Low blood sugar usually occurs in people with diabetes, but not always. There are other causes for low blood sugar in people who are not diabetic, which include too much alcohol, certain diseases, medications or metabolic dysfunction. Depending on how low the sugar level is, sufferers can experience anything from nausea and nervousness to confusion, blurred vision and trouble walking, even seizures or a coma. Low blood sugar is detected by a physical examination and blood work. Your past medical history is also taken into consideration.
When you begin feeling the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as hunger and nausea, light-headedness, unsteadiness or confusion or other symptoms, eat or drink food that contains sugar. This could be anything from a soft drink (non-diet), fruit juice, raisins, candy, crackers or milk. Glucose tablets are also available. These foods will enter your bloodstream anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. You should carry foods with you that help to raise your blood sugar.
Injections and Monitors
Glucagon injections are given to people who suffer with very low blood glucose levels, or severe hypoglycemia. Those with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have this severely low level of blood glucose. Glucagon injections will bring the blood glucose level back to normal. A glucagon emergency kit can only be prescribed by a doctor who can also educate friends, family or other people who will be in close contact with the diabetic to be taught how to give the injection.
Glucose monitors are used to check your own blood sugars. You will need to obtain a drop of blood by using a small lancet device in your fingertip or forearm. The drop of blood is transferred to a test strip and placed in the glucose monitor, which then analyzes your blood and give you your blood glucose level.
Exercise can lower blood glucose levels, but levels should be checked before exercising as some physical activity can make the levels too low. To avoid this, your doctor may suggest a snack or an adjustment in medication as well as checking levels more often. Modifications to your activity level and amount of time spent exercising may need to be made by your doctor.
Discovering the Cause
When you have been diagnosed with low blood sugar, it is best to see if there are any lifestyle changes that you can make. Sometimes there are situations that have led to the low blood sugar diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend changing your diet or medications. You can avoid future problems by making a few lifestyle changes.