Fix low blood sugar

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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

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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 is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.

The

is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels (also called blood sugar levels) drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia (pronounced: high-poe-gly-SEE-me-uh). Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.

Low Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetes

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

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 blood sugar level 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. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.

What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels?

Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:

  • skipping meals and snacks
  • not eating enough food during 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, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:

  • taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
  • injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
  • injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport (like injecting the leg right before soccer practice).

All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar?

Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:

  • feel hungry or have “hunger pains” in their stomach
  • feel shaky or like they’re trembling
  • have a rapid heart rate
  • feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
  • have pale, gray skin color
  • have a headache
  • feel moody, cranky, or irritable
  • feel drowsy, weak, or dizzy
  • be unsteady or stagger when walking
  • have blurred or double vision
  • feel confused
  • have seizures or convulsions
  • lose consciousness (pass out)

If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when you’re having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.

Checking for Low Blood Sugar Levels

The warning signs of hypoglycemia are the body’s natural response to low blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels fall too low, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which helps get stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. This can make someone:

  • pale
  • sweaty
  • start shaking
  • have an increased heart rate

If the hypoglycemia isn’t treated, more serious symptoms may happen, such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

The only way to know for sure if you’re having a low blood sugar level is to test. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a

. This computerized device measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. But if you can’t quickly check your blood sugar level, it’s important to treat yourself for hypoglycemia immediately to prevent symptoms from getting worse.

Sometimes a person with diabetes may have symptoms of low blood sugar levels, but blood sugar levels are not actually low. This is a called a false reaction. The hormone adrenaline (mentioned above) is not just released when blood sugar drops too low — it’s also released when blood sugar levels fall quickly when they’re too high. If you’re having a false reaction, you might actually have blood sugar levels in a healthy range but feel as if you have low blood sugar. Testing blood sugar levels before treating yourself for hypoglycemia can help you figure out if you’re having a false reaction.

Some people with diabetes don’t actually notice the typical signs of low blood sugar levels. For them it’s even more important to check blood glucose levels often and take extra precautions to prevent low blood sugar (see our prevention tips below). If you’re having trouble feeling the symptoms of low blood sugar, let your diabetes health care team know.

How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated?

Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms — you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.

When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:

  • Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks (like regular soda, orange juice, or cake frosting) or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take — all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
  • Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
  • Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
  • Get a glucagon shot (see below), if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.

Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.

Glucagon (pronounced: GLOO-kuh-gon) is a hormone that helps raise blood sugar levels quickly. Your parents, teachers, and coaches should all know how to give

shots in case of a low blood sugar emergency or at least know to call 911. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon kit, which should be kept in a place where the people who are close to you can easily find it.

Also, you should always wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace and/or carry an ID that says you have diabetes. That way, if you are not feeling well, whoever’s helping you — even if the person doesn’t know you — will know to call for medical help. This medical identification also can also include your doctor’s phone number or a parent’s phone number.

Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels

By knowing what causes low blood sugar levels and being prepared, you can lessen the chance that you’ll have them. But no matter how well they take care of themselves, people with diabetes will sometimes have low blood sugar levels.

Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:

  • Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
  • Take the right amount of insulin.
  • If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
  • Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
  • Stick to your diabetes management plan.
  • Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
  • Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away — they may get worse!

Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous — even deadly — for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.

You should also check your blood sugar — and treat hypoglycemia, if needed — before you drive. Make sure you have some form of sugar handy in the car to use if you get low at any time while driving. If you do feel low, immediately pull over safely to the side of the road and treat your hypoglycemia — and don’t start to drive again until your symptoms are gone. You also should test your blood sugar before activities during which a low blood sugar reaction could be especially dangerous, such as skiing, swimming, or rock climbing.

Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD Date reviewed: May 2018

Hypoglycemia in a Newborn Baby

What is hypoglycemia in a newborn baby?

