What To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Although type 2 diabetes is characterized by blood sugar that is too high, some people take insulin and others medications that can occasionally drive blood sugar too low.
When blood sugar is too lowgenerally less than 70 mg/dLit’s called hypoglycemia, and it can become a medical emergency.
You can lose consciousnessHypoglycemia is more likely to occur when you start taking a new medication or if you exercise more than usual.
As blood sugar drops to low levels, you may feel:
Shaky Irritable Sweaty
This can occur within 10 to 15 minutes, and in extreme cases you can even lose consciousness and experience seizures if you don’t consume some glucose .
You’ll need to test your blood sugar to confirm that you’re having hypoglycemiasome people become irritable if blood sugar is too high, so it’s not always obvious.
If you drink sugar-containing juice, or some other form of carbohydrate, it should bring blood sugar back into the normal range. You can also purchase glucose pills or gels in the pharmacy that can get blood sugar back on track.
You should always have a glucose source in the car, says Yvonne Thigpen, RD, diabetes program coordinator at Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center in Mt. Clemens, Mich. You never know when youll hit construction or get stuck in traffic, she says.
It usually occurs between midnight and 1 a.m. and I always wake up soaking wetbut only from the waist up. My head, shoulders, and upper back are just dripping with sweat, he says.
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What Is Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome develops more slowly than diabetic ketoacidosis. It occurs in patients with Type 2 diabetes, especially the elderly and usually occurs when patients are ill or stressed.If you have HHNS, you blood glucose level is typically greater than 600 mg/dL. Symptoms include frequent urination, drowsiness, lack of energy and dehydration. HHNS is not associated with ketones in the blood. It can cause coma or death. Youll need to be treated in the hospital.
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What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes
The types of diabetes are:
- Type 1 diabetes: This type is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body attacks itself. In this case, the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed. Up to 10% of people who have diabetes have Type 1. Its usually diagnosed in children and young adults . It was once better known as juvenile diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. This is why it is also called insulin-dependent diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: With this type, your body either doesnt make enough insulin or your bodys cells dont respond normally to the insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes. Up to 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people. Other common names for Type 2 include adult-onset diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes. Your parents or grandparents may have called it having a touch of sugar.
- Prediabetes: This type is the stage before Type 2 diabetes. Your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be officially diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: This type develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy. However, if you have gestational diabetes you’re at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Less common types of diabetes include:
Diabetes insipidus is a distinct rare condition that causes your kidneys to produce a large amount of urine.
Are Some People More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes Than Others
A person who has a highly inflammatory diet and carries excess adiposity around their central organs is more likely to get type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Christofides. Excess weight and obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, but how your body stores and manages weight can also be an early indicator of risk.
Research has shown that people who carry too much fat around their middle are more prone to health risks such as type 2 diabetes. Certain communities also show a greater propensity for developing type 2 diabetes, including people who are Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous.
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Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
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.
- Inject insulin
- Provide food or fluids
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Type 2 Diabetes: The 5 Best Ways To Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels At Breakfast
- Vanessa Chalmers, Digital Health Reporter
- 4:43 ET, Oct 20 2021
TYPE 2 diabetes can sometimes feel like an overwhelming condition to manage.
Often keeping on top of the condition comes down to small diet tweaks here and there – including at breakfast.
Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Thats certainly true for the millions of people with type 2 diabetes in the UK and globally.
Research shows eating a balanced meal in the morning may help to promote more stable blood glucose levels the rest of the day.
And anyone with the common condition will know that keeping blood sugar in the desired range is key to avoid any short or long term problems.
Here we explain some of the best options for the first meal of the day for someone with type 2 diabetes.
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When You Have Low Blood Sugar
First, eat or drink 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as:
- Three to four glucose tablets
- One tube of glucose gel
- Four to six pieces of hard candy
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup soft drink
- 1 tablespoon honey
Fifteen minutes after you’ve eaten a food with sugar in it, check your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is still less than 70 mg/dL, eat another serving of one of the foods listed above. Repeat these steps until your sugar becomes normal.
What Drinks And Foods Raise Blood Sugar Fast
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 can of regular soda or juice
Many people like the idea of treating low blood sugar with dietary treats such as cake, cookies, and brownies. However, sugar in the form of complex carbohydrates or sugar combined with fat and protein are much too slowly absorbed to be useful in acute treatment.
