Low Blood Sugar And Chronic Kidney Disease
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician. The most common cause of kidney disease is diabetes. The bodies of people with diabetes do not use the hormone insulin properly or does not make insulin at all, so insulin injections or other diabetes medications are required. Because insulin helps keep the amount of sugar in the blood at a normal level, people with diabetes are at risk for both low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), especially when there are changes in diet, activity or medications. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. Kidney disease and the risk for low blood sugar The greatest risk of low blood sugar occurs in someone who has both chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes. Whether or not someone has diabetes, a person with CKD is at risk for low blood sugar because of changes in appetite and meal routine. When kidney function declines insulin and other diabetes medications remain in the system longer because of decreased kidney clearance. For a person with diabetes, insulin and other diabetes medications that lower blood sugar may require an adjustment to prevent low blood sugar. Causes of low blood sugar Common causes of low blood sugar include: Skipping meals or waiting too long to eat A decrease in usual food intake because of poor appetite Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine Receiving insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time Increasing physical activity Drinking alcoholic beverages People with chronic kidney disease sometimes experience a loss of appetite that can lead to skipping meals or not eating enough. This often causes a drop in blood sugar. Symptoms of low blood sugar Some of the symptoms Continue reading >>
What Is Low Blood Sugar?
Blood sugar is considered to be too low if it is lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 4 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). If low blood sugar is not treated right away, you could pass out, have a seizure, go into a coma, or even die. When you have diabetes, it’s important to watch your blood sugar level closely. This is especially important if you are newly diagnosed and are learning how to regulate your medicine (if any), diet, and exercise. Regular testing of your blood sugar, as recommended by your healthcare provider, may allow you to detect and treat low blood sugar before it causes serious symptoms. You may be able to prevent ever having low blood sugar. The medical term for low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. If you are taking insulin, very low blood sugar is sometimes called an insulin reaction or insulin shock. What is the cause? Low blood sugar is usually a side effect of diabetes treatment. It can also result from medicines or other conditions or diseases. When you have diabetes, low blood sugar can be caused by too much insulin or other diabetes medicine. If you are using insulin, it may happen because: You have accidentally used too much or the wrong type of insulin. Your insulin is no longer good because it has expired or was not stored properly. You have an insulin pump that is not working properly. Some other things that can cause abnormally low blood sugar when you have diabetes are: Exercising more than usual Skipping or delaying meals or snacks Having a meal or snack that is too small Dieting to lose weight Not taking diabetes medicines at the right time Side effects of other medicines Drinking alcohol Diarrhea or vomiting Low blood sugar from these other causes is usually not as low and not as dangerous as low blood sugar caused by too much Continue reading >>
Definition The condition called hypoglycemia is literally translated as low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar (or blood glucose) concentrations fall below a level necessary to properly support the body's need for energy and stability throughout its cells. Description Carbohydrates are the main dietary source of the glucose that is manufactured in the liver and absorbed into the bloodstream to fuel the body's cells and organs. Glucose concentration is controlled by hormones, primarily insulin and glucagon. Glucose concentration also is controlled by epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine, as well as growth hormone. If these regulators are not working properly, levels of blood sugar can become either excessive (as in hyperglycemia) or inadequate (as in hypoglycemia). If a person has a blood sugar level of 50 mg/dl or less, he or she is considered hypoglycemic, although glucose levels vary widely from one person to another. Hypoglycemia can occur in several ways. Drug-induced hypoglycemia Drug-induced hypoglycemia, a complication of diabetes, is the most commonly seen and most dangerous form of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia occurs most often in diabetics who must inject insulin periodically to lower their blood sugar. While other diabetics also are vulnerable to low blood sugar episodes, they have a lower risk of a serious outcome than insulin-dependant diabetics. Unless recognized and treated immediately, severe hypoglycemia in the insulin-dependent diabetic can lead to generalized convulsions followed by amnesia and unconsciousness. Death, though rare, is a possible outcome. In insulin-dependent diabetics, hypoglycemia known as an insulin reaction or insulin shock can be caused by several factors. These include overmedicating with manufactured insulin, m Continue reading >>
Diabetic Seizures – What Are They? Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments
