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What Should You Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too Low?

When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High Or Too Low

When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High Or Too Low

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your blood sugar in the range your doctor has advised, it can be too high or too low. Blood sugar that is too high or too low can make you very sick. Here's how to handle these emergencies. What You Need to Know about High Blood Sugar If your blood sugar stays over 240, it is too high. High blood sugar usually comes on slowly. It happens when you don't have enough insulin in your body. High blood sugar can happen if you miss taking your diabetes medicine, eat too much, or don't get enough exercise. Sometimes, medicines you take for other problems may cause high blood sugar. Be sure to tell your doctor about other medicines you take. This chart shows the ranges of blood sugar. Having an infection or being sick or under stress can also make your blood sugar too high. That is why it is very important to test your blood and keep taking your medicine (insulin or diabetes pills) when you have an infection or are sick. Your blood sugar may be too high if you are very thirsty and tired, have blurry vision, are losing weight fast, and have to go to the bathroom often. Very high blood sugar may make you feel sick to your stomach, faint, or throw up. It can cause you to lose too much fluid from your body. Testing your blood sugar often, especially when you are sick, will warn you that your blood sugar may be rising too high. If your blood sugar stays over 300 when you check it two times in a row, call your doctor. You may need a change in your insulin shots or diabetes pills, or a change in your meal plan. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result in hypoglycemia. Please see important risk and sa Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Low Blood Sugar - Self-care

Diabetes - Low Blood Sugar - Self-care

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

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 >>

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 >>

When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

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

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of sugar in the blood is too low. It can also be called insulin shock or insulin reaction. Hypoglycemia is when the level of sugar in the blood is below 60 mg/dl. Check with your doctor or nurse to find out what blood sugar level is too low for you. Causes Taking too much insulin or oral medication Not eating all of your meals and snacks or delaying meals and snacks Doing more exercise than usual Onset Hypoglycemia can occur at any time. It is more likely to occur at peak times of insulin actions. It may occur during or after increased activity. It is more likely if you are late eating your food or reduce the amount that you eat. Signs and Symptoms Sweating Shaking Nervousness Hunger Dizziness Faintness Pounding heart Personality change Confused thinking Impatience Crankiness Numbness of lips and tongue Headache Blurred Vision Slurred or slow speech Convulsions Unconsciousness Treatment Immediately eat or drink something containing "quick acting" sugar. Some possibilities are: 1/2 to 3/4 cup fruit juice 1/2 to 3/4 cup regular soda pop 2-3 teaspoons sugar 10 gumdrops 5-7 lifesavers 2 tablespoons of raisins Over-the-counter sugar tablets or gel If your symptoms do not disappear in 15 minutes and/or your blood sugar remains less than 80, repeat the treatment. Repeat every 15 minutes until the blood sugar is greater than 80. If a reaction occurs at a time when you do not plan to eat your next meal or snack for more than 30 minutes, eat food containing starch and protein after you have taken a "quick acting" sugar source and begin to feel better. Foods containing starch and protein are necessary to help prevent another reaction. Examples of appropriate snacks may be: 6 saltine crackers 3 graham crackers 1/2 meat sandwich 1 slice toast and 1 Continue reading >>

What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low

What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low

If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may be at risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Without quick attention, hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications, so it’s important to know what to do if it happens to you. “In very severe cases, it can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness,” says Marilyn Tan, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford Health Care. It's possible to have hypoglycemia but have no symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). On the other hand, symptoms can also come on rapidly. While symptoms vary from person to person, if you have mild to moderate low blood sugar you may: Feel shaky or jittery Sweat a lot Be very hungry Have a headache or be lightheaded Turn pale Have trouble concentrating Have heart palpitations Be irritable or combative Have blurred vision or see double “Some people feel tingling or numbness in their extremities too,” says Rodolfo Galindo, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of the Hospital Diabetes Service at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West hospitals in New York City. Your Hypoglycemia Action Plan If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, it’s important to take action. Start with these steps: Test your blood sugar. If you recognize any of these symptoms and believe your blood sugar may be too low, the first step you should take is to test your blood sugar with your glucose meter, Dr. Tan says. Anything less than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) is considered low blood sugar, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM). However, target levels Continue reading >>

What To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too Low

What To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too Low

You'll need to test your blood sugar if you think you have hypoglycemia.(ARTIGA PHOTO/CORBIS)Although type 2 diabetes is characterized by blood sugar that is too high, some people take insulin and others medications (such as sulfonylureas) that can occasionally drive blood sugar too low. When blood sugar is too lowgenerally less than 70 mg/dLit's called hypoglycemia, and it can become a medical emergency. (The normal range for fasting blood sugar is 70 to 99 mg/dL, though it varies somewhat with age, and is lower during pregnancy and in children.) You can lose consciousness Hypoglycemia is more likely to occur when you start taking a new medication (it can take practice to match your food intake to your insulin dose, for example) or if you exercise more than usual. As blood sugar drops to low levels, you may feel: Shaky Irritable Sweaty This can occur within 10 to 15 minutes, and in extreme cases you can even lose consciousness and experience seizures if you don't consume some glucose (though hypoglycemia is usually mild in people with type 2 diabetes, and readily fixed by drinking juice or eating other sugar-containing items, such as glucose tablets or four to six pieces of hard candy). Hypoglycemia"My blood sugar was really plummeting" Watch videoMore about blood sugar monitoring You'll need to test your blood sugar to confirm that you're having hypoglycemiasome people become irritable if blood sugar is too high, so it's not always obvious. If you drink sugar-containing juice, or some other form of carbohydrate, it should bring blood sugar back into the normal range. You can also purchase glucose pills or gels in the pharmacy that can get blood sugar back on track. “You should always have a glucose source in the car,” says Yvonne Thigpen, RD, diabetes program coor Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar

