How to manage low blood sugar levels

Patients with diabetes need to keep spikes in blood glucose levels in check, but sometimes, they may suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. Here’s what to do!

People with diabetes take every measure to prevent spikes in their blood glucose levels from medication to right nutrition. When you have diabetes your body either cannot make enough insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or it is not able to use it effectively (Type 2 Diabetes).

Medication or insulin treatment is used to control spikes in blood glucose levels but at times, people with diabetes may suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. Diabetics are prone to this condition when they skip meals, drink alcohol without any food or eat meals that have simple sugars. That’s why it is advised for people with diabetes to eat frequent but small meals throughout the day.

low blood sugar
Managing diabetes has never been so easy but these tips can help. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“When your blood sugar goes lower than 60 mg/dL it is termed as low blood sugar or hypoglycemia,” says Shilpa Joshi – Head Metabolic Nutrition, Fitterfly. The symptoms of low blood sugar are confusion, headaches, feeling shaky, dizziness, hunger, irritability, pounding heart, pale skin, sweating, weakness etc. One may also pass out, have seizure or slip into coma if low blood is not addressed on time.

If you notice the above-mentioned symptoms and find out that you have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels, you must not rush to eat any sugary or processed eatable in sight.

“When you have low blood sugar do not eat sweets, chocolate, mithais or any other bakery products. Instead consume 15g (3 teaspoon) sugar, jaggery or glucose powder and wait for 15 minutes. Then check your blood sugar levels again. If your blood glucose level is still at 60 mg/dL or lower repeat the whole process and recheck your blood sugar after 15 minutes. It should rise over 70 mg/dL,” says Joshi.

low blood sugar
Learn how to manage your overall health especially if you have diabetes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are other things that you can try:
  • Eat 15 gm of fast-acting carbohydrate such as 4 glucose tablets or 1/2 cup fruit juice
  • One spoon of sugar or glucose powder (orally or mixed with water)
  • ORS solution mixed in water.
  • One cup of milk
  • One spoon of honey
  • Handful of raisins or lemon/orange candies”Remember, an episode like hypoglycemia can be really dangerous. Your family should be able to recognize the signs of low blood sugars like a fainting episode and take you to the doctor for emergency help,” says Joshi.

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