Nighttime Low Blood Sugars
You may experience a low blood sugar night. The low blood sugar might wake you up and your symptoms might be similar to those you have during the day. However, the symptoms may be different. You might have nightmares, sleep poorly, perspire, or feel hot and cold. In the morning you may have a headache, feel nauseated, or feel confused. Notify your doctor if this happens. Check your blood sugar at the time you have the symptoms.
Treatment for a low blood sugar that occurs at night is the same as described earlier.
Your doctor may request that you check a 3:00 a.m. blood sugar 1 to 2 times per week in order to detect any low blood sugars during the night.
Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.
Nutritional Solutions To Avoid High Blood Sugar
Dr. Doyle says, The solution is to drink plenty of fluids and to keep your blood sugar down in the first place!
And the absolute most effective way to do that is to adopt a whole food plant based diet.
This is a diet based on vegetables, fruits, whole unprocessed grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, with minimal animal products and processed foods or sugars.
How You Can Manage Cold Feet At Home
Dealing with perpetually cold feet can feel like an uphill battle. Once you identify the cause of your cold feet, you have to find a way to manage them. The following are some at-home remedies you can use to keep your feet at a comfortable temperature level. Remember to consult your doctor before making any major changes to your health care routine.
- Wear diabetic cotton socks and shoes at all times. Make sure your socks are warm and comfortable your shoes should have soles thick enough to protect and support your feet.
- Keep a watchful eye on your feet for cuts, scrapes, and anything else that the coldness of your feet may numb you to.
- Stay active throughout the day. Regular exercise works to manage your blood sugar levels and help promote circulation to your feet.
- Foot baths, heating pads, and hot water bottles can be used to help warm up extremely cold feet. Care should be taken to check the temperature before use, as these can burn your skin.
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How Can I Avoid Hypos
If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll often be encouraged to control your blood sugar to almost the same levels as someone who doesn’t have diabetes, especially if you’re young and don’t have complications of diabetes or other medical conditions. This is because high blood glucose in the long term is linked to damage to your kidneys, eyes, nerves, feet and heart. However, keeping tight control of your blood glucose does increase the risk of hypos.
Having said that, there are lots of steps you can take to reduce the risk of hypos. These include:
- Not skipping or delaying snacks or meals.
- Learning about the right dose of insulin you need for a given amount of carbohydrate.
- Adjusting your insulin if you’re exercising vigorously.
- Avoiding alcohol, and particularly drinking on an empty stomach.
- Speaking to your medical team in advance of situations where your normal eating will be disrupted so you can work together to adjust your insulin dose.
- If you’re taking sulfonylurea tablets and getting symptoms that you think may be hypos, speak with your team. They may be able to change your medication, as there are many alternative treatments for type 2 diabetes that don’t cause hypos.
- Keeping a supply of sugary drink, fruit juice or glucose tablets to hand at all times, so you can treat symptoms early.
- Checking your blood glucose regularly.
Take Your Medicine As Usual
Insulin is a life-saving medication. Take your insulin as usual, even if you have been feeling very sick and vomiting. Ask your doctor, if necessary, how to adjust your insulin dose based on blood glucose test results.
If you are taking other diabetes-related medications to help manage your blood sugar levels, take these medications as you usually would, even in cases where you have been vomiting. Do not stop taking your medication even if you cannot eat.
If at any time you become doubtful about taking your medication or grow unsure about what the proper dose and time to take your medication should be, contact your healthcare team immediately.
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Managing Blood Glucose Levels While Sick
Its especially important to continue to monitor your blood glucose levels on a regular basis and administer insulin when needed. Using a touchscreen insulin pump with continuous blood glucose monitoring can help individuals more easily manage blood glucose levels compared to injections.
Being ill may leave you with less energy and less desire to continue to practice good diabetes management. It is important to continue to eat meals regularly, as a loss of appetite may make it difficult to stick to a healthy diet and eat regularly.
How Low Blood Sugar Creates Hormone Imbalance
Our brain, along with every cell in the body, needs a constant and even flow of glucose for energy and to function properly.
When the supply of blood sugar is unstable, either too high or too low, it puts stress on various organs, among them the brain.
At this point the adrenal glands are called in to rescue the situation.
They release the stress hormone cortisol to normalize the blood sugar level with emergency stores of a special sugar called glycogen.
Our brain and cells get the sugar they need and all is good.
However, if this stressful scenario repeats itself too often, the adrenal glands will become overwhelmed, fatigued, and eventually exhausted.
