Depending on multiple different factors blood glucose levels will vary up or down throughout the day, which is normal. If it varies within a certain range you may not be even able to feel the difference, but if it goes below a normal healthy range and is not treated it can be dangerous.
Low blood glucose or hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose levels have fallen low enough and you need to take some action to bring them back to normal. This is usually when your blood glucose level is below 70 mg/dl. However, talk to your diabetes care team about your own blood glucose targets, and what level is too low for you.
Signs and Symptoms of hypoglycemia:
Each person’s reaction to low blood glucose levels is different. Also, the blood glucose level at which a person will start experiencing the symptoms has individual differences. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood glucose is low.
Following are the symptoms of hypoglycemia:
- Blurred vision
- Cold Sweat
- Pallor/Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
- Tingling or numbness in the lips/tongue
- Coordination problems
- Feeling sleepy
- Slurred speech
- Light headed/ dizzy
- Feeling weak
Hypoglycemia should be recognized and treated as early as possible, as untreated hypoglycemia can lead to
The only way to confirm whether you are experiencing hypoglycemia is to check your blood glucose. If by any chance checking is not possible at that moment, go ahead and treat it before it becomes fatal.
Treatment of Hypoglycemia – The 15 – 15 rule:
The 15-15 rule- have 15 g of simple carbohydrate, wait for 15 minutes and recheck your blood glucose. If it is still below 70 mg/dl repeat the steps again till it is 70 mg /dl and have some snacks/ meal within 30 minutes so that your glucose does not drop down again.
Some examples of 15 g of carbohydrates are:
- ½ glass of fruit juice
- ½ glass of regular (non-diet) soda
- ½ glass of aerated drink
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 3-4 Glucose biscuits
- 3 teaspoon of table sugar.
- 1 – Banana (small)
- 2 medium – Figs (fresh)
- 1 tablespoon honey
Causes of Hypoglycemia:
Insulin / Medications:
- Wrong type
- Wrong Dose
- Incorrect injection technique (injecting into the muscle)
- Not enough carbohydrates
- Eating foods less in carbs, without reducing the insulin dose – Insulin: carbs ratio
- Composition of the meal ( how much carbs, protein and fats are present)
- Meal not taken on time as per the type of insulin taken.
Carefully follow the diabetes management plan you and your doctor have developed. If you are taking new medications, changing your portion sizes, or your exercise schedule, talk to your doctor about how these changes might affect your diabetes management and if you risk low blood sugars.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE