Some lifelong conditions can be managed effectively with the right medicine. However, others can be a little more difficult to control, with many peaks and troughs experienced those with the condition. One such condition is hypoglycaemia, a disease with many of the same characteristics as diabetes, but what is it?
Put simply, hypoglycaemia is a disease where the affected person’s blood glucose levels fall below 4/mmol/L (millmoles per litre). When this happens, at least some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia occur, causing pain for anyone unfortunate enough to suffer with it.
It can affect anyone who already has diabetes and can strike at almost any time as soon as blood glucose levels become dangerously low. Hypoglycaemia can be hard to identify straight away, but there are a few major symptoms to look out for.
Major symptoms of hypoglycaemia
There are three tell-tale signs to look out for when trying to spot the illness, the most obvious being fatigue. Dizziness is another symptom, while excessive sweating could also be caused by hypoglycaemia. However, they’re not the only ones that regularly happen. Other symptoms include:
- Pale appearance
- Feeling weaker than usual
- Feeling hungry
- Higher heart rate than usual
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Blurry vision
- Falling into a coma, although this only happens in extreme circumstances where treatment isn’t received when needed
Being aware of all the above signs of the disease at an early stage will mean that you’re in a better position to do something about your illness sooner rather than later. Fast action will mean you receive a diagnosis and the appropriate level of medication to help manage your condition as effectively as possible.
With so many symptoms to be aware of, it can be all too easy to assume you have it or something similar like type-2 diabetes. However, if you’re worried that you have it and think that medicine alone might not be enough to keep it at bay, what else can you do to ensure that your hypoglycaemia is at least in check?
Image from creative commons via Katehra
Keeping hypoglycaemia at bay
If you know for sure that your blood glucose levels are lower than needed, you might think that expensive medication will provide the answer to your prayers, but that’s not always the case. If you’re feeling a little lethargic, nauseous or weak and want to get better, you might find that making a few dietary changes could work wonders.
Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia are often the result of eating foods containing simple sugars. Hypoglycaemic episodes sometimes occur after eating such foods where the blood sugar level tends to drop significantly. Those who eat unhealthily are perhaps more prone to those episodes.
A balanced diet can help to keep hypoglycaemic episodes from happening. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and steering clear of junk food can help to keep your blood sugar levels under control, while ensuring any symptoms you do experience are less painful.
How to try and control your hypoglycaemia
If you need to try and get your blood sugar levels back to normal, there are a few things you could do. As far as your insulin is concerned, your doctor may think you’re taking too much, causing the onset of hypoglycaemia. Alternatively, they may suggest that you take it at different times of the day to ensure you’re less prone to suffering an episode.
When it comes to giving your blood sugar a much-needed short-term boost, solutions may actually lie in your kitchen! A snack before bedtime, for example, could help you to sleep soundly before bedtime. Make sure anything you do snack on is high in protein or complex carbohydrates.
Eating five or six smaller meals rather than three main ones throughout the day can help to keep your blood sugar levels a little more consistent, meaning any drops will be less dramatic and more manageable for you.
Stop-gaps can be come in the form of small servings of fruit, drinks or even sweets. A handful of jelly babies can work, while ½ a cup of fruit juice or soft drink, a cup of skimmed milk or perhaps a tablespoonful of honey or sugar can cure your ills for a short period of time.
In terms of medication, taking one tube of glucose gel or 2-3 glucose tablets, both of which can be found in most pharmacies are useful too. If taking medication such as alpha-glucosidase oral diabetes medicine, they’re the only things you can have as remedies.
As with diabetes, hypoglycaemia is caused by a range of problems. Poor and/or unbalanced diets, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and being overweight can all bring on both diabetes and hypoglycaemia. To ensure you never succumb to either, it’s important to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
To exercise more often, you should consider activities including:
- Walking every day
- Running round the block or nearest park on a daily basis
- Aerobics or yoga at home
- Joining a gym
- Taking up a sport such as football, soccer or basketball that requires plenty of running around and helps you to work up a sweat
There’s always a possibility that if some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia become too acute, they could cause you to pass out. This is something you should be aware of, and by taking all the necessary precautions like keeping your blood sugar level from dropping too low, you will minimise the risk of this ever happening to you.
Just in case, it’s important to have a syringe with glucagon with you. If so and you do pass out, the nearest person should be able to give you a glucagon injection, but they will need to know how to do so. This is only applicable if you suffer from severe hypoglycaemia.
After giving an injection, calling 999 in case of an emergency is essential, as you will soon be under the care of qualified medical professionals who can help to nurse you back to health.
This is guest post by Leon Greenberg from MedicalSolicitors.co.uk. If you are also interested to write for Dailyfitnesstips4u, Please visit our Guest Author Guidelines at write for us.