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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

When You Don´t Know Your Blod Sugar is Low

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How low can your blood sugar go?”  Too low.  Recognize the symptoms and take action so you do not face the risk. 


At Damndiabetes, we live with diabetes every day and know from experience that living with type 2 diabetes requires careful management of blood sugar levels to prevent complications.  While high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is a well-known concern, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can also pose serious risks, especially when you don’t realize your levels are dropping.  Understanding the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar and taking proactive steps to manage it is crucial for maintaining good health and quality of life living with type 2 diabetes.


The Dangers of Low Blood Sugar


Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, occurs when your blood glucose levels drop below normal. This can happen for various reasons, such as skipping meals, taking too much diabetes medication (insulin or oral medications), increasing physical activity without adjusting medication doses, or drinking alcohol without eating enough. The symptoms of low blood sugar can vary from person to person but commonly include:


1. Shakiness or trembling

2. Sweating

3. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

4. Weakness or fatigue

5. Headache

6. Confusion or difficulty concentrating

7. Irritability or mood changes

8. Blurred vision

9. Rapid heartbeat

10. Hunger


When left untreated, severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, and even coma. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the signs of low blood sugar and take prompt action to raise your glucose levels to a safe range.


Challenges When You Don’t Feel Low Blood Sugar


One of the challenges of managing low blood sugar is when individuals don’t feel the typical symptoms, a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness. This can happen for several reasons, including long-standing diabetes, frequent episodes of low blood sugar, certain medications, and age-related changes in awareness of symptoms.


When you don’t feel the usual signs of low blood sugar, it becomes harder to know when your levels are dropping dangerously low. This increases the risk of severe hypoglycemia and its associated complications. Therefore, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to prevent low blood sugar episodes and detect them early when they occur by following some of the following tips.

Monitor Your Blood Sugar Regularly - Check your blood glucose levels as your healthcare provider recommends, especially before meals, physical activity, and bedtime.  Regular monitoring helps you understand your patterns and with your healthcare provider, to make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.


Follow a Consistent Meal Plan—You can stay out of the danger zone by eating regular meals.  Avoid skipping meals or drastically changing your eating habits without consulting your healthcare team.


Adjust Medications Carefully - Take your diabetes medications as prescribed by your doctor. If you experience frequent low blood sugar episodes, discuss adjusting your medication doses or timing with your healthcare provider.


Be Prepared - Always carry fast-acting carbohydrates such as glucose tablets, juice, or candy with you. These can quickly raise your blood sugar, and for added safety, wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace indicating that you have diabetes.


Educate Family and Friends - Make sure your loved ones know the signs of low blood sugar and how to help you if needed.  


The Bottom Line


Managing type 2 diabetes involves navigating various challenges, including the risk of low blood sugar.  When you don’t feel the typical symptoms of low blood sugar, staying vigilant with regular blood sugar monitoring, following a consistent meal plan, adjusting medications as needed, and being prepared for emergencies can help you stay safe and healthy.  


As always, we are here to help at Damndiabetes and work closely with your healthcare team to develop a personalized diabetes management plan that addresses your unique needs and minimizes the risks associated with low blood sugar.  By staying informed and proactive, you can better manage your diabetes and enjoy a better quality of life living with type 2 diabetes.  


Best wishes ...

Vancouver, Canada


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