What About The Glycemic Index
Your daily carb total, spread steadily across the day, is one key to good blood sugar control. Some people also use the glycemic index , a rating of how individual foods raise blood sugar levels. Beans and whole-grain breads and cereals have a lower GI than white bread and regular pasta. Juice has a higher GI than whole fruit. Craving a high-GI food? Eat it along with a lower-GI choice to help control your levels.
The Dangers Of Low Blood Glucose
At some time, most people with diabetes experience the sweating and shakiness that occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl a condition known as hypoglycemia. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience symptoms of low blood glucose up to two times a week. However, not all are aware that these symptoms can rapidly progress to seizures, coma and even death if hypoglycemia is severe. Though hypoglycemia can be common and occur repeatedly in some people with diabetes, symptoms of low blood glucose should always be taken seriously. People with diabetes and their families, friends or coworkers should be prepared to act quickly and responsibly at the earliest signs of low blood glucose.
How To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home
To perform a blood sugar test, you will need to prick your finger with a lancet . Youll put a small sample of blood from this onto a strip inserted into the blood glucose meter.
Before you test your blood sugar at home, its important to find out from your doctor what a healthy blood sugar range is for you. Your doctor will determine this range based on factors such as:
- the type of diabetes you have
- how long youve had diabetes
- whether you have any other chronic health conditions
If you dont have a blood sugar testing machine on hand and are experiencing signs or symptoms of low blood sugar with diabetes, your symptoms may be enough to diagnose low blood sugar.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Often
Regularly checking your blood sugar level can help you keep it in your target range. If youve had low blood sugar episodes in the past, you may want to check your blood sugar levels before driving or operating machinery.
Talk with your doctor about when and how often you should check your blood sugar.
Possible Causes With Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you might not make enough insulin. As a result, glucose tends to build up in the bloodstream and can eventually become dangerously high. To treat high blood sugar, you may be prescribed insulin or other medication to lower blood sugar levels.
However, too much insulin or other diabetes medications may cause your blood sugar level to drop too low, resulting in hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can also occur if you eat less than usual after taking diabetes medication, or if you exercise more than you normally do.
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Traveling Can Disrupt Routines And Thus Sugars
Skipping a few time zones during a long flight throws almost everyone off, but it’s an even bigger concern for people with diabetes. The time change can disrupt your medication schedule and cause unusual eating and sleeping habits, which interfere with blood sugar control, McDermott says.
Plus, when youre on vacation or traveling, you may eat more, drink more alcohol, or be more active all of which can cause blood sugar swings. She advises checking your blood sugar more frequently while traveling to catch any concerning trends before they become serious problems.
McDermott also recommends packing healthy carb-balanced snacks as well as a refillable water bottle to help you stay hydrated. Try to eat something every four hours throughout the day, even if it cant be at the exact same times you usually eat. If you take insulin and you’re shifting time zones, be sure to work out a medication schedule with your diabetes care team before your trip so you don’t mistime any doses, she says.
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
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Treatment By Medical Professionals
In a healthcare setting, treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and intravenous access. If a patient is conscious and able to swallow safely, food or drink may be administered, as well as glucose tabs or gel. In those with intravenous access, 25 grams of 50% dextrose is commonly administered. When there is no intravenous access, intramuscular or intra-nasal glucagon may be administered.
Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia
The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.
For example, this could be:
- a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
- between three and five dextrose tablets
- a handful of sweets
At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.
After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.
It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.
When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.
It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.
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What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose
Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.
Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to
- high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
- hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low
Test Blood Sugar After Eating
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A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes
A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.
Possible causes include:
- a gastric bypass
- other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
- some medicines, including quinine
See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.
What Is The Safest Type 2 Diabetes Medication
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What Is The Long
The long-term outlook for people with an insulinoma is very good if the tumor is removed. After surgery, most people recover completely without complications. However, an insulinoma may return in the future. Recurrence is more common in people who have multiple tumors.
A very small number of people may develop diabetes after surgery. This usually only occurs when the entire pancreas or a large portion of the pancreas is removed.
Complications are more likely in people with cancerous insulinomas. This is particularly true when the tumors have spread to other organs. The surgeon may not be able to remove all the tumors completely. In this case, more treatment and follow-up care will be necessary. Luckily, only a small number of insulinomas are cancerous.
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.
