Diabetes is defined as a condition that can be managed if one makes sure to balance out insulin injections and medication with activity and food.
When such a balance is upset, two things can occur: either one’s blood glucose levels soar and hyperglycemia happens, or the opposite, hypoglycemia, where one’s blood glucose levels drop too low.
The truth of the matter is that no matter how careful one is, they are bound to experience hypers or hypos from time to time.
There are certain diabetes medications (as well as insulin) that can result in hypos.
That’s why it’s so important to check in with one’s professional healthcare team to make sure that our current treatment does not cause hypos.
That would be lower than 4 mmol/l, in which our body cannot be sufficiently supplied with the energy it needs to function properly.
But keep in mind that hypo symptoms may vary from person to person.
There is no real answer to this question, only certain speculations as to what might cause a hypo.
Some of these are missing out on meals, too much insulin, not enough carbohydrates, drinking too much alcohol (especially on an empty stomach), and spontaneous physical activity.
But at times no obvious reason can be noted.
If you are still conscious, act quickly by treating the hypo with 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. Ideal choices are:
In some cases, we might need another carb snack of 15-20 grams to prevent our glucose levels from plummeting again.
The ideal choices for our second snack are one piece of fruit, a sandwich, milk, biscuits, or some cereal.
It is advisable to retest our glucose levels once about 15 to 20 minutes have passed to make sure they are not still beneath 4 mmol/l.
Answering the question of which hypo treatment would work best for us personally, is something we must find out for ourselves.
As we said, each individual is different, but it might help to consult with your healthcare professional about what might best suit you.
Furthermore, it is always a smart idea to check the packaging’s label, since some sweets and carbs may not be efficient enough to help raise our blood glucose levels back to normal.
This means we may have a severe type of hypo and in such a situation we need aid from someone in treating the hypo.
What they will need to do is:
Note: Be sure to inform your close ones that if you fall unconscious (or cannot swallow properly), you mustn’t be given anything orally.
Though this seems to be a question that is often asked, it will not help our hypo. Constantly high blood sugar is dangerous on its own as it may lead to several complications.
Some of these include heart attack, kidney disease, blindness, stroke, and amputations of lower limbs.
Low blood glucose may occur during the nighttime, and it can happen that some individuals with milder symptoms don’t even wake up while experiencing a hypo.
That can only spell bad news as those symptoms may eventually worsen, and a more severe case of a hypo can occur.
If we didn’t wake up from the hypo, we may feel very tired the following morning. We may even have a headache, much like a hangover.
So, how to best know if one is having night-time hypos? As we mentioned above, it’s best to do a blood test during the night.
And if it just so happens that we are experiencing nighttime hypos, then the insulin dose may need some adjusting.
Hyperglycemia is found on the opposite side of the scale. It occurs when one’s blood glucose levels are over 7mmol/l before meals and over 8.5mmol/l 2 hours following a meal.
This can occur due to several reasons:
The treatment largely depends on what caused the hyper to begin with.
If they happen regularly, you must contact the professional diabetes healthcare team.
There may need to be changes involving our lifestyle and medication. Furthermore, if our hyper lasts for a short while, no treatment will be necessary.
However, if it lasts for a longer period then this is what we need to do:
Make sure to keep a constant check on the diabetes situation and try to make the right life choices to avoid both hypos and hypers.
And remember, sometimes they can occur for no explainable reason at all, which doesn’t mean we should stop taking care of our health.
The best way to do so is to keep well informed of all the newest information and medical discoveries.