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:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
Nighttime Low Blood Sugar
While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:
- Having an active day.
- Being physically active close to bedtime.
- Taking too much insulin.
- Drinking alcohol at night.
Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.
You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.
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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These Foods Can Help You Maintain Optimum Glucose Levels In The Blood When Eaten On A Regular Basis It Is Important To Not Go Without Eating For Too Many Straight Hours During A Single Day
When you need to raise your blood sugar, try to eat simple carbohydrates and sugars that digest fast and can provide you some relief. In such cases, quickly drink a cup of orange juice or soda. You can try any fruit juice for that matter. Eat a few candies or one tablespoon of maple syrup or honey. You can eat a banana or an orange a few raisins or prunes. When your blood sugar is extremely low, you can eat any sugary food to raise it quickly to avoid complications. Jam, jellies and peanut butter with crackers are good options. Diabetic patients must keep some nuts or snacks with them always.
Here Are Some Foods You Should Eat When You Have Low Blood Sugar
Whole GrainsWhole grains are low in glycemic index. This means that these foods get digested slowly and release energy gradually over a few hours. Eating grains like oats, whole wheat, barley, quinoa and rice can help you maintain optimum blood glucose levels. Include whole grain bread, pasta, and crackers in your diet. Regularly eat whole grains for all your main meals.
LegumesLegumes are a good source of protein. They are also easy to digest. You should eat legumes at least once a day to keep low blood sugar levels at bay. If you are going to be away from home or work for extended periods of time such as when traveling carry peanuts or roasted legumes with you to eat for a quick fix when your sugar dips. You can include protein sources such as salmon, chicken, low-fat cheese, lentils and nut butter.
EggsEggs have a low glycemic index and are excellent sources of protein. Including hard boiled eggs for breakfast, a few times every week can help you avoid low blood sugar level.
NutsAlmonds and other nuts are high in protein and break down slowly in the digestive tract. Nuts are also high in fiber content. Both protein and fiber can help to keep glucose levels balanced in the body. So, if you suffer from low blood sugar quite often, remember to take some walnuts, almonds or pistachios with you when traveling or when in the office.
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Manage Your Carb Intake
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars , and then insulin helps your body use and store sugar for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
However, there are several things you can do about this.
The American Diabetes Association recommends managing carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many you need .
Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can help with blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber is the most effective.
What To Eat When You Wake Up
You should eat a small meal as soon as possible after waking. A good breakfast should consist of protein, such as scrambled eggs, plus a complex carbohydrate. Try these:
- hard boiled eggs and a slice of whole-grain bread with cinnamon
- a small serving of steel-cut oatmeal, like this protein-packed oatmeal with blueberries, sunflower seeds, and agave
- plain Greek yogurt with berries, honey, and oatmeal
In addition, be mindful of your consumption of juices. Stick to 100% juice varieties that do not have added sweeteners, and limit your intake to 4 to 6 ounces. Dilute the juice with water or choose a big glass of water with lemon instead.
Steel-cut oatmeal is lower on the glycemic index than other types of oatmeal, plus it contains lots of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps slow down carbohydrate absorption, which helps keep your blood sugar stable. Make sure to choose a type with no added sugar or corn syrup.
Also, caffeine may affect blood sugar in some people. Decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea may be your best bet for a hot breakfast drink. Discuss caffeine intake with your doctor to determine if its an important factor for you.
What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.
After You Have Low Blood Sugar
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 You Can Do
Most of the sugar or glucose in your blood comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches in grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, milk and milk products, honey, and sugar. If you dont have diabetes and youre feeling the unpleasant effects of a drop in blood sugar, eat or drink something with carbohydrates. Good choices are a piece of fruit, a few whole wheat crackers, a glass of milk, or a carton of yogurt.
In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can come on suddenly and needs to be treated right away so it doesnt get worse. Eat or drink a quickly digested carbohydrate food, such as:
½ cup fruit juice
½ cup of a regular soft drink
1 cup of milk
5 or 6 hard candies
4 or 5 saltine crackers
2 tablespoons of raisins
3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar or honey
3 or 4 glucose tablets or a serving of glucose gel
Each of these choices provides about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Wait for 15 or 20 minutes, then check your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. If your blood sugar is still low, have another portion of carbohydrates.
How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia
You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:
- Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
- Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
- Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
- Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
- Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
- Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.
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Other Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Following a healthy eating plan. A healthy diet can help you manage your blood sugar levels and prevent or treat diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney problems, and eye problems.
Managing stress. Stress is associated with increased blood sugar levels in both people with diabetes and those without.
Avoiding high-fat foods. High-fat foods, such as fatty meats, trans fats, refined grains, fried food, and desserts cause a rise in blood sugar levels because they are digested quickly.
Following a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol.
Using insulin or other medications as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to follow the instructions on these medications so that you can get the most benefit from them.
Limiting sugar intake at night if you have diabetes since high blood sugar levels at night can lead to an increased risk of hypoglycemia.
Eating meals slowly and chewing food thoroughly. This helps you feel full, which may help prevent hunger pangs that can cause you to eat more than you need.
