A hypoglycemic episode occurs when blood sugar levels fall below normal and reach a potentially dangerous level. During a hypoglycemia attack, people may experience symptoms such as sweating, shaking, or fatigue. Eating fast-acting carbohydrates quickly can help restore blood sugar levels. Blood glucose, or blood sugar, refers to the amount of sugar present in the blood. It is the body’s main source of energy, and keeping blood sugar within a safe range is necessary for good health. When blood sugar falls below normal levels, it is called hypoglycemia, or hypo. The term hyperglycemia refers to a blood sugar level above normal levels. Although hypoglycemia occurs more often in people with diabetes, it can also occur in people without diabetes.
In this article, we discuss the warning signs of a hypoglycemic episode, how to treat it and what to do in case of a hypoglycemic emergency.
Symptoms of a hypoglycemic episode
Symptoms of a hypoglycemic episode A hypoglycemic episode often comes on quickly and can vary from person to person. Therefore, it is important for a person, and those close to them, to know their personal warning signs. Symptoms of low blood sugar may be:
– shaking or feeling jittery
– nervousness or anxiety
– sweating, chills and clammy feeling
– irritability or restlessness
– rapid or unstable heartbeat
– dizziness or lightheadedness
– paleness of the skin, which may be more apparent in people with lighter skin
– feeling tired and weak or lack of energy
– blurred vision
– tingling or numbness
In very severe cases, when the blood sugar level becomes extremely low, people may lose consciousness or have a seizure psi.
Definition and causes of hypoglycemia
Experts generally define hypoglycemia as a blood sugar level below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or 4 millimoles per liter (mmol/l). Usually, the target blood glucose range in adults with diabetes is around 70-180 mg/dl or 4-7 mmol/l. However, these ranges may vary slightly depending on factors such as age, medications and general health.
Some experts may also use levels to define the severity of the hypoglycemia. These levels can have the following ranges:
– Level 1, or mild: blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dl but equal or greater than 54 mg/dl.
– Level 2, or moderate: Blood glucose is less than 54 mg/dl.
– Level 3, or severe: Blood glucose is often less than mg/dl, and the person is unable to function. She will need another person to administer the corrective measures.
There are many possible causes of low blood sugar, both in people with diabetes and in those without. These include Trusted Source:
– delivering or producing too much insulin
– eating too many carbohydrates after a dose of insulin
– an incorrect dosage of insulin
– the practice of a physical activity
– the consumption of alcohol
– spend time in a hot and humid climate
– eat meals high in fat and fiber
– spending time at high altitude
– experiencing changes in hormone levels
Management and Prevention
It is important for people to try to keep their blood sugar levels within the target range to prevent or delay potential health problems. Typically, this involves monitoring blood sugar, being alert to symptoms, and correcting hypoglycemia with carbohydrates.
The frequency with which people check their blood sugar varies, but it is common to do so after waking up, before and after meals, and before going to sleep. More frequent checks may be necessary in hot weather or if a person is physically active or ill. Also, it is essential to have supplies, such as glucose tablets, on hand to quickly raise your blood sugar if needed.
Some advice on way to control blood sugar:
– Manage the ABCs of Diabetes: The ABCs refer to A1C levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, in addition of quitting smoking.
– Follow a meal plan for diabetes: Eating a variety of nutritious foods from all food groups can help people from Trusted Source to stay healthy.
– Physical activity: Regular exercise has many health benefits and can help people manage their blood sugar.
– Medications: Taking medications for diabetes and other health conditions can help people reach their goal for the ABC .
If a person begins to notice symptoms that they associated with hypos, he is advised to check his blood sugar level. If it is lower than 54 mg/dl, the person must follow the rule of 15-15.
This rule suggests that a person consumes 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates and checks his blood sugar level after 15 minutes. If the blood sugar is still low, the person should consume another serving of 15 g of carbohydrates. People should repeat these steps until their blood sugar levels are within the norm.
Here are some products that contain approximately 15 g of carbohydrates:
– half a cup, of juice or regular soda
– 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey
– hard or gummy candies, the number of which depends on the information on the food label
– 3-4 glucose tablets
Once blood sugar levels are within the range, individuals may consider having a nutritious meal or snack to s make sure it doesn’t drop too low.
Hypo emergency and when to seek help
If someone has a hypo severe, she may be unable to eat or drink. In this case, call the emergency services immediately.
Hypo and unconsciousness
In some cases, people may be unable to recognize the signs before -Runners from an episode of hypoglycemia. This can make it difficult to manage blood sugar and increase the risk of severe hypoglycemia. Although the exact cause of unrecognized hypoglycemia is not known, it would appear that if people experience hypoglycemic episodes frequently, they become more likely to not notice or feel the warning signs. Anyone with diabetes who thinks they are losing awareness of a hypo should talk to a doctor. They may be able to suggest strategies to improve awareness or recommend tools such as a continuous glucose monitor.
A hypoglycemic episode is when blood glucose of a person is weak. Often, she notices symptoms such as shaking, sweating and dizziness. However, symptoms can vary from person to person, so it is important that they know their own warning signs.
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