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Diabetes Positive Approach, Issue #1203-- Cope with Diabetes; Live Healthy
March 06, 2012
Welcome to this month's issue on blood sugar lows. Remember that last issue we started “The ABC’s of Diabetes Tips”. We started with B for blood sugar. There are so many things to deal on this tip that we may have to cover only about blood sugar lows before going to the next ABC Tip.
With the right mental attitude, we are going to work at this blood sugar level, at least know all about it so we can deal with it. We will make some adjustment on our thinking so the work will turn from drudgery to joy. Knowing that success will give us all the benefits we deserve, we will develop a burning desire to excel at this.
Are You at Risk for Blood Sugar Lows?
No two diabetics have the same risk for blood sugar low. But if you are using insulin, and some other diabetes medications, you are at risk for blood sugar low. Your risk is lower if you are type 2 diabetic but there is still a need to be prepared. If you are not taking medication, your risk of course is very low.
Type 1 diabetics may experience mild to moderate blood sugar lows 43 times a year with symptoms while they may only experience severe episode twice a year. In contrast, type 2 diabetics who take medications may experience mild to moderate low blood sugar 16 times a year and a severe episode once every five years. You may need medicine and insulin the longer you have had diabetes.
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3. Hypoglycemia Unawareness: What Is It and How To Deal With It?
Anyone who is experiencing blood sugar lows without showing the symptoms first may have hypoglycemia unawareness. This is a dangerous situation because you could lose consciousness without recognizing warning symptoms like sweating and shaking first. and may end up requiring medical attention.
If you have hypoglycemia unawareness you may have to test the blood glucose levels more often and your health care team may suggest that you raise blood sugar targets a little higher than those who do not have hypoglycemia unawareness. Research though has shown that this can be reversed.
Causes of Hypoglycemia Unawareness
Recognizing the low symptoms is less after several years of lows that have repeated over several years. Secretion of Glucagon is lower in most type 1 diabetics after the first to ten years of diagnosis. Alcohol increases the risk not to be aware of the low symptoms. The liver is prevented from glucose creation thus making it unable to raise the blood sugar level.
The factors that may cause hypoglycemia unawareness are:
1, A quick drop in blood sugar
2. Frequent low blood sugars
3. Depression or stress
4. Long history of diabetes
5. Alcohol intake in the last 12 hours
6. Use of certain medications like beta blockers
7. Poor self-care
8. Low blood sugar level in the last day or two
How To Reverse Hypoglycemia Unawareness
Research has shown that hypoglycemia Unawareness can be reversed by avoiding having low readings frequently. One who can prevent having low blood sugar for two weeks can become aware again of the symptoms of hypogloycemia. And it can return to almost normal after three months.
Here are the tips to reverse Hypoglycemia Unawareness.
1. Lower how often you get the low blood sugar reading.
2. After having a reaction, be very careful not to get another low for at least two days.
3. Make your blood sugar target slightly higher so that you will not have no more than one or two reactions per week.
4. Monitor your blood sugar more frequently so that you will see when the numbers have dropped and treat them before they become lows.
5. Make sure your insulin doses match any lifestyle change of diet and exercise.
Ask your doctor if taking prescription medication like miglitol and acarbose which delay carbohydrates absorption will lower the risk of blood sugar lows. Checking the blood sugar level at 2 am occasionally may help prevent blood sugar lows that are not recognized. A continuous monitoring device should prevent hypoglycemia events.
During episode of hypoglycemia unawareness, a person can manifest such bizarre behaviour as irritability or anger, illogical thought, insisting one is fine while showing unusual behaviour, high stress and high emotions, and laughing and silliness. Continuous monitoring could have prevented this.
What is the best treatment for severe blood sugar level? Injecting Glucagon will raise the blood sugar lows the fastest way but this has to be done by a person who is well trained in the mixture and injection when it is needed. Glucagon kits are available and should be stored at room temperature. A trained nurse, a pharmacist or a diabetes educator can show how to use this.
Usually, the dose in the Glucagon kit is 1 mg which is enough dose for a person who is 200 pounds. If the person injected does not show improvement in 15 minutes, call for emergency service. Let your doctor know when you have an event like this because it means there is a need to reduce the insulin dose.
4. A Success Quotation of the Month
"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." Norman Vincent Peale
5. And here’s the dessert recipe we promised you.
6. Let's laugh together at this joke even if it's not funny. Laughing will help get us healthy.
Here Are Some Jokes
1. Try to have fruits and vegetables every day. A Strawberry Daiquiri and a Bloody Mary should do the trick.
2. I joined a health club last year that cost me $300 but I did not lose even one pound. When I complained to the manager, he said I am supposed to go to the club and exercise, the nerve!
3. I have to go walking early in the morning before my brain figures out what I am doing.
4. We get heavier as we get older and I just figured out why. It is because we carry more information in our head.
7. Do you have a question or comment for the team?
Drop us a line at our contact form and write your questions or comment there.
7. Question: "What do I do when I am having a Low Blood Episode?"
Answer: An expert answered it so well. He said and I quote, “Going Low? take it slow.” Now why did he say that when treating a low blood sugar event? Overtreating it may put one on a nasty cycle of high and low. It just might make the blood sugar soar sky high, making it more difficult to control. This is not to mention the weight gain, So just remember the rule of 15. Take 15 grams of fast-acting carbs and test after 15 minutes. If it is still too low, repeat.
8. Got something to say? Please write down your questions and comments in the contact form in our website.
All we really need to do now is to use all those attributes of yours. Make your self-care your top priority and we will be behind you always. It does not take much to be successful. Mind you it takes all of that person and you have that. You do have all of you.
Roger and Evelyn Guzman
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