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Hypoglycemia triggers to avoid

Hypoglycemia triggers to avoid

If diabetic hypoglycemia isn't Hypoglycemia triggers to avoid, signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia worsen and can triggerrs. Breadcrumb Home Life with Diabetes Get the Right Care for You Hypoglycemia Low Blood Glucose. Have had diabetes for a long time. A doctor may:.

Hypoglycemia triggers to avoid -

Insulin and exercise both lower blood sugar and food with carbohydrate raises it. Hypoglycemia can occur, although rarely, in people who do not have diabetes.

When it does occur outside of diabetes, hypoglycemia can be caused by a variety of medical problems. A partial list includes:. If a person with diabetes has severe hypoglycemia, he or she may not be able to answer the doctor's questions because of confusion or unconsciousness.

In this case, a family member or close friend will need to describe the patient's medical history and insulin regimen. To help ensure effective emergency treatment, all people with diabetes treated with insulin or a sulfonylurea should consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace.

This potentially lifesaving jewelry will identify the patient as having diabetes, especially when the patient is far from home or traveling alone. Family members or friends of a person with diabetes should learn how to bring a patient out of severe hypoglycemia by giving the person orange juice or another carbohydrate, or by giving an injection of the drug glucagon, which can raise blood sugar.

If a person with diabetes can answer questions appropriately, the doctor will want to know the names and doses of all medications, as well as recent food intake and exercise schedule. If the patient has been self-monitoring blood sugar with a glucometer a hand-held device to measure glucose levels in blood from a finger prick or with continuous glucose monitoring, the doctor will review the most recent blood sugar readings to confirm low blood sugar and to check for a pattern of hypoglycemia related to medication schedule, diet, or exercise.

In people who do not have diabetes, the doctor will review current medications and ask about any history of gastrointestinal surgery especially involving the stomach , liver disease, and the circumstances surrounding the epsodes.

Patients should describe their symptoms and when they occur — whether they occur before or after meals, during sleeping, or after exercise. In a person with diabetes, the diagnosis of hypoglycemia is based on symptoms and blood sugar readings.

In most cases, no further testing is necessary. In a person who is not diabetic, the ideal time for diagnostic testing is during an episode of symptoms. At that time, blood can be drawn to measure levels of glucose, and the patient's reactions to glucose intake can be tested. If these measures confirm the diagnosis of hypoglycemia, blood can be sent to a laboratory to measure insulin levels.

At that time, blood can be drawn to measure levels of glucose and insulin if an insulinoma is suspected. Other hormones, such as cortisol and thyroid levels, may also be measured.

If the patient has no symptoms at the time of evaluation, the doctor may ask him or her to measure his or her blood glucose when hypoglycemic symptoms occur.

If an insulinoma is suspected, the doctor may order a supervised hour fast. During that period, blood levels of glucose and insulin will be measured when symptoms occur. A blood glucose level of less than 60 milligrams per deciliter at the time of symptoms and with a measurable level of insulin strongly suggests the person has an insulinoma.

Accidental use of insulin or another diabetic drug may also cause hypoglycemia. If a person develops symptoms of hypoglycemia only after eating, the doctor may ask him or her to self-monitor blood sugar with a glucometer at the time the symptoms occur.

An episode of hypoglycemia in a patient treated with short-acting insulin and which is precipitated by exercise or by relatively too much insulin usually can be stopped within minutes by eating or drinking a food or beverage that contains sugar sugar tablets, candy, orange juice, non-diet soda.

Hypoglycemia caused by sulfonylurea or long-acting insulin can last longer and can even recur after initial treatment. In this circumstance, a longer-lasting carbohydrate for example, bread or a muffin should be eaten after the rapid carbohydrate. People with diabetes remain at risk for episodes of hypoglycemia throughout life because they need medications that lower blood sugar.

Hypoglycemic episodes at night are particularly dangerous because the person often sleeps through part of the time that their blood sugar is low, treating the sugar level less quickly. Over time, repeated severe episodes, such as with loss of consciousness or seizures, can lead to impaired brain function.

Many people without diabetes who have symptoms that seem like signs of low blood sugar do not truly have low sugar levels. Instead, the symptoms are caused by something other than low blood glucose, such as anxiety.

