Also known as insulin shock, hypoglycaemia can occur without warning signs. Low blood sugar may happen right after a meal or before, during exercises or even watching television. Here, we will talk about how to treat low blood sugar.
You need to watch for the signs and take action fast. It happens when people with diabetes 2 take too much medication or skip a meal.
Low blood sugar symptoms
The low sugar levels in the blood will affect your metabolic activity. You may exhibit one or more of these signs:
- Inability to think straight
- A headache
- A sudden change in mood
- Fast heartbeat
People may also have nightmares or cry out in their sleep when the blood sugar is too low. You might have a tired feeling when you wake up or find your sheets soaked with perspiration. Usually, hypoglycemia is a mild condition. Check your blood sugar using a blood sugar testing device.
What blood sugar level is hypoglycemia? If the level is less than 70 mg/dL, you have hypoglycemia.
How to treat low blood sugar
The first thing to do is to raise the blood sugar levels by eating a sugar-rich food. The second thing to do (if you have recurrent attacks) is to see your medical health service provider.
1. Take 15 gram of fast-acting carbohydrates. This includes the following:
- 3-4 sugar tablets.
- ½ cup of any fruit juice
- 1 tablespoon of honey (put it under the tongue for faster absorption)
- Glucose gel (1 tube)
- Milk – 1 cup
- 4-6 pieces of candy
- 1 glass of soft drink (not sugar-free)
2. Follow up with a meal having complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread or biscuits made from whole grains.
Also Read: Healthy breakfast ideas for type 2 diabetes
What happens during hypoglycemia?
Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. The glucose converts into its absorbable form through the action of insulin. At times, the body may not produce enough insulin (diabetes type 1). Or, the body will not respond to the insulin produced. This leads to un-absorbed sugar in the blood. This excess sugar can prove detrimental to the nerves and the organs if left untreated for a long time.
Also Read: Natural remedies for diabetic nerve pain
Serious effects of low blood sugar
The more serious consequence is that the body does not have enough energy to go on functioning. Low sugar levels lead to a condition that the body identifies as “starvation” because it does not get the energy it needs. At this point, the body will shut down the functioning of many of the organs. This might cause you to experience the signs of low blood sugar given above.
Drinking alcohol when you are on diabetic medication will lead to low blood sugar conditions. This also happens when you take alcohol and do not eat any food. More severe conditions may occur if you do not take any action. These include the following:
- Numbness of the tongue and mouth
- Poor coordination
- Passing out
- Poor concentration
Other causes for low blood sugar include medications such as quinine and a few tumors. These tumours make excess secretion of insulin and so this will lead to low blood sugar levels.
People with medical conditions such as kidney disorder and hepatitis will also experience low blood sugar conditions. Others having endocrine gland dysfunctions such as adrenal gland deficiency will also experience hypoglycemia.
Also Read: Top 10 ayurvedic medicines for diabetes
Check for low sugar condition
People who don’t have diabetes but suspect that they will have undergo the Whipple’s triad medical tests. This consists of the following:
- Check for signs of low blood sugar: The doctor will ask you to fast. You must not eat or drink for a specified period before the test. This allows the doctor to see how the condition of the blood is and if low blood sugar condition sets in.
- Documentation of signs: If and when the signs occur, they will document this. Your doctor will make a record of the blood sugar level using standard tests.
- Blood sugar becomes normal: They will check this to make sure that the low blood sugar symptoms go away when you eat food having sugar in it.
You can use a glucose meter to keep track of your sugar level. You have to test the sugar level at specific times of the day. For instance, you must check it early in the morning before you have eaten anything.
This is the fasting blood sugar. Then, you have to check the blood sugar level one hour after you have eaten food. This is the postprandial sugar level. Apart from this, you also have to do random checks to see at what level your blood sugar is.
In case you don’t have the glucose meter, you can check for the signs of low blood sugar. If you see them, immediately take action. If you leave it untreated, the signs will get worse.
After you get the sign, eat the sugar-rich food. Then, check your sugar level. If the sugar level is not responding to the food intake, then have another dose of food. If there is no response even now, you must contact your doctor at once.
Also Check: Effective home remedies for diabetes cure
Precautions to guard against low sugar condition
If you have hypoglycemia, buy the glucose tablets and keep them in stock with you. Do not leave the house unattended. Take some relative, friend, or neighbor with you when you go shopping. Have regular consultations with your doctor to know your health condition and take action if needed. Do not overeat as this might lead to high blood sugar levels.
Mildly low conditions of blood sugar are alright but if they go too low, they could become life-threatening. Extreme conditions will result in nerve system damage and seizures. For people with low sugar problems, a glucagon kit is essential. This helps raise the blood sugar level in an instant.
If you are a diabetic patient, always carry some glucose-rich food item with you. This might be a candy bar, fruit juice, glucose tablets, or sugar tablets. If a diabetic patient near you becomes unconscious due to the low sugar level, you must administer a medication called glucagon. Then, contact the nearest medical facility fast.