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How Low Of A Blood Sugar Is Dangerous?

> When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

> When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

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: skipping meals and snacks not eating enough food at a meal or snack exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food getting too much insulin 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 example, taking a hot shower 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 >>

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 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 >>

Why Is Low Blood Sugar So Dangerous For People With Diabetes?

Why Is Low Blood Sugar So Dangerous For People With Diabetes?

Q I’m being treated for type 2 diabetes. My doctor warned me about letting my blood sugar get too low. How do I know when that’s happening? And why is it so dangerous? A If you have type 2 diabetes, you hear a lot about how important it is to keep your blood sugar from getting too high. But you also have to keep it from falling too low, a condition known as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is dangerous—and can be fatal. If you experience low blood sugar, you’ll quickly learn to recognize the signs. That’s because your body jumps into action when blood sugar gets low—and triggers symptoms. In very simple terms, it can be said that the whole goal of the body is to provide glucose—that is, sugar—to the brain. Glucose, which comes from the food you eat and is also produced in the liver, is the brain’s only fuel. When the supply runs low, the brain protects itself by triggering a system of hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol and glucagon, to drive the liver to make more. For most people with diabetes, an adrenaline reaction (shaking, sweating, agitation) is the first sign that their blood glucose—often referred to as “blood sugar”—is falling. Usually, they learn to recognize these signs very early and know to eat something with glucose or sugar. The body maintains the blood glucose level within a very narrow range that can be affected by many things, such as exercising without eating, even if you don’t have diabetes. WHEN LOW BLOOD SUGAR IS DANGEROUS If you forget to eat and you feel shaky because your blood sugar has dipped and then feel better after eating a small snack—that’s nothing to worry about. As you learn to manage your diabetes, you’ll learn how to avoid even mild low-blood-sugar episodes, especially if you also use frequent finger 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 >>

A Silent Danger: When Blood Sugar Goes Down While You Were Sleeping

A Silent Danger: When Blood Sugar Goes Down While You Were Sleeping

You've heard it before—how taking a snack at nighttime after dinner may not be such a good idea, what with the weight gain that may come with it. But if you're a diabetic, that nighttime snack may spell the difference between life and death—literally. “The absence of a nighttime snack when one is usually taken is one cause of nocturnal hypoglycemia,” said Dr. Richard Elwyn Fernando, president of Diabetes Philippines and consultant at St. Luke's Medical Center and Capitol Medical Center. Nocturnal hypoglycemia, as the name implies, happens at night. “It occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 4 millimoles per liter (mmol/l) or 72 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). At 40 mg/dl or below, a person can be comatose... In rare cases, it may lead to death,” Fernando said during a media briefing organized by pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk last May 27. What makes it dangerous is that the person, being asleep, is not aware of what is happening and is not able to seek help. This poses a real concern for diabetics and their families, said Fernando. In a previous interview, former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the body needs glucose to function well. “Kailangan ng katawan ang sugar for energy, metabolism,” she told GMA News. When the blood sugar drops to low levels, a person may experience dizziness, weakness and even fainting, Cabral said. There may also be confusion and disorientation. Fernando said hypoglycemia may lead to complications affecting the heart (decreased heart rate, decreased cardiac output, myocardial contractility), blood vessels (stroke, myocardial infarction, acute cardiac failure, ventricular arrythmia), and brain (seizures, convulsions, coma). While hypoglycemia may occur in both diabetics and non-diabetics alike—“kapag gutom Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In Type 1 Diabetes

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In Type 1 Diabetes

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1968, at the age of 8 years old. At the time, there were no fingerstick blood sugars available for use. One had to regulate diabetes by measuring urine sugars, a very imprecise way to monitor blood sugar control. I recently obtained copies of my medical records from that 12-day stay, and found the following comment in the discharge summary: “He had one mild episode of shocking without loss of consciousness or convulsion.” I remember that episode. I could not have known that it was to be the first of hundreds of low blood sugar reactions that I would experience over the next 46 years. Though a hypoglycemia episode is always disruptive and never a pleasant experience, most were mild, ones that I could treat myself. But occasionally they were severe, requiring assistance from family or co-workers, or 911 calls. I was driven to achieve ‘tight control’ and prevent the long-term complications of diabetes, which I have managed to do. But there was a high price. I felt like I was playing a game of Russian roulette with hypoglycemia. I could no longer tell when I was low. Hypoglycemia unawareness had developed. I was fortunate enough to have developed T1D at a time when treatment for it has steadily improved. I started on an insulin pump in January 1982, and that helped me to reduce my frequency of hypoglycemia. The availability of insulin glargine (Lantus) and insulin detemir (Levemir) were great advances over older basal insulins (NPH, lente, ultralente) that had more intense and less predictable peaks, a very real problem at night. While I have not used them, because they became available after I started on a pump, better basal insulins have helped many T1Ds reduce night time hypoglycemia. Faster insulins (insulin lispro/Humalog Continue reading >>

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli 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 >>

Blood Sugar Too High? Blood Sugar Too Low?

Blood Sugar Too High? Blood Sugar Too Low?

