or Co
Family, friends, and co-workers of those with hypoglycemia are often first to identify hypoglycemic episodes, and may offer help. Upon recognizing the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia in a diabetic, a blood sugar level should first be measured using a glucose meter. If blood glucose is below 70 mg/dL , treatment will depend on whether the person is conscious and can swallow safely. If the person is conscious and able to swallow, the family, friend, or co-worker can help the hypoglycemic consume 10-20 grams of a carbohydrate to raise blood glucose levels to a minimum of 70 mg/dL . Improvement in blood sugar level and symptoms is expected to occur in 1520 minutes, at which point blood sugar is measured again. If the repeat blood sugar level is not above 70 mg/dL , the hypoglycemic should consume another 10-20 grams of a carbohydrate and with remeasurement of blood sugar levels after 1520 minutes. Repeat until blood glucose levels have returned to normal levels, or call emergency services for further assistance.
If the person is unconscious, a glucagon kit may be used to treat severe hypoglycemia, which delivers glucagon either by injection into a muscle or through nasal inhalation. In the United States, glucacon kits are available by prescription for diabetic patients to carry in case of an episode of severe hypoglycemia. Emergency services should be called for further assistance.
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Make Sure You Have A Glucagon Kit
For the very worst lows when youre unconscious or when youre sick and you cant keep food down a glucagon kit can save your life. If you dont have one, or the one you have is expired, ask your doctor for a new prescription. Keep it in somewhere in your house or at work or in your gym bag, and make sure others know where it is and how to use it!
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What Is Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose, also called low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below what is healthy for you. For many people with diabetes, this means a blood glucose reading lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter .1 Your number might be different, so check with your doctor or health care team to find out what blood glucose level is low for you.
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Sweet Potatoes And Yams
Regular potatoes have a high GI score, but sweet potatoes and yams have low scores and are very nutritious.
Reporting the findings of an animal study, the researchers also note that sweet potato consumption may lower some markers of diabetes.
Although there is still no conclusive evidence to suggest that sweet potatoes can help stabilize or lower blood sugar levels in humans, they are undoubtedly a nutritious food with a low GI score.
People can substitute sweet potatoes or yams for potatoes in a variety of dishes, from fries to casseroles.
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How Do I Treat Low Blood Glucose
If you begin to feel one or more symptoms of low blood glucose, check your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose level is below your target or less than 70 mg/dL, follow these steps
Do Not Inject Insulin
If a person with diabetes is having symptoms so severe that they cannot treat themselves, such as losing consciousness, others should not inject them with insulin, as this will lower their blood glucose further.
Additionally, they should not give them food or fluids, as the person may choke.
People taking diabetes medication should work with their healthcare team to develop a management plan to prevent hypoglycemia.
Additionally, the following strategies may help avoid low blood sugar:
- checking blood glucose levels
- eating regular meals or snacks
- engaging in physical activity safely
Regularly monitoring blood glucose levels may also lower a personâs risk of developing complications from hypoglycemia.
Examples Of Easily Digestible Carbohydrates
- 1/2 cup of juice or regular soda
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 4 or 5 saltine crackers
- 3 or 4 pieces of hard candy or glucose tablets
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
Very low blood sugar is a medical emergency. If you or someone else with diabetes is experiencing severe symptoms, such as unconsciousness, its important to administer a medication called glucagon and contact emergency services immediately.
If youre at risk for low blood sugar, its important to talk with your doctor about getting a prescription for glucagon.
You should never give an unconscious person anything by mouth, as it could cause them to choke. If you have diabetes, make sure your family and friends know not to do this if you lose consciousness.
Low blood sugar can occur for a number of reasons. Its usually a side effect of diabetes treatment.
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What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as
- how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
- medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
- educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes
Do Not Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar
It’s very dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if necessary. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on.
Be prepared. Keep a sugar source in your car at all times for emergencies.
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How Long After A Low Carb Diet With My Blood Sugar Levels Come Down
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