Hypoglycemia Symptoms With Normal Glucose Levels
There is such a thing as pseudo-hypoglycemia. This happens when glucose levels are continuously high for a long time then are suddenly brought down to normal. It’s as if the body becomes accustomed to the higher range, then panics when levels drop to normal, responding with hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
Info:Hypoglycemia is usually defined as blood glucose levels below 70 mg/dl . However, your doctor may give you a different blood glucose number that is considered too low for you.
Which Is More Dangerous Blood Sugar Too High Or Too Low
A persons blood sugar levels can be high, but can also below, depending on their lifestyle and diet. Which is more dangerous?
Blood sugar is medically the definition of the amount of sugar content or glucose substances in the blood. Maintaining sugar levels in the body is not only important for diabetics, but also for healthy people.
Because normal blood sugar levels are important for your bodys performance and health. If it is too high or too low, there will be a disturbing complaint. Know which conditions are more dangerous so you can be more alert.
Prevention Of Low Blood Sugar
Do not skip or delay meals. If your diet plan includes snacks, make sure to take these.
Measure insulin dosage carefully and inject it properly. If you cannot see well, a family member or a visiting nurse can prepare your insulin injections for you.
Take only the prescribed amount of insulin or oral medication for diabetes that your doctor has ordered.
Keep exercise consistent from day to day. Eat a snack or reduce your insulin prior to unusual exercise.
If you are taking insulin, notify your doctor if you have low blood sugars four or more times per week or if you have a severe low blood sugar. Severe low blood sugars are those less than 40 mg., those requiring help from another person, or those which cause you to have a convulsion or become unconscious.
If you are taking oral medication for your diabetes notify your doctor or nurse if blood sugars are running less than 80 mg. or if you have a severe low blood sugar.
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How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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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What Complications Can Be Caused By Hypoglycemia
Passing out from low blood sugar because you have not recognized the early signs and symptoms is called hypoglycemia unawareness, and can be quite dangerous depending on where you are, explains Dr. Klonoff. As doctors are required to report such incidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it can also mean a suspended drivers license.
If this is something youre worried about, Wearing a continuous glucose monitor with an alarm for hypoglycemia can alert a person who is prone to developing low blood sugar levels that their blood glucose concentration is becoming dangerously low, so appropriate preventive action can be taken before they lose consciousness, explains Dr. Klonoff.
Recognizing The Signs Of Hypoglycemia
OConnor says there are a number of warning signs that indicate you might have low blood sugar. The symptoms can range from very mild shakiness, clamminess, feeling irritable or jittery, and having temporarily blurred vision to much more severe, such as seizures and loss of consciousness or passing out, although these are less common, she says. These symptoms can occur because of many other circumstances, so if you are diabetic and are having symptoms that could be due to low blood sugar, check your sugar levels to see whats going on, she adds.
Certain things can also put you at higher risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you skip or put off a meal or snack, take too much insulin, don’t eat enough carbohydrates, exercise more than you regularly do, or drink alcohol. In addition, people with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia more often than those with type 2.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Each person’s reaction to low blood sugar is different. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood sugar is low. Taking time to write these symptoms down may help you learn your own symptoms of when your blood sugar is low. From milder, more common indicators to most severe, signs and symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- Feeling shaky
- Color draining from the skin
- Feeling sleepy
- Feeling weak or having no energy
- Blurred/impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue or cheeks
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing low blood sugar is to check your blood sugar, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood sugar for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia.
A low blood sugar level triggers the release of epinephrine , the fight-or-flight hormone. Epinephrine is what can cause the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as thumping heart, sweating, tingling and anxiety.
If the blood sugar level continues to drop, the brain does not get enough glucose and stops functioning as it should. This can lead to blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, slurred speech, numbness, and drowsiness. If blood sugar stays low for too long, starving the brain of glucose, it may lead to seizures, coma and very rarely death.
Talk To Your Doctor Or Nurse
If you use insulin and your blood sugar is frequently or consistently low, ask your doctor or nurse if you:
- Are injecting your insulin the right way
- Need a different type of needle
- Should change how much insulin you take
- Should change the kind of insulin you take
DO NOT make any changes without talking to your doctor or nurse first.
Sometimes hypoglycemia can be due to taking the wrong medicines. Check your medicines with your pharmacist.
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Dextrose Powder And Bodybuilding
Dextrose is naturally calorie-dense and easy for the body to break down for energy. Because of this, dextrose powder is available and sometimes used as a nutritional supplement by bodybuilders who are looking to increase weight and muscle.
While the boost in calories and easy-to-break-down nature of dextrose can benefit bodybuilders or those looking to increase muscle mass, its important to note that dextrose lacks other essential nutrients like protein and fat.
Dextrose powders simple sugars also make it easier to break down, while complex sugars and carbohydrates may benefit bodybuilders more, as they are more successful at helping fat to burn.
Orange Juice For Low Blood Sugar
If you need to quickly bring your blood sugar back to a normal level, drinking orange juice is a good option, Dr. Bernstein says. Not only is it often available at home, but it’s palatable, easily digested and works fast.
In general, 1/2 cup of orange, or even another fruit juice, can help raise blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association. The juice should not be reduced calorie or low in sugar the idea is to use a high-sugar food to bring your level back up.