Check out to see if you have these 7 cardinal signs of adrenal fatigue.
How To Get Relief From Diabetic Night Sweats
- Keep your bedroom cool: Turn heating off or down to an absolute minimum in the hours before bed. You can also try leaving a window open or keeping a fan running to improve ventilation.
- Choose natural nightwear: Sleep in natural fibres such as cotton, wool or silk. These materials are more breathable and more effective at absorbing moisture than synthetic alternatives such as polyester. So, you can stay cool and avoid that clammy feeling of diabetic night sweats.
- Sleep in natural bedding: As with nightwear, bedding made from natural fibres is more effective at regulating temperature and absorbing moisture. For maximum benefit try wool bedding as this natural fibre is more absorbent than feather/down alternatives. Partner a wool duvet, pillows and protector with cotton sheets and covers for best performance.
Treating Low Blood Sugar Levels
The diabetes health care team will give you clear guidelines about how to treat hypoglycemia, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
If it’s convenient, test the blood sugar levels before treating your child to confirm that the symptoms are due to hypoglycemia. If blood sugar can’t be checked immediately, don’t delay treating your child’s symptoms you can always do a test after getting the blood sugar back into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, give your child sugar or sugary foods that raise the blood glucose level quickly. In general, treatment for hypoglycemia involves:
- having your child eat or drink a form of glucose that works fast, like regular soda, orange juice, or cake frostingor having your child take special tablets or gels that contain glucose. Generally, symptoms will stop about 10 minutes after your child takes sugar.
- rechecking your child’s blood sugar to make sure that the level is no longer low and giving your child food to help prevent the blood sugar from dropping again
- giving glucagon , if symptoms are severe or get worse after your child is given sugar by mouth
For more severe cases of hypoglycemia in which seizures or loss of consciousness happen, giving sugar by mouth may be very difficult or even dangerous. In that case, a glucagon injection should be given.
When possible, adult family members and your child’s caregivers and school staff should know:
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How Do You Stop Under
Determining exactly how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis for optimal health and weight control is tricky. Many factors come into play, including your physical activity, stress levels, sleep adequacy, history of chronic disease, and more. Its impossible to know exactly how many calories your body needs on a daily basis, but there are some ways to estimate what you should be eating.
A quick and easy way to roughly estimate your basement calorie targetthe lowest amount of calories you should ever eatis to multiply your ideal body weight by 10. A woman who is 55 has an ideal body weight of around 125 pounds, so she should not eat less than 1,250 calories per day. Use this calculator to determine your ideal body weight.
Its important to note that this quick estimate is a sedentary formula, meaning it does not take into account any physical activity beyond sitting and standing. If youre exercising regularly, youll need to add at least 200 to 400 calories on top of that number. That same 55 woman might burn around 300 calories or more from a 30-minute run, taking her minimum calorie needs up to 1,550 calories per day, assuming she doesnt do any other exercise that day.
These are just examples of common exercise types in the Paleo community, and the point is to be aware that if youre a highly active individual, your calorie needs will go up by several hundred calories per day above the 10 x ideal weight formula.
How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
The warning signs of hypoglycemia may vary from person to person, but it’s important to know about and be alert to all of them, including:
- Feeling very shaky or trembling
- Weakness or dizziness
- Sweating or feeling cold and clammy
- Extreme hunger pangs
- Trouble keeping your balance or staggering when you walk
- Pale or gray skin
- Becoming confused and unable to think or concentrate
- Feeling uncharacteristically moody or cranky
- A tingling sensation around your mouth
- Double vision or vision that has grown blurry
- A quickening heartbeat
When Is Blood Sugar Considered To Be Too High Or Too Low
Slight fluctuations in blood sugar levels are completely normal, and also happen every day in people who dont have diabetes, in response to the food they eat. Between around 60 and 140 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood is considered to be healthy. This is equivalent to a blood sugar concentration of between 3.3 and 7.8 mmol/l. Millimoles per liter is the unit that blood sugar is measured in. It describes the amount of a certain substance per liter.
If someone has readings over 7.8 mmol/l , they are considered to have hyperglycemia. These high blood sugar levels mainly occur if there isn’t enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work properly. Without the effect of insulin, the organs can’t make good use of the sugar in the blood, so the sugar builds up. If type 1 diabetes is left untreated, blood sugar levels can increase to over 27.8 mmol/l . Such high levels tend to be uncommon in type 2 diabetes.
