When It’s Time To Call A Doctor
If any of the symptoms mentioned have begun to impact your life, such as fatigue so severe you can’t stay awake through the day, it’s a good idea to consult your physician. Dr. Fruge warns that “unstable blood sugar levels could put you at higher risk of heart disease and stroke and it is a red flag for serious health issues” — so blood sugar issues should be taken seriously.
You should also see a doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia and haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes or any other underlying condition.
If you do have diabetes and your hypoglycemia isn’t responding to the treatments described above, that’s another good cue to call your health care provider.
If testing reveals you have Type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to continue to test your blood sugar levels as often as instructed by your physician, take insulin regularly and participate in regular exercise. This may mean you will need a new glucose monitoring system, so ask your doctor what they recommend. If you’re diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you’ll most likely need to do the same as for Type 1, as well as working with health care professionals to make lifestyle changes such as improving nutrition and planning workouts. Medication may be necessary as well.
Healthy eating, regular exercise and other lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms and possibly even reverse prediabetes.
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Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart . Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.
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.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 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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When To Seek Care
Its essential that you get immediate medical attention if your blood sugar drops and you have severe symptoms, like seizures or loss of consciousness.
If you have diabetes and your blood sugar drops, and the usual quick-fix treatments dont help raise your blood sugar above 70 mg/dL, its also important to get medical care as soon as possible. This happens more commonly with taking too much long-acting insulin or sulfonylurea diabetes pills.
Also, be sure to get medical care if you dont have diabetes but have symptoms of hypoglycemia that dont go away or get worse after youve eaten at least 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Take Your Insulin As Prescribed
High blood sugar occurs when your body has too little insulin, or your body cant use insulin properly. Administering insulin can bring your blood sugar levels down.
Talk to your doctor about how much rapid-acting insulin you should administer when your blood sugar is high.
You may want to check your blood sugar about 1530 minutes after taking insulin to make sure your blood sugar is going down and that its not dropping too low.
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Do Not Drive With Low Blood Sugar
People will need to avoid driving while they have low blood sugar levels as it could be dangerous. People will need to wait until their levels return to within a normal range before driving.
If people start to experience symptoms of hypoglycemia while driving, they will need to safely stop the car and check their blood sugar levels.
People may find it helpful to store quick-acting carbohydrates, such as orange juice or glucose tablets, in their car if their levels drop while driving.
If people have hypoglycemia or diabetes, they can discuss an eating plan with a healthcare provider. Tips may include the following:
- eating snacks and small meals around every three hours throughout the day
- opting for a variety of foods, including protein, high-fat foods, and high-fiber foods
- limiting foods high in sugar
may help . These include:
Signs Of Low Blood Sugar
With hypoglycemia, the blood sugar falls below the normal, healthy levels mentioned earlier, which can occur for a variety of reasons.
“Although some people with blood sugar problems may not experience symptoms,” Dr. Aldasouqi continued, “there are some key things to look out for. For those with low blood sugar, someone might have symptoms like anxiety, sweating, increased heart rate, confusion, and may go into what is called ‘a hypoglycemic coma’… The term ‘diabetic coma’ is also used by some.”
Other symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
- Tingling or numb lips, tongue or cheek
- Blurry vision
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What To Do During A Low Blood Sugar Emergency
Talk to your diabetes care team about your blood glucose targets and what treatment options are right for you. Many people with diabetes keep an emergency hypoglycemia rescue kit on hand. This kit could contain candy, juice, sugar or medication such as glucagon . Glucagon is available only by prescription and should be discussed with your care team to see if it’s an appropriate option for you.
Once you become aware that you are experiencing a low blood sugar emergency, its important to know what actions to take.
For Milder EmergenciesFollow the Rule of 15 by eating 15 grams of carbohydrates or simple sugars, and then rechecking your blood sugar level after 15 minutes. If your blood sugar is still low, consume another 15 grams of carbohydrates and recheck again after 15 minutes. Continue to do this until your blood sugar is at your target level.
To avoid another low, eat a meal or snack when your blood sugar is back to normal.
