Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels. This may result in a variety of symptoms including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. A feeling of hunger, sweating, shakiness, and weakness may also be present. Symptoms typically come on quickly. The most common cause of hypoglycemia is medications used to treat diabetes mellitus such as insulin and sulfonylureas. Risk is greater in diabetics who have eaten less than usual, exercised more than usual, or have drunk alcohol. 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. Low blood sugar may occur in otherwise healthy babies who have not eaten for a few hours. The glucose level that defines hypoglycemia is variable. In people with diabetes levels below 3.9 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) is diagnostic. 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. Otherwise a level below 2.8 mmol/L (50 mg/dL) after not eating or following exercise may be used. 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. Other tests that may be useful in determining the cause include insulin and C peptide levels in the blood. 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. When Continue reading >>
What Are Dangerous Blood Sugar Levels?
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. 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. Another very important way to keep track of diabetes is with a blood test, which is called the “Hemoglobin A1c” test. This test is often abbreviated as “Hb A1c.” The Hb A1c test is a measure of what the average blood sugar has been over the past 3 months. It is thus a very powerful way to get an overall sense of how well diabetes has been controlled. Everyone with diabetes should have this test 2 to 4 times per year. The only way to tell if kidney damage has occurred is to test the urine for protein. This should be done once per year. The biggest risk to people with numbness from neuropathy is that they will injure their feet and will not be able to feel it. Such an injury can lead to ulcers or gangrene, and occasionally to amputation. For this reason, it is very important that patients with neuropathy learn to take special care of their feet and wear the right shoes. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by weakening and scarring of the blood vessels which lie on top of the retina, the thin lining at the back of th Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Type 1 diabetes in an autoimmune disease where a person’s pancreas doesn’t produce insulin—a hormone needed to convert food into energy. It affects children and adults, comes on suddenly, and it cannot be prevented or cured. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common and dangerous occurance with type 1 diabetes. If your blood sugar gets too low it may lead to insulin shock, which is life-threatening if not cared for. Low blood sugar can happen when your body has too little food—or glucose—or when it produces too much insulin. Type 1 diabetes hypoglycemia symptoms So what are the low blood sugar symptoms you should look out for? It’s important to realize that the signs of low blood sugar will vary depending on the person. However, people with type 1 diabetes—whether it’s been diagnosed or not—may experience one or more of the following: -Sweating and shaking -Blurry vision -Poor coordination -Dizziness or feeling lightheaded -Difficulty concentrating -Feeling anxious or irritable -Hunger or nausea -Erratic changes in behavior What to do if you experience low blood glucose symptoms Severely low blood-sugar levels can lead to hypoglycemic seizures, unconsciousness, coma, and death if left untreated. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor if you think you have low blood sugar so he or she can check your blood-glucose levels—look into whether type 1 diabetes may be a cause—and provide the necessary treatment. Your support is more critical than ever Continue reading >>
Older Diabetics May Be Pushing Blood Sugar Too Low
(Reuters Health) – Older diabetics may sometimes do too good a job at keeping their blood sugar down, according to a new study. Regardless of age, people with diabetes are taught to keep their blood sugar below certain target levels. But many diabetics over 65 who have other health concerns may be at risk for pushing it too low, according to a new study. Particularly for older adults with multiple serious illnesses and functional limitations, the risks of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, may outweigh the benefits of tight blood sugar control, the authors write. “Older people are more susceptible to hypoglycemia,” said lead author Dr. Kasia J. Lipska of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. “As people age, their kidney function deteriorates and drugs (like insulin) may not be eliminated from the body as efficiently,” which can lead to low blood sugar, she told Reuters Health by email. Often, people with low blood sugar don’t realize they have it. Symptoms can include double or blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, headache, hunger, shaking or trembling, sweating, tiredness or weakness or feeling faint, trouble sleeping, unclear thinking, and other problems. Severe low blood sugar can cause seizures and brain damage. Intense diabetes treatment, which the study showed many older people are doing, increases the risk for hypoglycemia two to three fold, Lipska said. Her team used data on 1,288 diabetics age 65 or older, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2001 through 2010. Based on their ability to complete activities of daily life, about half of the participants were generally healthy, 28 percent had “complex or intermediate” health and 21 percent had “poor” health. To see how tightly these patients were controllin Continue reading >>
What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like
