Low blood sugar symptoms are too serious to be ignored. This is what we need to do in order to manage this potentially dangerous situation.
Hypoglycemia also known as low blood sugar is an alarming side effect of the disease that needs immediate treatment. When a person suffering from diabetes starts noticing low blood sugar symptoms, ignoring these symptoms may increase the odds that the hypoglycemia could turn into an illness that threatens their life.
If it is left untreated at all or if the reaction is too slow, hypoglycemia can lead to permanent damage to the nervous system, seizures, coma and even death.
The following is a list of steps you should take in case the diabetes management plan you have has failed and you experience low blood sugar symptoms that suggest that another episode of hypoglycemia is on its way.
1. Recognize the Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Different persons experience different symptoms of hypoglycemia. However, any person who is using diabetes medication or insulin must learn more about all the symptoms. These are all the low blood sugar symptoms you can experience:
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- Fatigue or weakness
- Unclear thinking or confusion
- Clammy skin or cold sweats
- Blurred vision
- Food cravings
- Tingling or numb skin
- Fast heartbeat
- Irritability, anger or nervousness.
2. Protect Yourself
In case you or any person close to you suffering from diabetes start experiencing any of these symptoms, take instant safety measures. If you are driving – pull over. If you are walking down steps – sit down. Low blood sugar can lead to fainting and result in harm to yourself and others. You certainly want to avoid that.
3. Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
In majority of cases, when the symptoms are mild, you can check whether you are having a hypoglycemic episode or not, but taking tests. Simply use the help of a blood glucose meter. If you notice that you have 70 mg/dl or lower you need to act right away. In case the symptoms won’t allow you to take these tests, skip this step and take step four.
4. Take Some Carbohydrates
When a person suffering from diabetes is experiencing another hypoglycemic episode, they need to increase blood glucose levels. Carbs, especially simple sugars can help a lot. In case you are using diabetes medication or insulin on a regular basis as part of your diabetes management plan, you must have access to a food that can quickly fix any problems. This food should be equal to 20 grams of carbohydrates or sugar. This is a short list of some foods that can increase blood sugar level fast:
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of raising
- 5 saltine crackers
- 3 glucose tablets
- 5 pieces of hard candy
- 1 cup of milk
- One serving of glucose gel
- One tablespoon of corn syrup or honey
- Half a cup of regular soda or fruit juice.
5. Wait For a While and Confirm That the Treatment is Working
You should not overeat, because these foods can easily boost your sugar levels way too high. So, wait for about 15 minutes and check your blood sugar level. If the results show that the levels are still low, then eat some of the foods we have mentioned again. Wait for another 15 minutes and check. Perform this procedure until the blood sugar levels are 70 mg/dl or slightly higher. When you reach this level, focus on snacks that are more nutritious or wait for the meal, if it is not more than 60 minutes away.
6. If Your Body Doesn’t Respond, Ask For Medical Help
In case you don’t react to the carbs intake or if you had seizures or you have fainted, you are most likely experiencing an episode of severe hypoglycemia and you need urgent medical attention. In case some of the people close to you knows about your condition and can give emergency glucagon injections they should do that right away even before dialing 911. A person suffering from diabetes should respond fast to the glucagon and can eat again in 15 minutes.
7. Take Long-Term Measures
In case you are experiencing frequent hypoglycemic episode or you had a severe one, consult your doctor about your current diabetes management plan. In addition, you should also ask for a prescription for a glucagon injection.
Being ready and understanding the things you need to do in cases of hypoglycemia is a vital element of every good diabetes management plan.