Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a condition where the body is unable to get enough glucose supply for proper cell functioning. In such a condition, the body responds with certain warning signs or symptoms of diabetes.
This may be different for every individual.
• Irritability or confusion
• Pale skin
Reasons why your blood sugar levels go down:
• Some medications
• Gap in between a meal and exercise
• Excessive stress
• Side effects of other medicines
• Alcohol intake, especially without eating food
When your blood sugars decline- have a snack before bedtimes, such as a protein or a more complex carbohydrate. Insulin doses may also need to be altered, based on an assessment made by the doctor.
As soon as your sugar levels go down, eat or drink fast-acting glucose:
• Three to four glucose tablets
• One tube of glucose gel
• Four to six pieces of hard candy (not sugar-free)
• 1/2 cup fruit juice
• 1 cup skim milk
• 1/2 cup soft drink (not sugar-free)
• 1 tablespoon honey (put it under your tongue so it gets absorbed into your bloodstream faster)
Whenever an incident of low blood sugar occurs, record the time and date so that you can discuss it with the doctor. If the doctor notices any pattern, they can make the necessary changes in the medications.
Hypoglycemia also occurs due to excessive insulin administration, long gaps between rigorous exercise and a meal, or if the meal or snack is missed altogether. Keep a check on your blood sugar levels regularly, using a glucometer to keep track of your sugar level patterns over a period of time.
Also Read: Hypoglycemia in Children
If you notice frequent incidents of hypoglycemia, changes in your diet need to be incorporated by reducing your sugar intake and breaking your food consumption into smaller meals spread at regular intervals throughout the day.
Upon finding your readings below the normal sugar levels, immediately consume fast acting sugar like:
• 15 grams of glucose tablets (this works very fast)
• 3 teaspoons or 3 packets of table sugar dissolved in 15 ml water
• 3/4 cup of juice or regular soft drink (non-diet)
• 1 tablespoon of honey
It is a good idea to keep a check on your blood glucose level after consuming the above and if the low sugar level reading still persists, repeat one more intake of fast acting sugar.