Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can be extremely dangerous if not treated early. Also, diabetes is shown by too much insulin in the blood. Therefore, it is easy to monitor blood sugar levels and thus correct this hypoglycemia as soon as possible.
What is hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop below a healthy level. It is also defined as a low blood glucose level.
Blood sugar levels vary from one organism to another. Most people define this low blood sugar as less than 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Usually, this symptom requires the help of another person to correct it.
Severe hypoglycemia usually occurs at even lower levels. Hypoglycemia is dangerous and must be treated as soon as possible. Also, if you present these symptoms, it is better that you attend to it immediately or go to a qualified specialist.
What causes hypoglycemia?
When the body produces too little insulin, hypoglycemia occurs.
Insulin is responsible for controlling certain functions. As a result, this glucose is used by the body for energy.
How are diabetes and hypoglycemia-related?
So, people with diabetes are more prone to hypoglycemia. Your medications often help increase insulin to deal with this symptom. However, an unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, and not taking medications can lead to hypoglycemia.
Patients with diabetes are more likely when:
- They are more active
- drink alcohol without eating
- They eat late or skip their meals
- They do not balance their meals (fats, proteins, and fiber)
- They stop eating enough carbohydrates or do not eat at all
- They do not time their insulin and carbohydrate intake correctly (wait to eat after taking insulin)
Hypoglycemia can also occur if a person with diabetes injects their insulin incorrectly, uses too much insulin or uses the wrong insulin.
Is it possible to have hypoglycemia without diabetes? It is a rare case, the causes are still unknown to scientists.
What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?
People experience hypoglycemia in different ways. But symptoms can occur quickly.
It is unpleasant to experience these symptoms, of course. However, they do provide good warnings to act before your sugar levels drop any further. There are several signs:
- Shaking or tremors
- sweating and chills
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- faster heart rate
- Very hungry
- Nervousness or irritability
- Pale skin
- restless sleep
You may also experience these symptoms while you sleep:
- Tiredness or confusion upon waking
- Sweating through pajamas or sheets
When a hypoglycemic episode worsens, the brain doesn’t get enough sugar. You can experience:
- Blurry vision
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- slurred speech
- Tingling or numbness in the face or mouth
When a person suffers from severe hypoglycemia, it shows:
- Inability to eat or drink
- Fits and convulsions
- loss of consciousness
- Chance of going into a coma or dying (rarely)
Is hypoglycemia a very common condition?
So, it is possible to have symptoms without noticing them. Medical care calls this “hypoglycemia unawareness.” It is difficult to recognize when it is necessary to control the level of sugar in the blood. As a result, they are likely to experience severe episodes and require care.
If this is your case, you should check your blood sugar levels more frequently, especially if you do not realize your hypoglycemia.
How is it diagnosed?
A blood glucose meter is the only way to determine this symptom. This device is responsible for measuring blood sugar. Draws a small amount of blood by pricking your finger.
A continuous glucose monitor may be necessary for those who do not notice the symptoms of hypoglycemia. It is a portable device that measures glucose every few minutes, day or night. Low blood sugar triggers an alarm.
What is the best way to treat hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is treated with the “15-15 rule,” as recommended by the American Diabetes Association:
- Eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- Check your blood sugar level after 15 minutes
- Another 15 grams of carbs will help if you’re still below 70 mg/dL
- Continue until your blood sugar reaches 70 mg/dL or slightly higher
Use this rule until you feel better, especially if you have symptoms but can’t measure your blood sugar.
Children need fewer grams of carbohydrates. Check with your doctor.
How do I measure carbs?
Check how many carbs you are eating by reading your food label. Here are 15 gram examples:
- 1 small piece of fruit
- 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, or corn syrup
- 1 tube of instant glucose gel
- 3 peppermint candies
- 3 to 4 glucose tablets
- Half a cup of juice or regular soda
What if the 15-15 rule doesn’t work?
Call your doctor or 911 immediately if you do not feel better after three tries or if your symptoms worsen.
You might be given a medicine called glucagon. They spray you in the nose or inject you. It is also possible to use this at home, it could be prescribed by your doctor and teach someone close to you how to use it.
How to prevent hypoglycemia?
- You must control your diabetes.
- Follow your nutritionist’s or doctor’s diet and exercise instructions.
- Maintain a regular blood sugar level before and after meals, exercise, and sleep.
- Follow the instructions on your medications.
Also write down any hypoglycemic events you experience. Include the time, the type of food you ate, whether you exercised, your symptoms, and your glucose level.
Hypoglycemia can be controlled when they find out what causes your blood sugar to drop. If you experience hypoglycemia, provide all the information to the specialist. You may need to change your medication, eating schedule, and exercise routine. Make small changes to your diet.
How to be prepared for hypoglycemia?
Early detection and treatment of symptoms are essential.
- Take fast-acting carbohydrates with you.
- During meals and exercise, check your glucose levels frequently.
- Make sure your family, friends, and coworkers know what to do if you need help.
- Update your health care plan.
Therefore, make sure people know you have diabetes by wearing a medical bracelet and a card with hypoglycemia instructions in your wallet.
What to do if someone with hypoglycemia faints?
You will need an injection of glucagon.
When it’s a severe hypoglycemic event, you may need glucagon, a prescription medication that raises blood sugar. Those closest to you need to know how to give the injection.
Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. Also, an unconscious person should not receive food, liquids or insulin, they could choke.
Do not drive when you have low blood sugar
You should avoid it at all costs. Pull off the road if you have symptoms of hypoglycemia. Immediately eat something sugary. Then, make the 15-15 rule. Eat protein and carbs before you drive (peanut butter or cheese crackers and crackers).
Try to always have a source of sugar in your car in case of an emergency.
Prevention of hypoglycemia
Also, you can prevent hypoglycemia:
- Plan your meals.
- Eat three evenly spaced meals a day. Have snacks between meals as planned in your diet.
- Keep meal times within four to five hours.
- Exercise for 30 minutes to an hour after eating. Talk to a specialist if you want to modify your diet or exercise routine.
- Check your insulin dose and the dose of your medication.
- Keep your blood sugar levels in check if you drink alcohol.
- Identify the maximum level of your medication.
- Follow all of your doctor’s instructions regarding blood sugar tests.
Patients with diabetes often experience hypoglycemia. In the absence of treatment, it can cause serious health problems. Also, a blood sugar monitor can help prevent episodes of hypoglycemia. So, adjust your exercise routine and your eating habits to stop suffering from worrisome events for your health.
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