A diabetic seizure is a serious medical condition and without emergency treatment, it has proven to be fatal. Extremely low levels of sugar in the diabetic’s blood cause these seizures. That is why it is so important for those who have diabetes to monitor and control their blood sugar. What Are the Causes? A number of different things can actually cause a diabetic seizure to occur. It could happen because too much insulin is injected, or because the diabetic did not eat right after taking insulin. Some of the other potential causes include not eating meals regularly or drinking too much alcohol. Even certain oral diabetes medications can make the body produce excess insulin. Those who are exercising too much without taking into account how this will affect their insulin levels will also be at a greater risk of suffering a diabetic stroke. No matter what causes the seizure, it is always a medical emergency and those who have one need immediate medical attention. What Are the Symptoms? When entering the first stages of a diabetic seizure, the person may exhibit a number of different symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include: Sweating Clamminess Drowsiness Confusion Bodily shakes Hallucinations Rapid and unexpected emotional changes Weakness in the muscles Anxiety Vision changes Loss of ability to speak clearly After these initial symptoms, the next phase of symptoms begin and the danger level rises. Now, the person may stare into space and be non-communicative and uncontrollable body movements and contractions of the muscles may occur. In some cases, the diabetic will be unaware of the movements and may even fall into unconsciousness. What Is the Prevention and Treatment? The best way to deal with this problem is by ensuring it does not occur in the first place Continue reading >>
Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar From Insulin
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) means that the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood has dropped below what your body needs to function normally. When your blood sugar level drops below 70 mg/dL, you most likely will have symptoms, such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky. Symptoms of low blood sugar can develop quickly. If your blood sugar level drops just slightly below your target range, you may have symptoms of mild low blood sugar. If you eat something that contains sugar, these symptoms may last only a short time. If you have had diabetes for many years, you may not always notice symptoms of mild low blood sugar. This is called hypoglycemia unawareness. If your blood sugar level continues to drop (usually below 40 mg/dL), your behavior may change. Symptoms of moderate low blood sugar may start. You may become too weak or confused to eat something to raise your blood sugar level. If your blood sugar level drops very low (usually below 20 mg/dL), you may lose consciousness or have a seizure. If you have symptoms of severe low blood sugar, you need medical care immediately. Sometimes people with diabetes have low blood sugar levels during the night. If your blood sugar level drops during the night, you may wake up in a cold sweat and feel weak or you may sleep through it. Your body may use stored sugar to raise your blood sugar level back toward your target range. If this happens, you most likely will wake up in the morning with a headache and possibly high blood sugar. What causes low blood sugar? Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can develop rapidly (within 10 to 15 minutes). It can occur if you: Take too much insulin. Skip or delay a meal or snack. Exercise too much without eating enough food. Drink too much alcohol, especially on an empty stomach. Take certain medicine Continue reading >>
Diabetic coma is a reversible form of coma found in people with diabetes mellitus. It is a medical emergency. Three different types of diabetic coma are identified: Severe low blood sugar in a diabetic person Diabetic ketoacidosis (usually type 1) advanced enough to result in unconsciousness from a combination of a severely increased blood sugar level, dehydration and shock, and exhaustion Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (usually type 2) in which an extremely high blood sugar level and dehydration alone are sufficient to cause unconsciousness. In most medical contexts, the term diabetic coma refers to the diagnostical dilemma posed when a physician is confronted with an unconscious patient about whom nothing is known except that they have diabetes. An example might be a physician working in an emergency department who receives an unconscious patient wearing a medical identification tag saying DIABETIC. Paramedics may be called to rescue an unconscious person by friends who identify them as diabetic. Brief descriptions of the three major conditions are followed by a discussion of the diagnostic process used to distinguish among them, as well as a few other conditions which must be considered. An estimated 2 to 15 percent of diabetics will suffer from at least one episode of diabetic coma in their lifetimes as a result of severe hypoglycemia. Types Severe hypoglycemia People with type 1 diabetes mellitus who must take insulin in full replacement doses are most vulnerable to episodes of hypoglycemia. It is usually mild enough to reverse by eating or drinking carbohydrates, but blood glucose occasionally can fall fast enough and low enough to produce unconsciousness before hypoglycemia can be recognized and reversed. Hypoglycemia can be severe enough to cause un Continue reading >>
