diabetestalk.net

Dangerous Low Blood Sugar Levels

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 >>

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 >>

Beware The Perils Of Severe Hypoglycemia

Beware The Perils Of Severe Hypoglycemia

Over 80 years ago, famed diabetologist Elliot Joslin said about the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes: “Ketoacidosis may kill a patient, but frequent hypoglycemic reactions will ruin him.” Unfortunately, hypoglycemia continues to be the most difficult problem facing most patients, families, and caregivers who deal with the management of type 1 diabetes on a daily basis. Frequent hypoglycemia episodes not only can “ruin,” or adversely impact the quality of life for patients, but also, when severe, can cause seizures, coma, and even death. A Tragic Case Recently, our group published a case report in the journal Endocrine Practice describing a tragic death from hypoglycemia that occurred while the patient slept in his own bed. Our patient, a 23-year-old man with type 1 diabetes who had a history of recurrent severe hypoglycemia, was using an older model insulin pump and wearing a separate, non-real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. He was given the CGM in 2005 for the purpose of tracking his nocturnal (nighttime) blood glucose values and making further insulin pump adjustments. After he was pronounced dead in the emergency room, our diabetes nurse removed the pump and CGM to help us understand what happened. His insulin pump was found to have been working correctly. What we learned was that after supper, he had a heavy workout at a gym, followed by a late snack. Between 8 pm and midnight, he “stacked” five boluses of insulin, totaling 7.35 units (33% of his basal dose), in an attempt to keep his glucose values in “tight” control. The downloaded sensor demonstrated that his glucose values fell from about 200 mg/dL at midnight to under 50 mg/dL by 2:00 am, and to under 30 mg/dL by 5:00 am – three hours before he was found by his pare Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar

Low Blood Sugar

People with diabetes get hypoglycemia () when their bodies don't have enough sugar to use as fuel. It can happen for several reasons, including diet, some medications and conditions, and exercise. If you get hypoglycemia, write down the date and time when it happened and what you did. Share your record with your doctor, so she can look for a pattern and adjust your medications. Call your doctor if you have more than one unexplained low blood sugar reaction in a week. Most people feel symptoms of hypoglycemia when their blood sugar is 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or lower. Each person with diabetes may have different symptoms of hypoglycemia. You'll learn to spot yours. Early symptoms include: Confusion Dizziness Feeling shaky Hunger Headaches Irritability Pounding heart; racing pulse Pale skin Sweating Trembling Weakness Anxiety Without treatment, you might get more severe symptoms, including: Poor coordination Poor concentration Numbness in mouth and tongue Passing out Ask your doctor if any of your medicines can cause low blood sugar. Insulin treatment can cause low blood sugar, and so can a type of diabetes medications called "sulfonylureas." Commonly used sulfonylureas include: Glibenclamide (Glyburide, Micronase) Gliclazide Older, less common sulfonlyureas tend to cause low blood sugar more often than some of the newer ones. Examples of older drugs include: You can also get low blood sugar if you drink alcohol or take allopurinol (Zyloprim), aspirin, Benemid, probenecid (Probalan), or warfarin (Coumadin) with diabetes medications. You shouldn't get hypoglycemia if you take alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides (such as metformin), and thiazolidinediones alone, but it can happen when you take them with sulfonylureas or insulin. You can get low blood sugar Continue reading >>

Is Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia) Dangerous?

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, emotional, mental) and that these symptoms are v Continue reading >>

When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

en españolCuando la concentración de azúcar en sangre es demasiado baja No matter what we're doing — even when we're sleeping — our brains depend on glucose to function. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream.  The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia (pronounced: hi-po-gly-SEE-me-uh). Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away. People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called insulin or diabetes pills (or both) 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. People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too high or too low. Part of keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range is having good timing, and balancing when and what they eat and when they exercise with when they take medicines. Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely to happen are: not eating enough food at a meal or snack exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise Also, certain things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely to occur. For ex Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar Symptoms And Ranges

