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What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops


Overdose Of Diabetes Medication

Warning Signs That Shows Your Blood Sugar Level Is Dropping

A common cause of hypoglycaemia is taking too much insulin for your current needs. Insulin is a medication that helps control your blood glucose levels. It’s commonly used to treat type 1 diabetes and is also recommended for some people with type 2 diabetes.

A fall in blood glucose levels can also occur after taking too much oral hypoglycaemia medication, such as sulphonylurea, which causes a release of insulin. This medication is often used to lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

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Different Levels And What They Mean

The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.


The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.

If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.

That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.

Looking for the best prediabetes diet? Learn what foods are best to help you manage your prediabetes.

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Is Sugar Bad For You

If you love sweets, don’t despair. You don’t have to give them up forever. Sugar will raise your blood sugar levels more quickly than other carbs, but diabetes experts now say the total amount of carbs is most important. So keep your serving sizes small and take into account the total carbs and calories.

What Symptoms To Watch For

What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops Below 20 ...

There are several common symptoms associated with low blood sugar. These symptoms arise due to the adrenal glands releasing both epinephrine and cortisol in response to hypoglycemia.

However, not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and low blood sugar reactions can change. If you suspect you have low blood sugar, the best thing to do is check your blood sugar to confirm.

People who have had diabetes for a long time or who have experienced hypoglycemia frequently may develop hypoglycemia unawareness.

Hypoglycemia unawareness is a diabetes complication where people dont experience the usual warning signs of low blood sugar before it occurs. Up to 40% of people with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia unawareness.


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Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

The NIDDK states that gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs during pregnancy if you were not diabetic before getting pregnant. Healthy blood sugar during pregnancy can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. It can also lower the risk of your baby being born prematurely, at a high birth weight, and having respiratory problems.

Blood sugar and insulin levels during the first trimester of pregnancy tend to be lower than usual, but they rise during the late second and early third trimesters. You can be diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test .

These are the steps for the 2-step strategy.

  • Drink a solution with 50 grams of glucose about the amount in 1 16-oz. bottle of a soft drink
  • Get your blood drawn after 1 hour. IF the value is high, retest
  • Fast overnight
  • Drink a solution with 100 grams of glucose about the amount in 12 peanut butter cups
  • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1, 2, and 3 hours

Or, your doctor might use the 1-step strategy with a 2-hour OGTT:


  • Fast overnight
  • Drink a solution with 75 grams of glucose
  • Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1 and 2 hours

These are some values to know from NIDKK related to gestational diabetes and healthy blood sugar in pregnancy.

Time or Situation
Baseline: at least 105 mg/dl1 hour: at least 190 mg/dl2 hours: at least 165 mg/dl3 hours: at least 145 mg/dl

Where Can I Find Support

The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, established nearly 40 years ago, is a national group that offers many resources, including advocacy. They offer salons so that you can personally connect with people like you who are also dealing with bouts of low blood sugar.

Occasionally blood sugar crashes are so extreme they require emergency room care for an immediate dextrose IV treatment. If you have diabetes, wear a medical bracelet that does TK thing? What will this bracelet have on it? A number of one of your contacts? Can you answer and smooth out with this line? have a circle of people who serve as close contacts and are aware of your condition and how to help.

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What Is The Difference Between Prediabetes And Type 2 Diabetes

  • Prediabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. It is an early warning sign that the body has more sugar in the blood then it can use.
  • Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs slowly over time. The pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to keep up with the increased need to move sugar into the cells for energy. Medication and lifestyle changes are necessary to manage blood sugar levels and avoid diabetes complications.
  • Type 1 diabetes is different, and results from auto-immune attacks on the pancreas.

What are the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Without reversing prediabetes, blood sugar continues to rise and signs and symptoms of diabetes may develop. The most common symptoms and early signs are thirst and excess urination. Sometimes people will notice unexplained weight loss. Later signs of type 2 diabetes are


    Unfortunately, there really are no symptoms or signs of prediabetes. It almost always is diagnosed by chance during a medical screening or routine bloodwork. This is why it is important to get screened, especially if you are overweight or have family members with diabetes or pre-diabetes. However, the most common sign associated with prediabetes is being overweight.

    It is common for a person with prediabetes to only have slightly elevated blood sugar levels, but the body continues to require increased insulin to maintain it. Hyperinsulinemia or high insulin, has signs and symptoms of:

    Listen To Your Doctor

    Hypoglycaemia – How to Treat and Prevent Low Blood Sugar

    If you follow a meal plan or take medications that increase insulin to manage low blood sugar, its important to stick to the plan your doctor prescribed to help prevent drops in your blood sugar level.

    Not eating the right foods or taking the right medications at the right times can cause your blood sugar to drop. Check in often with your doctor so they can adjust your treatment plan if and when necessary.

