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Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Dangerous

Is It Epilepsy Or A Low Blood Sugar Seizure?

Is It Epilepsy Or A Low Blood Sugar Seizure?

A seizure is a symptom of a brain problem that occurs because of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain. There are many types of seizures and most last from thirty seconds to two minutes. Seizures can have many causes, including medicines, high fevers, head injuries, and certain diseases such as diabetes and epilepsy. What causes a seizure in people with diabetes? Hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, occurs when the level of glucose in a person’s body drops below normal. Hypoglycemia can be dangerous and occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, and people with type 2 diabetes who are injecting insulin or using oral medications (sulfonylureas and meglitinides) to lower blood glucose. Sulfonylureas stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to release more insulin. Brand names include: Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) Glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL) Glyburide (Micronase, Glynase, and Diabeta) Glimepiride (Amaryl) Meglitinides also stimulate the beta cells to release insulin. Brand names include: Repaglinide (Prandin) Nateglinide (Starlix) When someone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes experiences a significant drop in their blood glucose, they may experience a range of symptoms that include: Dizziness Sweating Confusion Hunger Extremely low blood glucose can result in a “seizure,” which, if left untreated, can lead to a coma. If you are taking a medication that causes the pancreas to release more insulin, or if you are taking insulin injections, it’s important to know whether you are having low glucose levels during the night while sleeping, as this could be the cause of your seizures. A continuous glucose monitoring system—a pager-sized device typically worn for two to three days that measures your blood glucose every five minutes—can determine if you are Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Hyperglycemia

Diabetes And Hyperglycemia

Tweet Hyperglycemia occurs when people with diabetes have too much sugar in their bloodstream. Hyperglycemia should not be confused with hypoglycemia, which is when blood sugar levels go too low. You should aim to avoid spending long periods of time with high blood glucose levels. What is hyperglycemia? Hyperglycemia, the term for expressing high blood sugar, has been defined by the World Health Organisation as: Blood glucose levels greater than 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dl) when fasting Blood glucose levels greater than 11.0 mmol/L (200 mg/dl) 2 hours after meals Although blood sugar levels exceeding 7 mmol/L for extended periods of time can start to cause damage to internal organs, symptoms may not develop until blood glucose levels exceed 11 mmol/L. What causes hyperglycemia? The underlying cause of hyperglycemia will usually be from loss of insulin producing cells in the pancreas or if the body develops resistance to insulin. More immediate reasons for hyperglycemia include: Missing a dose of diabetic medication, tablets or insulin Eating more carbohydrates than your body and/or medication can manage Being mentally or emotionally stressed (injury, surgery or anxiety) Contracting an infection What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia? The main 3 symptoms of high blood sugar levels are increased urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. High blood sugar levels can also contribute to the following symptoms: Regular/above-average urination Weakness or feeling tired Increased thirst Vision blurring Is hyperglycemia serious? Hyperglycemia can be serious if: Blood glucose levels stay high for extended periods of time - this can lead to the development of long term complications Blood glucose levels rise dangerously high - this can lead to short term complications In the shor Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia means high (hyper) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes—when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn't properly using or doesn't make the hormone insulin. You get glucose from the foods you eat. Carbohydrates, such as fruit, milk, potatoes, bread, and rice, are the biggest source of glucose in a typical diet. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, and then transports the glucose to the cells via the bloodstream. Body Needs Insulin However, in order to use the glucose, your body needs insulin. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps transport glucose into the cells, particularly the muscle cells. People with type 1 diabetes no longer make insulin to help their bodies use glucose, so they have to take insulin, which is injected under the skin. People with type 2 diabetes may have enough insulin, but their body doesn't use it well; they're insulin resistant. Some people with type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin. People with diabetes may become hyperglycemic if they don't keep their blood glucose level under control (by using insulin, medications, and appropriate meal planning). For example, if someone with type 1 diabetes doesn't take enough insulin before eating, the glucose their body makes from that food can build up in their blood and lead to hyperglycemia. Your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, and/or other factors. Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as when you don't eat for at least eight hours. Recommended range without diabet Continue reading >>