Once the acute episode has been treated, a healthy, long-acting carbohydrate to maintain blood sugars in the appropriate range should be consumed. Half a sandwich is a reasonable option.
If the hypoglycemic episode has progressed to the point at which the patient cannot or will not take anything by mouth, more drastic measures will be needed. In many cases, a family member or roommate can be trained in the use of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that causes a rapid release of glucose stores from the liver. It is an injection given intramuscularly to an individual who cannot take glucose by mouth. A response is usually seen in minutes and lasts for about 90 minutes. Again, a long-acting source of glucose should thereafter be consumed to maintain blood sugar levels in the safe range. If glucagon is not available and the patient is not able to take anything by mouth, emergency services should be called immediately. An intravenous route of glucose administration should be established as soon as possible.
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When To Call The Doctor
If signs of low blood sugar do not improve after you have eaten a snack that contains sugar, have someone drive you to the emergency room or call your local emergency number . DO NOT drive when your blood sugar is low.
Get medical help right away for a person with low blood sugar if the person is not alert or cannot be woken up.
How Has Type 2 Diabetes Changed Over Time
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes because it was diagnosed mainly in adults who did not require insulin to manage their condition. However, because more children are starting to be diagnosed with T2D, and insulin is used more frequently to help manage type 2 diabetes, referring to the condition as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent is no longer accurate or used.
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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.
Ideal Blood Sugar Levels For Type 2 Diabetes
In this post, we talk about the ideal blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels or blood glucose levels is the amount of blood sugar in your body. When you understand the normal blood sugar level ranges you can better manage your diabetes. The ranges stated on this post are as recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence . However, your target range as advised by your doctor or health professional may be different.
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If A Person Is Unconscious
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.
Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Dangerous
Yes, low blood sugar symptoms can cause problems such as hunger, nervousness, perspiration, dizziness and even confusion if untreated, low blood sugar may result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma, or death. Low blood sugar levels begin at 70 mg/dL or less. People with diabetes who take too much medication or take their usual amount but then eat less or exercise more than usual can develop hypoglycemia. Although much rarer, hypoglycemia may develop in some people without diabetes when they take someone elses medication, have excessive alcohol consumption, develop severe hepatitis, or develop a rare tumor of the pancreas . The treatment for hypoglycemia is oral glucose intake (15. 0 grams of sugar, for example, 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, corn syrup, or IV fluids containing glucose. Recheck your blood sugar levels in about 15 minutes after treatment is advised.
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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Diabetes is diagnosed and managed by checking your glucose level in a blood test. There are three tests that can measure your blood glucose level: fasting glucose test, random glucose test and A1c test.
- Fasting plasma glucose test: This test is best done in the morning after an eight hour fast .
- Random plasma glucose test: This test can be done any time without the need to fast.
- A1c test: This test, also called HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test, provides your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. This test measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin, the protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen. You dont need to fast before this test.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: In this test, blood glucose level is first measured after an overnight fast. Then you drink a sugary drink. Your blood glucose level is then checked at hours one, two and three.
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Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
There are many reasons why you may have low blood sugar, including:
- Taking too much insulin.
- Not eating enough carbs for how much insulin you take.
- Timing of when you take your insulin.
- The amount and timing of physical activity.
- Drinking alcohol.
- How much fat, protein, and fiber are in your meal.
- Hot and humid weather.
- Unexpected changes in your schedule.
- Spending time at a high altitude.
- Going through puberty.
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How Long Can You Live With Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes doesnt have to be a chronic condition. To the contrary, a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is the moment to begin changing habits and working towards a healthier and longer life. What you do every day can make a difference, says Dr. Christofides. Park at the far-end of the lot. Try taking the stairs. Consider buying only fresh foods and avoiding things in packages.
There is no one best type 2 diabetes diet. Focus on fresh, and focus on balance. Include vegetables, lean proteins , whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole fruits.
Get moving. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for overall health, including mental well-being. Fitness is also one of the best ways to keep weight off once youve lost it.
Find activities you enjoy and try sharing those with friends and family. Exercise doesnt have to happen in the gym. Grab a friend and go for a fast walk through the neighborhood or take a hike in the park. The vitamin D will give you an extra boost of health and well-being.
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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