Treating Hypoglycemia

Having help available when needed is important. The person's family members, coworkers, or other trusted people should learn to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and know how to treat it if necessary. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are dizziness, sweating, feeling shaky or faint, clamminess, rapid heartbeat, clumsiness, moodiness, and extreme hunger. However, each person should know his or her own particular symptoms since everyone reacts differently.

Some people eventually lose their ability to realize they are hypoglycemic. If they miss the early signs, fuzzy thinking may be the first symptom, which means they will not know how to help themselves. It is recommended that these people test blood glucose more frequently and test it before driving, wear a diabetes ID bracelet, and keep a prescription for glucagon nearby. Glucagon is a hormone that, when injected, causes the liver to release glucose, and it also slows insulin release. People with type 1 must know how to inject it and also should train someone, such as a family member or coworker, to inject it in case they are unable to do so.

In a case of severe hypoglycemia, the person must immediately eat or drink a small amount of a carbohydrate that the digestive system can quickly pick up from the bloodstream. Glucose tablets or gel from the pharmacy work well, as do raisins, regular soda, orange juice, honey, or jelly beans. These sugars should be kept at home, school, and work, in a purse or pocket, and in the car. About fifteen minutes after taking one, blood sugar should be checked. If it is still too low, another small dose of carbohydrate should be taken or a meal eaten.

Diabetics must frequently measure their blood glucose level to ensure that it is neither too high nor too low, as either extreme can cause a serious medical emergency.

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