Symptoms Of Mild Low Blood Sugar
You may have these symptoms when your blood sugar has dropped below 4.0 millimoles per litre . When you have had diabetes for many years, you may not always develop symptoms of mild low blood sugar.
Some young children with diabetes cannot recognize symptoms of low blood sugar. Others can, but not every time. To be safe, the parents need to do a home blood sugar test whenever they suspect low blood sugar in a child.
Symptoms may include:
- Sweating . Check for sweating on the back of your neck at your hairline.
- Nervousness, shakiness, and weakness.
- Extreme hunger and slight nausea.
- Dizziness and headache.
- A fast heartbeat and feeling anxious.
These symptoms may go away shortly after you eat food that contains sugar.
Are Certain People More Likely To Have Low Blood Pressure
Some people, especially if you have diabetes, are at a higher risk of your blood pressure temporarily dropping after eating or when getting up from a chair or from lying down in bed, for example. The former is whats called postprandial hypotension and the latter is orthostatic hypotension. Normally, when you’re digesting food, or when you change your body position from sitting to standing, your cardiovascular system adapts by beating harder as well as more rapidly, and constricting the diameter of certain blood vessels, such as those far from your intestine where digestion occurs. These physiological changes all collaborate to maintain your blood pressure. But, if these changes do not occur fast or adequately enough, your blood pressure can drop, sometimes to dangerous levels.
Etiology Of Diabetes Type 2
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Low Blood Pressure Definition
Low blood pressure is likewise called hypotension. You might be thinking that low blood pressure is an advantage, especially if yours tends to run on the high side. However the reality is that low blood pressure can be a severe condition for some individuals.
For individuals without diabetes, the American Heart Association suggests a blood pressure of less than 120 over 80 . Low blood pressure is generally defined as a blood pressure of less than 90/60. If your blood pressure tends to hover in that area with no symptoms, then theres most likely no cause for issue. However if symptoms happen, thats a signal that something is awry.
Signs Of Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Some people have no symptoms of low blood sugar. The only symptom you may have is confusion. Or you may become unconscious before anyone realizes you have low blood sugar.
You may have hypoglycemic unawareness if you:
- Cannot tell by your symptoms that your blood sugar is low.
- Have low blood sugar several times a week.
- Have type 1 diabetes, or have had type 2 diabetes for a long time.
If you have hypoglycemic unawareness, test your blood sugar often, especially before activities like driving a car. Keep some glucose or sucrose tablets or solution or quick-sugar foods with you. If you take insulin, carry a glucagon emergency kit. You can also give friends and family instructions to treat low blood sugar.
Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
How you react to low blood sugar may not be the same as how someone else with low blood sugar reacts. Its important to know your signs. Common symptoms may include:
- Fast heartbeat
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
You may not have any symptoms when your blood sugar is low . If you dont have symptoms, it will be harder to treat your low blood sugar early. This increases your risk of having severe lows and can be dangerous. This is more likely to happen if you:
- Have had diabetes for more than 5-10 years.
- Frequently have low blood sugar.
- Take certain medicines, such as beta blockers for high blood pressure.
If you meet one or more of the above and you have hypoglycemia unawareness, you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low. This is very important to do before driving or being physically active.
The Dangers Of Low Blood Glucose
At some time, most people with diabetes experience the sweating and shakiness that occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl a condition known as hypoglycemia. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience symptoms of low blood glucose up to two times a week. However, not all are aware that these symptoms can rapidly progress to seizures, coma and even death if hypoglycemia is severe. Though hypoglycemia can be common and occur repeatedly in some people with diabetes, symptoms of low blood glucose should always be taken seriously. People with diabetes and their families, friends or coworkers should be prepared to act quickly and responsibly at the earliest signs of low blood glucose.
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How To Avoid Added Sugars And Improve Your Blood Pressure
Avoiding added sugars is the key to limiting sugar intake in your diet. Dietary guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend that for men, 36 grams of added sugar is the daily maximum and for women, 25 grams is the daily maximum. Less is always better though, so aim to consume as little added sugar as possible. Knowing where added sugars are hiding is important for making the best food choices for a low-sugar diet. Follow these tips for cutting down on the amount of added sugar in your diet.
How Can I Prevent Low Blood Glucose
All people with diabetes:
- If you experience low blood glucose often, ask your doctor if setting a higher goal for your A1C level may be appropriate.
- Ask your doctor to look at the test results from your home blood glucose monitor. These results reveal how often you have low blood glucose and when these episodes occur. Your doctor will look for patterns to see if low glucose happens after exercise or at certain times of day, for example.
- If you’ve had low blood glucose in the past, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet so that others will know that you have diabetes in the event of an emergency.
- Keep a fast-acting carbohydrate in your bag, desk drawer, car and other places for easy access. Good options include hard candy, fruit juice or glucose paste or tablets, which can be purchased at most pharmacies.