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 >>

10 Warning Signs Of Low Blood Sugar

10 Warning Signs Of Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is common among people with diabetes and can occur even when you're carefully managing the condition. "Hypoglycemia happens when the amount of blood glucose (sugar in the blood) drops to a level that's too low to sustain normal functioning," says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet. "In most people, this is defined as a blood-sugar level below 70 milligrams per deciliter." A review published in June 2015 in the journal PLoS One found that among people with type 2 diabetes, this is a far too common occurrence. Individuals with the condition had an average of 19 mild episodes of hypoglycemia per year, and nearly one severe episode per year on average. Low blood sugar was particularly common among those taking insulin. This decrease in blood sugar levels can cause both short-term complications, like confusion and dizziness, as well as more serious, long-term complications. Left untreated, it can lead to a coma and even death. To prevent hypoglycemia and its dangerous side effects, it's crucial to monitor your glucose levels and treat low blood sugar as soon as you become aware of it. Pay attention to these telltale signs of dipping blood sugar levels to make sure yours stays under control: 1. Ravenous Hunger If you've already eaten but still aren't satisfied, or if you suddenly, inexplicably feel as if you're starving, your body is signaling that it needs more glucose. Work with your healthcare team to determine the exact amount of sugar your body needs. A good starting point is the American Diabetes Association's recommendation to eat between 15 and 20 grams (g) of sugar or carbohydrates with each snack, and between 40 and 65 g at each meal. Some good options include 2 tablespoons of raisins, 4 ounces of fruit juice 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 >>

Nondiabetic Hypoglycemia

Nondiabetic Hypoglycemia

What is non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too low. It happens to people with diabetes when they have a mismatch of medicine, food, and/or exercise. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia, a rare condition, is low blood glucose in people who do not have diabetes. There are two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia: Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens within a few hours of eating a meal Fasting hypoglycemia, which may be related to a disease Glucose is the main source of energy for your body and brain. It comes from what we eat and drink. Insulin, a hormone, helps keep blood glucose at normal levels so your body can work properly. Insulin’s job is to help glucose enter your cells where it’s used for energy. If your glucose level is too low, you might not feel well. What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia? The two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia have different causes. Researchers are still studying the causes of reactive hypoglycemia. They know, however, that it comes from having too much insulin in the blood, leading to low blood glucose levels. Types of nondiabetic hypoglycemia Reactive hypoglycemia Having pre-diabetes or being at risk for diabetes, which can lead to trouble making the right amount of insulin Stomach surgery, which can make food pass too quickly into your small intestine Rare enzyme deficiencies that make it hard for your body to break down food Fasting hypoglycemia Medicines, such as salicylates (such as aspirin), sulfa drugs (an antibiotic), pentamidine (to treat a serious kind of pneumonia), quinine (to treat malaria) Alcohol, especially with binge drinking Serious illnesses, such as those affecting the liver, heart, or kidneys Low levels of certain hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, glu Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycaemia)

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycaemia)

A low blood sugar, also called hypoglycaemia or a "hypo", is where the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood drops too low. It mainly affects people with diabetes, especially if you take insulin. A low blood sugar can be dangerous if it's not treated promptly, but you can usually treat it easily yourself. Symptoms of low blood sugar A low blood sugar causes different symptoms for everybody. You'll learn how it makes you feel if you keep getting it, although your symptoms may change over time. Early signs of a low blood sugar include: feeling hungry sweating tingling lips feeling shaky or trembling feeling tired becoming easily irritated, tearful, stroppy or moody turning pale If not treated, you may then get other symptoms, such as: weakness blurred vision difficulty concentrating unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness (like being drunk) feeling sleepy seizures (fits) collapsing or passing out Hypos can also occur while sleeping, which may wake you up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets (from sweat) in the morning. If you have a device to check your blood sugar level, a reading of less than 4mmol/L is too low and should be treated. Treatment for low blood sugar Treating a low blood sugar yourself Follow these steps if your blood sugar is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms: Have a sugary drink or snack – try something like a small glass of non-diet fizzy drink or fruit juice, a small handful of sweets, or four or five dextrose tablets. Test your blood sugar after 10-15 minutes – if it's 4mmol or above and you feel better, move on to step 3. If it's still below 4mmol, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading in 10-15 minutes. Eat your main meal (containing carbohydrate) if you're about to have it or Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