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

This information describes diabetes, the complications related to the disease, and how you can prevent these complications. Blood Sugar Control Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar runs too high, usually due to not enough insulin. It can cause terrible long-term complications if it is not treated properly. The most common serious complications are blindness ("retinopathy"), kidney failure requiring dependence on a dialysis machine to stay alive ("nephropathy"), and foot and leg amputations. The good news is that these complications can almost always be prevented if you keep your blood sugar near the normal range. The best way to keep blood sugar low is to eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of walking 4 or 5 times a week can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Eating a healthy diet is also very important. Do your best to limit the number of calories you eat each day. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and eat more slowly so that your body has a chance to let you know when it's had enough to eat. It is also very important to limit saturated fats in your diet. Read food labels carefully to see which foods are high in saturated fats. Particular foods to cut down on are: whole milk and 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, fast foods, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, chicken with the skin on (skinless chicken is fine), doughnuts, cookies, chocolate, and nuts. Often, diet and exercise alone are not enough to control blood sugar. In this case, medicine is needed to bring the blood sugar down further. Often pills are enough, but sometimes insulin injections are needed. If medicines to lower blood sugar are started, it is still very important to keep doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping Track of Blood Sugar Checking blood sugar wi Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, can be a dangerous condition. Low blood sugar can happen in people with diabetes who take medicines that increase insulin levels in the body. Taking too much medication, skipping meals, eating less than normal, or exercising more than usual can lead to low blood sugar for these individuals. Blood sugar is also known as glucose. Glucose comes from food and serves as an important energy source for the body. Carbohydrates — foods such as rice, potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereal, fruit, vegetables, and milk — are the body’s main source of glucose. After you eat, glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream, where it travels to your body’s cells. A hormone called insulin, which is made in the pancreas, helps your cells use glucose for energy. If you eat more glucose than you need, your body will store it in your liver and muscles or change it into fat so it can be used for energy when it’s needed later. Without enough glucose, your body cannot perform its normal functions. In the short term, people who aren’t on medications that increase insulin have enough glucose to maintain blood sugar levels, and the liver can make glucose if needed. However, for those on these specific medications, a short-term reduction in blood sugar can cause a lot of problems. Your blood sugar is considered low when it drops below 70 mg/dL. Immediate treatment for low blood sugar levels is important to prevent more serious symptoms from developing. Explaining low blood sugar in layman's terms » Symptoms of low blood sugar can occur suddenly. They include: rapid heartbeat sudden nervousness headache hunger shaking sweating People with hypoglycemic unawareness do not know their blood sugar is dropping. If you have this condition, your blood sugar Continue reading >>

What Is Hypoglycemia?

What Is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition in which your blood sugar drops perilously low. Low blood sugar will most often make you feel shaky and weak. In extreme cases, you could lose consciousness and slip into a coma. People develop hypoglycemia for different reasons, but those with diabetes run the greatest risk of developing the condition. Glucose and Hypoglycemia Your body uses glucose as its main fuel source. Glucose is derived from food, and it's delivered to cells through the bloodstream. The body uses different hormones to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucagon, cortisol, and epinephrine are some hormones that help regulate glucose. Your body uses another hormone called insulin to help your cells absorb glucose and burn it for fuel. If your blood sugar level drops below a certain point, your body can develop various symptoms and sensations. For people with diabetes, this typically happens when blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), although the exact level may vary from person to person. Causes of Hypoglycemia Low blood sugar often happens in people with diabetes who are using insulin or other medicines that increase insulin production or its actions. Too much insulin can make your blood glucose drop too low. Low blood sugar can happen if: Your body's supply of glucose is used up too quickly. Glucose is released into your bloodstream too slowly. There's too much insulin in your bloodstream. Hypoglycemia Symptoms Although no two people will have the exact same symptoms of low blood sugar, there are some common signs to watch out for: Sudden, intense hunger Dizziness or light-headedness Excessive sweating (often sudden and without regard to temperature) Shaking or tremors Sudden feelings of anxiety Irritability, mood swings, and Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar In Cats

