HYPOGLYCAEMIA – LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Hypoglycaemia (or a ‘hypo’, ‘feeling low’) is when your blood sugar drops below 4 mmol/l (72 mg/dl). Symptoms of Hypoglycaemia include anxiety, shakiness, sweating, headache, increased hunger, dizziness, pale skin colour, sudden change in mood or irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, clumsiness, palpitations, loss of balance, and/or confusion.
You need to take action to have some fast acting sugar (simple carbohydrates like jelly beans, sweets etc) to correct it. But don’t have too much! It’s very easy to keep on eating until the feeling goes away, and 15 minutes of eating sweets can raise your blood sugar a LOT – much more than back up to 4 mmol/l (72 mg/dl) !
JadeDiabetes.com will tell you exactly how many jelly beans, glucose tablets (or whatever your chosen hypo food is) to take so that you don’t ‘overshoot’. It will also tell you how much insulin is still active, so that you can prevent yourself getting low a second time.
Why do we need to correct for low blood sugars? Well, below around 3 mmol/l (54 mg/dl) you start losing brain cells. I don’t know anyone with an excess of brain cells…
So it’s important to keep your blood sugar in the ‘ideal’ range as much as possible – especially while sleeping – that’s 1/3 to 1/4 of the day!
If your blood sugars have been higher than normal for a few days, then your body gets used to this, and you may start to feel low at a much higher level, say 5-7 mmol/l (90-126 mg/dl). You definitely need to do a blood test first, to find out if you are actually low. Some feeling of high blood pressure, and of just being naturally hot are also easy to confuse with low BGL symptoms, so again, do a BGL first.
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