What Actually Happens When You Enter A Food Coma
There is nothing I love more than a BBQ bacon cheeseburger. Except, maybe, pizza. And tacos, Korean BBQ, meatball subs, chocolate cake, and milkshakes. When I choose to indulge, though, I try to plan extra time for the meal. Not because I eat slowly to savor the meal, but because I know I’ll need a nap afterward. Food comas, the sleepy feeling you get after eating a big meal, are so common that the term was added to the Oxford dictionary in 2014. Among the scientific community, it’s called postprandial somnolence (pull that one out at your next Thanksgiving dinner). It seems that researchers, like the rest of us, have also been intrigued as to why our lids become so heavy after a meal. At its core, a food coma probably comes down to the composition of what we eat, and not necessarily the quantity. Our bodies are really good at breaking down simple carbohydrates—like white bread, bagels, or pasta—into sugars our cells use for energy. These foods have a high glycemic index, which means that they quickly increase the amount of sugar in our blood. When we eat a lot of these foods, we get us a boost of energy but it takes our pancreas some time, around an hour or so, to catch up and produce insulin. Insulin shuttles the sugar out of our bloodstreams into our cells, but it also allows a chemical called tryptophan to reach our brains, which causes us to produce another chemical serotonin—both of which tend to make us sleepy. Tryptophan occurs naturally in a number of different foods, including Thanksgiving turkey, but probably not in high enough concentrations to make us sleepy, Lisa Young, a nutritionist, told Motherboard. The reason you feel so sleepy after a holiday meal, she said, is more likely to do with the spike in blood sugar and insulin rush. The best way t Continue reading >>
What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is the term for low blood glucose (sugar). Glucose is produced from the food you eat and from the liver that stores a form of glucose, called glycogen, and is the “fuel” that your brain and body need to function properly. Patients with severe hypoglycemia may experience unconsciousness, or seizures due to low blood sugar. Severe hypoglycemia can be dangerous and must be treated promptly. What is the link between diabetes and hypoglycemia? Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are too high. It is often treated with insulin—the hormone that helps move glucose from you bloodstream into your body’s cells—or with medications that increase your body’s insulin production. If these treatments raise your insulin levels too high, your blood glucose can drop too low. Hypoglycemia can also occur if you do not eat when you need to or as much as you need, or if you skip a meal, drink too much alcohol, or exercise more than usual. What are the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia can be mild, moderate, or severe. If your blood glucose drops below normal (between 70 and 99 mg/dL), you may experience a variety of symptoms. How is hypoglycemia treated? If you have diabetes and you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, check your blood glucose level right away. If it’s low, you should eat or drink something that will quickly raise your blood sugar. For mild to moderate hypoglycemia, you need to consume 15 grams of carbohydrates, such as 4 glucose tablets, 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy, a cup of milk, 4 ounces of orange juice, or 6 ounces of regular (not diet) soda. Wait 15 minutes and retest your blood glucose level. If it is still low, consume another 15 grams of carbohydrates. If hypoglycemia is not corrected right away, Continue reading >>
Here's Why Eating Too Much Can Give You A 'food Coma'
This article was written by Angus Stewart from Edith Cowan University and was originally published by The Conversation. We’ve all done it, enjoyed a delicious meal only to nod off in a comfy chair for a while. For some of us, this is just a habit. But for others, it’s unavoidable. So what is it about food that can make us so sleepy? When we’re eating, the stomach is producing gastrin, a hormone that promotes the secretion of digestive juices. As the food enters the small intestine, the cells in the gut secrete even more hormones (enterogastrone) that signal other bodily functions, including blood flow regulation. But what does this have to do with sleepiness? Well, as we’re digesting our meal, more of our blood is shunted to the stomach and gut, to transport away the absorbed newly digested metabolites. This leaves less blood for the rest of the body and can cause some people to feel a bit 'light-headed' or tired. Still, the body is a lot more sophisticated than that; it doesn’t respond to food volume alone. What you eat is just as important as the size of your meal. For many years now, researchers have been investigating the link between food and sleepiness, but from another perspective. If we understand more about people’s sleep patterns, we might gain insight into what causes some people to put on weight and develop diseases such diabetes and atherosclerosis (a disease of the arteries that develops with fat deposits in artery walls). We’ve known for many years that meals with an imbalance of nutrients - that are rich in either fats or carbohydrates - are associated with feeling sleepy. But this is not the case when nutrients are balanced or the meal is rich in protein. And that leads to the burning question: what is causing this effect? Scientists in Ge Continue reading >>
