If A Person Is Unconscious
If a person loses consciousness;because of;severe hypoglycaemia, they need to be put into the;recovery position and given an injection of the hormone glucagon;. The injection will raise their blood glucose level.
The injection should be carried out by a friend or family member who knows what they’re doing, or by a trained healthcare professional.
You should dial 999 to request an ambulance if:
- a glucagon injection kit isn’t available
- there’s nobody available who’s trained to give the injection
- the injection is ineffective after 10 minutes
Never try to put food or drink into the mouth of someone who’s unconscious as;they could choke.
If you’re able to give a glucagon injection and the person regains consciousness, they should;eat some longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar or a sandwich.
You should continue to monitor the person for signs of recurring symptoms;in case they need to be treated again.
What Is The Difference Between Prediabetes And Type 2 Diabetes
- Prediabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. It is an early warning sign that the body has more sugar in the blood then it can use.
- Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs slowly over time. The pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to keep up with the increased need to move sugar into the cells for energy. Medication and lifestyle changes are necessary to manage blood sugar levels and avoid diabetes complications.
- Type 1 diabetes is different, and results from auto-immune attacks on the pancreas.
What are the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
Without reversing prediabetes, blood sugar continues to rise and signs and symptoms of diabetes may develop. The most common symptoms and early signs are thirst and excess urination. Sometimes people will notice unexplained weight loss. Later signs of type 2 diabetes are
Unfortunately, there really are no symptoms or signs of prediabetes. It almost always is diagnosed by chance during a medical screening or routine bloodwork. This is why it is important to get screened, especially if you are overweight or have family members with diabetes or pre-diabetes. However, the most common sign associated with prediabetes is being overweight.
It is common for a person with prediabetes to only have slightly elevated blood sugar levels, but the body continues to require increased insulin to maintain it. Hyperinsulinemia or high insulin, has signs and symptoms of:
- Weight gain around the abdomen
How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed
If you suspect you have low blood sugar, its important to check your blood sugar right away. If you dont have a meter and youre on diabetes medications that increase insulin, talk with your doctor about getting a blood glucose meter.
If you experience low blood sugar often say, a few times a week see your doctor right away to determine why. Your doctor will begin your visit by requesting your medical history, asking questions about your eating habits, and learning more about the symptoms youre experiencing.
If you dont have diabetes but suspect you have hypoglycemia, talk with your doctor about your symptoms. They will perform a physical examination. They will use three criteria, sometimes referred to as Whipples triad, to diagnose low blood sugar. These include:
- Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor may require you to fast, or abstain from drinking and eating for an extended period of time, so they can observe your low blood sugar signs and symptoms.
- Documentation of low blood sugar when your signs and symptoms occur. Your doctor will order a blood test to analyze your blood sugar levels in a laboratory.
- Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor will want to know whether the signs and symptoms go away when your blood sugar levels are raised.
To perform a blood sugar test, you will need to prick your finger with a lancet . Youll put a small sample of blood from this onto a strip inserted into the blood glucose meter.
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What Is The Best Thing To Eat When Your Blood Sugar Is Low
To avoid overtreating lows with too much simple carbohydrate or food and then facing a rebound high blood sugar, its best to have go-to;automatic corrections;for hypoglycemia that are;quantity limited and unappealing to overeat.;Glucose tablets and gels, and candies like Smarties, are predictable, relieve low symptoms quickly, and are hard to overeat. Some people with diabetes count out jelly beans, mini-Swedish Fish, gummies, or hard candy and eat the exact amount that will help their blood sugar. Others take a specific amount of juice or another sugar-containing drink.
How do you know how much of your correction to consume? Similar to the 15-15 rule, the only way to discover exactly how much of your go-to correction your body needs is by checking your glucose levels, eating a source of sugar that has been measured out, and then checking again in roughly 15 minutes. This can help you adjust the amount of your source of sugar to raise your blood sugar to your target , but not overshoot. This is a precision dose of carbs. To learn more, read Adam Browns Defeating the Hypoglycemia Binge.
Do not use a low as a reason to eat treats this can cause your blood sugar to spike later. Plus, it connects a food reward with something you want to avoid , which is an easy way to develop a bad habit.
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:
- the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
- skipping or delaying a meal
- not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
- exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
- drinking alcohol
Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.
Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.
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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.
Treating Low Blood Glucose If You Take Medicines That Slow Down Digestion
Some diabetes medicines slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high after you eat. If you develop low blood glucose while taking these medicines, you will need to take glucose tablets or glucose gel right away. Eating or drinking other sources of carbohydrates wont raise your blood glucose level quickly enough.
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How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemia
You may need to change what and when you eat to prevent low blood sugar levels. Follow the meal plan that you and the dietitian have planned. The following guidelines may help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Eat 5 to 6 small meals each day instead of 3 large meals. Eat the same amount of carbohydrate at meals and snacks each day. Most people need about 3 to 4 servings of carbohydrate at meals and 1 to 2 servings for snacks. Do not skip meals. Carbohydrate counting can be used plan your meals. Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian for information about carbohydrate counting.
- Limit refined carbohydrates. Examples are white bread, pastries , regular sodas, syrups, and candy.
- Do not have drinks or foods that contain caffeine. Examples are coffee, tea, and certain types of sodas. Caffeine may cause you to have the same symptoms as hypoglycemia, and may cause you to feel worse.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1Â½ ounces of liquor. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Drink alcohol with meals to avoid hypoglycemia.
