December 30, 2014
The Dangers of Hypoglycemia
There are 15 Effects of low blood sugar on the body, but there may be more. This article by Healthline dot com covers the 15 effects and is interesting to read. If you have experienced hypoglycemia, this article is worth your time. I cannot reproduce the image and the links to the discussions, but it would be worth your time to explore. Many go to the same paragraph so by reading the material below the image, you will have the important information.
I do wish this had been available when I wrote this blog and this blog, as it would have made an excellent reference. Since we do not have any of our members taking any of the sulfonylureas, or any of the other oral medications, except those on metformin, they are convinced that they do not have to worry about hypoglycemia. We have told them that they are less at risk, but there is no guarantee of prevention of hypoglycemia. Those of us on insulin are all aware that hypoglycemia is possible. That is one reason we voluntarily check on each other.
Having low blood glucose levels is not to be ignored as it can cause a rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations. If you do not have any of the obvious symptoms of low blood glucose, which include many or only one of the following: weakness, lightheadedness, and dizziness, feeling nervous, anxious, or irritable, hungry, have tingling or numbness of the mouth, blurred vision, headache, and confusion. You might also have some of the following: lack of coordination, chills, clammy skin, sweating, difficulty performing simple tasks, or at night having nightmares, cry out during sleep, or other unusual behaviors. Quite a list isn't it. Just be thankful that you can have some of these symptoms.
If you become one of the people that does not have any of the above symptoms, then you will have a condition called 'hypoglycemia unawareness.' This can happen if you experience low blood glucose so often that it changes your body’s response. Low blood glucose normally causes your body to release a stress hormone, such as epinephrine. Epinephrine is responsible for those early warning signs, like hunger and shakiness. Low blood glucose is defined as levels below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or 3.9 mmol/L.
Once it does happen, much care needs to be taken. A continuous glucose monitor should be necessary. If your insurance will not allow one, then take time to learn BGAT (blood glucose awareness training), it just may save your life. You will need to learn this on your own as the CDEs refuse to teach it.