The three types of diabetic coma include diabetic ketoacidosis coma, hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycaemic coma. Diabetic coma is a medical emergency and needs prompt medical treatment. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels may lead to hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia. Low or persistently high blood glucose levels mean your diabetes treatment needs to be adjusted. Speak to your doctor or registered diabetes healthcare professional. Prevention is always the best strategy. If it is a while since you have had diabetes education, make an appointment with your diabetes educator for a review. On this page: Diabetes mellitus is a condition characterised by high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Uncontrolled diabetes may lead to a diabetic coma or unconsciousness. The three types of coma associated with diabetes are diabetic ketoacidosis coma, hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycaemic coma. Diabetic ketoacidosis coma Diabetic ketoacidosis typically occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, which was previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), though it can occasionally occur in type 2 diabetes. This type of coma is triggered by the build-up of chemicals called ketones. Ketones are strongly acidic and cause the blood to become too acidic. When there is not enough insulin circulating, the body cannot use glucose for energy. Instead, fat is broken down and then converted to ketones in the liver. The ketones can build up excessively when insulin levels remain too low. Common causes of ketoacidosis include a missed dose of insulin or an acute infection in a person with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis may be the first sign that a person has developed type 1 diabetes. Symptoms of ketoacidosis Symptoms of ketoacidosis are: extreme thirst lethargy frequent urination ( Continue reading >>
Is It Safe To Go To Sleep With High Or Low Blood Sugar?
Those with diabetes must always be aware of their blood glucose levels. This includes being aware of what might happen to your levels while sleeping. Hypoglycemia Nighttime hypoglycemia is generally defined as having a blood glucose reading lower than 72 mg/dl. Without treatment, that level could continue to slip; if it reaches 40 mg/dl or below, the person could slip into a coma. Possible Causes Suppose you are having a late dinner. You take your insulin bolus beforehand, and have your meal. Later, at bedtime, your glucose count is right where you want it to be, at 121 mg/dl. That means the injection did what it was supposed to do, to cover your meal. However, that bolus you took works for as long as five or six hours. Now it’s 2 am and your sugar is still dropping, even though you’re sleeping. Or maybe you had some alcohol during the evening. Your liver is busy clearing out the alcohol and a lot less focused on producing glucose. Late night at the gym? A walk after supper? Exercise can temporarily raise glucose levels for hours, leaving you with good bedtime numbers, only to have them fall later in the night. Symptoms and Solutions Symptoms of hypoglycemia – shaking, sweating, chills and clamminess, lightheadedness or dizziness, blurred vision – might not be felt by someone who is asleep. Sometimes if hypoglycemia comes on during sleep the patient might cry out or have nightmares, but not always. Doctors at Joslin Diabetes Center recommend that your blood glucose reading at bedtime should be at least 140 mg/dl. If you are wearing an insulin pump, and you feel you might be at some risk of low overnight readings, then adjust the pump to deliver less basal insulin though the night. You can also consider consuming a healthy snack just before bedtime. If this is a Continue reading >>
What is the Glasgow Coma Scale? The Glasgow Coma Scale was developed to provide healthcare professionals with a simple way of measuring the depth of coma based upon observations of eye opening, speech, and movement. Patients in the deepest level of coma: do not have any speech, and do not open their eyes. Those in lighter coma may offer some response to a verbal or painful stimulus, to the point they may even seem wake, yet meet the criteria of coma because they do not respond to their environment by initiating voluntary actions. The Glasgow Coma Scale is used as part of the initial evaluation of a patient, but does not assist in making the diagnosis as to the cause of coma. Since it "scores" the level of coma, the Glasgow Coma Scale can be used as a standard method for any healthcare professional, from EMT, paramedic, nurse, or neurosurgeon, to assess change in the patient's mental status over time. The best use of the Glasgow Coma Scale is to allow healthcare professionals of different clinical skills and training to consistently assess a patient over longer periods of time in order to determine whether the patient is improving, deteriorating, or remaining the same. In the initial care of a comatose patient, chronologically, there may be first responders, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, nurses, emergency physicians, neurologists, and neurosurgeons, all evaluating the same patient in different places at different times. The Glasgow Coma Scale allows a standard assessment that can be shared. The Glasgow Coma Scale Table Eye Opening Spontaneous 4 To loud voice 3 To pain 2 None 1 Verbal Response Oriented 5 Confused, Disoriented 4 Inappropriate words 3 Incomprehensible words 2 None 1 Motor Response Obeys commands 6 Localizes pain 5 Withdraws from pain 4 A Continue reading >>
Is It Epilepsy Or A Low Blood Sugar Seizure?