In this article, we will explore what low blood sugar feels like for different people with diabetes. We will look at the symptoms, how they can change over time, and how they are often different from person to person. We will look at planning ahead, and the treatment of hypoglycemia, hereafter referred to as “low blood sugar.” To get started, patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were interviewed and asked the question: What is it like and what do you do when life hands you the low blood sugar agenda for the day? Describe your experience. Melissa’s story Melissa is usually gung-ho and ready to go for the day, but when she is handed the low blood sugar agenda, it takes all the wind out of her “cells.” They feel wrinkled up and emaciate. Here is how Melissa describes her low blood sugars: I imagine you, (you wrinkly old emaciated cell with no food in you), as a grumpy old man. I scream at you, though I can’t move. No, I won’t take your stifling agenda! I have to work after all. My kids need me to take them to dance class after school. I’m reluctant to take your agenda, packed with the helplessness that is my poison pill of the day. If I believe those positive self-help type blogs, then I would know that to decide you are happy determines your destination for the day. If you have diabetes, that’s a crock. With diabetes, your low blood sugar determines your agenda, and ultimately what you will be able to do for the day. When it gets below 70, or dips severely low- it begs and screams to be addressed! Especially if it dips fast, then I’m in trouble. Every cell in my body screams out. If it’s too low, I can’t move to do anything about it! Often I get a little dizzy feeling, and then I know I have to treat. I will get the shakes so bad that I can’t Continue reading >>
What Does It Feel Like To Grow Up With Type 1 Diabetes? What Are The Biggest Challenges, And What Sorts Of Things Make It Easier To Live With?
I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 15 years old. Interestingly my high school years were the easiest years for me in terms of diabetes management/coping with the disease, being an undergraduate and to a lesser extent a graduate student were both much more challenging, for reasons which I will mention later in my answer. Challenge 1: Learning the basic rules for managing diabetes, especially carb counting (figuring out what is in the food you are eating) and how to deal with factors like exercise, sickness, and stress. To manage diabetes successfully you have to imitate your own pancreas, and do so with tools that are inferior to a pancreas. It is easy to learn the very basics, but to achieve a high quality of life and have good control so that you have good health later you need to know how to deal with all the subtleties. The body is incredibly complicated and the blood sugar/insulin/pancreas system is no exception. Challenge 2: Being disciplined and careful after some of the things from challenge 1 have become second nature. Once you learn the basics it is easy to stop learning and just coast. It is also easy to get lazy once you have internalized things. It can be very tough to convince children to pay more attention to these things, especially since the consequences of failure don't seem that important to you. Challenge 3: Being disciplined when you are extremely busy and have lots of stress. This was by far the hardest thing for me, but only became a problem when I was a college student. This is a disease where a single mistake can be fatal and it is much easier to make mistakes when you have a lot of things going on, and I think that this is by far the toughest challenge that diabetes has presented to me (and that I think diabetes can present in terms of manag Continue reading >>
High And Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Tweet Knowing and understanding the symptoms of high and low blood sugar should be essential for both diabetics and their friends and families. Symptoms of high blood sugar Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is common amongst diabetics. It occurs when a diabetic person eats too much food, and has too little insulin to regulate their blood sugar. Sometimes stress can cause diabetes. Being aware of the following symptoms and staying alert for their presence, whether you are a diabetic or a family member or friend, should be essential: Need for frequent urination Drowsiness Nausea Extreme hunger and/or thirst Blurring of the vision Symptoms of low blood sugar Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when a diabetic has not eaten enough food, or has too much insulin within his or her body. An excessive amount of exercise can also cause low blood sugar levels. Be aware of low blood sugar symptoms Being aware of the following symptoms and staying alert for their presence, whether you are a diabetic or a family member or friend, should be essential: Shaking Fast heartbeat Sweating Anxiety Dizziness Extreme hunger Weakness and tiredness Irritability Why do these symptoms matter for diabetics? These symptoms are essential for diabetics to understand, because they may encounter high or low blood sugar levels from time to time. A cold or virus can cause sudden high blood sugar levels, and understand the symptoms means knowing how to deal with hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. People with diabetes who can recognise the symptoms can avoid levels that lead to medical emergencies such as diabetic ketoacidosis. Knowing your high and low blood sugar symptoms allows you to test Once you understand symptoms of high and low blood sugar, it is possible to test quickly and avoid serious proble Continue reading >>
