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Hypoglycemia And What To Do About Low Blood Sugar

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hypoglycemiaLow blood sugar can be dangerous. And the medical term hypoglycemia is more dangerous in many cases than high sugar.

Just think, if you’re driving, with children or just living your life and your blood sugar levels get too low you can pass out. Or even worse, it can be fatal.

I have heard some sad stories from the physicians I work with of people who have had tragic things happen when their blood sugar was too low.

In many cases, you can become disoriented and do things that can even put you in more danger aside from having low blood sugar.

I can recall a sad story of one person who was diabetic had dangerously low blood sugar. He became disoriented and accidentally injected himself with more insulin instead of glucagon.

Under normal circumstances this isn’t a mistake that this person probably would have made. But because he was confused and mentally out of it because of low blood sugar, he did this. This tragically cost him his life.

So I don’t tell you this to scare you, but just to tell you that this something to take very seriously. Especially if you are on insulin or other medications, which can cause your blood sugar to drop too low.

Low Blood Sugar Or Hypoglycemia Explained

Hypoglycemia is defined as abnormally low blood sugar levels. Anything under 70mg/dL is considered hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

Hypoglycemia is the limiting factor for many doctors as to why they don’t want to treat too aggressively. Especially with insulin. In severe cases low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can lead to impaired mental function, seizures, coma, or death.

Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia usually presents in two stages. The first stage is when the survival symptoms kick in and let your body know that something is wrong and you must respond. The second stage is when you can’t fix yourself and you need immediate care. Here are some symptoms:

  • Shaky feeling
  • Disoriented or confused
  • Weak
  • Hungry
  • Light-headed
  • Cold sweats
  • Pounding heart
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision

Causes Of Hypoglycemia

  • Not eating enough
  • Exercising on an empty stomach
  • Taking too much insulin or other diabetes medicines that cause your pancreas to secrete insulin

Treatment For Hypoglycemia

One thing that is important in preventing or limiting hypoglycemia from happening is monitoring your blood sugar. And the closer your blood sugar is to normal, the more important it is to always know your blood sugar numbers.

So first, if you’re feeling like your blood sugar is low and you have confirmed it is low by testing, here are some steps you can take to get your blood sugar back up to normal levels.

Step one is you’ll want to get 15 grams or more of carbohydrates immediately! Here are some guidelines:

  • DON’T eat Fruit for sugar (carbs) because it has fiber in it which slows its absorption
  • DON’T eat Hard Candy, but quick chewy candy
  • DON’T eat chocolate because it has fat in it which also slows absorption
  • You’ll need glucose [4] – 4 gram each, glucose tables and if your blood sugar is less than 50 mg/dL you’ll need to double the treatment
  • Eat Chewy candy such as skittles (2 tablespoons)
  • Fruit juice (1/2 cup) will get you to 15 grams
  • ½ cup of Regular soda will get you 15 grams
  • Raisins (2 tablespoons)

In severe cases you’ll need glucagon injections in the arm. This tells your liver to start secreting glucose and it tells your muscle NOT to absorb sugar. Glucagon takes about 10 minutes to start working.

Prior to using any of this material, please consult with your doctor.

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