A seizure is a symptom of a brain problem that occurs because of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain. There are many types of seizures and most last from thirty seconds to two minutes. Seizures can have many causes, including medicines, high fevers, head injuries, and certain diseases such as diabetes and epilepsy. What causes a seizure in people with diabetes? Hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, occurs when the level of glucose in a person’s body drops below normal. Hypoglycemia can be dangerous and occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, and people with type 2 diabetes who are injecting insulin or using oral medications (sulfonylureas and meglitinides) to lower blood glucose. Sulfonylureas stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to release more insulin. Brand names include: Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) Glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL) Glyburide (Micronase, Glynase, and Diabeta) Glimepiride (Amaryl) Meglitinides also stimulate the beta cells to release insulin. Brand names include: Repaglinide (Prandin) Nateglinide (Starlix) When someone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes experiences a significant drop in their blood glucose, they may experience a range of symptoms that include: Dizziness Sweating Confusion Hunger Extremely low blood glucose can result in a “seizure,” which, if left untreated, can lead to a coma. If you are taking a medication that causes the pancreas to release more insulin, or if you are taking insulin injections, it’s important to know whether you are having low glucose levels during the night while sleeping, as this could be the cause of your seizures. A continuous glucose monitoring system—a pager-sized device typically worn for two to three days that measures your blood glucose every five minutes—can determine if you are Continue reading >>
What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.
The American Diabetes Association cites the following symptoms as indicative of high blood sugar: High blood glucose [Editor’s note: Duh] High levels of sugar in the urine Frequent urination Increased thirst And if high blood sugar goes untreated? “Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy. When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.” – ADA website But what does a high blood sugar feel like? Because when you see someone who is working through an elevated blood sugar, they may not look terribly out of sorts. But what is happening inside of them is real, and plays out in a myriad of ways for every person with diabetes. I’ve tried to write about it several times, but each high is different, and affects me in different ways: “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s cracked open your head and replaced your gray matter with sticky jam. I find myself zoning out and staring at things, and my eyeballs feel dry and like they’re tethered to my head by frayed ropes instead of optic nerves. Everything is slow and heavy and whipped with heavy cream.” – Oh, High! “There’s something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, l Continue reading >>
Hypoglycemia? Low Blood Glucose? Low Blood Sugar?
These are all names for the same thing: a drop in blood glucose (sugar) that can be dangerous if not treated. What causes it? Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (sugar), usually less than 70 mg/dl (although you and your health care provider may come up with a different number). It means the body has too much insulin, too little glucose, or both. This can happen if: you don't eat enough food, or you don't eat on time you are taking too much diabetes medication you exercise a lot you drink alcohol without eating enough food Certain diabetes medications, including insulin and some pills, can also make blood glucose more likely to go low. Warning signs Low blood glucose can make you feel: sweaty or clammy nervous or anxious lightheaded confused Some people don't get any early warning signs of a low. This is called “hypoglycemia unawareness.” It can be dangerous because their blood glucose level can drop severely low before they know it. → Hypoglycemia must be treated immediately. While at first it can feel bad and upsetting, low blood glucose can quickly get more serious. Severe low blood glucose can make someone pass out, have seizures, or even go into a coma. How to treat it If you have hypoglycemia, you need to have food or a drink that is a fast-acting carbohydrate. Good sources include fruit juice, regular (not diet) soda, glucose tablets, or glucose gel. A good rule of thumb is to eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait 15 minutes, and then test your blood again. If your blood glucose is still lower than 70 mg/dl, take another 15 grams and test again 15 minutes later. Although you may feel like you want to eat more, be aware that eating too much can send your glucose too high. There are about 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate in: 8 ounces of skim milk If y Continue reading >>
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