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Hypoglycemia (say: hi-po-gly-SEE-me-uh) is the medical word for low blood sugar level. It needs to be treated right away. Why? Because glucose, or sugar, is the body’s main fuel source. That means your body — including your brain — needs glucose to work properly. When blood sugar levels go lower than they’re supposed to, you can get very sick. Your parents and your diabetes health care team will tell you what your blood sugar levels should be and what to do if they get too low. The Causes of Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar levels can happen to kids with diabetes because of the medicines they have to take. Kids with diabetes may need a hormone called insulin and/or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood. These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the level of sugar in the blood go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act, and blood sugar levels can get too low. Kids with diabetes need to keep their blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low. How do they do it? With help from grown-ups, they keep three things in balance: Each one of these can affect the other. For instance, eating more might mean a kid needs more insulin. And exercising might create the need for an extra snack. Again, a grown-up can help you learn how to juggle those three activities so you keep feeling good. Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely to happen are: skipping meals and snacks not eating enough food at a meal or snack exercising longer or harder than usual without eating something extra getting too much insulin not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise taking a long bath or shower right after an insulin shot Signs That Blood Sugar Level Continue reading >>
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Smoking Kills. So Does Eating Sugar. Why Is There A Distinction Between The Two?
Sugar is an essential part of our food. It is nourishing to the body and it is important for the survival of the body. Blood sugar, also known as 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 sugar/glucose. 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. Sugar is essential to body. It becomes harmful only if there is an excess of its consumption. Smoking is harmful to body, however, small the quantity may be. It is never useful to the body and it always damages the body organs. If we extrapolate the use of sugar and smoking in real life, we can say that: We must avoid extremes of even the best things in life like ideals, honesty, integrity or loyalty We must desist from following the evil path (like cheating, infidelity, corruption etc.) even once because these are always bad Continue reading >>
Will Medicines Cure Diabetics?
Oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours. A registered dietitian can help you put together a meal plan that fits your health goals, food preferences and lifestyle. He or she can also teach you how to monitor your carbohydrate intake and let you know about how many carbohydrates you need to eat with your meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar levels more stable. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days of the week. Stretching and strength training exercises are important, too. If you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually. Remember that physical activity lowers blood sugar. Check your blood sugar level before any activity. You might need to eat a snack before exercising to help prevent low blood sugar if you take diabetes medications that lower your blood sugar. Sometimes, blood sugar levels can be unpredictable. With help from your diabetes treatment team, you’ll learn how your blood sugar level changes in response to food, exercise, alcohol, illness and medication. Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others). Generally, metformin is the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It works by improving the sensitivity of your body tissues to insulin so that your body uses insulin more effectively. Nausea and diarrhea are possible side effects of metformin. These side effects usually go away as your body gets used to the medicine. If metformin and lifestyles changes aren’t enough to control your blood sugar level, other oral or injected medications can be added. Meglitinides. These medications work like sulfonylureas by stimulating the pancreas Continue reading >>
Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)
Low blood sugar, which is called hypoglycemia, means your body does not have enough sugar in the blood to fuel all of your body’s cells. Typically a low blood sugar is defined as anything below 70 mg/dL (3.8 mmol). It is also sometimes called an “insulin reaction” or “insulin shock”. When your blood sugars drops below this level, you may begin to feel a variety of symptoms. As your body runs short on fuel, you may feel shaky, nervous, anxious, or irritable. You may begin to sweat or get the chills. Your heart may race. As your brain operates on less sugar, you may feel confused or delirious or get a headache. Each person feels different low blood sugar symptoms. Some don’t feel any symptoms at all, which is called hypoglycemia unawareness. It is important to learn and recognize your own symptoms. Sometimes, you may feel like you have low blood sugar even when you don’t. This can happen when you have had a high blood sugar for a long-time, such as at diagnosis, and your body is first coming back into the normal range. Although it may feel unpleasant, these symptoms will go away in a week or two and you will feel better than you did when you had high blood sugars all of the time. You may also feel symptoms of low blood sugar when your blood sugar is dropping rapidly. Your body is sensing the rapid loss of sugar for fuel and sending you warning signals. Don’t guess whether or not you have a low blood sugar. It is important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar and confirm before treating it. Studies have shown people are not good at guessing their blood sugars (but often think that they are). According to the American Diabetes Association, if you feel symptoms of low blood sugar and are unable to test your blood sugar, err on the side of Continue reading >>