Hypoglycemia is when the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too low. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the brain and the body. In a newborn baby, low blood sugar can happen for many reasons. It can cause problems such as shakiness, blue tint to the skin, and breathing and feeding problems.

What causes hypoglycemia in a newborn baby?

Hypoglycemia can be caused by conditions such as:

  • Poor nutrition for the mother during pregnancy
  • Making too much insulin because the mother has poorly controlled diabetes
  • Incompatible blood types of mother and baby (severe hemolytic disease of the newborn)
  • More insulin in the baby’s stool for other reasons, such as a tumor of the pancreas
  • Birth defects
  • Congenital metabolic diseases or hormone deficiencies. Some of these run in families.
  • Not enough oxygen at birth (birth asphyxia)
  • Liver disease
  • Infection

Which newborns are at risk for hypoglycemia?

Babies are more likely to have hypoglycemia include:

  • Babies born to mothers with diabetes
  • Babies who are small for gestational age or growth-restricted
  • Preterm babies, especially those with low birth weights
  • Babies born under significant stress
  • Babies with mothers treated with certain medicines such as terbutaline
  • Babies who are large for their gestational age

What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia in a newborn baby?

Signs of low blood sugar may not be obvious in newborn babies. The most common signs include:

  • Shakiness
  • Blue tint to skin and lips (cyanosis)
  • Stopping breathing (apnea)
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Floppy muscles (poor muscle tone)
  • Not interested in feeding
  • Lack of movement and energy (lethargy)
  • Seizures

The signs of hypoglycemia can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is hypoglycemia in a newborn baby diagnosed?

A simple blood test for blood glucose levels can diagnose the problem.

How is hypoglycemia in a newborn baby treated?

Treatment will depend on your baby’s gestational age and overall health. Treatment includes giving the baby a fast-acting source of glucose. This may be as simple as a glucose and water mixture or formula as an early feeding. Or your baby may need glucose given through an IV. The baby’s blood glucose levels are checked after treatment to see if the hypoglycemia occurs again.

What are possible complications of hypoglycemia in a newborn baby?

The brain needs blood glucose to function. Not enough glucose can harm the brain’s ability to function. Severe or long-lasting hypoglycemia may cause seizures and serious brain injury.

What can I do to prevent hypoglycemia in my newborn baby?

In many cases, there may not be a way to prevent hypoglycemia in a newborn baby. For a baby with risk factors, healthcare providers will need to watch carefully for the signs and treat as soon as possible. Mothers with diabetes should keep their blood glucose levels in a normal range during pregnancy. This may help lower the risk for their baby.

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

Call your baby’s healthcare provider right away you see signs of low blood sugar in your baby. Give your baby formula or a glucose and water mixture, if advised.

Key points about hypoglycemia in a newborn baby

  • Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the level of glucose in the blood is lower than normal.
  • A baby is at risk if he or she has a mother with diabetes, is preterm, or is large.
  • If your baby has signs of hypoglycemia, give him or her formula or glucose and water mixture.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.

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 be in a long meeting, playing a round of golf, or even on a plane, I will be sure to have some sort of access to juice.

3. Soda

I use regular soda to treat a low similar to how I use juice. If soda is available instead of juice, then I just switch the two out. However, there is a more specific time I use regular soda to treat a low blood sugar. For example, if I am heading to a restaurant and I’m going low and I don’t feel like I have enough time until the food comes, I will order a regular soda. And since there are so many different options of regular soda than diet, I also treat this as an opportunity to indulge in the flavors of soda I don’t usually have the pleasures of enjoying.

4. Glucose Tabs

I carry glucose tabs with me everywhere I go; they’re easy to carry and store. As with all of these different ways to treat a low, I use glucose tabs for specific situations. If my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) shows I am at the very bottom of my low range, but I know I am not going to be eating for a while or will be doing some form of activity, then I test my BG and then eat a few glucose tabs. The amount is based on my 10 years of personal experience of how my body reacts to glucose tabs.