If you have diabetes, your blood sugar doesn't call your cell phone and say, "My readings are too high right now." Instead, blood sugar rises slowly and gradually, causing complications that may damage your organs -- heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, feet, and even skin are at risk. Sometimes you wonder, "Is my blood sugar too high? Too low?" because "normal" levels are so important. "Diabetes is not a 'one-size-fits-all' condition, and neither are blood sugar readings. Different targets are established for different populations," says Amber Taylor, M.D., director of the Diabetes Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Targets may vary depending on a person's age, whether they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and for how long, what medications they're taking, whether they have complications, and, if the patient is a female, whether she is pregnant. "Patients on insulin may need to test more frequently than someone on oral agents," says Taylor. "Those with type 1 diabetes always require insulin, but many with type 2 diabetes also need it." Target Blood Sugar Levels If you have diabetes, these are target "control" blood glucose levels, using a rating of milligrams to deciliter, or mg/dl: Blood sugar levels before meals (preprandial): 70 to 130 mg/dL Blood sugar levels one to two hours after the start of a meal (postprandial): less than 180 mg/dL Blood sugar levels indicating hypoglycemia or low blood glucose: 70 or below mg/dL Types of Blood Sugar Tests Blood glucose testing can screen, diagnose, and monitor. Glucose is measured either after fasting for eight to ten hours, at a random time, following a meal (postprandial), or as part of an oral glucose challenge or tolerance test. You can compare your levels to these results for specific tests, based on clinical Continue reading >>

Why Is Low Blood Sugar Dangerous?

Why Is Low Blood Sugar Dangerous?

Hypoglycemia is when your body does not release glucose stored in your liver to raise your blood sugar. This is your body's main source of energy. The brain needs sugar to do its job properly. So signs that your blood sugar level is too low can include dizziness, being easily confused, having blurred or double vision, and passing out. Hypoglycemia isn't a disease. It indicates another health problem, and is most often caused by side effects from diabetes medications. Other causes of hypoglycemia include kidney and liver illnesses, eating disorders and drinking a lot of alcohol without eating. Eating or drinking something with carbohydrates can help raise the blood sugar and stop the symptoms. You can also take glucose pills. If you pass out, it's important to get immediate medical treatment. 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 >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

What Is Hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia may be described as low levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This is commonly seen in people who are diabetic, and their blood sugar levels fall too low - either because they took their medications and did not eat properly, or the dosage of medication is too high for them. Normal blood Glucose (sugar) levels are 60-110 mg/dL. Normal values may vary from laboratory to laboratory. Levels much lower than these can indicate hypoglycemia. Causes of Hypoglycemia: Causes of hypoglycemia may include: Excessive exercise, or lack of food intake Certain forms of alcohol may cause low blood sugar levels Certain kinds of tumors, affecting the pancreas (insulinomas) After stomach surgery People with kidney failure, who are on dialysis, may experience hypoglycemia. If you have liver disease, you may be at risk for hypoglycemia. You may have problems with your thyroid, adrenal, or pituitary glands. You may not be absorbing food that you eat very well, thus resulting in hypoglycemia. Symptoms of Hypoglycemia: You may feel sweaty, shaky or hungry. You may feel faint. Extremely low blood sugar levels may cause you to be confused, or disoriented. Severely low levels of blood sugar may cause coma. You may have a fast heartbeat, or feel palpitations. Things You Can Do About Hypoglycemia: If you are experiencing low blood sugar levels as a result of your treatment of diabetes, your healthcare provider may instruct you on the use of close blood sugar monitoring during this time. Follow all of your healthcare provider's instructions. Try to exercise. Low blood sugar levels are often temporary. If you are diabetic, you will have high blood sugars as well. Make a daily walk either alone, or with a friend or family member a part of your routine. Even light wal Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by low blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. Carbohydrates, such as rice, potatoes, bread, cereal, fruit and sweets, are the major source of glucose in our diet. The ideal range of fasting morning blood sugar is 70 to 99 mg/dL (milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood). Blood sugar levels under 70 mg/dL are too low and are considered unhealthy. Hypoglycemia may be a condition by itself, or may be a complication of diabetes or another disorder. It’s most often seen as a complication of diabetes. This is sometimes referred to as insulin reaction. Hypoglycemia can happen quickly. In adults and children older than age 10, hypoglycemia is uncommon except as a potential side effect of diabetes treatment. What causes hypoglycemia? Causes of hypoglycemia in people with diabetes may include the following: Too much medicine, such as diabetes medicines A missed meal A delayed meal Too little food eaten as compared to the amount of insulin or other medicine taken Other causes of hypoglycemia are rare, but may happen in early pregnancy, after strenuous exercise, or during prolonged fasting. Hypoglycemia may also result from abusing alcohol, or other rare causes, such as a tumor that makes insulin. What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia? The following are the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms include: Shakiness Dizziness Sweating Hunger and nausea Headache Irritability Pale skin color Sudden moodiness or behavior changes, such as crying for no apparent reason Clumsy or jerky movements Difficulty paying attention, or confusion Tingling sensations around the mouth Rapid heartbeat Blurred or impaired vision Continue reading >>

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