Early Detection of Hypoglycemia can be a Lifesaver

By | May 3, 2014

Detecting Hypoglycemia Can Be a LifesaverWhen your blood sugar drops lower than 70 mg/dl your body goes into a life-threatening condition known as hypoglycemia. Since diabetes gets the most attention, many are not familiar with hypoglycemia or low blood sugar even though they should be. This is especially true for those who have diabetes and are taking medication that has potential to invoke this condition.

Causes of Hypoglycemia

As mentioned previously, hypoglycemia is caused by any event that make blood sugar drop too low. These could be events such as:

• Eating too little
• Diabetic medication
• Excessive exercise

Since we get our glucose from the food we eat, not eating enough of it will naturally put any person at risk of developing the condition.

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood or hyperglycemia. Thus, diabetic medications are used to bring glucose down to safe levels. A change in the amount of glucose medication taken can lead to hypoglycemia.

Why would something that you are told to do for good health put you at risk for hypoglycemia? Exercise is good and you should do it however doing it heavily can cause your glucose levels to drop too low. This is because your body is using the glucose for working your muscles and there is a possibility that too much may get used.

Symptoms

The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be classified for three levels of the condition: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild hypoglycemia is characterized by:

• Irritability
• Anxiousness
• Trembling
• Hunger
• Profuse sweating
• Weakness
• Rapid heartbeat

Moderate hypoglycemia will show symptoms such as:

• Crying that cannot be stopped
• Staring at nothing
• Paleness
• Slurred speech
• Staggering gait
• Refusal to eat or drink anything

When hypoglycemia progresses to the severe stage, it can show symptoms such as:

• No responsiveness to glucose gel
• Convulsions
• Unconsciousness
• Lack of responsiveness in general

Hypoglycemia in the severe stage is a medical emergency and treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

Responding to Hypoglycemia

The first response for treating a person with hypoglycemia is to administer sugar that can be absorbed into the bloodstream rapidly. Yes, this means the sugar that you are usually told to avoid. Table sugar, soft drinks, candy, cake, fruit juice, or any other snack with processed sugar can be used. Foods made of complex carbohydrates won’t have the same effect of getting glucose quickly into the bloodstream.

After administering about 15 grams of the sugar source, monitor the patient for about 10 minutes. If it is not working, administer some more. If after three tries there is no response from the sufferer then you need to seek emergency medical treatment.

Treating hypoglycemia is relatively simple when it can be detected in its early stages. The goal is to get the blood glucose level higher. Without glucose, the body is starved of the energy it needs to function properly. Don’t become a victim of severe hypoglycemia. Recognize the symptoms and take action to ward it off.

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