How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
Do Not Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar
It’s very dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if necessary. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on.
Be prepared. Keep a sugar source in your car at all times for emergencies.
Low Blood Glucose During Sleep
Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include
- crying out or having nightmares
- sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
- feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up
Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.
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Treatment By Medical Professionals
In a healthcare setting, treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and intravenous access. If a patient is conscious and able to swallow safely, food or drink may be administered, as well as glucose tabs or gel. In those with intravenous access, 25 grams of 50% dextrose is commonly administered. When there is no intravenous access, intramuscular or intra-nasal glucagon may be administered.
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Not Eating Enough Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in foods like grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, and some dairy products. Carbohydrates turn into blood sugar when digested, so they significantly impact blood glucose levels than proteins and fats.
Not eating enough carbohydrates, especially while also taking blood sugar-lowering medications, can cause hypoglycemia.
What Causes Low Blood Glucose In People With Diabetes
Low blood glucose levels can be a side effect of insulin or some other medicines that help your pancreas release insulin into your blood. Taking these can lower your blood glucose level.
Two types of diabetes pills can cause low blood glucose
- sulfonylureas, usually taken once or twice per day, which increase insulin over several hours
- meglitinides, taken before meals to promote a short-term increase in insulin
The following may also lower your blood glucose level
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Understanding Your Blood Sugar
The best way to understand how your blood sugar changes day-to-day is to regularly use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar level. If youre newly diagnosed, its also helpful to keep a food journal in addition to a blood sugar log, as well as tracking any physical activity.
Your blood sugar patterns are unique to you. Over time youll have a better understanding of which foods raise your blood sugars the most, as well as how your blood sugar responds to different types of exercise.
Some people with diabetes choose to use a continuous glucose monitor to monitor their blood sugar trends.
A continuous glucose monitor is a device with a sensor worn under the skin which measures blood sugar levels every 5-15 minutes. This is useful for identifying trends in blood sugar levels and can help predict and identify hypoglycemia sooner.
Using a CGM can reduce the amount of finger prick glucose tests needed each day, which is an added benefit.
How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed
If you suspect you have low blood sugar, its important to check your blood sugar right away. If you dont have a blood glucose meter and youre on diabetes medications that increase insulin, talk with your doctor about getting a meter.
If you experience low blood sugar often say, a few times a week see your doctor right away to find out why. Your doctor will begin your visit by requesting your medical history, asking questions about your eating habits, and learning more about the symptoms youre experiencing.
If you dont have diabetes but suspect you have hypoglycemia, talk with your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor will use three criteria, sometimes referred to as Whipples triad, to diagnose low blood sugar:
- Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor may require you to fast, or abstain from drinking and eating for an extended period of time, so they can observe your low blood sugar signs and symptoms.
- Documentation of low blood sugar when your signs and symptoms occur. Your doctor will order a blood test to analyze your blood sugar levels in a laboratory.
- Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor will want to know whether the signs and symptoms go away when your blood sugar levels are raised.
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Tips For Keeping Blood Sugar Steady
The best way to address your personal concerns and needs is to discuss your diet, medication, and lifestyle with your healthcare team. They can diagnose any underlying conditions, adjust or change your medications, and advise you on the best ways to prevent hypoglycemia.
Tips that apply across the board to keep blood sugar stable include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Planning meals
- Getting adequate sleep
People with diabetes may face more challenges when managing blood sugar levels, but it is possible to stay healthy.
What To Do About Low Blood Sugar Levels
If you suspect your pet has low blood sugar, you should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible to get your pup the treatment they need. Sometimes, though, a visit to the vet isnt immediately possible. If your dog is shivering or refusing to eat, you should act right away. In this type of emergency situation, owners can rub a small amount of corn syrup or Nutri-Cal onto a dogs gums. A veterinarian visit is still necessary, but glucose provided by the corn syrup can help increase your dogs blood sugar in a life-threatening situation.
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Seeking Treatment For Low Blood Sugar
Since the condition can quickly lead to serious complications, dogs with suspected hypoglycemia should be taken to a vet as soon as possible. Once there, a doctor will perform a physical examination and take note of your dogs symptoms. The next step will be to determine, and ultimately stabilize, your dogs blood sugar levels. This testing is usually done with an instrument called a glucometer, like the FreeStyle Libre.
In some cases, your dogs vet may give your dog glucose or corn syrup orally. For more severe symptoms, dogs may require an intravenous injection of concentrated dextrose, a simple syrup made from corn or wheat. They may also perform further diagnostic tests to monitor your pet for liver disease and check on other organs. Both the length of your dogs stay at the vet clinic and the treatment options available to them will depend on the underlying cause of their condition.
In general, dogs respond quickly to treatment. If overexertion is the cause of their low blood sugar, they may simply need to rest. Getting your dog proper nutrition can also help turn things around. In some cases, though, like with excess insulin in diabetic dogs, an ongoing management plan must be created.
Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia
The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.
