Sunday, November 27, 2022

What Happens When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

Must read

Eat The Right Carbohydrates

Hypoglycaemia – How to Treat and Prevent Low Blood Sugar

There are

Sugars and starches raise blood sugar levels, but fiber does not cause a blood sugar spike, as the body is unable to absorb and break down this type of carb. As such, people may consider including carbs that are richer in fiber in their diet.

People may also refer to sugars and starches as simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs primarily consist of one type of sugar. The body breaks these carbohydrates down very quickly, which causes blood sugar to rise rapidly. Complex carbohydrates consist of three or more sugars that are linked together. They result in a more gradual release of sugar into the body, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rise rapidly after a person eats them.

Some people may use the glycemic index to help them monitor how much sugar and carbohydrate they eat, which will, in turn, help them manage their blood sugar levels. The GI measures and ranks various foods by how much they cause blood sugar levels to rise.

Evidence notes a link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. Research also highlights the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for allowing glucose in the blood to enter cells. Losing 510% of body weight can help those with excess weight improve their blood sugar levels.

Recommended Reading: Renal Cysts And Diabetes Syndrome

What Causes Low Blood Sugar In The Morning

The causes of low blood sugar in the morning vary. If you have diabetes, you likely need to adjust your background insulin levels. Make sure youre aware of how any other medications you take can affect your blood sugar. Your doctor can help you make sure that your insulin dosage and any other medications you take are a good fit with your diet and exercise routines. Additionally, alcohol usage is a risk for hypoglycemia.

If you dont have diabetes, hypoglycemia is less likely to occur. However, some non-diabetes-related causes of hypoglycemia include the following:

  • drinking too much alcohol the previous night, which makes it harder for your liver to release glucose into your blood, thus causing a low blood sugar
  • chronic starvation

Treating low blood sugar is fairly simple. If you wake up with hypoglycemia symptoms, try to consume about 15 grams of carbohydrates as soon as possible. Snacks that provide this include:

  • 3 glucose tablets
  • 1/2 cup of non-sugar-free fruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 can of non-diet soda

Make sure you dont eat too much to treat low blood sugar, as this can have an opposite affect and make your levels too high. Wait 15 minutes after your first snack. If youre not feeling better, have another 15 grams of carbohydrates. Pairing your carbohydrate with a protein and healthy source of fat, such as nuts, seeds, cheese, or hummus, helps to keep you full and prevent another big drop in blood sugar.

Nighttime Low Blood Sugars

You may experience a low blood sugar night. The low blood sugar might wake you up and your symptoms might be similar to those you have during the day. However, the symptoms may be different. You might have nightmares, sleep poorly, perspire, or feel hot and cold. In the morning you may have a headache, feel nauseated, or feel confused. Notify your doctor if this happens. Check your blood sugar at the time you have the symptoms.

Treatment for a low blood sugar that occurs at night is the same as described earlier.

Your doctor may request that you check a 3:00 a.m. blood sugar 1 to 2 times per week in order to detect any low blood sugars during the night.

Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.

Don’t Miss: Diabetic Diet Type 1 Meal Plan

How To Prevent It

If you work to keep your blood sugar under control â follow your meal plan, exercise program, and medicine schedule â you shouldnât have to worry about hyperglycemia. You can also:

  • Know your diet â count the total amounts of carbs in each meal and snack.
  • Test your blood sugar regularly.
  • Tell your doctor if you have repeated abnormal blood sugar readings.
  • Wear medical identification to let people know you have diabetes in case of an emergency.

Show Sources

Does Everyone Have Symptoms From Hypoglycemia

Low Blood Sugar

Some people dont have symptoms or dont notice them. Healthcare providers call that situation hypoglycemia unawareness. People with such a challenge arent aware when they need to do something about their blood sugar. Theyre then more likely to have severe episodes and need medical help. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should check their blood sugar more often.

Also Check: What Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Eat

Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes: Is It Possible

Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? The answer is yes! People with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows . But dont worry, if you know about the reasons, symptoms, and treatment, theres no need to be afraid!

Possible Causes Without Diabetes

Even if you dont have diabetes, you may experience low blood sugar. However, hypoglycemia is much less common in people without diabetes.

Some possible causes of low blood sugar in people who dont have diabetes are:

  • certain medications, such as quinine
  • some medical conditions, such as hepatitis and kidney disorders
  • a tumor that produces excess insulin
  • endocrine disorders, such as adrenal gland deficiency

Recommended Reading: Diabetes And Vision Loss Symptoms

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.

Treating Mild To Moderate Hypoglycemia

What is Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)?

If you start feeling any of the symptoms listed above, check your blood sugar as soon as possible, then follow the chart below to treat low blood sugar. If you have any concerns, or cant test immediately, its best to treat first and check when possible.

If your blood sugar is

Eat this

What to do next

51 to 70 mg/dL

10 to 15 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice, 6 to 8 hard candies, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.

Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.

Under 50 mg/dL

Eat 20 to 30 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 8 ounces of fruit juice, 12 to 16 hard candies, or 6 to 8 glucose tablets.

Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.

You May Like: Holistic Medicine For Diabetic Neuropathy

What Drinks And Foods Raise Blood Sugar Fast

The acute management of low blood sugar involves the rapid delivery of a source of easily absorbed sugar. Regular soft drinks, juice, lifesaver candies, table sugar, and the like are good options. In general, 15 grams of glucose is the dose that is given, followed by an assessment of symptoms and a blood glucose check if possible. If after 10 minutes there is no improvement, another 10-15 grams should be given. This can be repeated up to three times. At that point, the patient should be considered as not responding to the therapy and an ambulance should be called.

