LOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL IN PEOPLE WITH DIABETES
Diabetacare 24x7 Diabetes Care
Koramangala, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Low blood sugar level in people with diabetes is clinically referred to as hypoglycaemia. Sugar (glucose) is essential for the body as it is the primary source of energy. When the sugar level in your body is too low, your body is deprived of energy to perform bodily functions. Hypoglycaemia is a complication of diabetes characterised by abnormally low blood sugar level (usually less than 70mg/dl)
The risk of severe hypoglycaemia is higher in elderly patients, those having comorbid condition such as vascular disease or renal failure, pregnant women and in children with Type 1 diabetes. An average person with Type 1 diabetesexperiences approximately 2 episodes of symptomatic hypoglycaemia each week—a figure that has remained essentially unchanged for 20 years. In Type 2 diabetes, progressive insulin deficiency, longer duration of diabetes, and tight glycaemic control increase the risk of hypoglycaemia as much as Type 1 diabetes.
Mildly low blood sugar levels are somewhat common for people with diabetes; however, severely low blood sugar levels can be life-threatening. They may lead to seizures and nervous system damage. Immediate treatment is critical. Hence, it is important to learn to recognize your symptoms and treat them fast.
Symptoms or Warning Signs
It is important to recognise the warning signs of hypoglycaemia and promptly address them:
• Shakiness and sweating
• Hunger pangs
• Palpitations (rapid heartbeat)
• Blurred vision
• Concentration problem
Hypoglycaemia episodes during sleep can cause disturbed sleep, excess sweating, feeling of fatigue, and dizziness upon waking.
• Missed or delayed meals
• High intensity exercises
• Smaller than usual meals
• Insulin overdose
• Change in medication
• Alcohol consumption
• Lumpy insulin injection sites
• Exposure to Extreme temperature
How can hypoglycaemia be managed?
Immediate management includes consuming food which contains fast acting carbohydrates such as:
1. 3-4 teaspoons of sugar
2. 1 tablespoon of honey or candy
3. 150 ml of non-diet fizzy drink or 200 ml of fruit juice
This can be followed by long-acting carbohydrates such as:
6. Small bowl of cereal or meal (if it is due)
Severe episodes of hypoglycaemia, especially in people who are unconscious or not able to swallow food, may need to be treated with intravenous glucose or medication (glucagon).
At Diabetacare, we have diabetologist & trained nurses who would guide & help you with right diet if you happen to experience hypoglycaemia more often.