Low Blood Sugar In Cats

Hypoglycemia in Cats The blood sugar, or glucose, is a main energy of source in an animal's body, so a low amount will result in a severe decrease in energy levels, possibly to the point of loss of consciousness. The medical term for critically low levels of sugar in the blood is hypoglycemia, and it is often linked to diabetes and an overdose of insulin. However, there are different conditions, other than diabetes, that can also cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerous levels in cats. In most animals, hypoglycemia is actually not a disease in and of itself, but is only an indication of another underlying health problem. The brain actually needs a steady supply of glucose in order to function properly, as it does not store and create glucose itself. When glucose levels drop to a dangerously low level, a condition of hypoglycemia takes place. This is a dangerous health condition and needs to be treated quickly and appropriately. If you suspect hypoglycemia, especially if your cat is disposed to this condition, you will need to treat the condition quickly before it becomes life threatening. Symptoms Loss of appetite (anorexia) Increased hunger Visual instability, such as blurred vision Disorientation and confusion — may show an apparent inability to complete basic routine tasks Weakness, low energy, loss of consciousness Seizures (rare) Anxiety, restlessness Tremor/shivering Heart palpitations These symptoms may not be specific to hypoglycemia, there can be other possible underlying medical causes. The best way to determine hypoglycemia if by having the blood sugar level measured while the symptoms are apparent. Causes There may be several causes for hypoglycemia, but the most common is the side effects caused by drugs that are being used to treat diabetes. Cats wi Continue reading >>

Are My Daily Low Blood-sugar Spells Dangerous?

Are My Daily Low Blood-sugar Spells Dangerous?

I tend to get low blood sugar at times throughout the day. I work out on a regular basis and have difficulty knowing when to eat, what to eat, how much to eat before a workout. So, information on that would be helpful. Also I am curious what kind of internal damage, if any, am I doing each time I experience low blood sugar? Dear Beth: Thanks for your question. Many people worry about low blood sugar, but in reality this is rarely a problem for other than diabetics under tight blood sugar control. Those few nondiabetics can usually avoid it with small frequent snacks containing carbohydrates. In order to be considered hypoglycemic the person has to have: 1) Symptoms of hypoglycemia, 2) A documented low blood sugar (less than 60 mg/dl) using a laboratory measurement -- not a personal glucometer -- and 3) relief of the symptoms after consumption of sugar. The symptoms of low blood sugar are sweating, trembling, a sensation of warmth, anxiety, nausea, palpitations, a fast heart rate and hunger. Most true hypoglycemic people have three or four of these symptoms and not all of them. Very low blood sugar can cause fatigue, dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, drowsiness and ultimately loss of consciousness and seizures. Again, all people with very low blood sugar will most likely not have all symptoms. Occasionally, people get hypoglycemia because they're taking certain drugs such as aspirin-like drugs, quinine-like drugs and antipsychotics such as haloperidol, or consuming alcohol. Extreme exercise also can lead to this condition. By far the most common cause of hypoglycemia is treatment of diabetes that is too strict. Some diabetics can actually get hypoglycemic by missing a meal or having a meal with fewer starches and carbohydrates than expected. Very rarely, hypoglyc Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels.[1] This may result in a variety of symptoms including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death.[1] A feeling of hunger, sweating, shakiness, and weakness may also be present.[1] Symptoms typically come on quickly.[1] The most common cause of hypoglycemia is medications used to treat diabetes mellitus such as insulin and sulfonylureas.[2][3] Risk is greater in diabetics who have eaten less than usual, exercised more than usual, or have drunk alcohol.[1] Other causes of hypoglycemia include kidney failure, certain tumors, such as insulinoma, liver disease, hypothyroidism, starvation, inborn error of metabolism, severe infections, reactive hypoglycemia, and a number of drugs including alcohol.[1][3] Low blood sugar may occur in otherwise healthy babies who have not eaten for a few hours.[4] The glucose level that defines hypoglycemia is variable.[1] In people with diabetes levels below 3.9 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) is diagnostic.[1] In adults without diabetes, symptoms related to low blood sugar, low blood sugar at the time of symptoms, and improvement when blood sugar is restored to normal confirm the diagnosis.[5] Otherwise a level below 2.8 mmol/L (50 mg/dL) after not eating or following exercise may be used.[1] In newborns a level below 2.2 mmol/L (40 mg/dL) or less than 3.3 mmol/L (60 mg/dL) if symptoms are present indicates hypoglycemia.[4] Other tests that may be useful in determining the cause include insulin and C peptide levels in the blood.[3] Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is the opposite condition. Among people with diabetes, prevention is by matching the foods eaten with the amount of exercise and the medications used.[1] When Continue reading >>

Diabetes-related High And Low Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes-related High And Low Blood Sugar Levels

