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What Level Is Too Low For Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Diabetes In Pregnancy: Low Blood Sugar

Diabetes In Pregnancy: Low Blood Sugar

How Can I Get Low Blood Sugar? You can get a low blood sugar (blood glucose) if you... Delay a meal Skip a meal or snack Eat too little Take too much insulin Exercise more than usual Drink alcohol without eating (drinking is not advised during pregnancy How will I Feel if My Blood Sugar is Low? Symptoms of low blood glucose are... Headache Dizziness Drowsiness Cold sweat Difficulty concentrating Pounding heart Difficulty talking Tingling of mouth Irritability Extreme hunger What Should I Do if My Blood Glucose Might Be Low? Sit down - Get help if available. Test your blood sugar - If your blood glucose is less than 70, eat or drink 15gms of carbohydrate (see below) or take 3 glucose tabs. Retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes - If your blood glucose has not increased at least 20 points, consume another 15 grams of carbohydrate. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until blood sugar is 70 or more (x2). Continue to monitor how you feel and retest your blood sugar as indicated. The Following Foods Have About 15 Grams of Fast-Acting Carbohydrates: 3-4 glucose tablets (with water) 1 tube glucose gel 1/2 cup fruit juice 1/3 cup regular JELL-O® (not diet) 1 tablespoon honey or sugar 1 tablespoon jam or jelly (not diet) 1/2 cup regular soda (not diet) 6 Life Savers® 4 Starbursts® 1 cup fat-free milk Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar

Low Blood Sugar

South Eastern Florida Regional Diabetes Program Diabetes Education Service 1450 Northwest 10th Avenue, Miami FL, 33136 Phone: 305â€243â€3696  Fax:305â€243â€5791 © 2009 H ypoglycemia or a ‘hypo’ means having a blood sugar level below 70mg/dL and usually only occurs in people who take certain tablets or injectable medication to treat  their diabetes. Hypoglycemia is usually avoidable, however, it is important that if you do experience a low blood sugar level, you know how to recognize and importantly treat the situation. Prevention of low blood sugar levels is the primary goal.   What are the Symptoms of Hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia The “Rule of 15†Blood sugar less than 70mg/dl 15 grams quick acting carbs (Glucose tablets, juice, regular soda, or candy) Recheck blood sugar in 15 minutes Repeat 15 grams of quick acting carbs until blood sugar is above 70 mg/dl There are two stages of symptoms or signs associated with low blood sugars:  These first stage symptoms are our safety symptoms that warn us of low blood sugar levels. It is important to listen and respond to these symptoms. They usually occur with blood sugar levels between 55 – 70mg/dl. If you have had elevated blood sugar levels above 200mg/dl for a period of time, you may feel low at normal blood sugar levels of 80 – 100mg/dL.   These second sta 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 >>

> 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 >>

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 >>

What Makes Blood Sugar Levels Get Low?

What Makes Blood Sugar Levels Get Low?

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is uncommon in persons without diabetes. In otherwise healthy adults, fasting (lack of food) is the most common cause of low blood sugars. Medications such as insulin and drugs like alcohol are other primary culprits. Adults who are critically ill can also develop low blood sugars. In rare instances, hormonal disorders or tumors can be the problem. If for any reason you believe you are having symptoms related to low blood sugar that do not improve after eating, see a doctor for help. Hypoglycemia occurs for a variety of different reasons. Certain medications may cause hypoglycemia like insulin taken to lower the blood sugar in people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, your eating, exercising, and medication must be carefully balanced to keep your blood sugar within the normal range. Too much exercise or not enough food, relative to your medication, can cause low blood sugar. In people who do not have diabetes, certain medications, drinking alcoholic beverages, eating disorders, and tumors can cause hypoglycemia. Problems with your liver, kidneys, or the endocrine system may cause hypoglycemia. Sometimes hypoglycemia may occur when the body makes too much insulin in response to eating. A tendency toward hypoglycemia can be hereditary, but dietary carbohydrates usually play a central role in its cause, prevention, and treatment. Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, are quickly absorbed by the body, resulting in a rapid elevation in blood sugar level; this stimulates a corresponding excessive elevation in serum insulin levels, which can then lead to hypoglycemia. Insulin is the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugar by taking sugar out of the blood and putting it into cells. High levels of insulin mean low levels of blood glucose. Normal Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar In Cats

