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What Happens When A Person's Blood Sugar Drops?

Effects And Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar Levels

Effects And Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar Levels

One of the side effects of diabetes suffered by many individuals is low blood sugar. In the case of diabetes the body is not able to process blood sugar or glucose which subsequently damages bodily systems and organs. The treatment for low glucose levels is to use oral hypoglycemic or injectable insulin which assists the body in producing energy by drawing glucose into the cellular system. The insulin or oral hypoglycemic medications require that the individual have a enough blood sugar upon which it will work. In some cases an individual will also have a condition that is known as “brittle” or hard to control diabetes. These individuals find that they have problems with low blood sugar and high blood sugar which happened during both the daytime and night time. Low Blood Sugar Definition Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is the medical term used to describe when blood sugar falls below what the body requires to stay alive. The normal blood sugar range level is between 70 and 99 mg/dL Low blood sugar is defined when the level, measured in mg/dL, falls below 65. When it falls very low, such as below 20, it is considered a dangerous blood sugar level; individuals can get confused, drowsy and even lose consciousness. The blood sugar levels are necessary in order to maintain significant brain activity. If this blood sugar drops during pregnancy it can permanently harmed the baby. Individuals who do not suffer from brittle diabetes can produce low blood sugar by taking too much insulin, not eating enough food, exercise when it wasn’t planned for, drinking too much alcohol or exercising and not eating. Each of these situations causes an environment in the body in which the amount of blood sugar drops and there continues to be insulin present that works on the remaining b 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 >>

Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On The Body

Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On The Body

The Effects of low blood sugar on the Body Every cell in your body needs sugar (glucose) to function. When your blood sugar levels drop too low, your cells become starved for energy. Initially, that can cause minor symptoms, but if you don’t get your blood sugar levels up soon, you’re at risk of serious complications. When your blood sugar (glucose) levels fall below the normal range, it’s called hypoglycemia, or insulin shock. Low blood sugar can happen when you skip a meal. It can also happen if your pancreas releases more insulin than it should after you’ve eaten. The most common reason for low blood sugar is diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough, or your body can’t use it properly. To keep blood sugar levels from rising too much (hyperglycemia), you need the right amount of insulin. With insufficient insulin, your blood sugar levels rise. Too much, and your blood sugar levels can plummet. Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially on an empty stomach. This can interfere with the liver’s ability to release stored glucose into your bloodstream. Hepatitis and other problems with your liver can also lead to low blood sugar. Other causes include kidney disorders, anorexia nervosa, a pancreatic tumor, or adrenal gland disorders. There are a variety of symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to be sure what your blood glucose levels are is by taking a blood glucose test. Generally, blood sugar levels below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered too low, according to the American Diabetes Association. If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels often. Low blood sugar can come on quickly Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar From Insulin

Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar From Insulin

Introduction Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs in people with diabetes when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. If your blood sugar drops very low (usually below 2.8 mmol/L) and you do not get help, you could become confused or drowsy or even lose consciousness and possibly die. Low blood sugar can develop if you take too much insulin, do not eat enough food or skip meals, exercise without eating enough, or drink too much alcohol (especially on an empty stomach). You can usually treat mild-and sometimes moderate-low blood sugar by eating something that contains sugar. You should teach your friends and co-workers what to do if your blood sugar is very low. How to deal with low blood sugar emergencies Here are some ways you can manage low blood sugar. Be prepared Always be prepared for the possibility of having a low blood sugar level. Keep some glucose or sucrose tablets or solution or quick-sugar foods with you at all times. Quick-sugar foods are foods you need to eat to raise your blood sugar. Know the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, blurred vision, and confusion. Post a list of the symptoms where you will see it often, and carry a copy in your wallet or purse. Add any symptoms you have noticed that may not be on the list. Be sure that your partner (and others) knows your early symptoms, including the signs of low blood sugar at night. Wear medical identification. Always wear medical identification, such as a medical alert bracelet, to let people know that you have diabetes. In case your blood sugar drops very low and you need help, people will know that you have diabetes and will get help for you if necessary. Keep glucagon on hand. If you become unconscious when your blood sugar is very low, 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 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 >>

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 >>

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

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 >>

Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar - Topic Overview

Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar - Topic Overview

You may have these symptoms when your blood sugar has dropped below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). When you have had diabetes for many years, you may not always develop symptoms of mild low blood sugar. Some young children with diabetes cannot recognize symptoms of low blood sugar. Others can, but not every time. To be safe, the parents need to do a home blood sugar test whenever they suspect low blood sugar in a child. Symptoms may include: Sweating (almost always present). Check for sweating on the back of your neck at your hairline. Nervousness, shakiness, and weakness. A fast heartbeat and feeling anxious. These symptoms may go away shortly after you eat food that contains sugar. If your blood sugar continues to drop (below 40 mg/dL), your behavior may change. Symptoms may include: Inability to concentrate. Confusion and irritability. Slurred speech. Unsteadiness when standing or walking. Personality changes, such as anger or crying. Symptoms of severe low blood sugar (usually below 20 mg/dL) include: If your blood sugar drops while you are sleeping, your partner or other family members may notice that you are sweating and behaving differently. Signs of low blood sugar at night (nocturnal hypoglycemia) include: Restlessness. Making unusual noises. Attempting to get out of bed or accidentally rolling out of bed. Sweating. You may wake up with a headache in the morning if your blood sugar was low during the night. Some people have no symptoms of low blood sugar. The only symptom you may have is confusion. Or you may become unconscious before anyone realizes you have low blood sugar. You may have hypoglycemic unawareness if you: Cannot tell by your symptoms that your blood sugar is low. Have low blood sugar several times a week. Have type 1 diabetes, or have had Continue reading >>

Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low After Physical Activity?

Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low After Physical Activity?

Low blood glucose is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl if your meter measures whole blood, or 80 mg/dl or below if it measures plasma glucose (a plasma blood glucose of 90 mg/dl or below with symptoms is also a sign of hypoglycemia). One of the most common causes of low blood glucose is too much physical activity. In fact, moderate to intense exercise may cause your blood glucose to drop for the next 24 hours following exercise. This post-exercise hypoglycemia is often referred to as the "lag effect" of exercise. Basically, when you exercise, the body uses two sources of fuel, sugar and free fatty acids (that is, fat) to generate energy. The sugar comes from the blood, the liver and the muscles. The sugar is stored in the liver and muscle in a form called glycogen. During the first 15 minutes of exercise, most of the sugar for fuel comes from either the blood stream or the muscle glycogen, which is converted back to sugar. After 15 minutes of exercise, however, the fuel starts to come more from the glycogen stored in the liver. After 30 minutes of exercise, the body begins to get more of its energy from the free fatty acids. As a result, exercise can deplete sugar levels and glycogen stores. The body will replace these glycogen stores but this process may take 4 to 6 hours, even 12 to 24 hours with more intense activity. During this rebuilding of glycogen stores, a person with diabetes can be at higher risk for hypoglycemia. Here are tips for safe exercising. Guidelines for preventing exercise related hypoglycemia Check your blood glucose before exercising to make sure your blood glucose is sufficient and/or consume an appropriate snack. Avoid exercise at the peak of your insulin action. Avoid late evening exercise. Exercise should be completed 2 hours bef 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 >>

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 >>

What Happens When Blood Sugar Drops?

What Happens When Blood Sugar Drops?

Glucose regulation in the body is complex with contributions from many different systems. These multiple controls are designed to keep a steady supply of glucose to the brain. Brain metabolism depends primarily on glucose for fuel. If the amount of glucose supplied by the blood falls, the brain is one of the first organs affected. There are a number of mechanisms that tightly regulate (outside of a disease state) the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream. When there is a plentiful supply of glucose (such as after a carbohydrate-containing meal), glucose is absorbed from the intestine, and the level of blood glucose (sugar) rises. Glucose is removed from the blood stream by uptake into virtually all cell types, but most importantly into muscle and adipose (fat) tissue. This removal requires insulin. Insulin, which is released from the pancreas, acts to decrease the level of glucose in the blood by signalling these cells to pick up and store glucose. Insulin also inhibits breakdown of glycogen (glycogenolysis) and formation of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (gluconeogenesis). The central nervous system can also sense glucose levels and act to affect the blood sugar levels, at least in part by regulating gluconeogenesis. The importance of an adequate supply of glucose to the brain is apparent from the number of nervous, hormonal and metabolic responses to a falling glucose level (1). Most of these are defensive or adaptive, tending to raise the blood sugar via Glycogenolysis - breaking down of glycogen, a polymer of glucose molecules, stored in the liver and muscle. If the blood sugar level falls too low the liver converts a storage of glycogen into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream, to prevent the person going into a diabetic coma, for a short per Continue reading >>

All About Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

All About Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia refers to an abnormally low level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Hypoglycemia is not a disease in itself, it is a sign of a health problem. The brain uses a lot of energy and needs glucose to function. Because the brain cannot store or manufacture glucose, it needs a continuous supply. Signs of low blood sugar include hunger, trembling, heart racing, nausea, and sweating. Hypoglycemia is commonly linked with diabetes, but many other conditions can also cause low blood sugar. This article will discuss the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hypoglycemia, and the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. We will also look at how to prevent it. Here are some key points about hypoglycemia. More detail is in the main article. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a symptom of another condition. Early symptoms include hunger, sweating, and trembling. A common cause is diabetes. Alcohol abuse and kidney disorders can also lower blood sugar levels. What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is a condition where there is not enough glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Levels of blood sugar are below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL). Adults and children with mild hypoglycemia may experience the following early symptoms: hunger tremor or trembling sweating irritability a pale face heart palpitations accelerated heart rate tingling lips dizziness weakness Severe hypoglycemia is sometimes called diabetic shock. It may involve: concentration problems confusion irrational and disorderly behavior, similar to intoxication inability to eat or drink Complications If a person does not take action when symptoms of hypoclycemia appear, it can lead to: A person who regularly experiences hypoglycemia may become unaware that it is happening. They will not notice the warning signs, and this can lea Continue reading >>

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