Hypoglycemia symptoms are unique for each individual; however, initial symptoms include a burning feeling and an uncomfortable feeling.
Hypoglycemia is a condition of the body characterized by a low glucose level. This means that the blood sugar level is below 3.5 mmol/dl. This condition only occurs in insulin treated diabetic patients. Glucose is an important energy source of the body. It mainly powers all the processes that the body needs in everyday life. Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose. These can be found in fruits, cereals, rice, bread, and milk.
What are the Hypoglycemia Symptoms?
After a meal, when the carbohydrate intake is not enough, symptoms of hypoglycemia may be experienced. Low blood sugar symptoms can be divided into two categories: early and late symptoms. Early symptoms are comprised of excessive sweating, hunger, palpitations, lightheadedness, headaches, and trembling. When hypoglycemia is not treated, late symptoms may be experienced. Late symptoms of low blood sugar include: double vision, confusion, sleepiness that may lead to a coma, and strange behaviors. Symptoms can also be observed even the individual is sleeping. These symptoms include: crying out loud and excessive sweating. The individual may feel irritated for no reason after waking up.
What are the Causes of Hypoglycemia?
Symptoms of hypoglycemia are usually manifested when an imbalance occurs between the diet, physical activity, and medication of a diabetic patient. These usually occur in the following situations: when there is a low-calorie food intake or none at all, when there are additional physical activities, and when there is an excessive intake of insulin.
How is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of hypoglycemia is a team effort of the patient and the healthcare provider. Through careful analysis of a physical examination, medical history, and laboratory tests, a proper and definitive diagnosis is made. In patients who have had diabetes for several years, early hypoglycemia symptoms are not manifested. The only indication of hypoglycemia is the low blood glucose level. Treatment should always be done when laboratory examinations conclude that a low blood sugar level exists with or without the presence of clinical manifestations.
What are the Available Treatments of Hypoglycemia?
The treatment of hypoglycemia is very simple. The first thing to do when early symptoms are experienced is for the individual to eat/drink 15 grams of quick-acting sugar immediately. These may be any of the following: 150 ml. of lemonade, five to six pieces of candy, or three tablets of glucose. A tablespoon full of sugar or honey is also another option. Each tablet is approximately five grams of carbohydrates as indicated on the label.
After taking the 15 grams of carbohydrates, check if the blood sugar level has returned to normal. If the patient is still hypoglycemic, repeat the treatment after 10 to 15 minutes. If the levels of the blood sugar have risen, be sure to eat carbohydrates that are long-lasting. A good example is by eating a sandwich. Repeat the testing of glucose levels to ensure that it is within normal levels.
The amount given to children is less. It is the duty of the child’s doctor to specify the specific amount of carbohydrates the child needs. Call immediately for help when the individual is unconscious. Do not put any food or drinks in the mouth of the patients because these things may only obstruct the airway of the patient. Healthcare providers can give intravenous injections of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that increases blood glucose levels.
What are the Ways to Prevent Experiencing Hypoglycemia Symptoms?
Hypoglycemia can be prevented. This can be accomplished by eating sufficiently. The correct amounts of carbohydrates should always be eaten. A nutritionist or dietitian can aid in making a menu plan for the meals to be eaten. This will definitely ensure that the right nutrition is taken by the body daily. Eating snacks in-between meals are also effective in preventing hypoglycemia.
If there is an additional physical activity for the day, be sure to also eat more amounts of carbohydrates. Prior to engaging in sports and other activities, be sure to first check the blood glucose levels. If the level is below 100 mg/dl, be sure to have a snack prior to the activity. Changing the medication may also be indicated. However, before altering the dosage, be sure to consult the doctor first. Do not take insulin tablets that will result in an overdose. It is always important to keep blood sugar levels at or close to the normal range. This will help in preventing future problems and complications. Most importantly, do not drink alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach. If the individual cannot avoid drinking alcohol, consult a nutritionist so that he can provide a meal plan with alcohol.
Early hypoglycemia symptoms are mild and controllable. With proper recognition, care and treatment, these symptoms will not become serious. With the ability to balance carbohydrate intake, insulin intake, and physical activities, hypoglycemia can be prevented.