Low Blood Sugar – Hypoglycemia

Bonnie’s Story: Lets look at a few facts about Low Blood Sugar.

Also know as hypoglycemia, insulin reaction, feeling low, low blood glucose, low reading or just low.  They all mean the same thing and the most important thing to know is you or they need sugar to bring their blood sugar back up to a normal range. The difficult part is the feeling is so horrible it is very easy to over treat low blood sugar and then you end up with your blood sugar going high or what is referred to as rebounding. Your doctor will tell you what is considered normal range for your blood sugar. Your brain needs sugar to function, so when a person is experiencing low blood sugar, they may need your help. If you know the person is experiencing low blood sugar and they are not doing anything about it, they likely need help. Everyone is different and the signs and symptoms may also be different in each person. It is really important to carry something for low blood sugar. A low can sneak up on you sometimes.

 

Normal range for me:

My normal range is between 4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L.  I correct to 6.0 mmol/L. When my blood sugar goes below 3.9 mmol/L I will start to feel the the affects of low blood sugar.

The Feeling – Signs and Symptoms:

Their are many signs and symptoms of low blood sugar.  It can be hard at times to know when your are low, let alone recognize a low in someone else. Family members may recognize a change in you even before you do. You will get to know how your system works living with diabetes. The first thing I do is test, so I know what I’m treating. There are times when you will know you are having a severe low and you need to get sugar immediately.

The feeling of Low Blood Sugar may include one or more of the following:

low-blood-sugar

  • Shaky, sweaty, weak or trembling.
  • Nausea and at the same time you may feel hungry.
  • Headache, light headed, blurred vision.
  • Irritable, confused, feeling anxious.
  • Pounding heat rate, racing pulse.
  • Numbness in your hands, tongue or lips.
  • Laughing and acting as if you are a little inebriated.
  • Drowsy, extreme tiredness, you may feel like you just want to go to sleep.

What Changes I have Experienced:

I have found my symptoms have changed over the years. When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I knew immediately when I was going low. I would get very shaky, sweaty and feel very confused. I do not shake now unless I am very…..very low, my first sign now is nausea and at night I find my hands will get tingly and feel numb. If I all of a sudden wake up in the night and find I’m not really feeling low I will still get up and test. This has been very scary as I have been as low as 1.6 mmol/L before waking up, thank goodness I have always been able to help myself in all situations when I have been low. I keep a juice box by my bed, glucose gel in case I need help from a family member and glucose tablets.  Each person with diabetes can be different and you will get to know your signs and symptoms.

The Treatment:

It is necessary to treat low blood sugar immediately. There is no waiting for the next meal or the next break, you need something that will get into your bloodstream quickly. This is not the time to grab a sandwich or a chocolate bar as it takes to long for the sugar to break down and get into your system. You need something that will get into your system fast. Juice or regular pop works quickly. If my blood glucose is 3.9 mmol/L or below, I eat or drink a fast acting carbohydrate. I prefer the Dex4® glucose tablets or juice. I use the following process.

Treat with 15 grams of sugar/carbohydrates.  This can be one of the following:

  • 3 Dex4® glucose tablets. (4 grams of carbohydrates per tablet.)
  • 175mL (3/4 cup) juice or regular soda.
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of table sugar or honey.
  • 6 Life Savers candies.

I Wait for 15 minutes and then I check my blood test again. If my blood sugar is not above 3.9 mmol/L I repeat the above treatment. Over treating a low test is a big problem for most people with diabetes. Number one you are trying to get rid of the low feeling and you end up treating the low feeling and of course you will have an over swing and your test will end up high. You will get to know how many Carbohydrates you will need to get your test up to a normal range.

Disclaimer – This website does not provide medical advice or treatment recommendations. All content on type 1 diabetes treatment website is for informational purposes and is the personal experience and opinion of the author. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician with you medical questions and concerns.

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