Low Blood Sugar In Cats

The body needs glucose to maintain its energy levels, which are necessary for the body’s organs, cells and various symptoms to carry out their daily functions. If a cat’s blood sugar levels drop, most cells can absorb fatty acids from the reserve located in the liver. However, the brain is a unique organ that cannot take glucose from anywhere else in the body, other than what is carried in by the blood. Therefore, when blood sugar levels drop, the brain quickly loses vital fuel and can no longer function at full capacity, resulting in weakness, sleepiness, disorientation as well as coma. Low blood sugar in cats is a life-threatening condition, especially to juvenile kittens, so immediate professional care by a licensed veterinarian is vital. Low blood sugar in cats is a symptom of an underlying disease that is causing the feline’s blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low levels. Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, is commonly caused by diabetes, but can also be the result of other health conditions affecting the body’s blood glucose (blood sugar) regulators. The symptoms of low blood sugar in cats, even in the warning stage, are easy to detect and often unsettling to cat owners. A cat with hypoglycemia is quickly losing brain power, resulting in neurologic disorders and an increased appetite as the body relies on food consumption for an energy supply. Depending on how low the feline’s blood sugar levels have dropped, symptoms could be mild to severe. Mild Low Blood Sugar Lethargy Drowsiness Pupil dilation Tachypnea (breathing rapidly) Palpitations of the heart Nervousness Nausea Appetite increase Moderate Low Blood Sugar Poor coordination Tremors Shaking Tilting of the head Weakness Disorientation Severe Low Blood Sugar Coma Seizures Death Low blood Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Range

Blood Sugar Range

Glucose, a form of sugar, is the body's main fuel. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when blood levels of glucose drop too low to fuel the body's activity. Carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are the body's main dietary sources of glucose. During digestion, the glucose is absorbed into the blood stream (hence the term "blood sugar"), which carries it to every cell in the body. Unused glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen. Hypoglycemia can occur as a complication of diabetes, as a condition in itself, or in association with other disorders. Blood Sugar Range The normal range for blood sugar is about 60 mg/dL (milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood) to 120 mg/dL, depending on when a person last ate. In the fasting state, blood sugar can occasionally fall below 60 mg/dL and even to below 50 mg/dL and not indicate a serious abnormality or disease. This can be seen in healthy women, particularly after prolonged fasting. Blood sugar levels below 45 mg/dL are almost always associated with a serious abnormality. How Does the Body Control Glucose? The amount of glucose in the blood is controlled mainly by the hormones insulin and glucagon. Too much or too little of these hormones can cause blood sugar levels to fall too low (hypoglycemia) or rise too high (hyperglycemia). Other hormones that influence blood sugar levels are cortisol, growth hormone, and catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine). The pancreas, a gland in the upper abdomen, produces insulin and glucagon. The pancreas is dotted with hormone-producing tissue called the islets of Langerhans, which contain alpha and beta cells. When blood sugar rises after a meal, the beta cells release insulin. The insulin helps glucose enter body cells, lowering blood levels of glucose to the normal range. Wh Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

Low blood sugar, which is called hypoglycemia, means your body does not have enough sugar in the blood to fuel all of your body’s cells. Typically a low blood sugar is defined as anything below 70 mg/dL (3.8 mmol). It is also sometimes called an “insulin reaction” or “insulin shock”. When your blood sugars drops below this level, you may begin to feel a variety of symptoms. As your body runs short on fuel, you may feel shaky, nervous, anxious, or irritable. You may begin to sweat or get the chills. Your heart may race. As your brain operates on less sugar, you may feel confused or delirious or get a headache. Each person feels different low blood sugar symptoms. Some don’t feel any symptoms at all, which is called hypoglycemia unawareness. It is important to learn and recognize your own symptoms. Sometimes, you may feel like you have low blood sugar even when you don’t. This can happen when you have had a high blood sugar for a long-time, such as at diagnosis, and your body is first coming back into the normal range. Although it may feel unpleasant, these symptoms will go away in a week or two and you will feel better than you did when you had high blood sugars all of the time. You may also feel symptoms of low blood sugar when your blood sugar is dropping rapidly. Your body is sensing the rapid loss of sugar for fuel and sending you warning signals. Don’t guess whether or not you have a low blood sugar. It is important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar and confirm before treating it. Studies have shown people are not good at guessing their blood sugars (but often think that they are). According to the American Diabetes Association, if you feel symptoms of low blood sugar and are unable to test your blood sugar, err on the side of Continue reading >>

Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

Diabetes is an ancient disease, but the first effective drug therapy was not available until 1922, when insulin revolutionized the management of the disorder. Insulin is administered by injection, but treatment took another great leap forward in 1956, when the first oral diabetic drug was introduced. Since then, dozens of new medications have been developed, but scientists are still learning how best to use them. And new studies are prompting doctors to re-examine a fundamental therapeutic question: what level of blood sugar is best? Normal metabolism To understand diabetes, you should first understand how your body handles glucose, the sugar that fuels your metabolism. After you eat, your digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars that are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Glucose is far and away the most important of these sugars, and it's an indispensable source of energy for your body's cells. But to provide that energy, it must travel from your blood into your cells. Insulin is the hormone that unlocks the door to your cells. When your blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the beta cells of your pancreas spring into action, pouring insulin into your blood. If you produce enough insulin and your cells respond normally, your blood sugar level drops as glucose enters the cells, where it is burned for energy or stored for future use in your liver as glycogen. Insulin also helps your body turn amino acids into proteins and fatty acids into body fat. The net effect is to allow your body to turn food into energy and to store excess energy to keep your engine running if fuel becomes scarce in the future. A diabetes primer Diabetes is a single name for a group of disorders. All forms of the disease develop when the pancreas is unable to Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning

Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning

There are two reasons why your blood sugar levels may be high in the morning – the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. The dawn phenomenon is the end result of a combination of natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle and can be explained as follows: Your body has little need for insulin between about midnight and about 3:00 a.m. (a time when your body is sleeping most soundly). Any insulin taken in the evening causes blood sugar levels to drop sharply during this time. Then, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose (sugar) to prepare for the upcoming day as well as releases hormones that reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin. All of these events happen as your bedtime insulin dose is also wearing off. These events, taken together, cause your body's blood sugar levels to rise in the morning (at "dawn"). A second cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning might be due to the Somogyi effect (named after the doctor who first wrote about it). This condition is also called "rebound hyperglycemia." Although the cascade of events and end result – high blood sugar levels in the morning – is the same as in the dawn phenomenon, the cause is more "man-made" (a result of poor diabetes management) in the Somogyi effect. There are two potential causes. In one scenario, your blood sugar may drop too low in the middle of the night and then your body releases hormones to raise the sugar levels. This could happen if you took too much insulin earlier or if you did not have enough of a bedtime snack. The other scenario is when your dose of long-acting insulin at bedtime is not enough and you wake up with a high morning blood sugar. How is it determined if the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect is causing the high blood sug Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

Tweet Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL). Whilst many of us think of diabetes as being a problem of high blood sugar levels, the medication some people with diabetes take medication that can also cause their sugar levels to go too low and this can become dangerous. What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of glucose present in the blood falls below a set point: Below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL) Being aware of the early signs of hypoglycemia will allow you to treat your low blood glucose levels quickly - in order to bring them back into the normal range. It is also recommended to make close friends and family aware of the signs of hypoglycemia in case you fail to recognise the symptoms. What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia? The main symptoms associated with hypoglycemia are: Sweating Feeling dizzy Symptoms of hypoglycemia can also include: Being pale Feeling weak Feeling hungry A higher heart rate than usual Blurred vision Confusion Convulsions Loss of consciousness And in extreme cases, coma Who is at risk of hypos? Whilst low blood sugar can happen to anyone, dangerously low blood sugar can occur in people who take the following medication: Sulphopnylureas (such as glibenclamide, gliclazide, glipizide, glimepiride, tolbutamide) Prandial glucose regulators (such as repaglinide, nateglinide) If you are not sure whether your diabetes medication can cause hypos, read the patient information leaflet that comes with each of your medications or ask your doctor. It is important to know whether your diabetes medication puts you at risk of hypos. What are the causes of hypoglycemia? Whilst medication is the main factor involved in hypoglycemia within people with diabetes, a number of other factors can increase the risk of hypos oc 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 >>

Low Blood Sugar Symptoms But Normal Levels

Low Blood Sugar Symptoms But Normal Levels

High blood sugar usually feels bad. Kerri Sparling of the blog Six Until Me said, “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s…replaced your gray matter with sticky jam.” Other people report physical symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, headaches, blurry vision, thirst, and frequent urination. These symptoms often drive people to seek help, which is a good thing. Other people can get used to high sugars. They may feel few or no symptoms. That’s not good, because blood vessel damage is still going on, even if you can’t feel it. If your body gets comfortable with higher blood sugars, normal sugars may start to feel bad. A woman named Angela posted to Diabetes Daily, “I feel so crappy when my [blood sugar] is in the 90s…. That seems to be about 50% of the time. Sometimes I test when I’m feeling GOOD and it’s [much higher]…. I want a low A1C, but I don’t want to feel ‘fuzzy’ all the time either.” What is happening is that Angela’s body adjusted to higher sugars. Now she’s getting tighter control, but she’s not used to it. On another site, diabetes educator Janet Mertz explained, “Because your body is accustomed to the higher levels, the lower numbers may now be perceived as too low…. Your body reacts like you’re having low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)…. It generally takes a couple of weeks for the body to adjust to the new, healthier numbers.” Another person wrote on Yahoo! Answers, “When I was diagnosed, my sugar was over 350. I started metformin and eating very little carbohydrate. My levels dropped to the 150s by the end of the week. I wasn’t anywhere near hypoglycemic, but I felt like I was. I had all the signs — dizziness, shakiness, and weakness. Within a couple of weeks, the symptoms disappeared. Continue reading >>

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