For example, this could be:
- a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
- between three and five dextrose tablets
- a handful of sweets
At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.
After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.
It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.
When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.
It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.
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Key Points About Hypoglycemia In Children
Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood glucose is too low to fuel the brain and the body.
It may be a condition by itself, or may be a complication of diabetes or another disorder.
To treat low blood glucose right away, your child should eat or drink something with sugar, such as orange juice, milk, cake icing, or a hard candy. They should follow with food with complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein, such as a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread.
Severe or long-lasting hypoglycemia may result in seizures and serious brain injury.
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, also known as “low blood sugar”, is when decreases to below normal levels. This may result in a variety of including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, , or death. A feeling of hunger, sweating, shakiness and weakness may also be present. Symptoms typically come on quickly.
The most common cause of hypoglycemia is used to treat such as insulin and . Risk is greater in diabetics who have eaten less than usual, exercised more than usual or have consumed . Other causes of hypoglycemia include , certain , such as , , , , , , and a number of drugs including alcohol. Low blood sugar may occur in otherwise healthy babies who have not eaten for a few hours.
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A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes
A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.
Possible causes include:
- a gastric bypass
- other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
- some medicines, including quinine
See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.
Managing Your Dogs Diabetes At Home
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a common endocrine disorder that affects both humans and dogs. In dogs, the disease can come on at any age and usually requires ongoing treatment. Diabetic dogs often require insulin injections, but determining how much to give them can be a tricky task. The best way to prevent a diabetic dog from developing hypoglycemia is to properly manage their disease on a daily basis. Here are some tips that can help:
Optimize your insulin regimen Dogs with diabetes usually require two daily insulin injections. These should be given at the same time each day, ideally 15 to 30 minutes after a meal. If your dog is refusing to eat, dont administer their insulin, as doing so could push them into hypoglycemia.
Keep a consistent feeding schedule Diabetic dogs do best with timed meals as opposed to free feeding. Aim to feed your dog every 10 to 12 hours or so.
Opt for a prescription diet Prescription diets for diabetic dogs are formulated to keep their blood sugar at healthy levels. Theyre also usually low in fat to prevent your dog from developing pancreatitis. Going with a prescription diet can help owners take some of the guesswork out of their pets nutrition.
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How To Treat Someone Whos Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if theyre being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
Preventing Blood Sugar Spikes
There are additional ways to prevent blood sugar spikes.
Monitor blood sugar levels. The first step in preventing blood sugar spikes is knowing what your blood sugar levels are in the first place. Especially if you take a medication that directly affects your blood sugar level, such as insulin, you should be checking your blood sugar level often.
A good starting place is checking your blood sugar level every morning before you eatthis is called a fasting blood sugar level. This once-per-day testing might be sufficient for some people with type 2 diabetes. However, others may need to check their blood sugar level up to 10 times daily.
Choose whole grains. Compared to refined grains, whole grains contain the entire grain, including the fibrous outer layer called the bran and the nutrient-rich inner core called the germ. Choosing to eat whole grains ensures you get the most nutrients out of your grains.
Because fiber isnt absorbed and broken down in the body like other carbohydrates, it doesnt result in a big blood sugar spike.
Balance meals with fat and protein. You can help prevent blood sugar spikes by balancing your meals with fat and protein in addition to carbohydrates.
Meals that contain only carbohydrates are easily broken down into glucose and sent into your bloodstream. Fat and protein help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and, in turn, their absorption into the bloodstream.
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Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Keeping blood glucose levels in a healthy range can be challenging.
When the amount of sugar in your blood has dropped below your target range , it is called low blood sugar .
If your blood sugar has dropped, you may feel:
- shaky, light-headed, nauseated
- an increase in heart rate
- sweaty, headachy
- weak, drowsy
- numbness or tingling on your tongue or lips
Symptoms of very low blood sugar are more severe and can make you:
- confused and disoriented
- lose consciousness
- have a seizure
Make sure you always wear your MedicAlert® identification and talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about prevention and emergency treatment for severe low blood sugar.
How Is Hypoglycemia Treated
When your blood sugar levels are too low, eating carbohydrates is key. If you have diabetes, try to keep high carbohydrate snacks on hand.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that your snack have at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. Some good snacks to keep on hand are:
- hard candies
- jelly beans or gumdrops
- fresh or dried fruit
You also can take glucose tablets to rapidly raise your blood sugar if its low. These are available without a prescription. Its important to check how many grams are in each tablet before taking them. Aim to get 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates.
Wait 15 minutes after eating or taking a glucose tablet and test your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is not going up, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrates or take another dose of glucose tablets. Repeat this until your blood sugar level starts to rise.
Be sure not to overeat. This could lead to blood sugar levels that are too high.
If your blood sugar remains unresponsive, contact your doctor or emergency services right away. When in doubt, treat.
Symptoms of low blood sugar usually get worse if theyre left untreated. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have diabetes and experience low blood sugar levels often, or if you have symptoms, even if you dont have diabetes.
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