Posted in: Manage Diabetes

Signs That Your Blood Glucose Level is Too Low

How will you know your blood glucose level is too low? Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood glucose level falls too low, lower than 4.0 mmol/L.  It can occur in people with type 2 diabetes, but it’s most common in type 1 diabetes. Low blood glucose levels are very dangerous when left untreated and that is why we will learn;

  • What causes hypoglycemia?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of Hypoglycemia?
  • How to treat hypoglycemia.

What are the causes of hypoglycemia? 

The causes of hypoglycemia may range from very simple causes to complex causes like;

  • Not eating – when you skip meals, even for those who aren’t diabetic, your blood glucose level will definitely go low, the worst is when you take medications, without eating anything.
  • Insulin overdose – when you use insulin, at a higher dose than what was prescribed, there’s a very high chance of hypoglycemia.
  • Alcohol – taking alcohol lowers your blood glucose level fast, which is why it’s not recommended to take alcohol on an empty stomach or to take any type of alcohol at all when you are a diabetic on medication.
  • Too much exercising – extreme exercises quickly burn down glucose from the foods you eat. Exercising too much can easily lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Wrong use of medications – in this case not taking the medication at the ideal time. Usually, diabetics are advised to follow a strict meal time, which would go hand in hand with a time of medications, to avoid incidences of hypoglycemia or even Hyperglycemia.

What are the symptoms of Hypoglycemia? 

To most people, hypoglycemia may actually present with symptoms like;

  • Sweating too much (the sweat is usually cold)
  • Dizziness.
  • Extreme, unexplained fatigue.
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Shaking body, legs, and hands.
  • Palpitations.
  • And worse even passing out (fainting).

To others, symptoms may actually not show at all, especially if you’ve had diabetes for a long time.

In this case, it’s important to keep a close eye on your blood glucose level, by checking time after time just to make sure it doesn’t go too low. As hypoglycemia can lead to loss of life.

When does hypoglycemia occur 

Hypoglycemia can happen at any time of the day, which could be late at night or early in the morning. It’s very important to keep to your regular meal times and have healthy snacks in between these meals to prevent the onset of Hypoglycemia.

When you use medications/ insulin on an empty stomach, you will only be causing more danger than good.

Sometimes blood glucose levels could go too low to the extent of not being able to see well and even passing out.

How then can you treat hypoglycemia?

It’s very important to learn easy ways to bring your blood glucose level back to normal, which is above 4.0 mmol/L. That can be done easily by taking in a very sugary snack like 1 cup of soda, 1 sweet banana, or 15 grams of glucose (or any other sugary snack), and then waiting for 10-15 minutes before repeating the test. Your blood glucose level should be back up, if it’s not then seek medical help.

Important is to take in fast-acting sugary snacks and not;

  • From complex carbohydrates, these types of carbs take longer to digest, and glucose may not be absorbed as fast as it’s expected at the moment.
  • Avoid fatty snacks, as the fat causes glucose to get absorbed slowly.

When the sugar levels have been controlled, you can always return to your nutritious meals.

What if the patient is unconscious?

In this case, you must never force any solid foods or drinks through their mouth as they could easily choke.

One thing you could do is wet sugar, with a small amount of water, and apply it to the patient’s gums, all around, remember not to force any solid foods or drinks through their mouth.

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