Topic Overview Diabetes-related blood sugar levels When you have diabetes, you may have high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) from time to time. A cold, the flu, or other sudden illness can cause high blood sugar levels. You will learn to recognize the symptoms and distinguish between high and low blood sugar levels. Insulin and some types of diabetes medicines can cause low blood sugar levels. Learn how to recognize and manage high and low blood sugar levels to help you avoid levels that can lead to medical emergencies, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or dehydration from high blood sugar levels or loss of consciousness from severe low blood sugar levels. Most high or low blood sugar problems can be managed at home by following your doctor's instructions. You can help avoid blood sugar problems by following your doctor's instructions on the use of insulin or diabetes medicines, diet, and exercise. Home blood sugar testing will help you determine whether your blood sugar is within your target range. If you have had very low blood sugar, you may be tempted to let your sugar level run high so that you do not have another low blood sugar problem. But it is most important that you keep your blood sugar in your target range. You can do this by following your treatment plan and checking your blood sugar regularly. Sometimes a pregnant woman can get diabetes during her pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Blood sugar levels are checked regularly during the pregnancy to keep levels within a target range. Children who have diabetes need their parents' help to keep their blood sugar levels in a target range and to exercise safely. Be sure that children learn the symptoms of both high and low blood sugar so they can tell others wh Continue reading >>

Which Is More Dangerous For The Human Body Between Low Blood Sugar And High Blood Sugar?

Which Is More Dangerous For The Human Body Between Low Blood Sugar And High Blood Sugar?

Is Low Blood Glucose (Hypoglycemia) Dangerous? Low blood glucose or hypoglycemia is one of the most common problems associated with insulin treatment, but it can also happen to people with diabetes taking pills. In general, hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl. Low blood glucose is usually unpleasant, with the most common symptoms including feeling shaky, sweaty and having one's heart pound. The most common reasons for hypoglycemia are too much diabetes medicine, too little food or a delayed meal, or too much or unplanned activity. A less common, but occasional cause for hypoglycemia, is drinking alcoholic beverages. Most hypoglycemia is mild with recognizable symptoms. If quickly and appropriately treated, it is more of an inconvenience than a cause for alarm. However, severe hypoglycemia that causes mental confusion, antagonistic behaviors, unconsciousness, or seizures is a reason for alarm. We define severe hypoglycemia as the point at which you are not able to independently treat yourself. It is dangerous and to be avoided! Not because hypoglycemia, in itself, is fatal. That is very, very rare. What is dangerous is what might happen as a result of the hypoglycemia. The biggest danger is a motor vehicle accident caused, for example, by passing out at the wheel, swerving into on-coming traffic, hitting a tree, or running stop signs. Sometimes people are seriously injured in other types of accidents related to hypoglycemia, such as falling down stairs. It is equally important to avoid unconsciousness and seizures caused by hypoglycemia, not only because of the increased risk for accidents, but because of the potential for brain damage related to repeated severe hypoglycemia. Guidelines for managing hypoglycemia Recognize symptoms (physical, e Continue reading >>

Dangerously Low

Dangerously Low

Since getting an insulin pump a few months ago, I’ve been very proud of my blood sugar control. My A1c is down (I’m actually going to get my quarterly blood work done tomorrow) and I’ve had very few highs and very few lows (about one low a month compared to a few a week before pumping). The lows I’ve been having on the pump really aren’t that low, usually in the low 60’s or high 50’s. All this was true until yesterday when I had a low that totally knocked me out. Take that literally. This low came with no warning signs and I didn’t make any big mistakes that could have led to it, at least none I can recall. I ran 11 miles in the morning, took the kids to school and got ready to go to a 10:00 a.m. doctor’s appointment. I had to go see a surgeon about some serious pain I’ve been having in my lower stomach muscles since the race when I broke my 10K record. Since I didn’t have a chance to eat before leaving for my appointment I grabbed an apple and bloused for 25grams of carb (the correct amount according to Nutrition Data). I was a little nervous on the way to the clinic. I was scared the surgeon would tell me I needed surgery (they often do) of some kind that would put me out of commission for at least 4-6 weeks and make me miss my upcoming marathon (Jan. 12th). But after a short examination the surgeon told me my problem is only a pulled muscle. He ordered 10 days of rest, meaning no running. I was very relieved that all I have is a pulled muscle, but not at all happy about the idea of not running for 10 days. As I walked home (a 20 minute walk), I talked to my coach and told him the good news. He told me that I should definitely rest, but rather than not running at all for 10 days, I should run an hour every other day at a really easy pace. I was i Continue reading >>

How Can I Instantly Lower My Blood Sugar?

