Check Your Blood Sugar
If you take medication that may cause low blood sugar , its highly advisable to check your blood sugar levels before you try to bring your sugar levels down.
This is just in case your blood sugar is normal or low, which can be the case in some situations.
Testing of blood sugar before bringing your levels down is particularly important if you take insulin.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
Chronic Constipation Or Chronic Diarrhea
Both constipation and diarrhea can be caused by high blood glucose, acting on different sections of the bowel. When high blood glucose affects the small intestine, the result is often diarrhea when it affects the large intestine, the result is often constipation.
The two intestines have very different jobs, which helps to explain how high blood glucose can affect them differently. The job of the small intestine is to absorb nutrients from digested food, and the job of the large intestine is to absorb water from indigestible waste material.
When neuropathy from elevated blood glucose affects the enteric nerves the guts command and control system in the small intestine, the result can be dysfunctions in motility, leading to delayed emptying into the large intestine. This causes the stagnation of fluids in the small intestine, allowing bacterial overgrowth that causes bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Frequent diarrhea is seen in 22 percent of people with diabetes. Enteric neuropathy, in addition to laying the ground work for bacterial overgrowth, can in itself be a painful chronic condition similar to the foot pain suffered by people with peripheral neuropathy.
In a similar way, nerve damage can slow the movement of waste through the large intestine. Slow-moving waste is essentially dehydrated or dried out too much by the large intestine, resulting in constipation.
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How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Treating high blood sugar levels involves fixing what caused them in the first place. Your diabetes health care team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But here are some ways to manage the common causes of high blood sugar levels:
|Reason for High Blood Sugar Level||What to Do|
|Not getting enough insulin or other diabetes medicine||
|Not following the meal plan||
|Not getting enough exercise||
|Illness or stress||
|Use of other medicines that can increase blood sugar||
Managing Your Diabetes Devices
If you are using an insulin pump, talk to your diabetes team about how to best manage hyperglycemia. In general, be sure to check your pump first. Make sure all parts are connected and working correctly. Check your bolus history and temporary basal rate. Also check your insulin to make sure it has not expired or gotten too warm.
If you use a CGM, try not to react to it too often. You might be tempted to give another dose of insulin too soon, before the first one finishes working, which is known as stacking insulin this can cause low blood sugar .
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Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels In Check
If youre feeling any of these early warning signs that something might be wrong with your body, then make sure to speak with a doctor or a certified diabetes educator who can provide medical advice on what steps to take next.
It doesnt hurt to get your blood sugar regularly tested, especially if youre experiencing any of these symptoms. The earlier something is detected, the better chance there will be at reversing it and making sure that your blood sugar levels stay in a healthy normal range.
On the contrary, if none of these apply, but your blood sugar level still seems off please see a doctor as soon as possible! Your health matters more than anything else in this world. Never forget that. And remember: if its not one thing on this list or another, just go get checked out by a medical professional immediately.
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How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
Whether a morning high is caused by the dawn phenomenon or something else, here are a few things you can try to lower your blood sugar levels:
Physical activity when you wake up can help bring your glucose level down. Even going for a walk can be helpful.
To learn about exercise guidelines and glucose management strategies, click here.
Read Adam Browns take on walking the most underrated diabetes exercise strategy.
Eating a light breakfast can help keep a morning high from increasing even more. Taking your mealtime insulin will help lower your blood sugar.
Adam Brown suggests eating a breakfast that is low in carbs, and notes that sometimes mealtime insulin has to be adjusted in the morning. One of his favorite breakfasts is chia pudding, since it has little impact on glucose levels see what else he eats for breakfast here.
Catherine Newman has six popular, low-carb, delicious recipes in The Morning Meal.
Intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding approaches to meal timing can also help people keep morning blood sugar levels in range. Read Justine Szafrans Intermittent Fasting: Stabilizing My Morning Blood Sugars to learn more.
For additional ways to navigate mornings, read seven strategies from Adam Brown in A Home Run Breakfast with Diabetes.
This article is part of a series on time in range.
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Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia In Type 2 Diabetes
If someone has diabetes that isnt treated properly, they have too much sugar in their blood . Too little sugar in the bloodstream is usually a side effect of treatment with blood-sugar-lowering medication.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which theres a problem with insulin . It can affect your health in many ways. In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is released into the bloodstream, or the insulin cant be used properly. In type 1 diabetes, the body only produces very little insulin, or none at all.
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What Can You Do If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Too Low
It is important to react quickly enough and eat or drink something, like dextrose sugar or a sugary drink .
If someone has severe hypoglycemia they may feel drowsy and confused, and might even become unconscious. People who have type 1 diabetes often carry a pre-filled syringe on them in case that happens, containing the hormone glucagon. Glucagon makes the liver release sugar into the bloodstream. Someone else can then inject the hormone if necessary. If this is not possible, it is important to call the emergency services immediately and ask for medical help.
If your blood sugar levels keep on dropping too low, you should see your doctor. It could then be a good idea to change your lifestyle or medication.
You Have Noticeably Blurry Vision And Frequent Headaches
You may notice that your vision isnt as clear as it used to be and that things may appear a bit blurry. High blood sugar levels can lead to swollen lenses in your eye from fluid leaking in, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. This changes the shape of the lens, which makes it unable to properly focus, causing blurred vision. You may also find yourself struggling at work, having difficulty driving, and suffering from frequent headaches, Emanuele notes.
Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
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Diabetes And Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, even losing a small amount of weight, especially around the abdomen, helps to lower your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
It can be difficult trying to lose weight, so to get started set yourself a short-term, achievable goal. Try thinking about the food you are eating, whether you really need it, if itâs a healthy choice, and consider the portion size. An accredited practicing dietitian can help you set a realistic meal plan and answer any food related questions you may have.
Problems Associated With High Blood Sugar
Frequent high blood pressure puts patients at risk of diabetes complications that can be potentially serious.
Even when blood sugar does not reach acutely dangerous levels, complications can develop over time if blood sugar is consistently above a patients target range.
Serious conditions and complications associated with high blood glucose include:
- Damage to the blood vessels of the eyes
- Increased risk of kidney disease
- Increased risk of heart problems like heart disease
Depending on the type of diabetes a patient has, there are two different extreme forms of hyperglycemia as well.
Ketoacidosis is severe hyperglycemia that impacts people with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis occurs when the body runs out of glucose and begins to use ketones, a type of toxic acid, for energy. Ketoacidosis can lead to diabetic coma or even death, and it is extremely serious.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome is a severe form of hyperglycemia that impacts people with Type 2 diabetes.
It occurs when the blood glucose level goes too high and the body tries to rid itself of the excess glucose through frequent urination. If the body becomes dehydrated enough, it can go into a coma.
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Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart. Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.
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What Causes Hyperglycaemia
The underlying cause of hyperglycaemia is the loss of insulin-producing cells in your pancreas or your body developing resistance to insulin.
More immediate reasons for hyperglycaemia include:
- missing a dose of diabetic medication, tablets or insulin
- eating more carbohydrates than your body and/or medication can manage
- being physically or emotionally stressed
- having an infection.
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Your Collars Too Tight
Carotid sinus syncope, or tight-collar syndrome, happens when something pushes on nerves at a wide part of your carotid artery in your neck. This interferes with blood flow to the brain and makes you faint. It happens quickly and without other symptoms like nausea, paleness, and sweating. In some cases, if it hasnt happened before, it may be a sign of narrowed arteries that need treatment.
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- American Diabetes Association: Hypoglycemia .
Not Taking Enough Meal Time Insulin
This is the first thing to look into. Make sure that you correctly determine the number of carbohydrates in your last meal of the day and take the insulin to suit. Be sure to also look out for sources of hidden carbs as well. Our bodies react to food and insulin differently at different times of the day. Many individuals including myself have a different carb to insulin ratio at night. I normally have to take a bit more insulin at night especially if the meal is high in carbohydrates.
Try eating your last meal at least 2 hours before bed so that you can check the 2 hour post dinner blood sugar reading. This will indicate if you are indeed giving the correct amount of insulin. If you have a good reading before bed but its much higher in the morning, then there is definitely another issue.
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Symptoms And Treatment Of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia doesnt cause symptoms immediately. After blood sugar has been high for days or weeks, you may have symptoms including:
These symptoms can progress to mental confusion, seizures, problems with vision, and loss of consciousness.
Hypoglycemia requires immediate action. Most of those with diabetes know to take a high-calorie drink or snack if they have symptoms of hypoglycemia. If this doesnt work, its important to get medical help right away. If someone who doesnt have diabetes has these symptoms, quick treatment is also important.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Dka
The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually don’t develop all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. People who have DKA may:
- feel really tired
- feel really thirsty or pee way more than usual
- have a dry mouth and signs of dehydration
These symptoms are caused by the high blood sugar levels that usually happen before someone develops DKA. If the person doesn’t get treatment, these signs of DKA can happen:
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How To Bring Down The Blood Sugar Level Quickly
When level of blood sugar is dangerous, you need to bring it down quickly, to avoid further complications. When trying to lower down the sugar level quickly, be very careful, as the level can drop down too low, which can also be dangerous. Extremely low blood sugar levels is termed as hypoglycemia, which is equally common in diabetics. Hence, maintaining the blood sugar levels within the normal range is essential.
Few ways to bring down the level of blood sugar quickly include,
- Drink lot of water: Excess water dilutes the blood sugar and help to pass it out through urine. This way the sugar level drops down.
- If suffering from kidney or heart problem avoid this solution and follow medical advice.
- Exercise: Vigorous exercise increases heart rate. Increased heart rate for more than 15 minutes can increase the insulin response. This can help to bring down the level of blood sugar quickly.
- High protein snack: Protein helps in stabilizing the sugar level. Always check the high protein snack is not high in sugar level. Cheese and almond can be a good option.
- Insulin administration: Insulin helps in lowering down the sugar level quickly. Therefore a doctors advised dose can be taken. Never miss checking the sugar level after insulin administration, to prevent hypoglycemia.
All the above solutions prove to be very helpful to quickly bring down the sugar level. Always keep a handy snack when trying these tips to help, in case the sugar level dips too low.
Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Immediately
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start mild and gradually get worse or more intense, which can happen over days, weeks or months. If you or your child experiences these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Insulin is an important hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Under normal conditions, insulin works as follows:
If you dont have enough insulin, too much sugar builds up in your blood, causing hyperglycemia , and your body cant use the food you eat for energy. It can lead to serious health problems or even death if left untreated. People with type 1 diabetes need synthetic insulin every day to live and be healthy.
While type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are forms of diabetes mellitus that
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