How to prevent hypoglycemia?
People with diabetes should always have ready access to emergency supplies for treating unexpected episodes of hypoglycemia. These supplies may include candy, sugar tablets, sugar paste in a tube and/or a glucagon injection kit. A glucagon injection may be given if a hypoglycemic patient is unconscious and cannot take sugar by mouth. For diabetic children, emergency supplies can be kept in the school nurse's office. People with diabetes should carefully follow their
regimen of diet, medication, exercise, and blood glucose monitoring and should always carry some fast-acting carbohydrate (glucose tablets, hard candies, gumdrops, or fruit juice) to consume at the first sign of symptoms. Also, people with diabetes who use insulin should never drive or travel in a car, plane, or train without having some sort of carbohydrate food (such as peanut butter crackers) available for a snack.
Those who experience postprandial hypoglycemic episodes should eat five or six small meals a day that are low in simple carbohydrates and high in protein, fat, and fiber. In patients taking insulin, 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 decide to drink.
Any person at risk of hypoglycemic episodes can help to avoid attacks by learning about his or her condition and sharing this knowledge with friends and family members. The person also should 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. As a safety backup, a doctor may prescribe a glucagon emergency kit for nondiabetic people who have a history of becoming disoriented or losing consciousness from hypoglycemia.
Pregnant diabetic women should maintain careful control of their blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is recognized by repeat testing of expectant mothers. Upon delivery, routine blood sugar levels are obtained from the infant until the period for hypoglycemia is past.
More information on hypoglycemia
What is hypoglycemia? - Hypoglycemia is a medical term referring to a pathologic state produced and usually defined by a lower than normal amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood.
What causes hypoglycemia? - The main cause of hypoglycemia is intentional or accidental overdose of antidiabetic medication, insulin or oral drugs.
What is reactive hypoglycemia? - Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition in which the symptoms of low blood sugar appear 2 to 5 hours after eating foods high in glucose.
What reactive hypoglycemia diet is suggested? - Individuals with reactive hypoglycemia respond favorably to high-carbohydrate, high-fiber, restricted-simple sugar diets.
What is fasting hypoglycemia? - Fasting hypoglycemia, which most commonly occurs among people with diabetes when too much insulin is administered, is potentially very dangerous.
What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia? - Mild hypoglycemia can cause nausea, a jittery or nervous feeling, cold and clammy skin, and a rapid heartbeat. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, and coma.
How is hypoglycemia diagnosed? - A low sugar level in the blood found at the time a person is experiencing typical symptoms of hypoglycemia confirms the diagnosis in a person without diabetes.
What're the treatments for hypoglycemia? - The symptoms of hypoglycemia are relieved within minutes of consuming sugar in any form, such as candy or glucose tablets, or of drinking a sweet drink.
How to prevent hypoglycemia? - People with diabetes should always have ready access to emergency supplies for treating unexpected episodes of hypoglycemia.