How To Control Blood Sugar
It is extremely important to control blood sugar and blood glucose levels.
The Importance of Controlling diabetes/ Diabetes glucose levels/ Blood Sugar levels
It is so vital to keep the blood glucose (sugar) levels under control. For patients with Type 2 diabetes, the range should be between 90 and 130 mg/dl prior to meal, and lower than 180 mg/dl after 1 to 2 hours of a meal. Your physician is the best person to guide you about when and how to test your blood glucose levels. It’s always better to maintain your blood glucose readings record multiple times, all through the day.
8.1 What happens in case the blood sugar (glucose) level reaches too high or falls too low?
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level):
Many times the blood glucose (sugar) levels fall way too low. This condition is known as Hypoglycemia. This condition can happen when a patient with Type 2 consumes too little food, intakes too much diabetes medications or insulin, or indulges in high physical activity which is more than normal. Usually, hypoglycemia occurs abruptly, but many times there isn’t any clarification for why it happens. Following are the symptoms when hypoglycemia happens:
- Fast heartbeat
- Heavy sweating
- Anxiety feeling
- Vision problems
- Increased hunger
- Extreme weakness
- Feeling irritable
How to treat Hypoglycemia?
In case, you experience any of the above stated hypoglycemia symptoms, then you are required to check your blood sugar (glucose) levels. If your glucose level is either 70 or below, then perform any one of the following ways to balance your glucose levels right away:
- 3 or 4 glucose pills
- Half cup of any fruit juice (about 4 ounces)
- One glucose gel serving (about 15 g carbohydrate)
- A cup of milk (about 8 ounces)
- One tablespoon of honey or sugar
- 3 to 4 hard candy pieces
- Half cup of a regular soft drink (about 4 ounces)
Again, check your blood sugar (glucose) levels after 15 minutes, to ensure that it’s 70 or above. If required, then again repeat all these steps. Once the blood sugar level is stable you can have a snack, and an hour later you can have your next meal. In case, you take diabetes medication which can trigger hypoglycemia, then it’s always better to carry one of the above stated glucose sources for emergencies.
Hypoglycemia can usually be prevented by regular intake of healthy meals as well as your diabetes medication, and regular checking of your blood sugar levels. Usually the reactions to hypoglycemic are mild and could be resolved just within 10 to 15 minutes after receiving the above stated treatments. However, hypoglycemia can occur rapidly sometimes, and it might lead to a more severe stage where the patient can turn unconscious, or suffers an attack, or is not able to ingest. Now, in case something like this happens, then it’s advised that nothing should be given via the mouth, and 911 should be dialed right away.
Glucagon is considered as a life-saving treatment which could be given via injection during an emergency. It’s a hormone produced in the pancreas gland, and it helps in raising blood sugar levels. Glucagon assists in reversing the hypoglycemia symptoms. It will never harm the patient, however sometimes it might cause nausea or vomiting. Your physician can order you a glucagon emergency kit, and it can be carried by the patient with diabetes during emergencies. In case of emergency, 911 should be dialed even if Glucagon is injected.
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level):
In case your blood sugar level remains over 180, then it might be way too high. Higher blood sugar level means shortage of adequate insulin in the body. Hyperglycemia could occur in case patients with diabetes miss taking their usual diabetes medication, or don’t do sufficient workouts, or they overeat. It usually occurs when diabetes medication or your physical activity level doesn’t balance with the amount of food consumed. It might also occur due to illness or stress. Following are the symptoms of Hyperglycemia:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent passing of urine
- Excess Hunger
- Dry skin
- Slow healing of wounds
- Feeling of drowsiness
- Blurred eyesight
Many times, the medications one take for some other ailments, may result in high blood sugar. Do inform your physician about these other medications. Also inform them, in case your blood sugar remains high most of the time, or you have symptoms of high blood sugar. You might require an alteration in your diabetes medications or an alternative meal plan.
Hyperglycemia should be treated as soon as it gets detected. In case you are unable to treat hyperglycemia, it could lead to a more severe condition known as Ketoacidosis (Diabetic coma). Ketoacidosis builds up gradually when the body suffers a severe shortage of insulin. The body can’t turn sugar into energy without insulin. Consequently, it starts breaking down the fats stored in your body for energy.
When body fats get broken down, Ketones (waste products) are produced in large amounts. Now, the body can’t bear large quantity of Ketones, and would try to get rid of these waste products via the urine. Sadly, your body can’t discharge all the Ketones, and these keep on building up in the blood. This leads to the severe condition called Ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis requires instant treatment as it’s life-threatening. Following are its symptoms:
- Breath shortness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Fruity smelling breath
- Extremely dry mouth
Consult your physician to know more about this serious condition.
Precautions during Ketoacidosis:
Usually, patients with diabetes are able to bring down their blood sugar (glucose) levels by doing physical workouts. But, in case your blood sugar is more than 240 mg/dl, then you need to check your urine for Ketones. And, in case you possess Ketones, then physical workouts are not recommended. Please do not exercise, and do consult your doctor.
When Ketones are present in your body, exercising might raise your blood sugar (glucose) levels even higher. Your physician will surely help you to find the safest means to bring down your blood sugar (glucose) levels.
In addition, you can even consult your dietician as cutting down on the usual intake of food amount might help. Consult your dietician for your meal plan changes. And in case the dietary changes don’t work, then your physician might alter the amount of insulin or medicine intake, or even your intake timings.
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