5. Glucose Gel Packs

I don’t frequently use glucose gel packs, but they are an effective way to treat a low blood sugar. I have used this in the past in a situation where my blood sugar was at an extreme low, and I did not have the strength to chew hard candy or drink juice. These can also be carried and stored pretty easily like glucose tabs.

What are some of the ways or special indulgences that you use to treat a low blood sugar? Whichever way you chose to raise your BG level, try to not overtreat, as it could leave you with high BG levels.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems. MiniMed 530G with Enlite is intended for the delivery of insulin and continuous glucose monitoring for the management of diabetes mellitus by persons 16 years of age or older who require insulin.

Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day. Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to making adjustments to diabetes therapy. MiniMed 530G with Enlite is not intended to be used directly for preventing or treating hypoglycemia but to suspend insulin delivery when the user is unable to respond to the Threshold Suspend alarm and take measures to prevent or treat hypoglycemia themselves.

Please visit MedtronicDiabetes.com/isi for more details.

WARNING: The Threshold Suspend feature will cause the pump to temporarily suspend insulin delivery for two hours when the sensor glucose reaches a set threshold. Under some conditions of use the pump can suspend again resulting in very limited insulin delivery. Prolonged suspension can increase the risk of serious hyperglycemia, ketosis, and ketoacidosis. Before using the Threshold Suspend feature, it is important to read the Threshold Suspend information in the MiniMed 530G System User Guide and discuss proper use of the Threshold Suspend feature with your healthcare provider.

Related Post


  • 5 Ways To Help Someone Experiencing Hypoglycemia

Tags: alerts and alarms, cgm, continuous glucose monitor, hypoglycemia, low blood glucose, MiniMed 530G, threshold suspend

Low Blood Sugar FAQs

In this section, you will find:

  • Low Blood Sugar FAQs

Why am I having low blood sugars?

Possible causes include:

  • “Stacking” insulin
  • Eating less carbohydrate than anticipated
  • Excessive insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio
  • Excessive basal insulin
  • Delayed eating after taking mealtime insulin
  • Increased activity or exercise
  • Delayed stomach (gastric) emptying
  • Fear of complications
  • Taking the wrong insulin by mistake
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • Inappropriately “covering” exercise and low blood sugar-related snacks with insulin
  • Use of an amylin analog

“Stacking” insulin

It can be tempting to correct a high blood sugar; however, taking frequent corrective doses of insulin is one of the most common causes of low blood sugars.

The solution: Rapid-acting insulin lasts about 4 hours. If you inject another corrective dose within that time frame, the dose should be decreased to account for the amount of insulin still active from the previous injection.

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Eating less carbohydrate than anticipated

Sometimes we don’t eat what we plan to, or we miscount carbohydrates because we don’t know the carbohydrate content of the food. When this happens, a low blood sugar may occur.

The solution: If you eat less than expected, make up the “missing” grams of carbohydrate, such as by eating fresh fruit or even dextrose tablets. If you are not sure of the carbohydrate content of the food, check your blood sugar more often and be prepared to take supplemental sugar.

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Excessive insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio

Having too much insulin to cover the carbohydrate (i.e. an excessive insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio.)

A clue is having a low blood sugar within the first few hours after a meal. Be sure that the low is not due to incorrect carbohydrate counting, a meal high in fat or fiber, leftover insulin effect from a previous high blood sugar correction, or unusual exertion.

The solution: Reduce the amount of insulin you are using to cover the carbohydrate for the meal or snack. As always, consult with your medical provider for specific insulin dose recommendations.

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Excessive basal insulin

How do you know if your basal dose is wrong? Look at the blood sugars overnight and before meals. These times are most reflective of the basal insulin dose, and are the least affected by bolus insulin. Double-check other factors by asking these questions: Are the mealtime bolus dose and the high blood glucose correction causing the low? Has your last rapid-acting insulin dose completely worn off? Have you engaged in any unusual physical activity or exercise?

The solution: Once you have eliminated these possibilities, consult with your diabetes medical team about reducing your basal dose of insulin.