In people taking insulin or sulfonylureas, delayed or smaller meals than usual or increased exercise can lead to hypoglycemia. Therefore, meal timing and size should be kept as consistent as possible. In addition, drinking alcohol can lead to an episode of hypoglycemia. Patients with diabetes should discuss with their doctors how much alcohol, if any, they can drink safely.

Alcohol can cause serious episodes of hypoglycemia even when insulin was taken hours before. People with diabetes should be very aware of this possible problem if they drink.

People with diabetes treated with insulin should always have ready access to a supply of rapidly absorbable sugar to treat unexpected episodes of hypoglycemia.

Supplies may include candy, sugar tablets, and sugar paste in a tube. A glucagon kit should be kept at home. Glucagon may be given by injection or nasally by a knowledgeable family member or friend if a hypoglycemic patient is unconscious and cannot safely take sugar by mouth.

For diabetic children, emergency supplies can be kept in the school nurse's office. Any person at risk of hypoglycemic episodes can help to avoid delays in treating attacks by learning about his or her condition and sharing this knowledge with friends and family members.

The risk for hypoglycemia is lower if you eat at regular times during the day, never skip meals, and maintain a consistent exercise level. Like people with diabetes, nondiabetic people with hypoglycemia should always have ready access to a source of sugar.

In rare circumstances, a doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia, and a glucagon emergency kit for nondiabetic people who have a history of becoming disoriented or losing consciousness from hypoglycemia.

If a conscious person is having symptoms of hypoglycemia, the symptoms usually go away within minutes if the person eats or drinks something sweet 3 sugar tablets, Life Savers candies, or ounces of juice or non-diet soda. An unconscious patient can be treated with an immediate injection of glucagon or with intravenous glucose infusions by EMTs or in a hospital.

People with diabetes who have hypoglycemic episodes may need to adjust their medications, especially the insulin dose, and change their diet or their exercise habits. People with longstanding diabetes may stop experiencing the usual early warning symptoms the tremors, sweating and fast heart rate of hypoglycemia.

This is called hypoglycemic unawareness. It can be very serious because the person may not know to seek treatment. If you and your doctor identify that you are unaware when you have low blood sugars, your dose of insulin or other diabetes medicines will probably need to be reduced.

You will need to check your blood sugar more often, and continuous glucose monitors that alarm when blood sugars are low may be helpful. Your insulin dose will likely need frequent adjustments to maintain reasonable blood sugars with less risk of hypoglycemia.

An insulinoma is treated with surgery to remove the tumor. Hypoglycemia caused by problems with the adrenal or pituitary glands is treated by replacing the missing hormones with medication. Nondiabetic people with hypoglycemic symptoms following meals are often treated by modifying their diet.

They usually need to eat frequent, small meals and avoid fasting. Call for emergency medical assistance whenever anyone is unconscious or disoriented enough so that they cannot safely be treated with oral therapy.

Severe insulin reactions can be fatal, so it is important to seek treatment immediately. People with diabetes should contact their doctors promptly if they experience frequent episodes of hypoglycemia.

It also outlines the symptoms, causes, and methods of diagnosing and treating this uncommon form of hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar, with the prefix hypo- meaning "low" and "glycemia" referring to the presence of glucose in the blood. Glucose is one of the main sources of energy for the body. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels drop below normal.

Hypoglycemia is common in people with diabetes, who may experience a drop in blood sugar due to high insulin doses, among other things. But, hypoglycemia can also affect people who don't have diabetes for entirely different reasons.

Reactive hypoglycemia is a type of non-diabetic hypoglycemia. Reactive hypoglycemia occurs exclusively after eating food. By contrast, hypoglycemia in people with diabetes is often caused by postponing or skipping meals.

Hypoglycemia in people with diabetes can also occur if they take too much insulin or diabetes medications or if they exercise vigorously without adjusting their medications or eating more food. Reactive hypoglycemia can cause symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

It is rarely life-threatening but may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Symptoms of this condition vary by how rapidly or severely blood sugar levels drop. As such, what reactive hypoglycemia feels like can differ from person to person and even episode to episode in the same person.

Some symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia include:. If the drop in blood sugar is severe, it can cause profound and even debilitating symptoms. This is particularly true if the person is dehydrated. Severe symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia include:. Generally speaking, a single episode of reactive hypoglycemia is not a cause for alarm unless the symptoms are severe, such as passing out or experiencing a seizure.