Print Overview Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar (glucose), your body's main energy source. Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with the treatment of diabetes. However, a variety of conditions, many of them rare, can cause low blood sugar in people without diabetes. Like fever, hypoglycemia isn't a disease itself — it's an indicator of a health problem. Immediate treatment of hypoglycemia involves quick steps to get your blood sugar level back into a normal range — about 70 to 110 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL (3.9 to 6.1 millimoles per liter, or mmol/L) — either with high-sugar foods or medications. Long-term treatment requires identifying and treating the underlying cause of hypoglycemia. Symptoms Similar to the way a car needs gas to run, your body and brain need a constant supply of sugar (glucose) to function properly. If glucose levels become too low, as occurs with hypoglycemia, it can cause these signs and symptoms: Heart palpitations Fatigue Pale skin Shakiness Anxiety Sweating Hunger Irritability Tingling sensation around the mouth Crying out during sleep As hypoglycemia worsens, signs and symptoms may include: Confusion, abnormal behavior or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision Seizures Loss of consciousness People with severe hypoglycemia may appear as if they're intoxicated. They may slur their words and move clumsily. Many conditions other than hypoglycemia may cause these signs and symptoms. A blood sample to test your blood sugar level at the time of these signs and symptoms is how to know for sure that hypoglycemia is the cause. When to see a doctor Seek a doctor's help immediately if: You have what may be symptoms of hypoglycemia an Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia Overview

Hypoglycemia Overview

Hypoglycemia means low (hypo) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Carbohydrates (e.g., fruit, bread, potatoes, milk, and rice) are the biggest source of glucose in a typical diet, and your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. The glucose is then transported in your blood to cells that need it; it gives your body energy. 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. Sometimes, your blood glucose level can drop too low—that's hypoglycemia. It usually happens quite quickly, and it can be handled quite quickly, as well. People with type 1 diabetes do not 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 fall into two categories when it comes to insulin: either their body doesn't make enough, or their body is unable to use it well (insulin resistance). Normal Blood Glucose The American Diabetes Association published the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes that provide recommended target blood glucose ranges for people with and without diabetes. The standard for measuring blood glucose is “mg/dL,” which means milligrams per deciliter. People without Diabetes After eating (called postprandial) 70 to 140 mg/dL Goals for People with Diabetes Type 2 diabetes (also called type 2 diabetes mellitus) is more common than type 1 diabetes. Around 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National 2014 Diabetes Statistics Report, 29.1 million A Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Low Blood Sugar - Self-care

Diabetes - Low Blood Sugar - Self-care

Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia. A blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) is low and can harm you. A blood sugar level below 54 mg/dL (3.0 mmol/L) is cause for immediate action. You are at risk for low blood sugar if you have diabetes and are taking any of the following diabetes medicines: Insulin Glyburide (Micronase), glipizide (Glucotrol), glimepiride (Amaryl), repaglinide (Prandin), or nateglinide (Starlix) Chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolazamide (Tolinase), acetohexamide (Dymelor), or tolbutamide (Orinase) Know how to tell when your blood sugar is getting low. Symptoms include: Weakness or feeling tired Shaking Sweating Headache Hunger Feeling uneasy, nervous, or anxious Feeling cranky Trouble thinking clearly Double or blurry vision Fast or pounding heartbeat Sometimes your blood sugar may be too low even if you do not have symptoms. If it gets too low, you may: Faint Have a seizure Go into a coma Talk with your health care provider about when you should check your blood sugar every day. People who have low blood sugar need to check their blood sugar more often. The most common causes of low blood sugar are: Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine Skipping meals Waiting too long after taking your medicine to eat your meals Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you Not checking your blood sugar or not adjusting your insulin dose before exercising Drinking alcohol Preventing low blood sugar is better than having to treat it. Always have a source of fast-acting sugar with you. When you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Make sure you have snacks with you. Talk to your provider about r 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 >>

More in blood sugar