There are other ways to raise blood sugar, Dr. Bernstein says, including:
- Glucose tablets or gels, which are available in most drug stores
- 1/2 can of soda, as long as it is not low-calorie or reduced sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey or corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
His favorite? A spoonful of sugar. “It’s a good idea to carry small sugar packets with you in case your blood sugar gets too low,” he says. Be prepared: “Keep them in every coat pocket and briefcase.”
At least one study found that glucose tablets helped raise blood sugar levels faster than other options, including orange juice. The findings were published in February 2017 in Emergency Medical Journal.
The key is to act fast. “If whatever is around has a reasonable amount of sugar, it will work within 10 minutes,” Dr. Bernstein says. “If you jump on hypoglycemia as soon as you sense something isn’t right, you can abort the reaction.”
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Glucose Tablets: A Quick Fix
If your blood sugar has dropped too low, a quick-acting carbohydrate is needed to bring blood sugar levels back up, says OConnor. Glucose tablets are tailor-made to help. This inexpensive fix for low blood sugar is widely available at pharmacies and large chain stores like Walmart and Target.
Usually, three to four glucose tablets are needed to bring levels back up. We recommend that patients who are prone to hypoglycemia carry glucose tablets with them and put them in several locations in their home and car, says OConnor. Glucose is also sold in gel form in small packets, and as a beverage.
How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar Quickly
If you feel symptoms of low blood sugar, test your levels with a blood glucose monitor as soon as possible. If your sugar levels are low , you can follow the 15-15-15 Rule:
Eat 15 g of a fast-acting carbohydrate . Common examples of 15 g include: a half cup of fruit juice, 6 to 8 hard candies, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.
After 15 minutes, retest your sugar levels.
If they are still low, eat 15 g more.
If you are having a severe hypoglycemic attack or are unable to treat yourself, you may need a trained person to administer an emergency injection from your glucagon kit or a nasal spray of Baqsimi. If needed, you can eat 15 g of a fast-acting carbohydrate right after. If, after 15 minutes, you are still feeling confused or unconscious, have someone call 9-1-1.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
What Causes Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can happen for different reasons. Anyone with diabetes can get low blood sugar, even people who follow their care plan carefully. Sugar levels can drop if your child:
- skips or delays meals or snacks or doesn’t eat as much carbohydrate-containing food as expected when taking their diabetes medicine. This happens often in kids who develop an illness that causes loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
- takes too much insulin, takes the wrong type of insulin, or takes insulin at the wrong time
- exercises more than usual without eating extra snacks or adjusting the dosage of diabetes medicines
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Effect On Blood Sugar
If you need to use dextrose, your blood sugar could increase too much afterward. You should test your blood sugar after using dextrose tablets, as directed by your doctor or diabetes educator. You may need to adjust your insulin to lower your blood sugar.
If you are given IV fluids with dextrose in the hospital, a nurse will check your blood sugar. If the blood sugar tests too high, the dose of your IV fluids may be adjusted or even stopped, until your blood sugar reaches a safer level. You could also be given insulin, to help reduce your blood sugar.
Treating Low Blood Sugar
You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:
- Skip or delay a meal or snack
- Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
- Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates
Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:
- Weakness and/or fatigue
If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :
- Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
- Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
- If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.
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How Is Dextrose Used
Dextrose is used in various concentrations for different purposes. For example, a doctor may prescribe dextrose in an IV solution when someone is dehydrated and has low blood sugar. Dextrose IV solutions can also be combined with many drugs, for IV administration.
Dextrose is a carbohydrate. Solutions containing dextrose provide calories and may be given intravenously in combination with amino acids and fats.
This is called total parenteral nutrition , and its used to provide nutrition to those who cannot absorb or get carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats through their gut.
High-concentration dextrose injections are only given by professionals. These injections are administered to people whose blood sugar may be very low and who cannot swallow dextrose tablets, foods, or drinks.
If your potassium levels are too high , sometimes doctors also give dextrose injections of 50 percent, followed by insulin intravenously. This may be done in the hospital setting.
When cells take in extra glucose, they also take in potassium. This helps to lower a persons blood potassium levels. The dextrose is given to prevent hypoglycemia, while the insulin is treating the elevated potassium.
People with diabetes or hypoglycemia may carry dextrose gel or tablets in case their blood sugar gets too low. The gel or tablets dissolve in a persons mouth and quickly boost blood sugar levels.
How To Help Someone With Diabetes And Low Blood Sugar
More than 30 million Americans at least 9.4 percent of the U.S. population have diabetes. Because of this, your odds of knowing or interacting with someone with diabetes are high.
There may come a day when one of those people needs your help.
Here, well prepare you for that day and answer some of the questions you might have about the situation, regardless of whether the person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
How can I tell if someone has diabetes?
You cant tell someone is diabetic just by looking at them. Many people have undiagnosed diabetes and very high blood sugar without realizing it themselves.
Some people with diabetes wear medical bracelets identifying their diagnosis.
How can I tell if someone has low blood sugar?
Someone with low blood sugar may have some or all of these symptoms:
- Pale skin
- Anger, anxiety and irritability
If they dont consume something quickly enough to treat the problem, they could have more serious symptoms, including passing out, experiencing mouth or tongue numbness, losing coordination or even experiencing seizures or coma.
If you know someone has diabetes and theyre displaying symptoms of low blood sugar, ask them if theyve checked their blood sugar recently or if they could check it now.
If their blood sugar is low enough, they may not be able to process the question. You can try to get them to eat or drink something to slowly raise it.
What is considered low or high blood sugar?
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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.