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Delayed eating after taking mealtime insulin

Life is full of delays, so it’s not uncommon to anticipate eating a meal, take your insulin and then to have something happen that delays the meal. This is particularly true when going out to eat.

The solution: Take rapid-acting insulin for the carbohydrates only when the meal is right in front of you. Seeing what is actually being served will also help you choose the best insulin dose.

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Increased activity or exercise

Exercise generally makes the body more sensitive to the action of insulin.

The solution: Scale back insulin doses, and increase carbohydrate consumption in order to prevent low blood sugar. Consult your diabetes medical team about any dose adjustment for exercise.

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Delayed stomach (gastric) emptying

This condition can be caused by a high fat or high fiber meal, stomach neuropathy (gastroparesis) or medications such as an Amylin Analog, Pramlintide. In each case, the insulin acts before the carbohydrate portion of the meal is released into the intestine and absorbed.

The solution: Avoid high fat or high fiber meals, and if gastroparesis is present, eat small, relatively liquid meals and consume carbohydrate foods first. You may benefit from taking part of the mealtime insulin beforehand and the rest after eating, or, if you are using an insulin pump, use the extended bolus feature. If you are taking Pramlintide before a meal, you will need to reduce your mealtime insulin dose. Consult your medical provider about specific insulin dose recommendations.

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Fear of complications

For some individuals, the fear of complications from high blood glucose is so overwhelming that they prefer risking low blood sugar to the health consequences of chronic highs. This is a dangerous trade-off. Low blood sugar can cause immediate, even life-threatening harm.

The solution: Reduce the insulin dose until the low blood sugars are eliminated. Discuss insulin dose adjustments with your medical provider.

Taking the wrong insulin by mistake

Sometimes people take rapid-acting insulin instead of long-acting insulin by mistake and get a low blood sugar. This can be a problem with insulin pens, as they can look alike. Clear long-acting insulin, such as glargine or detemir, can be confused with clear short- or rapid-acting insulin.

The solution: Always double check that you are injecting the correct insulin.

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Drinking alcohol

Alcohol can reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver and can put you at risk for a low blood sugar.

The solution: Drink alcohol in moderation. Eat carbohydrates when you drink alcohol. Check your blood sugar.

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Increased insulin sensitivity

Losing weight and increased activity can increase your sensitivity to insulin, decreasing your insulin needs. Other less common causes of reduced insulin requirements are kidney problems, low thyroid activity, or loss of glucagon due to a decrease in pancreatic function.

The solution: Discuss with your diabetes team how your other medical diagnoses may affect your basal insulin.

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Inappropriately “covering” exercise and low blood sugar-related snacks with insulin

You don’t need to take insulin when you’ve eaten a carbohydrate-containing snack to treat low blood sugars or to prevent lows during exercise.

The solution: Carbohydrate snacks taken to prevent or treat low blood sugars are “free” and don’t require insulin coverage.

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Use of an amylin analog (pramlintide)

Use of an Amylin Analog (Pramlintide) will lower blood sugars after your meal. In combination with insulin, their use may result in a low blood sugar.

The solution: Decrease the insulin dose, and as needed, the Pramlintide dose. You may benefit from taking part of your bolus insulin beforehand, and the rest after the meal. If using an insulin pump, consider using an extended bolus. Consult your medical provider for specific recommendations regarding insulin dose adjustment.

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Wound Care Solutions

1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. The disease has grown exponentially over the last six decades and remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. With statistics like these, coupled with growing media coverage on the detrimental effects of the standard North American diet on our health, sugar is getting a bad rap. And with good reason.

Sugar wreaks havoc on our health. Among its many adverse effects, it can cause our blood glucose levels to spike and plummet; it can interfere with immune function and increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease; it can accelerate aging and tooth decay; it can have adverse effects on behavior. In short, sugar is bad news. And the levels of sugar (or, more specifically, glucose) in our blood, play a direct role in our health.