The equivalency of 10-15 grams of glucose are:

  • 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:

Examples Of Appropriate Snacks May Be:

  • 6 saltine crackers
  • 1 slice toast and 1/2 cup milk

The food eaten for a reaction need not be subtracted from a meal plan.

Obtain a blood sugar when symptoms occur if you are able. If symptoms are severe, treat the reaction first and then obtain a blood sugar. Do not drive nor operate equipment if you feel your blood sugar is low.

If your blood sugar drops low enough for you to become unconscious, you must be taken to the hospital and/or treated with glucagon.

Glucagon is a hormone that causes the blood sugar to rise. It can only be given by injection. It is used to treat a low blood sugar if a person becomes semi-conscious or unconscious due to a severe low blood sugar. Please ask your nurse for instruction on glucagon. Your doctor will need to write a prescription for glucagon so you can have it available at home.

Recommended Reading: What Happens When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Get An Insulin Pump

Checking For Low Blood Sugar Levels

The warning signs of hypoglycemia are the bodyâs 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 isnât treated, more serious symptoms may happen, such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

The only way to know for sure if youâre 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 canât quickly check your blood sugar level, itâs 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 itâs also released when blood sugar levels fall quickly when theyâre too high. If youâre 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 youâre having a false reaction.

page 3

Read Also: Smirnoff Vodka Sugar Content

Why Am I Having Lows

What happens when blood sugar drops?

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.

Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Meal Replacement For Diabetics

Whats The Link Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is most common, by far, in people with diabetes. Treatment for the diseaseoften involves taking medication to increase insulin. Hypoglycemia can develop if things like food, exercise and diabetes medications are out of balance.

Common pitfalls for people with diabetes include:

  • Being more active than usual.
  • Drinking alcohol without eating.
  • Eating late or skipping meals.
  • Not balancing meals by including fat, protein and fiber.
  • Not eating enough carbohydrates.
  • Not timing insulin and carb intake correctly .

Also, if someone with diabetes uses the wrong insulin, takes too much or injects it incorrectly, that can cause 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.

Read Also: Most Accurate Blood Glucose Meter

What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Drops

Well, one of the best ways is to eat to get blood sugar up. If you are suffering from diabetes and you think that you have hypoglycemia, it is important to check your blood sugar levels. If you feel that the blood sugar levels drop after you eat a meal, you need to change the diet you are following. You need to avoid taking any foods that are high in sugar content and stick to eating small meals during the day.

If you are having low blood sugar levels even when you havent eaten anything, you can try having a snack before hitting the bed. You can eat a snack that is rich in protein or complex carbohydrate.

In case the doctor finds out that too much if insulin is causing trouble, he/she might as well reduce the dose and observe the levels. Do follow the below mentioned routine when you have low blood sugar levels.

Test The Sugar Levels Well, this goes without saying. But, remember that the value less than 70 milligrams per deciliter means you have low blood sugar.

Try To Eat or Even Drink Some Fast Acting Carbs When you are suffering from low blood sugar, you certainly need to act quickly. You need to consume at least 15 gms of carbs. You can try taking about 4 ounces of juice or just have a tablespoon of sugar with water.

Glucose Tablets or Gel You can as well take glucose tablets or opt for the glucose gel. Medical experts say that people who take medications for diabetes need to carry glucose tablets with them for sure.

Medically Reviewed By

How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed In A Child

Treating Low Blood Sugar

The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your familys health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have blood tests to check blood sugar levels.

When a child with diabetes has symptoms of hypoglycemia, the cause is most often an insulin reaction.

For children with symptoms of hypoglycemia who dont have diabetes, the healthcare provider may:

  • Measure levels of blood sugar and different hormones while the child has symptoms

  • See if symptoms are relieved when the child eats food or sugar

  • Do tests to measure insulin action

Your child may need to do a supervised fasting study in the hospital. This lets healthcare providers test for hypoglycemia safely.

You May Like: Can You Buy Insulin Over The Counter At Walgreens

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.

Why Should You Care About Blood Sugar

Many problems become the result of imbalanced blood sugar levels.

First lets start with sugar itself.

Sugar may seem harmless enough and we may have eaten it our whole lives, but do you know how damaging sugar actually is?

White refined sugar provides no nutritive value. One teaspoon contains 60 calories in carbohydrate form with absolutely no nutrients. These empty calories then displace vital nutrients and have a major impact on energy!

As I wrote about in Confessions of a Sugar Addict, eating high sugar foods is toxic to our bodies and brains. It makes us crave more to the point of addiction. It encourages sleep Chatter and depletes vitamins and minerals which cause stress in the body. This leads to inflammation and weak immunity. Sugar also inactivates B vitamins, causing low energy and moodiness. As sugar stops cells from being able to repair themselves, we get sick and catch colds faster.

Eventually, our weakened immune system may lead to inflammation and disease, which creates more stress in our body. In fact, many diseases, including diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease can all result from a high sugar diet.

Now we know what sugar itself can do to the body. Remember those highs and lows we get when we eat sugar?

These sugar highs and lows can affect any part of our body from skin, bones, and muscles, to heart function, and cause hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and digestive problems.

Recommended Reading: Are Protein Shakes Good For Diabetics

More articles

Popular Articles