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How Low Is Too Low For Your Blood Sugar?

Hypoglycemia Alert: How Low Is Your Blood Sugar?

Hypoglycemia Alert: How Low Is Your Blood Sugar?

Are you feeling shaky and weak? Nervous and sweating for no apparent reason? It could be hypoglycemia – low blood sugar – a symptom, just like fever, that signals something is wrong with your health. When it comes to the early signs of hypoglycemia, and what causes hypoglycemia, diabetics already have an understanding of the condition. They know they have to keep their blood sugar in the healthy range because their body either can’t produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) to handle sugar in the body, or they can’t use insulin effectively – they’re insulin-resistant (type 2 diabetes). However, hypoglycemia, also commonly called low blood glucose, can happen to people who aren’t diabetic. So it’s important to understand the symptoms of hypoglycemia and if you’re at risk. But let’s take a look at why your body needs sugar in the first place. Need for blood sugar control When we think sugar, we think the fine crystals of sugar or sugar cubes we put in our coffee, tea or baking. But the sugar our body depends on is glucose from the carbohydrates we consume – the natural sugar in fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains, for example. The cells in the body use sugar from carbohydrates for energy. Glucose is absolutely necessary for survival. The body’s insulin, normally made in the pancreas, breaks the sugar down so the cells can take it in and use it. When insulin manages sugar control, it helps keep the levels of sugar in the blood from getting too high. High levels are also problematic. Levels that are too high can cause severe dehydration and, over time, excess sugar in the body will damage organs such as your eyes, heart and nervous system. But what about levels that are too low in hypoglycemia? Just as serious, if you ignore the symptoms, you could lose con 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 >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Symptoms

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 >>

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

The Facts Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too low. Normally, your body keeps your blood glucose within a concentration range of 4.0 mmol/L to 8.0 mmol/L (about 70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL). In order to do this, the body has mechanisms that involve the hormone insulin, which is made by the pancreas, as well as several other hormones. When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas responds by releasing insulin to encourage the movement of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. Insulin lowers the amount of glucose in your blood by signalling the cells in the body to use the glucose as fuel. Your body uses glucose as its main fuel. The brain requires a constant supply of blood glucose and will signal the adrenal glands to release two hormones called adrenaline and cortisol whenever blood glucose levels are low. The adrenaline and cortisol then signal the liver to convert the carbohydrates it stores (from the foods we eat) into glucose and release it into the bloodstream. The pancreas is also involved in raising blood glucose levels if they fall too low. When blood sugar is low, the pancreas releases the hormone glucagon, which increases blood sugar by signalling the liver to convert stored carbohydrates into glucose and to create new glucose molecules from other substances (such as amino acids) in the liver. If these mechanisms don't work properly, the blood glucose remains too low and the brain won't be able to function normally. Causes Hypoglycemia can be caused by medications. Medication-related hypoglycemia occurs most commonly in people who have diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes (a type of diabetes where the pancreas does not make insulin). In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes it can occur when someone is given too much insulin or other Continue reading >>

What Is Low Blood Sugar?

What Is Low Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar is considered to be too low if it is lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 4 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). If low blood sugar is not treated right away, you could pass out, have a seizure, go into a coma, or even die. When you have diabetes, it’s important to watch your blood sugar level closely. This is especially important if you are newly diagnosed and are learning how to regulate your medicine (if any), diet, and exercise. Regular testing of your blood sugar, as recommended by your healthcare provider, may allow you to detect and treat low blood sugar before it causes serious symptoms. You may be able to prevent ever having low blood sugar. The medical term for low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. If you are taking insulin, very low blood sugar is sometimes called an insulin reaction or insulin shock. What is the cause? Low blood sugar is usually a side effect of diabetes treatment. It can also result from medicines or other conditions or diseases. When you have diabetes, low blood sugar can be caused by too much insulin or other diabetes medicine. If you are using insulin, it may happen because: You have accidentally used too much or the wrong type of insulin. Your insulin is no longer good because it has expired or was not stored properly. You have an insulin pump that is not working properly. Some other things that can cause abnormally low blood sugar when you have diabetes are: Exercising more than usual Skipping or delaying meals or snacks Having a meal or snack that is too small Dieting to lose weight Not taking diabetes medicines at the right time Side effects of other medicines Drinking alcohol Diarrhea or vomiting Low blood sugar from these other causes is usually not as low and not as dangerous as low blood sugar caused by too much Continue reading >>

Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?

Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?

back to Overview Know-how Type 2 A tag-team approach on low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. Markus recently wrote an article on our German language blog talking about low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. The question (“can I have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes?”) is very common, and it’s easy to see why it’s of concern. So I’ve helped Markus bring his German post to life here in English. I hope it helps! Here’s Markus: Low blood sugar In 2014, results from the DAWN2 study were announced. It was the largest study of its kind (15,000 participants) on the “fears & needs of people with diabetes and their families.” One result stood out: The gravest fears are related to low blood sugars, especially at night. Up to 69% of the participants share this fear! So! Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? Yes! Of course! But let’s think about who exactly is at risk – and why. It’s common to think: Type 1 diabetes = at risk for lows Type 2 diabetes = not at risk for lows But that isn’t correct at all, so we should wipe it from our mind. So… what do I need to know? Maybe it’s more accurate to say that people with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows. We’re getting closer! But to get to the truth, we should take a look at someone without diabetes. Is it possible for them to have lows, too? Theoretically yes, especially if doing long-lasting physical activities without proper food intake. Additionally, extreme stress and binge drinking are also common causes of low blood sugar for people without diabetes. However, it’s pretty rare because as soon as BG’s drop below 80 mg/dl (4.4 mmol/L), the natural counterregulatory system kicks in, raising blood sugar back to normal levels. I’ve never exp Continue reading >>

7 Signs You Have Low Blood Sugar

7 Signs You Have Low Blood Sugar

“Low blood sugar” is one of those terms we’ve all heard thrown around a bunch but probably don’t know much about. It’s understandable that you’d feel a little cranky when a last-minute work meeting or general busyness forces you to push back a meal. But how do you know if you're annoyed due to low blood sugar or if your irritability is due to regular old hanger? “This is a topic that actually comes up quite a bit for me with patients and clients,” Jessica Cording, a New York-based R.D., tells SELF. Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, happens when levels of your blood glucose—an important energy source for your body—drop below normal, according to the National Institutes of Health. “Because our bodies require glucose for fuel, maintaining a steady stream of blood glucose is critical to keep your body functioning,” Karen Ansel, R.D.N., co-author of The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life, tells SELF. We get our glucose from food, which explains why someone may complain that they have low blood sugar when they haven’t eaten recently. But along with not having enough to eat, certain medications or overdoing it with alcohol can cause low blood sugar in otherwise healthy people, Ansel says. Those people may experience symptoms like feeling shaky, irritable, or weak, says Cording, who notes that people can also feel anxious, start sweating, or become confused. And people with medical conditions like diabetes or hepatitis are more likely to experience complications from low blood sugar, which can be dangerous for them, Ansel says. “If it gets really severe, you pass out because your body has no energy to do what it needs to do,” says Cording. But chances are that you don't have to worry about low b Continue reading >>

Is Your Blood Sugar Dangerously Low? Symptoms Hiding In Plain Sight

Is Your Blood Sugar Dangerously Low? Symptoms Hiding In Plain Sight

Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, is a condition that occurs when the body’s blood glucose decreases and is too low. Hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl. Hypoglycemia may range from mild to moderate (60-70 mg/dl) with few or no symptoms, to severe hypoglycemia with very low levels of glucose. What Causes Hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of insulin or other types of diabetes medicines that help your body make more insulin. Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes for many reasons. For example, blood glucose can drop if meals are skipped, delayed or are too small; too much insulin or oral medications; increased amounts of exercise or activity; or excessive alcohol consumption. Symptoms and Management of Hypoglycemia Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, sweating, hunger, headache, pale skin color, clumsiness, confusion, change in behavior, and seizure. Untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to unconsciousness and death. If you start to feel one or more of the symptoms of hypoglycemia, check your blood glucose levels. If your blood glucose level is less than 70 mg/dl, eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates right away. Food that will raise your blood glucose rapidly and have about 15 grams of carbohydrate include 2 to 3 glucose tablets, 4 ounces of fruit juice, 4 ounces of regular soda, 1 cup of milk, 5 to 6 pieces of hard candy, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar or honey. Wait 15 minutes and then re-check your blood glucose level. If it is still too low, treat again with another serving. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is at least 70 mg/dl. Join the conversation and share this story If your next meal is more than 1 hour away, have a snack to keep your blood glucose level in you 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 >>

Hypoglycaemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycaemia (low Blood Sugar)