Hypo vs. Hyper – your Greek lesson for the day

Glycemia is defined as the presence of glucose in the blood.

Hypo comes from the Greek word hupo, which translates as under or, more typically, less.

Hyper is also a holdover from the Greeks, from the Greek word huper, which translates as over or above.

So extending that logic, hypoglycemia is a low blood sugar level and hyperglycemia is a high blood sugar level.

Now that we have that sorted…

What do they mean?

Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level is a key component of optimal health. Here’s why:

When we eat sugar, our body creates a surge of the feel-good brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Immediately following, our pancreas kicks into gear producing insulin to absorb the excess glucose and help regulate our blood. Once the insulin has done its job, our blood sugar drops again, leaving us feeling cranky and drained. Our body craves more sugar to give it a temporary boost and the cycle continues.

In the long run, the highs and lows of this sugar cycle, coupled with increased consumption of sweet treats can lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • Wrinkles
  • Tooth decay
  • Insulin resistance
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Chronic kidney disease

There’s no silver lining. Whether it’s low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), both are bad for your overall health.

Dealing with Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when there is not enough glucose in your blood. It usually comes on suddenly and can happen after strenuous exercise or when you’ve waited too long to eat. Strictly speaking, you’re considered hypoglycemic when your blood glucose levels are less than 70 mg/dl.

Symptoms

If you’re not carrying around a blood testing kit, here are some other symptoms that may indicate a hypoglycemic state:

  • Sweating
  • Shakiness, dizziness, weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid pulse
  • Irritability (if you’re “hangry” – ‘hungry’ and ‘angry’ – chances are your blood sugar is low)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

Risks

Your brain needs glucose to function properly, so left untreated, low levels of blood sugar can lead to severe confusion and disorientation, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, even death. It’s imperative to treat symptoms quickly.

Here’s how:

Treatment

The first step in treatment is usually the consumption of a fast-acting carbohydrate, to supply sugar to the body and fast. This can be candy, fruit juice, a soft drink, or glucose tablets or gel. Protein should be avoided since it slows the body’s absorption of sugar and will interfere with a quick recovery.

After 15 minutes, recheck blood sugar levels and if they’re still under 70 mg/dL, treat with another 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate (e.g. 4 ounces of regular juice or soda, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoons raisins, 7 Life Savers®). Repeat until blood sugar has risen above the 70 mg/dL mark.

In severe circumstances, if a person has become unconscious, someone else may have to administer a glucagon injection.

Long term, if you’re prone to episodes of hypoglycemia, it’s important to treat the underlying cause. Consult with your doctor to find out what options are available to you.

Dealing with Hyperglycemia

Unlike hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia (too much sugar in your blood) usually occurs slowly, over the course of several hours or days. It can be brought on by illness, infection, certain medications, too much food, not enough insulin or exercise, or plain old stress.

Due to its slow onset, recognizing hyperglycemia can be difficult. Symptoms may include:

  • Increased fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Intense thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Involuntary weight loss
  • Excessive hunger

Left untreated, hyperglycemia can cause long-term complications, including problems in the extremities (hands and feet), bone and joint problems, nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular disease.

Acute occurrences of hyperglycemia may require emergency treatment in the form of fluid and electrolyte replacement and/or insulin therapy. Long-term, your health care professional may recommend a combination of the following:

  • Regular exercise as a way to control blood sugar.
  • Medication as prescribed by a health care professional.
  • A healthy diet that reduces the amount of sugary foods and drinks and encourages the consumption of whole foods.
  • Regular blood sugar monitoring to ensure you’re in the optimal range.
  • Insulin regulation to supplement and/or adjust your insulin levels, helping to temporarily correct a high level of sugar in the blood.

If you suffer from hypo- or hyperglycemia, or any other complications of diabetes, and require medical equipment to help treat and alleviate symptoms, Wound Care Solutions can help. We offer a variety of equipment and products to keep you comfortable on your road back to health.

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