Low Blood Sugars
A low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia or an insulin reaction, is defined as a blood glucose level below 60 to 70 mg/dl. Learn how to prevent and treat these blood sugars.
Timesulin is a cap for insulin pens that shows users how long it's been since their last insulin injection. It is easy to forget when you last took a shot. Was it 10 minutes ago? An hour? 3 hours? Missing the shot can results in blood sugar highs, while taking an extra can result in blood sugar lows. Timesulin helps avoid these mistakes.
by John Walsh, P.A., C.D.E., and Ruth Roberts, M.A.
Copyright © 1997, 2001, 2005 by Diabetes Services, Inc.
One of the more distressing problems in diabetes is hypoglycemia unawareness. Normally, a person will feel warning symptoms when their blood sugar goes low, such as shaking and sweating caused by release of stress hormones. However, those with hypoglycemia unawareness have reduced warning signals and do not recognize they are low. Even if they happen to do a blood sugar test they may not realize what they need to do to treat the low. Luckily, stress hormone release is usually adequate to eventually raise the glucose level, although this may take several hours to work.
Treatment Tips For The Person With Diabetes
Avoid low blood sugars through careful management of insulin doses and carbohydrate intake. This is always the best strategy and is particularly important for people on insulin who live alone. However, even with the best of efforts, hypoglycemia does happen. When a low blood sugar occurs, the following tips can help in treating it quickly and effectively:
Unless you are eating a meal right away, the best treatment for lows is a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates plus some protein. Quickly treating lows lessens stress hormone release and lowers the chance of the blood sugar going high after a reaction. You'll feel better if the body is quickly resupplied with the fuel it needs. Your brain, muscles and other cells will thank you for not prolonging their misery.
For better blood sugars and fewer lows, test often and review your readings once a week for patterns of lows or highs (or both). Identify problems first, then consider their causes and how to correct them. Make one change at a time and correct lows first. If you need any advice at all about how to correct a problem, be sure to call your physician or nurse educator right away. Do not let control problems linger as they usually turn into larger problems.