Introduction Hypoglycaemia, or a "hypo", is an abnormally low level of glucose in your blood (less than four millimoles per litre). When your glucose (sugar) level is too low, your body doesn't have enough energy to carry out its activities. Hypoglycaemia is most commonly associated with diabetes, and mainly occurs if someone with diabetes takes too much insulin, misses a meal or exercises too hard. In rare cases, it's possible for a person who doesn't have diabetes to experience hypoglycaemia. It can be triggered by malnutrition, binge drinking or certain conditions, such as Addison's disease. Read more about the causes of hypoglycaemia Symptoms of hypoglycaemia Most people will have some warning that their blood glucose levels are too low, which gives them time to correct them. Symptoms usually occur when blood sugar levels fall below four millimoles (mmol) per litre. Typical early warning signs are feeling hungry, trembling or shakiness, and sweating. In more severe cases, you may also feel confused and have difficulty concentrating. In very severe cases, a person experiencing hypoglycaemia can lose consciousness. It's also possible for hypoglycaemia to occur during sleep, which can cause excess sweating, disturbed sleep, and feeling tired and confused upon waking. Read more about the symptoms of hypoglycaemia Correcting hypoglycaemia The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some food or drink that contains sugar, such as dextrose tablets or fruit juice, to correct your blood glucose levels. After having something sugary, you may need to have a longer-acting "starchy" carbohydrate food, such as a sandwich or a few biscuits. If hypoglycaemia causes a loss of consciousness, an injection of the hormone glucagon can be given to raise blood glucose levels and Continue reading >>

Hypoglycaemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycaemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycaemia, or a ‘hypo’, is having too little glucose (sugar) in your blood (below 4 mmol/L). This can happen for many reasons such as: you have delayed or missed a meal or snack you have exercised more than usual you have diabetes and you have taken too much insulin. If you have a hypo, you might: feel hungry feel sweaty feel weak look pale feel dizzy or light-headed have tingling lips be trembling or shaking. People with a more severe hypo can: be confused find it hard to concentrate feel irritable or nervous behave irrationally or strangely, which can sometimes be mistaken for drunkenness. People with hypos who don’t get treatment can become unconscious. It can be fatal. If you or anyone you are with develops signs of hypoglycaemia, ring Triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. If you or anyone with you has a hypo and becomes unable to swallow, do not try to give them anything to eat or drink. Instead, call Triple zero (000). If the hypo is mild, and the person affected is behaving rationally, here are some things you can do. If your blood glucose level (BGL) is below 4 mmol/L: Step 1 Have 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate, such as: 6-7 jellybeans OR half a can of regular soft drink (not ‘diet’) OR half a glass of fruit juice OR 3 teaspoons of sugar or honey OR glucose tablets equivalent to 15 grams carbohydrate. Step 2 Wait 15 minutes, re-check your blood glucose levels to see if your BGL has risen above 4 mmol/L. If your BGL has risen above 4 mmol/L go to Step 3. If your BGL is still below 4 mmol/L, repeat Step 1. Step 3 Eat a snack or meal with a longer-acting carbohydrate, such as: a slice of bread OR 1 glass of milk OR 1 piece of fruit OR 2-3 pieces of dried apricot, figs or other dried fruit OR 1 tub of natural low-fat yoghurt OR pasta OR ric Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar In Non-diabetics

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 >>

Dealing With Low And High Blood Sugar

Dealing With Low And High Blood Sugar

Having low or high blood sugar doesn't feel the same to everyone. No matter how you feel, most likely you won't feel like your normal self. It's important to get to know how your body feels when your blood sugar is high and when it's starting to get too low. When you start to have these feelings, check your blood sugar right away to make sure it's really too high or dropping too low. That will help you decide what to do to fix it. Low Blood Sugar Common signs of low blood sugar include: Shakiness Sweating Fatigue Hunger pangs Irritability or confusion Faster heartbeat Blurry vision Numbness or tingling in your mouth and lips Causes and solutions The most common reasons people get low blood sugar are: Taking too much diabetes medicine Skipping meals or not eating enough carbohydrates at mealtime Getting more exercise than usual For most people, a blood sugar level under 70 is considered too low. What's too low for you might be different. Ask your doctor how low your blood sugar should be before you need to correct it. To correct low blood sugar, eat or drink a fast-acting carbohydrate right away. Glucose tablets or drinks with sugar are quick and work well. Fruit juice, regular soda (not sugar-free), a ripe banana, or a carbohydrate-containing energy bar (not a protein bar) are some good choices. How much carbohydrate you'll need to correct your low blood sugar depends on how low your blood sugar is. Don't overdo it. Eating more carbohydrate than you need to correct the low can make your blood sugar swing the opposite direction and get too high. You can raise your blood sugar about 50 milligrams per deciliter with 15 grams of fast-acting sugar. Some examples include 4 glucose tablets, 1/2 cup of fruit juice, 6 or 7 Lifesavers candies, or 1/2 cup of regular soda. If it's Continue reading >>

Older Diabetics May Be Pushing Blood Sugar Too Low

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 >>

Type 1 Diabetes Low Blood Sugar Symptoms

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 >>

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