Diabetes Management

Hypoglycemia and Insulin – Everything You Need to Know!

January 2021

Managing diabetes can be challenging. Despite diet modifications, proper exercise and medication, sometimes your blood sugar levels could stay high and need additional attention. In such cases, your doctor might ask you to take insulin shots to manage your condition.

Insulin – What it does?

Insulin is a hormone secreted in the pancreas, which helps control blood sugar levels in the body. It helps the body to use glucose for energy after the digestion of food. In other words, when carbohydrates in the food break down to glucose – the primary source of energy, insulin helps the glucose to enter the cells and tissues of your body.

Sometimes your body might not be able to make enough insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or use the insulin produced in the body effectively (Type 2 Diabetes) leading to high blood sugar levels affecting your significant organs and its functions. It is important to maintain a proper level of blood sugar in your body. The reason why doctors sometimes prescribe insulin shots to manage diabetes effectively.

There are different ways to administer insulin – through syringes, pen pumps or jet injectors.

However, the vital thing to keep in mind is administering the right dose of insulin prescribed to you. Too high or too low, a dose of insulin can lead to consequences.

What is hypoglycemia?

One such consequence of administering insulin higher than your prescribed dose is – hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

Hypoglycemia is a health risk for anybody living with diabetes. It is a condition in which the blood sugar levels drop to as low as 70 mg/dL. The signs and symptoms start showing when it drops to 55 mg/dL or lower. This condition can be fatal, leading to dizziness or a fainting episode requiring immediate medical attention.

An episode of hypoglycemia can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the insulin administered.

Symptoms of mild to moderate hypoglycemia could be – dizziness, irritability, mood swings, excessive hunger, sweating, shakiness and irregular heartbeat.

A severe episode (dangerously low glucose levels – 54 mg/dL or lower) can lead to poor coordination, confusion, headaches, seizures, fainting and unconsciousness, or worse, leading to coma.

Why does it happen?

An episode of hypoglycemia can happen when you have administered the right insulin dose but have eaten too little food or skipped your meal. It can also happen if you have administered a higher dose of insulin than prescribed for you.

But now you can prevent episodes of hypoglycemia by getting personalised meals plans from an expert Diabetes Educator and Nutritionist. To this effect, Team Fitterfy has designed a Diabetes Management Program – Diabefly Pro to help you manage your blood sugars more effectively.

What you can do

If you feel uncomfortable after administering insulin, check your glucose levels. If the reading is 70 mg/dL or lower follow the 15-15 rule.

  1. Eat 15 gm of fast-acting carbohydrate such as
    • One spoon of sugar/glucose powder (orally or mixed with water)
    • ORS solution mixed in water.;;
    • One cup of milk
    • One spoon of honey
    • Handful of raisins
    • Or lemon/orange candies
  2. Wait for 15 minutes
  3. Check your blood sugars again at the end of 15 minutes.
  4. If the reading is normal (above 70 mg/dL), then eat a healthy snack to stabilise your blood sugars.
  5. If the reading is still below 70 mg/dL, eat another 15 grams of fast-acting carbs and check again in 15 minutes.
  6. If your blood sugars remain in the hypo state, please contact your doctor immediately.

Ideally, after following the 15-15 rule, your blood sugar levels should rise to 70 mg/dL or more.

It is also essential to get your family to know about your condition and teach them about the consequences of hypoglycemia – they should know how and when to apply the 15-15 rule and call for medical help when needed. Your family should be able to identify an emergency, like a fainting episode and take you to the doctor for further treatment.

Yes, hypoglycemia is a condition that shouldn’t be ignored or overlooked. But with the right knowledge, monitoring and usage of insulin, you can keep your blood sugar levels in control and lead a healthy life.

Prevent dangerously low blood sugars under the right supervision of a Diabefly Coach. For more information visit our website at https://www.fitterfly.com/diabefly or call us at 022 48971077 (Ext no. 1)

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