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    Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia

    The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.

    For example, this could be:

    • a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
    • between three and five dextrose tablets
    • a handful of sweets

    At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.

    After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.

    It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.


    When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.

    It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.

    How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit

    Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:

  • Stay with them and stop them hurting themselves lie them down on something soft and move them away from anything dangerous .
  • After the seizure or fit stops, give them a sugary snack.
  • Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.

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    How To Reduce Blood Sugar

    You can take steps to reach your blood sugar goals as soon as you find out that it is high. This is how to reduce blood sugar if you have a single high reading that may be dangerous:

    • Ask your doctor what to do if you missed a dose of insulin or another diabetes medication
    • Ask your doctor if your medication types and doses are still appropriate for you
    • Drink water to dilute the sugar
    • Exercise for 15 minutes
    • Eat a small protein snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, ½ ounce of peanuts or pistachios or other nuts, ½ cup of beans, or ½ cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese

    If you have chronically high blood sugar in prediabetes or diabetes, you can follow this treatment plan:

    • Exercise regularly, assuming your doctor approves it
    • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
    • Eat a higher proportion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit
    • Limit sugary foods and beverages, fried foods, refined starches, and processed and fatty red meats
    • Beware of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, which can spike your blood sugar. Check out our guide of which veggies to avoid!

    What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself

    What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops

    Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.

    If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by

    • talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
    • teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
    • wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.

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    Fasting Blood Glucose Level Test Preparation

    What should you do if your doctor orders a fasting blood sugar test? The preparation is the same as when you take a fasting test for cholesterol. First, be sure to find out if you need to schedule an appointment for your test . Ask your doctor what time is best to take it.

    Then:

    • Schedule your test if necessary
    • Ask your doctor if you need to change any of the medications you take on the morning of the test
    • If you normally drink coffee or have caffeine, ask your doctor if that is okay. It may not be, since it affects blood sugar levels
    • Fast for at least 8 hours before your test. Usually, an overnight fast is most convenient
    • You can drink water

    Check Your Blood Sugar Often

    Talk with your provider about when you should check your blood sugar every day. People who have low blood sugar need to check their blood sugar more often.

    The most common causes of low blood sugar are:

    • Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time
    • Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine
    • Taking insulin to correct high blood sugar without eating any food
    • Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine
    • Skipping meals
    • Waiting too long after taking your medicine to eat your meals
    • Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you
    • Not checking your blood sugar or not adjusting your insulin dose before exercising
    • Drinking alcohol

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    What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low

    People who use insulin and other diabetes medications are at risk for hypoglycemia. Keep this action plan handy so you’re prepared.

    If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may be at risk of developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Without quick attention, hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications, so its important to know what to do if it happens to you or someone close to you.

    In very severe cases, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness, says a clinical assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford Health Care, and chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic.

    It’s possible to have hypoglycemia but have no symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . On the other hand, symptoms can also come on rapidly. While symptoms vary from person to person, if you develop mild to moderate low blood sugar you may:

    • Feel shaky or jittery
    • Have a headache or be lightheaded
    • Turn pale
    • Be irritable or combative
    • Have blurred vision or see double

    Some people feel tingling or numbness in their extremities too, says Rodolfo Galindo, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and lipids at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and chair of the inpatient diabetes taskforce.


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    After You Have Low Blood Sugar

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    If your low blood sugar was mild , you can return to your normal activities once your blood sugar is back in its target range.

    After you have low blood sugar, your early symptoms for low blood sugar are less noticeable for 48 to 72 hours. Be sure to check your blood sugar more often to keep it from getting too low again, especially before eating, physical activity, or driving a car.

    If you used glucagon because of a severe low , immediately call your doctor for emergency medical treatment. If you have had lows several times close together , you should also tell you doctor. They may want to change your diabetes plan.

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    What Else Can You Do To Control Blood Sugar Levels

    Yes. People with diabetes should wear identification stating they have diabetes and whether they have recurrent low blood sugar. Those at risk for the health condition should be counseled on checking blood sugars before they drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or do anything physically taxing. In addition, it is important to carry a quick-acting glucose source at all times, and keep a source in their car, office, and by their bedside. Efforts should be made to minimize the hypoglycemic effects of drug regimens and to avoid variable surges in exercise, activity, and drinking alcohol.

    What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels

    You might want to measure your blood sugar before meals to get a baseline, and then two hours after your meal to measure your normal blood sugar level. Your doctor might also suggest measuring blood sugar before bed to be sure you have been eating well throughout the day and can go to sleep with peace of mind.

    These are considered within the range of normal:

    • Less than 140 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
    • Less than 180 mg/dl if you have diabetes.

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    Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level

    If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:

    • Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
    • Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
    • Do not skip meals.
    • Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
    • Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
    • Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you’re asleep

    If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.

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