- Include protein foods and vegetables in your meals. Some foods that are high in protein include beef, pork, fish, poultry , beans, and nuts. Eat a variety of vegetables with your meals.
Structural Analysis And Synthesis
Purified animal-sourced insulin was initially the only type of insulin available for experiments and diabetics. was the first to produce the crystallised form in 1926. Evidence of the protein nature was first given by , , and Philip A. Shaffer in 1924. It was fully proven when Hans Jensen and Earl A. Evans Jr. isolated the amino acids phenylalanine and proline in 1935.
The amino acid structure of insulin was first characterized in 1951 by , and the first synthetic insulin was produced simultaneously in the labs of at the and at in the mid-1960s. was achieved by Chinese researchers in 1965. The complete 3-dimensional structure of insulin was determined by in ‘s laboratory in 1969.
The first genetically engineered, synthetic “human” insulin was produced using in 1978 by and at the of the in collaboration with at . Genentech, founded by Swanson, Boyer and , went on in 1982 to sell the first commercially available biosynthetic human insulin under the brand name . The vast majority of insulin used worldwide is biosynthetic recombinant “human” insulin or its analogues. Recently, another approach has been used by a pioneering group of Canadian researchers, using an easily grown plant, for the production of much cheaper insulin.
Two other Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work on insulin. British molecular biologist , who determined the of insulin in 1955, was awarded the 1958 . received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the development of the for insulin.
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What Causes Low Blood Glucose In People With Diabetes
Low blood glucose levels can be a side effect of insulin or some other medicines that help your pancreas release insulin into your blood. Taking these can lower your blood glucose level.
Two types of diabetes pills can cause low blood glucose
- sulfonylureas, usually taken once or twice per day, which increase insulin over several hours
- meglitinides, taken before meals to promote a short-term increase in insulin
The following may also lower your blood glucose level
Symptoms Of Low Sugar Levels
One or more of the following symptoms may be recognised if blood glucose levels become too low:
- Increased hunger
Very high;blood glucose levels;can be immediately dangerous, so if you or nayone with diabetes has symptoms of very high sugar levels, call for emergency help.
Two short term complications of diabetes that can result from very high sugar levels are:
- Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State; a condition more likely to affect people with insulin resistance, such as people with type 2 diabetes
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis; a condition more likely to affect people who are dependent on taking insulin, particularly, but not limited to, people with type 1 diabetes
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How Do I Treat An Episode Of Hypoglycemia
The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule for an episode of hypoglycemia:
- Eat or drink 15 grams of carbs to raise your blood sugar.
- After 15 minutes, check your blood sugar.
- If its still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs.
- Repeat until your blood sugar is at least 70 mg/dL.
If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia but cant test your blood sugar, use the 15-15 rule until you feel better.
Note: Children need fewer grams of carbs. Check with your healthcare provider.
What About Exercise And Prediabetes
All exercise helps reverse prediabetes by using up sugar in the bloodstream and improving insulin sensitivity. An exercise plan should focus on two things:
Increasing muscle strength makes the cells of the muscle “hungrier , and that equals a healthier metabolism. You can build muscle by using weights, your own body weight, or resistance bands. If you choose weight training start slowly, and ask for help using the equipment safely and properly. Begin with low weights, and gradually work up to heavier weights. Lifting one round of heavy weights for only 6-8 repetitions has more benefit than one round of light weights for 10 or more repetitions. If you can do more than 10 repetitions, add more weight.
This plan also is great if you are in a hurry. You can complete a full workout in just 20 minutes twice a week. Work up to this gradually to avoid injury.
And, as always check with your health-care professional before starting any exercise program and get help using equipment properly to avoid injury.
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Symptoms Of High Sugar Levels
One or more of the following symptoms are common when blood glucose levels are too high:
- Increased urination
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
If sugar levels are regularly too high for a number of days or weeks, the following symptoms may also berecognised:
- Loss of weight, particularly muscle mass
- Regular urinary tract infections
- Regular episodes of thrush
Note that in people that are overweight, loss of weight may sometimes be more recognisable as a loss of muscle mass.
High blood sugar can be uncomfortable and can increase the risk of developing long term complications if extended periods of hyperglycemia become a regular occurrence.
- Read more about;hyperglycemia.
Nighttime Low Blood Sugar
While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:
- Having an active day.
- Being physically active close to bedtime.
- Taking too much insulin.
- Drinking alcohol at night.
Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.
You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.
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What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose
Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.
Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to
- high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
- hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low
Make Sure You Have A Glucagon Kit
For the very worst lows when youre unconscious or when youre sick and you cant keep food down a glucagon kit can save your life. If you dont have one, or the one you have is expired, ask your doctor for a new prescription. Keep it in somewhere in your house or at work or in your gym bag, and make sure others know where it is and how to use it!
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How Serious Is Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemic episodes can range from mild to severe.
Mild hypoglycemia can usually be treated by the individual and are to be expected to some degree in people on insulin. Mild hypos are not associated with significant long term health problems unless they are occurring very regularly or for long periods of time.
Severe hypoglycemia, however,;will require treatment from someone else and may require an ambulance. Severe hypos can lead to immediate danger if not treated immediately. Whilst rare, severe hypos can potentially lead to coma and death.
- What is dead in bed syndrome ?
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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