Learning Moment – Low Blood Sugar and What it Means…

There are 2 emergency situations with Type 1 Diabetes that we are ALWAYS on the look out for. Low blood sugar and DKA (see here)

The correct term for LOW blood sugar is Hypoglycemia –  some may refer to a low as being “hypo”

In a Type 1 Diabetic a LOW blood sugar episode needs immediate treatment  – if untreated or not treated promptly enough it can quickly become an emergency situation.

Treatment for a Low blood sugar is a fast-acting form of carbohydrate (sugar). Juice, glucose tablets, glucose gel, cake gel, gel candies etc. Anything containing chocolate is not recommended as the fat content slows the absorption of the sugar.

Eden’s acceptable blood sugar range is between 80-180 with the perfect range – meaning no extra insulin is added or subtracted from her dosage – being 120 – 150.

A TRUE Low is classified as anything below 70.

Typical Low blood sugar warning symptoms include:

  • Shakiness
  • Weakness
  • Pale / grey appearance in face
  • Confusion / Brain Fog – has that “spacey look”
  • Behavior changes – moodiness / short temper / quick to cry
  • Extreme ravenous hunger
  • Sweatiness
  • Drowsiness

More Extreme Symptoms :

  • Double Vision
  • Seizure or Convulsion
  • Loss of Consciousness

In the case of seizure or unconsciousness we have our emergency Glucagon..This needs to be mixed and injected into muscle (usually in the thigh). We have never needed to use Glucagon and I never want to..

ALL people are different and may experience different symptoms when experiencing a Low blood sugar episode. Some may feel symptoms of a Low at 80 – others not until they reach 60 or lower –  a Low of any number needs immediate treatment.

Eden USUALLY feels when her blood sugar is Low – or dropping quickly. And I say USUALLY because she does NOT feel them when she is sleeping and has never awoken by herself when having a very Low blood sugar episode (VERY SCARY) and if she is extremely active and/or busy doing something she does not always feel it.

A Low blood sugar can happen for many reasons – illness – missed meal – meal at a different time – too much insulin – incorrect dose of insulin and for us the usual culprit is exercise..

We need to be on constant alert for Low blood sugar.

every.single.day.

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25 thoughts on “Learning Moment – Low Blood Sugar and What it Means…

  1. Heather,
    Am not clear re keystones. In your 4th paragraph in “DT1 Terms” you explain the undesirability of keystones and DKA and later on you say “is imperative to flush out ketones quickly before they build up to prevent DKA. PROMPT action is required whenever dealing with ketones to avoid hospitalization.” The key words being “build up to prevent DKA”. Sounds like you want DKA?

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