Monitoring your blood sugar levels often, especially if you have diabetes. Regular monitoring can help you identify problems early and take steps to address them before they become serious.
Not smoking, as it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other complications associated with diabetes.
Examples Of Appropriate Snacks May Be:
- 6 saltine crackers
- 1 slice toast and 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup milk
The food eaten for a reaction need not be subtracted from a meal plan.
Obtain a blood sugar when symptoms occur if you are able. If symptoms are severe, treat the reaction first and then obtain a blood sugar. Do not drive nor operate equipment if you feel your blood sugar is low.
If your blood sugar drops low enough for you to become unconscious, you must be taken to the hospital and/or treated with glucagon.
Glucagon is a hormone that causes the blood sugar to rise. It can only be given by injection. It is used to treat a low blood sugar if a person becomes semi-conscious or unconscious due to a severe low blood sugar. Please ask your nurse for instruction on glucagon. Your doctor will need to write a prescription for glucagon so you can have it available at home.
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Reduce Your Stress Level
Stress can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. You may be able to reduce the stress in your life by talking with a doctor or counselor, taking time for yourself, and getting support from family and friends. You may also want to try relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
Your blood sugar can rise when youre under a lot of stress. Stress can also affect your blood sugar levels if youre not taking the right medications.
If you have diabetes, try to get enough sleep. A good nights sleep can help control your blood sugar levels and may help prevent some complications from diabetes.
Some people with diabetes have a condition called hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. When this happens, they may feel shaky and have a rapid heartbeat or shakiness in their hands or legs.
Other people with diabetes may have no symptoms of low blood sugar, but they can still be at risk for having a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is a serious condition that occurs when you dont take enough insulin or medicines to control your diabetes.
You can prevent this condition by taking your insulin or medicines as directed, eating the right foods, and exercising regularly. If you have DKA, its important to get medical help quickly. Your doctor may give you an injection of a medicine called glucagon to make your body use insulin more quickly.
Treating Severely Low Blood Sugar
Blood sugar below 55 mg/dL is considered severely low. You wont be able to treat it using the 15-15 rule. You also may not be able to check your own blood sugar or treat it by yourself, depending on your symptoms. Make sure your family members, friends, and caregivers know your signs of low blood sugar so they can help treat it if needed.
Injectable glucagon is the best way to treat severely low blood sugar. A glucagon kit is available by prescription. Speak with your doctor to see if you should have a kit. Be sure to learn how and when to use it. Let family members and others close to you know where you keep the glucagon kit and make sure theyve been trained in how to use it too.
Its important to contact a doctor for emergency medical treatment immediately after receiving a glucagon injection. If a person faints due to severely low blood sugar, theyll usually wake up within 15 minutes after a glucagon injection. If they dont wake up within 15 minutes after the injection, they should receive one more dose. When the person is awake and able to swallow:
- Feed the person a fast-acting source of sugar .
- Then, have them eat a long-acting source of sugar .
Its also important that friends, family, co-workers, teachers, coaches, and other people you may be around often know how to test your blood sugar and treat severely low blood sugar before it happens.
If any of the following happens, your friend, relative, or helper should call 911:
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What To Eat To Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check
Swap difficult diets for good and simple healthy foods. Hereâs how.
You need to eat wisely to keep your diabetes in check. The key is to choose healthy foods and portion sizes so that you can control both your weight and blood sugar levels.
The first step: Learn whatâs good for you, says diabetes educator Emmy Suhl, RD, CDE, of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
âThereâs no such thing as a diabetes diet,â Suhl says. âThe best diet for someone with diabetes is your basic, healthy diet.â
The 10 Best Foods To Control Diabetes And Lower Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes, you know how difficult it can be to manage your diet and control your blood sugar levels. Certain foods cause massive spikes while others actually lower blood sugar, but many people go through years of trial and error before they find out what works for them. Luckily, thanks to years of scientific findings, weve been able to determine what foods are better than others. In this article, well discuss the 10 best foods to control diabetes and lower blood sugar.
To get the most out of your food, consider diabetic meal planning. Planning and preparing meals ahead of time will reduce the likelihood of snacking or unhealthy eating and will help you save time and energy throughout the week.
Non-starchy vegetables are one of the best foods you can eat as a diabetic. Not only will they fill you up, but theyre full of essential vitamins and minerals that help regulate your blood sugar. Since theyre a whole food with trace amounts of sugar and high levels of fiber, you can eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you want without having to worry about high blood sugar spikes. To get the most out of your non-starchy vegetables, choose fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables that have no added salt or sauce.1 Some examples of non-starchy vegetables include the following:2
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What Are The Signs Of Hypoglycemia
An individual may frequently wake up in the middle of the night as a result of nighttime hypoglycemia. In other instances, though, people may know if they experienced hypoglycemia during their sleep if they notice the following symptoms:
- Waking up with a headache
- Waking up in a sweat
- Getting unusual feelings of tiredness throughout the day
- Experiencing anxiety or heart palpitations
- Feeling confused, dizzy or weak