Severe symptoms are most likely to occur if a person is dehydrated, which in itself may require treatment. Recurrent episodes should never be overlooked. While it is possible that dietary habits are contributing to the episodes, the bigger concern is that a recurrent drop in blood sugar may be a sign of an undiagnosed medical condition, such as Addison's disease or pancreatitis.

Reactive hypoglycemia can be diagnosed by measuring the amount of glucose in a person's blood while they are having symptoms. The MMTT is performed by feeding the person a beverage rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fat such as Ensure or Boost.

After drinking the beverage, blood glucose levels are retested every 30 minutes for five hours. In addition to glucose, the MMTT will monitor insulin levels in the blood. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar. Conditions other than hypoglycemia can have some of the same symptoms, including dizziness, weakness, sweating, and rapid heartbeat.

These include a wide variety of conditions, such as:. To decide if your symptoms are due to hypoglycemia, your healthcare provider will look for signs of the "Whipple Triad. This includes:. Without these three indications, your healthcare provider will likely evaluate you for other conditions that have similar symptoms.

Triggers for reactive hypoglycemia can include eating high-carbohydrate meals or snacks. One theory as to why it occurs is that when a person eats carbs with a high glycemic index, the body produces enough insulin to combat hyperglycemia. However, the body is not prepared for a crash because glucagon, which can counteract the action of insulin, is not adequately produced.

Therefore, when blood sugar does go down, the body does not bring up the sugar by gluconeogenesis or glycogenolysis, which are processes that produce blood glucose from stored materials In the body. There are several other conditions that are known to cause non-diabetic hypoglycemia.

Among them:. The amount of time an episode of hypoglycemia lasts will depend on how low the glucose level has dropped. If the glucose levels are extremely low and left untreated, fainting and even seizures can occur.

If treated with fast-acting carbohydrates, a person may recover within 15 minutes. An episode of reactive hypoglycemia may correct itself on its own and most of the time, people don't need medical treatment.

However, if the symptoms are recurring, they may be the result of an underlying condition that needs treatment. For an underlying medical condition, the treatment will focus on resolving or managing the condition. This may include the surgical removal of an insulinoma or, in the case of NIPHS, the partial removal of the pancreas itself.

For all other cases, there are two aspects of treatment. The first is knowing how to respond to hypoglycemic episodes. The second is making changes to prevent future episodes. If you have an episode of reactive hypoglycemia, you can use food to help restore normal blood sugar levels.

This is accomplished with the " Rule," which involves eating 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and checking your blood sugar 15 minutes later to see if the levels have normalized. Carbohydrates "carbs" are essentially sugar molecules.

Fast-acting carbohydrates are certain types of foods or beverages that can quickly raise the blood sugar level. When treating a low, the choice of carbohydrate source is important.

Limit high glycemic index GI foods that cause blood sugar levels to rise and then fall quickly, such as white bread, white rice, or sweetened yogurt.

In addition, foods that contain fats along with carbs like chips, cookies, or a candy bar can slow the absorption of glucose and should not be used to treat an emergency low. Once your symptoms have eased, have a snack if your next meal is more than 1 hour away to prevent your blood sugar from dropping again.

Some healthy options include:. The cause of reactive hypoglycemia in most cases is unknown. Even so, certain dietary and lifestyle changes may reduce the odds of it happening again.

Reactive Hypoglycemia Diet. Among the diet recommendations your healthcare provider may give you:. Physical Activity. In addition, you should exercise regularly. Physical activity increases the amount of glucose taken up from the blood.

This, in turn, helps stabilize insulin levels. If you're just starting to get active, remember to work your way up to increasing your activity.

It's also worth consulting with your healthcare provider before beginning. Reactive hypoglycemia is a drop in blood glucose sugar that occurs after eating. Symptoms usually develop within four hours of consuming food and may include shakiness, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and sweating.

Severe cases can lead to fainting or seizures. Reactive hypoglycemia is not related to diabetes, and the cause of most episodes is unknown. The treatment typically involves eating fast-acting carbohydrates that can quickly bring blood sugar levels back to normal.

American Diabetes Association. Hypoglycemia low blood sugar. Bansai N, Weinstock RS.

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