Blood sugar levels below 3.3 mmol/l are considered to be too low. But, as you can see in the illustration below, there are no clear-cut borders between normal blood sugar levels and too high or too low blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar: Normal range between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
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Work On Positive Self
Feelings of shame and guilt are associated with emotional eating. Its important to work on the self-talk you experience after an episode or it may lead to a cycle of emotional eating behavior.
Instead of coming down hard, try learning from your setback. Use it as an opportunity to plan for the future. And be sure to reward yourself with self-care measures taking a bath, going for a leisurely walk, and so on when you make strides.
Digestive Endocrine And Circulatory Systems
After you eat, your digestive system breaks down carbohydrates and turns them into glucose. Essentially, glucose is your bodys fuel source.
As your sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which helps glucose get taken up and used by cells throughout your body. If you have insulin-dependent diabetes, you must take the right about of insulin to get the job done.
Any excess glucose goes to your liver for storage.
When you go a few hours without eating, blood sugar levels go down. If you have a healthy pancreas, it releases a hormone called glucagon to make up for the absence of food. This hormone tells your liver to process the stored sugars and release them into your bloodstream.
If everything works as it should, your blood sugar levels should remain in the normal range until your next meal.
Insufficient blood sugar levels can cause a rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations. However, even if you have diabetes, you may not always have obvious symptoms of low blood sugar. This is a potentially dangerous condition called hypoglycemia unawareness. It happens when you experience low blood sugar so often that it changes your bodys response to it.
Normally, low blood sugar causes your body to release stress hormones, such as epinephrine. Epinephrine is responsible for those early warning signs, like hunger and shakiness.
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What You Should Do Next
Managing your blood sugar is probably one of the most important aspects to health, longevity and disease prevention.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes get confusing or you might feel overwhelmed with too much information — what to DO or NOT do.
Because this is such an important topic, Ive created a special page to help give you proven solutions and options, and eliminate the confusion – so you can have healthy blood sugar levels at any age.
What Extreme Conditions Can Occur If Hypoglycemia Is Left Untreated
Although severe episodes which can trigger potentially life-threatening comas are rare, they require immediate emergency room care, so its best to make sure you are tracking your blood sugar so that you never have to worry about getting to that point. A drop in blood sugar means less fuel for your brain, so its critical for your body to receive enough glucose. Hypoglycemia that leads to extended, reduced brain function is the biggest concern, as this can lead to seizures and loss of basic bodily functions controlled by the brain, which can ultimately lead to death, explains Dr. Dyer.
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Faq: Frequently Asked Questions
Who is most at risk for hypoglycemia? Aside from diabetics, Dr. Jennifer Shine Dyer notes that children are more prone toexperience episodes of hypoglycemia because of their smaller body size, as well as having less fat to burn to maintain energy when glucose levels are low. Eating meals every 4 to 6 hours should maintain glucose levels if this is the only cause of hypoglycemia, she says.
How do I know it’s low blood sugar? To know if you’re suffering from hypoglycemia, you’ll need to begin tracking your glucose levels under the supervision of your doctor. Drugstores and pharmacies carry test strips, as well as glucose meters, which will help. You can even see the effect that different foods have on your body by checking your blood sugar after eating.
Does fasting affect my blood sugar levels? Yes, going without food can trigger hypoglycemia. If you have diabetes and are concerned about hypoglycemia, aim to eat smaller, more frequent meals and snacks that are low in processed sugars every three hours or so.
Does alcohol consumption trigger low blood sugar?Excessive alcohol consumption, defined as more than one drink per day for women and more than two drinks per day for men, especially with little food, can keep your liver from releasing glucose, which can lead to hypoglycemia.
Why Blood Sugar Spikes When Youre Sick
Any type of illness can raise blood sugar. There are two primary reasons why your blood sugar spikes when you get sick. Together, they are like a double-edged sword that makes managing sickness without a plan much more challenging for people with diabetes than those without.
This is what happens to your blood sugar when you get sick:
- Your body releases stress hormones like epinephrine to fight the illness. These hormones can raise your blood sugar levels and increase the amount of insulin your body needs. This makes it harder for your body to produce enough insulin to keep up with the increased demand.
- When your body doesnt have enough insulin to meet this increased demand, it starts burning fat as fuel and this produces ketones, which can make your blood toxic in high amounts. This can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
When youre sick, diabetic ketoacidosis can come on quite quickly . This is why following a preset diabetes sick day plan is a critical component of managing any type of illness. People with type 1 diabetes who cannot produce enough insulin on their own even during their healthiest days are at increased risk of this complication.