February 26, 2015
More Information on Hypoglycemia
If you haven't figured it out yet, your body does not like low blood glucose and does its best to correct the condition. The body does store some glucose in the muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. When the body needs glucose, the liver breaks down glycogen stores and releases glucose into the blood. When the liver or you body is short of glycogen, gluconeogenesis can occur. Gluconeogenesis is the term for making new sugar in the body.
The liver and even the kidneys, to some extent, can take the building blocks from proteins (amino acids) and convert them into glucose. This is why drinking alcohol is discouraged for people with diabetes. The liver is prevented from making new glucose when it is processing alcohol. This is the reason alcohol can cause hypoglycemia. Insulin is the hormone that lowers blood glucose. Just about all of the other hormones (adrenaline, glucagon, cortisol, and growth hormone) can raise blood glucose levels.
When prescribed correctly and taken correctly, both insulin and oral diabetes pills can work well at controlling blood glucose levels without causing hypoglycemia. It is when you take too much medication or eat less food that you can cause hypoglycemia. If the body's defenses are down or not a match for the amount of medication taken, then hypoglycemia will result.
The following are the symptoms of mild hypoglycemia and include, hunger, trembling, rapid heartbeat, increased pulse, sweating, heavy breathing, tingling, nausea, weakness, and nightmares., If you think these are bad, here are the symptoms of moderate to severe hypoglycemia. They include, headache, slow thinking, lack of coordination, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, anger, dizziness, slurred speech, seizure, coma, and potential death.
With the above symptoms, don't count on being able to predict your blood glucose levels by the way your feel. The only sure way of knowing is by testing. Newly diagnosed patients often have some of the symptoms when they are still above 100 mg/dl. This is because their body has adapted to a higher blood glucose level and when the medication acts, some medications do bring the blood glucose level down rapidly. This can cause false hypoglycemia. This is the reason for testing to prevent over reacting and eating carbs because you body is giving you a false alarm. As your body adapts to the lower blood glucose levels, the false alarms will stop.
The official level for hypoglycemia is 70 mg/dl. Readings above this and below 100 mg/dl are considered normal. This is a reason to keep blood glucose tablets and if your blood glucose test is less than 70 mg/dl then you need to follow the rule of 15.
The rule of 15:
Treat low blood glucose with 15 grams of carbohydrates/
Wait 15 minutes, then test again.
If your blood glucose had not risen 15 to 20 points, repeat the procedure.
Remember that if your blood glucose is below 50 mg/dl, then it is better to take 30 grams of carbohydrates and then test in 15 minutes. Low blood glucose can happen if you eat too few carbohydrates, and especially if you skip a meal. Learn that once you start feeling of any of the symptoms, your body can continue the symptoms for 15 to 25 minutes after eating glucose tablets. This is because of the hormones released by your body to combat hypoglycemia and it takes time for these hormones to settle down.
If you continue to eat until your felt better, you will likely eat too much. This would then result in raising your blood glucose level to a higher level than needed. Then you would need to possibly take more medication and the roller coaster ride begins.
Part 3 of 4