Highs & Lows Blood Sugar

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) happens when you eat too little or not often enough, exercise more than usual, take too much of some diabetes medicine(s), or drink alcohol. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Hunger
  • Nervousness and shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Trouble speaking
  • Feeling anxious or weak

If you have any of these symptoms, test your blood sugar. If it’s low, eat or drink a small amount of something that has sugar, like two or three glucose tablets, five or six pieces of hard candy, or 1/2 cup of fruit juice.

After 15 minutes, test again. If your blood sugar is still low, or you still have symptoms, have another serving of sugar. Wait 15 minutes and test again. If you have low blood sugar several times a week, call your doctor.

If you having symptoms but your meter shows that your blood sugar is fine, recheck your blood sugar and follow the steps above. This can happen if your meter isn’t working right.

NEVER DRIVE while you have low blood sugar or symptoms of low blood sugar.

Extreme High Blood Sugar

Extreme high blood sugar can lead to two life-threatening conditions:

Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS) is most often seen in elderly people. It is usually caused by an illness, infection, or by missing doses of your medicine. HHNS may take days or even weeks to develop. If it continues, the severe dehydration will lead to seizures, coma and eventually death.

In HHNS, blood sugar levels rise, and the body tries to get rid of the excess sugar by passing it into your urine. You will make a lot of urine at first. Later you may not have to go to the bathroom as often, and your urine becomes very dark. You may get very thirsty. Even if you are not thirsty, is it safe to buy lexapro online drink liquids. This will help keep you from getting dehydrated.

Know the warning signs:

Very high blood sugar level (over 600 mg/dL)

  • Extreme thirst (although this may gradually disappear)
  • Dry mouth
  • Warm, dry skin that does not sweat
  • High fever
  • Sleepiness or confusion
  • Loss of vision
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • Weakness on one side of the body

Test your blood sugar if symptoms appear. Drink fluids if you can. Call your doctor right away.

Ketoacidosis is a serious condition that can lead to diabetic coma or even death. Ketoacidosis means dangerously high levels of ketones, which are acids that build up in the blood. They appear in the urine when your body doesn’t have enough insulin, and are a warning that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick.

When to check for ketones

  • When your blood glucose is more than 240 mg/dL, check every 4-6 hours
  • When you are ill, check every 4-6 hours
  • When you have any symptoms of ketoacidosis

Know the warning signs:

  • Thirst or a very dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • High blood glucose (sugar) levels
  • Constantly feeling tired
  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain (Vomiting can be caused by many illnesses, not just ketoacidosis. If vomiting continues for more than two hours, contact your healthcare provider.)
  • A hard time breathing (short, deep breaths)
  • Fruity odor on breath
  • A hard time paying attention, or confusion

If you have these symptoms, test your blood sugar and your urine ketones. Call your doctor at once if:

  • Your urine tests show high levels of ketones
  • Your urine tests show high levels of ketones and your blood glucose level is high
  • You have vomited more than twice in four hours and your urine tests show high ketones

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