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Recognizing Hypoglycemia After Exercise
Because exercise can make it more difficult to recognize hypoglycemia, familiarize yourself with a broad range of symptoms of low blood sugar. They can vary from person to person, but in general, here’s what to look out for, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
- Sudden, intense hunger
- Blurred vision
If left untreated, severe cases of hypoglycemia can cause seizures, loss of consciousness and, in rare cases, death. If you are taking blood sugar-lowering medications, be sure to keep glucose tablets close at hand.
It’s important to raise low blood sugar levels right away to avoid complications. The ADA recommends treating low blood sugar by following the 15-15 rule:
- Consume 15 grams of simple carbs .
- Wait 15 minutes.
- If your symptoms have not improved after 15 minutes, recheck your blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels are still too low, eat another 15 grams of carbs, then wait another 15 minutes. Call your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve after repeating the process.
When To Talk With A Doctor
If your A1C levels are outside your target range or you want to discuss your results, make an appointment to talk with a doctor.
High A1C levels may be a sign of an underlying condition or diabetes. This can cause complications and symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, and frequent thirst and urination.
Your doctor may take additional tests, change your medication, or modify your treatment plan.
If you have and are meeting your treatment goals, see your doctor every 6 months. If its difficult to meet your treatment goals, visit your doctor every 3 months.
You should also see a doctor if you:
- think you have diabetes
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How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar
Blood sugar, also called glucose, is the body’s main source of energy it mainly comes from the carbohydrates in food, according to Kaiser Permanente. The body regulates blood sugar levels with the help of the hormone insulin, which moves glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells.
Exercise lowers blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s insulin sensitivity, aka its ability to use insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association . This helps the muscles get more glucose. Additionally, physical activity allows the cells to take in more glucose, whether insulin is available or not. This further reduces blood sugar.
Exercise also depletes the body’s glycogen stores, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. When you eat, your liver stores some glucose in the form of glycogen for later use. During exercise, this glycogen is converted back into glucose for fuel. After exercise, it can take the body anywhere from four to 24 hours to replenish its glycogen stores, depending on the intensity of the activity. That means even if exercise doesn’t cause low blood sugar in the moment, it can increase the risk of hypoglycemia for people with diabetes for up to 24 hours after a workout.
Dr. Hafida says that exercise doesn’t pose a risk of hypoglycemia for people without diabetes. Even though a person without diabetes may sometimes âfeelâ the symptoms of low blood sugar, their blood glucose levels will usually still be within the normal range.
How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia
Treatment for hypoglycemia involves both the immediate steps needed to raise your blood sugar level in addition with the later treatment or medication dose adjustment to prevent recurrence.
To immediately raise your blood sugar level, Dr. Shah advocates the rule of 15eating 15 grams of carbohydrates and then checking your blood sugar level 15 minutes later. Fast-acting carbohydrates include:
- 4 glucose tablets
- 4 ounces of fruit juices
Keep repeating these steps every 15 minutes until your blood sugar reaches above 70 mg/dL, he explains. Once your level has stabilized, its important to then eat a snack or even a full meal to maintain that balance, Dr. Shah adds.
If your symptoms are more severe and/or a person is unable to swallow, you may need an injection of glucagon, he says.
To prevent episodes of hypoglycemia in the future, Dr. Shah says that treatment may involve the changing of prescribed regimens and dosages or adjusting your meal plans.
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What Causes Blood Sugar To Drop Rapidly Apart From Too Much Insulin
Clearly, then, too much insulin is what causes blood sugar to drop rapidly. But theres more to it than simply taking too much insulin.
Skipping meals or eating less than what youre used to will also mean having too much insulin in the body.
In addition, the bodys sensitivity to insulin can change throughout the day. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the less insulin the body will need. If insulin sensitivity has increased, this will often be due to the combination of exercise and diabetes.
Fasting. Aside from not taking in any carbs for the insulin to displace, fasting can also lead to not having enough nutrients, which can hinder the bodys digestive abilities.
Similarly, illness can impact the bodys response to glucose. Illness will usually increase blood sugar but it depends on what kind of illness and how your body responds to it which can give low blood sugar. Read more on this topic with Diabetes and the Flu.
Meanwhile, sleep itself may not lower blood sugar, but you can still get low blood sugar in the night for the same reasons you would in in the day.
The only difference is that you cant treat it as effectively because youre well asleep. So, do have carbs ready by your bed, just in case. Read more on Diabetes and Sleep.