Sometimes your blood sugar may get too low or too high. If your blood sugar becomes too low it can be very dangerous
• Check your blood sugar often or use a continuous glucose monitoring device. If you are doing blood glucose monitoring with fingersticks, talk to your doctor about how often and what time of day to create your own schedule.
• Watch out for clues
• Low blood sugar clues include: irritability, shaky hands, being tired, confusion, blurred vision, heart racing, sweating.
• Usually, blood sugar is TOO LOW if it is less than 70 (mg/dL). Important to keep your fasting blood glucose between 80 - 130 (mg/dL).
• Make sure friends and family also know the clues for low blood sugar. When your blood sugar gets too low, you may be too confused to remember what to do. It's important that friends and family know when you need help fixing low blood sugar.
If your blood sugar is less than 70 (mg/dL), OR if you have clues of low blood sugar (see above), take action!
CONTACT your doctor if low blood sugar becomes a recurring event as your insulin dosage may need to be readjusted.
If you experience the above symptoms and your blood sugar falls below 80 (mg/dL) follow the “Rule of 15.”
- Take 15 grams of carbohydrates
- Wait 15 minutes, recheck glucose
- If blood sugar is still low (< 80 mg/dL), repeat
- If your blood sugar returns to normal (> 80 mg/dL) eat a small snack until the next meal.
Examples of 15 grams of Carbohydrates:
- 8 ounces of whole milk
- ½ Can of regular soda (NOT diet soda)
- A glass of orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon of honey (NOT teaspoon, you want the big spoon)
- 5 to 6 Lifesaver (Or any type of candy, NOT sugar-free candy)
- 3 glucose (sugar) tablets (available at any drug store/pharmacy)
- 1 tube of glucose gel
High blood sugar can be very dangerous also. It may take a long time for you to notice the bad effects of high blood sugar, or you may start to feel sick right away.
• Emergency or acute high blood sugar: If not treated with diet, exercise, and medicine, high blood sugar can lead to "diabetic coma" and death.
• Long-Term effects of high blood sugar - Disability: If not treated with diet, exercise, and medicine, high blood sugar can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, worsening vision, blindness, loss of feeling in hands and feet, impaired healing of cuts and wounds, tingling and damaged nerves, change in bowel movements and constipation.
• Check your blood sugar often.
• Watch out for clues.
• High blood sugar clues include:
• Drowsy, sleepy, tired
• Flushed skin
• Fruit-like breath odor
• Frequent urination
• Dry mouth, Dry skin
• Loss of appetite, Stomachache, Nausea, Vomiting
• Trouble breathing (rapid and deep)
• Increased blood sugar level
Your blood sugar level is too high if your fasting blood sugar level is above 130-140 mg/dL. 2 hours after a meal, as long as the proper insulin has been taken, your blood sugar should be lower than 180 mg/dL
Make sure friends and family also know the clues for high blood sugar. When your blood sugar gets too high, you may be too confused to remember what to do. It's important that friends and family know when you need help fixing high blood sugar.
If your blood sugar is greater than 130-140 (mg/dL), OR if you have clues of high blood sugar (see above), take action!
• CONTACT your doctor if high blood sugar becomes a recurring event as your insulin dosage may need to be readjusted.
• Develop an action plan for high blood sugar. This includes knowing how much extra insulin to take based on the blood sugar number.
• Download these free diabetes medical cards from the American Diabetes Association and keep them with you to alert others in case of an emergency.
Include these Wallet / ID cards to notify anyone who may be encountering you in a “confused” / Low blood sugar state that you are a diabetic and could be experiencing the above symptoms.