I’ve been talking about high blood sugar,(hyperglycemia). Now I’d like to talk about low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). So hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar is low. (Not a good thing) With hyperglycemia, you have excess sugar in your blood. Having low blood sugar means that you don’t have enough glucose to produce energy. Hyperglycemia vs. hypoglycemia is not a battle you want to be in.
Why is Hyperglycemia & Hypoglycemia Serious?
When you eat, glucose gets absorbed into your blood. If your blood glucose starts to decline, your liver releases glucose. Normally, this would raise one’s blood sugar and you’ve got hyperglycemia. If the opposite happens, your sugar levels could become very low and this can be worrisome.
Hypoglycemia Without Having Diabetes
You can experience low blood sugar without having diabetes. This is important to know. Both adults and children can have low blood sugar occur. Here are a few risks for developing hypoglycemia:
- If you are pre-diabetic
- If you have family members who are diabetic
- You’re overweight (belly fat is NOT good)
- You have other health issues
Know that you increase your risk of diabetes if you have prediabetes. It is not written in stone that you will develop type 2 diabetes. If you’re diligent and change our lifestyle (eating healthy and exercising) you can delay or prevent your prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes and keep your cholesterol numbers in check as well.
Finding out how Hypoglycemia is Diagnosed
If you’ve gone for a rather long period of not eating, hypoglycemia can possibly occur. So in order for your physician to determine this, you’ll most likely be put on a fasting test for up to as much as 72 hours. What this entails is having your blood taken several times at different intervals for measurement of the blood glucose levels.
Now, this happens at your physician’s office and there’s not much of a waiting period (so don’t be stressed) to find out your results (usually 24-48 hours) If your numbers come back somewhere between 50-70 mgs, then it’s a possibility that you are hypoglycemic. But your doctor is the one to determine that because we all have different bodies and your numbers can be compared to your past results.
Hypoglycemia Warning Signs-Symptoms
- Lack of concentration
- Tingling and/or numbness
- Rapid or fast heartbeat
- Blurred vision
- Anxiety, nervousness
These are symptoms that should not be ignored. My son-in-law just recently experienced some of these symptoms and wound up at the hospital with a blood glucose reading of 49! He’s being tested right now to determine if he has hypoglycemia. It can be scary. He didn’t know what was happening to him. This is something that he and his doctors will discuss and follow the proper procedures with his results and get control of it.
The Complications from Hypoglycemia
- Becoming unconscious
This is not to scare you (although it would make me sit up and take notice for sure). Hypoglycemia is a serious condition and if it’s not treated immediately, it COULD result in any of the complications above. Just be aware and make sure you are never faced with anything like that. It’s your life. Take care of it. You only get one chance.
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Managing and Treatment for Hypoglycemia
One of the most important things about high or low blood sugar is what you eat. Another extremely important issue is testing your glucose consistently. You’ll want to have an excellent blood sugar testing meter and kit available. You must know what your numbers are at all times.
Make sure you monitor your food portions so that you can properly treat and prevent low blood glucose levels. Exercise and vitamin D always help too. I make sure I get enough exercise on my exercise bike.
It’s imperative that you know what your carbohydrate level is so that if it’s low you can raise your glucose to a level where it is supposed to be. You want to consume 15 grams of carbs and check again in 15 minutes. Some examples might be:
- 3-4 glucose tablets
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- small fruit (4 oz)
- 4-6 crackers
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/2 English muffin
Always have anything with glucose that you need with you. Make sure that you always read labels and know which ones are sugar free. If you are diabetic wear identification stating so on you at all times. This is a really good idea for you!
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You must know everything about what you’re eating everyday of your life. Keeping a diary each day is a good tip. You learn to read every label on every product and do your homework.
The changes you make aren’t that difficult but very necessary. And make sure you get enough sleep. You want to avoid hypoglycemia at all costs.
Try & Follow these Pointers:
- A very important thing is to have a well balanced diet which is high in fiber, protein and complex carbs but also a diet that’s low in sugar.
- A good example of an excellent complex carbohydrate is sweet potatoes (not a regular potato). Anything that is processed or refined carb should be off limits.
- Have a meal every couple of hours, but make it small. This aids in leveling your blood sugar level.
- Snacks are your fill in meal. Take them with you. My choices are a small portion of nuts, or some slices of apple. You just want everything to be level. There are supplements that help.
How Dangerous is Hypoglycemia?
It can be very dangerous. But knowledge is power. What you learn and implement helps to guide you with decisions that can prevent hypoglycemia. What can happen as a result of having hypoglycemia? Well, think about it. As it in itself is rarely fatal, there are many other circumstances that you occur because of this. I want to mention the “what ifs.” What if you’re driving or riding your bike and have an accident because you:
- Ran a stop sign
- Passed out at the wheel
- Drove into oncoming traffic
- Hit a pole or a tree
- Had a seizure
Have you thought about accidents happening elsewhere? Falling down stairs? Hurting your back, etc.?Are you at home with family? Are you not home with nobody to help you? Ok, these are just scenarios that you have to think about.
Nobody wants to be in any of these situations regardless of where you are. Low blood sugar should be taken as VERY serious. Diagnose it, address it, and test your blood glucose levels. It’s that important! Trust me!
Hypoglycemia Guidelines Diet
Foods with high glucose, make your blood sugar spike, and what NOT to eat:
- Any sweets
- Baked goods
- White bread
These are refined and processed carbs. Get rid of them. Stay away.
Foods with Low Glycemic Index that will Help Control your Glucose Levels:
- Whole grain pasta
- Steel cut oatmeal
- Whole grain flour
- Peanut butter
These are low carb foods that you SHOULD be eating.
Cure for Hypoglycemia
The “cure” is your diet. Once you train yourself to follow a specific low carb diet, you’ll be on your way to the “cure.” Listen, I’m telling you this because it’s what I’ve learned. It’s not a lecture. It’s cold hard facts. There’s no pill or shot you can take to control hypoglycemia.
It’s YOU! You’re the only one who can cure it by keeping it under control. Hyperglycemia is dangerous too and there are natural ways to control it, but I wanted you to know what low glucose is capable of doing. It’s not to scare you, but to make you aware.
My Final Thoughts
I hoped you learned something about hyperglycemia vs hypoglycemia. These are both dangerous conditions when you’re a diabetic. Low blood sugar is the more serious of the two but make no mistake about it, hyperglycemia is dangerous for your health as well.
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