For Severe EmergenciesAdminister emergency hypoglycemia rescue therapy, which contains any delivery method of glucagon . Do not inject insulin, which will lower a person’s blood sugar more.
Family and Friends: What Can You Do?Family and friends should also know the signs and the symptoms of a low blood sugar emergency as well as how to monitor a loved ones blood sugar levels. It is also helpful for family and friends to have hard candies on hand.
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Low Blood Sugar
If you believe that your dog fits into one of the categories where they are at risk for low blood sugar, talk to your veterinarian. Monitor your dog if they fit into one of the categories and have a plan of action ready if your dog should suddenly experience the symptoms of low blood sugar.
Prevention can happen by feeding your dog smaller meals throughout the day rather than one large meal once per day. Honey can also boost your dogs blood sugar if it is extremely low and needs to be raised so that he or she can safely make it to the veterinarian clinic for proper examination, diagnosis, and treatment.
Remember, if your dog is exhibiting low blood sugar symptoms, the quicker you are to get your dog treatment the more likely they are to recover without any lasting effects, and the less likely they are to continue to have these problems because they have gone undiagnosed.
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No Symptoms Be Alarmed
Surprisingly, the most dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia occur with little or no warning. When low blood glucose occurs on a regular basis, the body can become used to the warning signs and the person may stop noticing symptoms. This is a particularly dangerous condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness. People with this condition might not realize they have low blood glucose until it’s dangerously low seizures and coma are sometimes the first indication of a problem. The good news is that this condition can often be reversed allowing people to once again notice the signs of low blood glucose if hypoglycemia is avoided for a few weeks through careful monitoring of blood glucose.
How Common Is Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2
Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3
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Not Carefully Monitoring Your Food Consumption
Most of the glucose in your body comes from your diet. When you eat foods that contain carbs, your body breaks down the sugars and starches and turns them into glucose, which enters your bloodstream. Because of the impact your diet has on blood sugar levels, itâs important to take caution when skipping or delaying meals, as blood sugar levels can be significantly affected.
Itâs critical to make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day to keep your blood sugar level in your target range. Your diet is personal, and what works for someone else may not work for you. Talk to your doctor or dietitian to get guidance on the right eating plan for you.
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
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Which Of The Following Medications Is Used To Control Diabetes Insipidus
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
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.
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If Your Childs Blood Sugar Is Less Than :
- Give your child 5 to 10 grams of quick-acting carbohydrate right away, such as:
- Drink 2 to 3 ounces of juice
- Eat 2 to 3 ounces of applesauce
It is important to use quick-acting carbohydrate. Do not just eat a snack if your blood sugar is too low. Food does not bring the blood sugar up quickly.
If your childs blood sugar is low at bedtime, always recheck the blood sugar and make sure it is over 90 before falling asleep.
Do not take too much carbohydrate for a low blood sugar because your blood sugar will go too high later on.
Treatment For Severe Hypoglycaemia
In cases of severe hypoglycaemia the person cannot treat themselves, and needs the help of someone else. Call triple zero for an ambulance immediately.
If the person cant swallow or follow instructions do not give them any treatment by mouth.
If you are trained in how to prepare and inject glucagon and feel comfortable injecting it, then this can be administered.
Ambulance paramedics have the resources to manage severe hypoglycaemia.
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What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low
People who use insulin and other diabetes medications are at risk for hypoglycemia. Keep this action plan handy so you’re prepared.
If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may be at risk of developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Without quick attention, hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications, so its important to know what to do if it happens to you or someone close to you.
In very severe cases, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness, says a clinical assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford Health Care, and chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic.
It’s possible to have hypoglycemia but have no symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . On the other hand, symptoms can also come on rapidly. While symptoms vary from person to person, if you develop mild to moderate low blood sugar you may:
- Feel shaky or jittery
- Have a headache or be lightheaded
- Be irritable or combative
- Have blurred vision or see double
Some people feel tingling or numbness in their extremities too, says Rodolfo Galindo, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and lipids at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and chair of the inpatient diabetes taskforce.
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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