- Ask your doctor for an emergency glucagon kit. This kit contains a fast- acting medication that can be injected in case of loss of consciousness because of low blood glucose. Keep one kit at home and one at work or school.
- Monitor your blood glucose regularly so that low levels can be corrected before symptoms progress.
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How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.
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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can start quickly, with people experiencing them in different ways. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant. But they provide good warnings that you should take action before blood sugar drops more. The signs include:
- Shaking or trembling.
- Tingling or numbness in the face or mouth.
During a severe hypoglycemic event, a person may:
- Be unable to eat or drink.
- Have a seizure or convulsions .
- Lose consciousness.
- Slip into a coma or die .
Does A Hot Bath Raise Blood Sugar
Extreme heat can cause blood vessels to dilate, which makes insulin absorb more quickly and could lead to low blood sugar.
In this regard, can taking a hot shower raise blood sugar?
Recent research confirms that not only are more calories burned when your body temperature rises in a hot bath, but that hot bath also has a surprisingly beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. The researchers found that by sitting in a hot bath for an hour, energy expenditure increased by 80%.
Similarly, can a hot bath cause hypoglycemia? Low blood sugarThis can be made worse when exercising due to the increased blood flow to certain areas, especially if insulin is injected in the legs. Also consider that hot tubs/jacuzzis or hot showers/baths can have the same affect, leading to hypoglycemia.
Considering this, are hot baths bad for diabetics?
Hot tub use can increase your blood flow, so more nutrient-rich blood reaches your muscles. This may reduce blood glucose levels in some people with diabetes. However, there are risks. Excessive heat can cause your heart to beat faster, which is risky if you have an underlying heart problem.
Does hot bath raise blood pressure?
When you submerge your body in hot water, your temperature rises, but your blood pressure drops. Your blood vessels dilate to try to help cool off the body. Blood diverts to the skin, away from the body core. Heart rate and pulse increase to counteract a drop in blood pressure.
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Sudden Death In Young People With Type 1 Diabetes
A link between hypoglycemia and sudden death was raised in the 1960s, but the first detailed description appeared in 1991 after investigation of a series of deaths of young adults with type 1 diabetes . The survey was commissioned by the British Diabetic Association after concern that insulin of human origin might cause fatal hypoglycemia. After deaths from definite causes were excluded, the authors identified 22 individuals with type 1 diabetes aged < 50 years, who despite being previously well had a very similar manner of death. Most were found lying in an undisturbed bed, a scenario that prompted the label dead in bed syndrome . These observations have been followed by several epidemiological surveys that have confirmed both the mode of death and its increased frequency in individuals with type 1 diabetes . An autopsy study from Australia suggested that sudden unexpected deaths are four times more frequent than in a comparable nondiabetic population and, of these, many are found dead in an undisturbed bed.
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How Common Is Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2
Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3
If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure
A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.
Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016
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Physiological Effects Of Hypoglycemia
In the adult human, acute hypoglycemia causes pronounced physiological responses as a consequence of autonomic activation, principally of the sympatho-adrenal system, and results in end-organ stimulation and a profuse release of epinephrine . This profound autonomic stimulus provokes hemodynamic changes, the important consequences of which are to maintain the supply of glucose to the brain and promote the hepatic production of glucose. Blood flow is therefore increased to the myocardium, the splanchnic circulation , and the brain. The hemodynamic changes associated with hypoglycemia include an increase in heart rate and peripheral systolic blood pressure, a fall in central blood pressure, reduced peripheral arterial resistance , and increased myocardial contractility, stroke volume, and cardiac output . The workload of the heart is therefore temporarily but markedly increased. This transient cardiac stress is unlikely to be of serious functional importance in healthy young people who have a normal CV system, but may have dangerous consequences in many older people with diabetes, especially individuals with type 2 diabetes, many of whom have coronary heart disease.
Typical QT measurement with a screen cursor placement from a subject during euglycemia , showing a clearly defined T wave, and hypoglycemia , showing prolonged repolarization and a prominent U wave. Reproduced from Marques et al. with permission from John Wiley & Sons.
Prevention Of Low Blood Sugar
Do not skip or delay meals. If your diet plan includes snacks, make sure to take these.
Measure insulin dosage carefully and inject it properly. If you cannot see well, a family member or a visiting nurse can prepare your insulin injections for you.
Take only the prescribed amount of insulin or oral medication for diabetes that your doctor has ordered.
Keep exercise consistent from day to day. Eat a snack or reduce your insulin prior to unusual exercise.
If you are taking insulin, notify your doctor if you have low blood sugars four or more times per week or if you have a severe low blood sugar. Severe low blood sugars are those less than 40 mg., those requiring help from another person, or those which cause you to have a convulsion or become unconscious.
If you are taking oral medication for your diabetes notify your doctor or nurse if blood sugars are running less than 80 mg. or if you have a severe low blood sugar.
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