5 Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar

There are many ways I have treated a low blood glucose (BG) over the 10 plus years I have lived with type 1 diabetes, and I’ve determined how quickly my body reacts to particular items. Depending on my low, I use a different item to treat it, but always aim for 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrates. For example, if my blood sugar is beginning to trend low, then I will treat with candy, but if my blood sugar is already low (below 70 mg/dL for myself), I will treat with juice. However, I always try to be prepared and have either candy, juice, or glucose tabs with me at all times. Below are five different ways I treat a low blood sugar. 1. Hard Candy When I receive a Low Predicted Alert from my MiniMed 530G that my blood sugar is beginning to trend low, I will grab hard candy, such as a bag of Skittles, and eat about 15 pieces. Over my 10+ years of living with type 1 diabetes, I have been able to estimate the amount of Skittles needed to raise my blood sugar to my desired levels. I prefer using hard candy to help treat a low because they are easy to carry and store. For example, my wife always carries a small ziplock bag full of them in her purse. That way, no matter where we are, if a low blood sugar hits, I am prepared. I also take a small bag with me whenever I travel, golf, attend meetings, etc. 2. Juice Juice is my preferred method of treating a low when my blood sugar levels have gone below 70 mg/dL and are trending low. I prefer this method because it is fast acting for me. For example, in the middle of the night, if I have a low blood sugar and wake up from the Threshold Suspend alarm, I know I need glucose fast, so will drink a half cup of orange juice, apple juice, or any other type of juice we have in the house at that particular time. Also, if I am going to b Continue reading >>

Is Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia) Dangerous?

Is Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia) Dangerous?

Low blood glucose or hypoglycemia is one of the most common problems associated with insulin treatment, but it can also happen to people with diabetes taking pills. In general, hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl. Low blood glucose is usually unpleasant, with the most common symptoms including feeling shaky, sweaty and having one's heart pound. The most common reasons for hypoglycemia are too much diabetes medicine, too little food or a delayed meal, or too much or unplanned activity. A less common, but occasional cause for hypoglycemia, is drinking alcoholic beverages. Most hypoglycemia is mild with recognizable symptoms. If quickly and appropriately treated, it is more of an inconvenience than a cause for alarm. However, severe hypoglycemia that causes mental confusion, antagonistic behaviors, unconsciousness, or seizures is a reason for alarm. We define severe hypoglycemia as the point at which you are not able to independently treat yourself. It is dangerous and to be avoided! Not because hypoglycemia, in itself, is fatal. That is very, very rare. What is dangerous is what might happen as a result of the hypoglycemia. The biggest danger is a motor vehicle accident caused, for example, by passing out at the wheel, swerving into on-coming traffic, hitting a tree, or running stop signs. Sometimes people are seriously injured in other types of accidents related to hypoglycemia, such as falling down stairs. It is equally important to avoid unconsciousness and seizures caused by hypoglycemia, not only because of the increased risk for accidents, but because of the potential for brain damage related to repeated severe hypoglycemia. Guidelines for managing hypoglycemia Recognize symptoms (physical, emotional, mental) and that these symptoms are v Continue reading >>

What To Eat When You Have Low Blood Sugar

What To Eat When You Have Low Blood Sugar

When your blood sugar dips, it can leave you feeling hungry, shaky, and lightheaded. This can happen to anyone who hasn’t eaten in several hours. When blood sugar drops below normal levels, it’s called hypoglycemia. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening complication of diabetes medication, other health problems like infection, or inadequate caloric intake. You can lower your chances of low blood sugar—and treat it when it occurs—with some simple steps. Know the Symptoms Sugar, or glucose, is a key source of energy for the body. When blood sugar drops, you may get these symptoms: Hunger Shakiness Sweating Dizziness Lightheadedness Confusion Anxiety Feeling tired or sleepy Headache What You Can Do Most of the sugar or glucose in your blood comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches in grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, milk and milk products, honey, and sugar. If you don’t have diabetes and you’re feeling the unpleasant effects of a drop in blood sugar, eat or drink something with carbohydrates. Good choices are a piece of fruit, a few whole wheat crackers, a glass of milk, or a carton of yogurt. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can come on suddenly and needs to be treated right away so it doesn’t get worse. Eat or drink a quickly digested carbohydrate food, such as: ½ cup fruit juice ½ cup of a regular soft drink (not a diet soda) 1 cup of milk 5 or 6 hard candies 4 or 5 saltine crackers 2 tablespoons of raisins 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar or honey 3 or 4 glucose tablets or a serving of glucose gel Each of these choices provides about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Wait for 15 or 20 minutes, then check your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. If your blood sugar is still low, have another portion of carb 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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