To keep our blood glucose in a target range, it should not be too high nor too low. In case we have diabetes or someone we know, it is important that we understand what hypoglycemia is.
Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood glucose levels are very low. Typically that is less than 70 mg/dl. It is important to consult with a doctor about our own target when it comes to the levels of our blood glucose. (1)
Our doctor will tell us what level is too low for us. This condition can also be called insulin shock or an insulin reaction.
The symptoms are actually important clues to find out if we have low levels of blood glucose. And actually, the reaction to hypoglycemia is different for every individual. It is good that we learn and become aware of our own symptoms and signs when we experience low blood glucose. (2)
The most accurate and sure way to find out whether we have hypoglycemia is to check the blood glucose. However, if we find ourselves in a situation where we are not able to do that we need to treat this condition. Severe cases of hypoglycemia can cause injuries, accidents, coma, and even worse. (3)
#1 We need to consume 15 to 20 grams of simple carbohydrates or glucose. (4)
#2 Then, after 15 minutes we need to recheck the blood glucose. (5)
#3 If the hypoglycemia continues, we need to repeat this.
#4 Once it is in its normal target level, we can eat a snack in case the next meal we’ve planned is not for an hour or maybe two hours.
Commonly used 15 grams of simple carbohydrates:
If we experience hypoglycemia and not treat it that might cause unconsciousness such as passing out, coma, and also it might cause a seizure. In this case, glucagon is a must. What is glucagon?
The glucagon is actually a hormone that helps and stimulates our liver to release the stored glucose in the bloodstream in time when the blood glucose levels are very low.
There are special injectable glucagon kits. These kits are used in the form of medication and are used to treat when someone passes out from an acute insulin reaction.
We need a prescription in order to have glucagon kits. We need to consult our doctor if we need one, and when and how to use this kit.
In fact, people that are infrequent and in constant contact with coworkers, significant others, and family members that have hypoglycemia should learn how to perform and put glucagon in case they need to treat serious hypoglycemic events.
In case we find ourselves in this type of situation, and the hypoglycemic person has a seizure, or passes out and does not wake up, and there is no glucagon, or we do not know how to inject it, we should call 911.
Checking our blood glucose levels is important. Why? Because we might be one of the many that experience hypoglycemia unawareness. The symptoms of this condition occur when the levels of blood glucose are below 70 mg/dl.
However, some people are below this particular level, and yet they have no symptoms. This is actually hypoglycemia unawareness. These individuals are likely to be awakened from sleep in case the hypoglycemia happens at night.
We should consult our doctor in case we believe that we might have hypoglycemia unawareness. Our doctor can raise or adjust the targets of our blood glucose, and that can help us avoid future episodes.
Some people have symptoms of this condition even when the levels of their blood glucose are higher than the usual 70 mg/dl.
This occurs when a person has high blood glucose levels, and they suddenly start to go down. In case this happens, they need to talk to a doctor.
Those with diabetes, especially those who use insulin, need to have at all times a medical ID with them. In the case of an emergency like a car accident or severe episode of hypoglycemia the medical ID can be useful.
The medical ID can provide the emergency medical personnel with critical information about the individual’s health status, whether they have the disease, use or not use insulin, whether they have certain types of allergies, and more. (6)
Usually, the medical IDs are worn as a necklace or bracelet. The traditional IDs have vital information about the health of an individual.
However, some modern and innovative IDs have compact USB drives. In the USB drive, there is a full medical record of an individual in case of emergency. (7)
The best thing to do is to control blood glucose levels and to learn how to recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia in order to treat it early.