How Can I Instantly Lower My Blood Sugar?

Before deciding how to treat one episode of high blood glucose, it is important to figure out why the number is high. Some possible causes include eating a heavy meal, not getting enough physical activity, forgetting to take diabetes medication, and dealing with illness and stress. Insulin is the medication that will bring blood glucose down the fastest. Someone who uses mealtime insulin can take correction doses to lower blood glucose. This requires a thorough understanding of when to inject, how often to give correction doses, and how much insulin to use. You will need to work with your doctor or diabetes educator to learn how to do this. Apart from administering insulin, the fastest way to lower your blood glucose is to engage in physical activity. Exercise results in an increased sensitivity to insulin. It causes your muscle cells to take up more glucose, leaving less of it to circulate in your bloodstream during and after the physical activity (which means a lower blood glucose when you test). Frequent, regular exercise is very important to good blood glucose control no matter what type of diabetes you have. Research has shown that it is vital in warding off long-term complications likeneuropathy, retinopathy, and heart and kidney diseases. Don't forget to check with a doctor, though, before making any major changes to your exercise routine. And, if you have type 1 diabetes and your glucose is 250 mg/dl or higher, check for urine ketones. You should not exercise if ketones are present. While exercise is a great way to bring down your blood glucose immediately, remember that physical activity should be a part of your lifestyle, not just a tool for producing one good test result. Getting your recommended periodic A1C tests will help you and your doctor determine if y Continue reading >>

Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia)

Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia)

What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below normal. For many people with diabetes, that means a level of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less. Your numbers might be different, so check with your health care provider to find out what level is too low for you. What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia? Symptoms of hypoglycemia tend to come on quickly and can vary from person to person. You may have one or more mild-to-moderate symptoms listed in the table below. Sometimes people don’t feel any symptoms. Severe hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose level becomes so low that you’re unable to treat yourself and need help from another person. Severe hypoglycemia is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. This condition is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. Hypoglycemia Symptoms Mild-to-Moderate Severe Shaky or jittery Sweaty Hungry Headachy Blurred vision Sleepy or tired Dizzy or lightheaded Confused or disoriented Pale Uncoordinated Irritable or nervous Argumentative or combative Changed behavior or personality Trouble concentrating Weak Fast or irregular heart beat Unable to eat or drink Seizures or convulsions (jerky movements) Unconsciousness Some symptoms of hypoglycemia during sleep are crying out or having nightmares sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up What causes hypoglycemia in diabetes? Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of insulin or other types of diabetes medicines that help your body make more insulin. Two types of diabetes pills can cause hypoglycemia: sulfonylureas and meglitinides . Ask your health care team if your diabetes medicine can cause hypoglycemia. Although ot Continue reading >>

How Is Glucagon An Antagonist Of Insulin?

How Is Glucagon An Antagonist Of Insulin?

Insulin and glucagon work together to balance your blood sugar levels, keeping them in the narrow range that your body requires. These hormones are like the yin and yang of blood glucose maintenance. Read on to learn more about how they function and what can happen when they dont work well. Insulin and glucagon work in whats called a negative feedback loop. During this process, one event triggers another, which triggers another, and so on, to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. During digestion, foods that contain carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Most of this glucose is sent into your bloodstream, causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This increase in blood glucose signals your pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin tells cells throughout your body to take in glucose from your bloodstream. As the glucose moves into your cells, your blood glucose levels go down. Some cells use the glucose as energy. Other cells, such as in your liver and muscles, store any excess glucose as a substance called glycogen. Your body uses glycogen for fuel between meals. About four to six hours after you eat, the glucose levels in your blood decrease, triggering your pancreas to produce glucagon. This hormone signals your liver and muscle cells to change the stored glycogen back into glucose. These cells then release the glucose into your bloodstream so your other cells can use it for energy. This whole feedback loop with insulin and glucagon is constantly in motion. It keeps your blood sugar levels from dipping too low, ensuring that your body has a steady supply of energy. Your bodys regulation of blood glucose is an amazing metabolic feat. However, for some people, the process doesnt work properly. Diabetes mellitus is the best known condition that causes problems with bloo Continue reading >>

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