How do I treat Hypoglycemia?
The quickest way to raise your blood glucose and treat Hypoglycemia
is with some form of sugar; many Diabetics like to carry glucose tablets;
you can get glucose tablets at any chemist and at many other stores
as well; other sources of sugar or simple carbohydrates also work well
to treat Hypoglycemia, such as Fruit Juice, Boiled Sweets, Pretzels,
and Cream Crackers, etc; the important thing is to get at least 15 to
20 grams of sugars or carbohydrates as soon as possible.
A food's nutrition label can tell you how much you need to eat of that
food to get enough to treat an episode of Hypoglycemia; to treat it
you should stick with something that is mostly sugar or carbohydrates;
foods that have a lot of fat as well as sugars and carbohydrates, such
as chocolate or cookies, do not work as quickly to raise blood glucose
levels; foods with 15 grams of carbohydrates include such as, 4 oz (1/2
cup) of juice or regular soda; 2 tablespoons of raisins; 4 or 5 salty
crackers; 4 teaspoons of sugar or 1 tablespoon of honey or corn syrup.
Ask your health care professional or dietitian to list foods that you
can use to treat low blood glucose; then be sure you always have at
least one type of sugar with you; foods that most Hypoglycemics should
eat include the following; though, if unsure, check with your dietician:
Lean meat and poultry such as Beef, Chicken and Turkey, try to avoid
processed meats, they are not as good; Whole grains, such as Rices and
Pastas; vegetables such as, Tomatoes, Onions, Carrots, Lettuce, Cabbage,
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Spinach, Peppers, Mushrooms,
Cucumbers, Celery, Nuts, Nut Butters, Protein Powders and Beans of all
types; Plain Yogurt & Water.
Once you've checked your blood glucose and treated your Hypoglycemia,
wait 15 or 20 minutes and then check your blood again; if your blood
glucose is still low and your symptoms of Hypoglycemia don't go away,
repeat the treatment; after you feel better, be sure to eat your regular
meals and snacks as planned to keep your blood glucose levels up.
What if Hypoglycemia Goes Untreated?
It's important to treat it quickly because Hypoglycemia can get worse
and you could pass out; if you do pass out, you will need immediate
treatment, such as an injection of glucagon or emergency treatment in
if you suffer from Hypoglycemic attacks, on a regular basis, ask your
doctor about Glucagon; it raises blood glucose and it is injected like
Insulin; your doctor may prescribe it for you and tell you how to use
it; if you do need it, you will need to tell people around you, such
as family members and co-workers, how and when to inject glucagon should
you ever need it.
if you have had an Hypoglycemic attack and glucagon is not available,
you should be taken to the nearest emergency room for treatment for
low blood glucose; if you need immediate medical assistance or an ambulance,
someone should call an emergency number for help; it is a good idea
to place the emergency numbers by a telephone.
if you do Pass Out from Hypoglycemia, here are some DOs
and DON'Ts for Friends, Families and Co-Workers:
DO NOT inject Insulin.
DO NOT provide food or
DO NOT put hands in your
DO inject glucagon.
DO call for emergency
What is Hypoglycemia Unawareness?
This is a state in which a person does not feel or recognize the symptoms
of Hypoglycemia; this can cause a person to not recognize when blood
glucose levels are dropping below a safe level and so they don't know
when to take action to bring the glucose levels back up; this seems
to occur more frequently in people who have had a lot of low blood glucose
episodes or who have had Diabetes for a long time, but it doesn't happen
In addition to Unawareness, a personís body may not respond immediately
to treatment and the Hypoglycemia may last longer; people with Hypoglycemia
Unawareness are also less likely to be awakened from sleep when Hypoglycemia
occurs at night and they have less defenses against Hypoglycemia during
exercise; this is a dangerous condition, and if you think you have Hypoglycemia
Unawareness, you should consult with your health care team; sometimes,
just avoiding mild Hypoglycemia can help restore a personís awareness
of the symptoms of Hypoglycemia.
Some Safety Nets For Hypoglycemia Unawareness:
Increase the number of times you check every day or check at different
Always check before driving; if levels are low, eat and test again,
until levels are no longer low.
Discuss your Hypoglycemic episodes with your health care team so that
you can look for patterns to use as warning cues.
Educate the people youíre with everyday about Hypoglycemia and how to
Wear an ID bracelet that identifies you as a person with Diabetes.
Ask for prescription glucagon, and be sure those around you know how
to use it.
Attend a class on blood glucose awareness training offered at a specialty
Many people with Diabetes, particularly those who use Insulin,
should have a medical ID with them at all times; in the event of a severe
Hypoglycemic episode, a car accident, or other emergency, the medical
ID can provide critical information about the personís health status,
such as the fact that they have Diabetes, whether or not they use Insulin,
whether they have any allergies, etc; emergency medical personnel are
trained to look for a medical ID when they are caring for someone who
canít speak for themselves.
Medical IDs are usually worn as a bracelet or a necklace; traditional
IDs are etched with basic, key health information about the person and
some IDs now include compact USB drives that can carry a personís full
medical record for use in an emergency.
How can I prevent low blood glucose?
Your best bet is to practice good Diabetes management and learn how
to detect Hypoglycemia so that you can treat it early, before it gets
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