How to manage hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia refers to a condition where the body’s blood sugar level drops below the standard range of 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) and 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). It is a major complication associated with diabetes, indicating the presence of excess insulin in the bloodstream. Other than diabetes, hypoglycemia can also develop as a side effect of medications and various other conditions. Lack of medical attention can lead to several medical problems such as seizures, comas, and even death. Therefore, it is important to learn how to manage Hypoglycemia during an emergency.
Managing hypoglycemia at home
Step 1: Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia
The first step to hypoglycemia management is learning about its signs and symptoms. The most common symptoms of hypoglycemia are:
- Concentration problem
- Fast heartbeat
- Blurry vision
Step 2: Check your blood sugar levels
The second in line is checking your blood sugar levels often. In-home test kits are available to monitor your status daily. You can either use the traditional blood glucose meters or CGMS (continuous glucose monitoring system). Why is this important? Note that you may not experience symptoms of hypoglycemia daily. Therefore, regular monitoring of the blood sugar level can keep you informed about any slow blood sugar fluctuations happening in your system. In case of a hypoglycemia attack, test your blood sugar level immediately and note the numbers.
Step 3: Eat some snack rich in carbohydrate or fast acting sugar to normalize the blood sugar level
Make sure to prepare carbohydrate-rich foods to stimulate your blood sugar. You can choose anything, as long as these snacks are rich in fast-acting sugar. Sugar bars, granola bars, chocolates, bread with jam are some convenient options.
How to avoid hypoglycemia attacks?
What should you do during an episode of hypoglycemia? Consider the following steps as your action plan.
- Check your blood sugar levels if symptoms occur.
- If your blood sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dL, eat snacks or food rich in fast-acting sugar.
- Wait for at least 15 minutes after eating.
- Check your blood sugar again after 15 minutes.
- If your blood sugar levels have not yet returned to normal, repeat steps 2 through 4.
- If your condition worsens, seek immediate emergency help.
- You can also administer an injection of glucagon to increase your blood sugar levels
Where can you get glucagon injection kit?
A glucagon injection kit is prescribed together with your diabetes medication. Use this only during an emergency such as a sudden hypoglycemia attack, or when a natural fast acting sugar does not stabilize your blood glucose level. If a glucagon kit is not available, ask your family or friends to seek immediate help or call your local emergency response team. You can also contact your doctor right away to obtain the necessary help.
You should also be cautious of the hypoglycemia symptoms as they can be dangerous. Be aware of the necessary steps when you experience this condition. Seek advice from your doctor on proper management of your blood sugar levels.