Low Blood Sugar In Non-diabetics
Blood sugar levels that drop too low can be just as dangerous as high blood sugar levels. This is especially a concern for diabetics, but nondiabetics can develop symptoms and health problems as well. To avoid complications it is important to be familiar with the warning signs of low blood sugar and what the common triggers are. If caught early, raising blood sugar levels with food can help avoid a life-threatening situation. Video of the Day Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is diagnosed when blood sugar or blood glucose levels drop below normal. Glucose is the primary source of fuel for the body and without enough of it, symptoms and health problems can occur. After a meal the food is broken down into glucose and either used immediately for energy or it is stored for use later on. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, when blood glucose levels drop too low, the pancreas signals the liver to release the stored glucose into the bloodstream, until levels return to normal. If not enough glucose is available, symptoms can occur. For those without diabetes, normal fasting blood glucose levels should be between 70 to 99 mg/dL and between 70 to 140 mg/dL after eating a meal. Without enough glucose the body will not be able to function normally. Early warning signs of low blood sugar include hunger, fatigue, sweating, headaches, shakiness, dizziness, weakness, confusion, difficulty coordinating movement, anxiety, problems with vision, upset stomach and trouble speaking, Medline Plus states. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can cause fainting, a loss of consciousness, irregular heartbeats, tremors, seizures and coma. In severe cases it can be fatal. In those without diabetes, low blood sugar levels are usually caused by skipping meals or heavy alcohol con Continue reading >>
When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High Or Too Low
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your blood sugar in the range your doctor has advised, it can be too high or too low. Blood sugar that is too high or too low can make you very sick. Here's how to handle these emergencies. What You Need to Know about High Blood Sugar If your blood sugar stays over 240, it is too high. High blood sugar usually comes on slowly. It happens when you don't have enough insulin in your body. High blood sugar can happen if you miss taking your diabetes medicine, eat too much, or don't get enough exercise. Sometimes, medicines you take for other problems may cause high blood sugar. Be sure to tell your doctor about other medicines you take. This chart shows the ranges of blood sugar. Having an infection or being sick or under stress can also make your blood sugar too high. That is why it is very important to test your blood and keep taking your medicine (insulin or diabetes pills) when you have an infection or are sick. Your blood sugar may be too high if you are very thirsty and tired, have blurry vision, are losing weight fast, and have to go to the bathroom often. Very high blood sugar may make you feel sick to your stomach, faint, or throw up. It can cause you to lose too much fluid from your body. Testing your blood sugar often, especially when you are sick, will warn you that your blood sugar may be rising too high. If your blood sugar stays over 300 when you check it two times in a row, call your doctor. You may need a change in your insulin shots or diabetes pills, or a change in your meal plan. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result in hypoglycemia. Please see important risk and sa Continue reading >>
Low Blood Sugar Symptoms And Ranges
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) definition and facts Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. It typically occurs as a side effect of medications for diabetes. The normal range of blood glucose is from 70 to 100 mg/dL in an individual without diabetes, Most people will feel the effects and symptoms of low blood sugar when blood glucose levels are lower than 50 mg/dL. Low blood sugar is treated by giving a readily absorbed source of sugar, including soft drinks, juice, or foods containing sugar. If the hypoglycemia has progressed to the point at which the patient cannot take anything by mouth, an injection of glucagon may be given. Glucagon is a hormone that causes a fast release of glucose from the liver. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is syndrome that results from low blood sugar. The severity and symptoms of hypoglycemia can vary from person to person. Blood tests can diagnose low blood sugar, and symptoms resolve when the levels of sugar in the blood return to the normal range. The medical term for blood sugar is blood glucose. What can cause low blood sugar? Despite advances in the treatment of diabetes, low blood sugar episodes occur as a side effect of many treatments for diabetes. In fact, these episodes are often the limiting factor in achieving optimal blood sugar control, because many medications that are effective in treating diabetes carry the risk of lowering the blood sugar level too much, causing symptoms. In large scale studies looking at tight control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, low blood sugars occurred more often in the patients who were managed most intensively. This is important for patients and physicians to recognize, especially as the goal for treating patients with diabetes becomes tighter control of blood sugar. While peopl Continue reading >>