Tag: hypoglycemia

Oct

10

Diabetes, Hypoglycemia Unawareness & Low Blood Sugar. Know The Signs

HypoglycemiaSo we’ve all dealt with the symptoms, shaky, lethargic, confused, sweaty and the list goes on and on but what happens when we don’t realize or notice these symptoms? People who don’t have diabetes start to feel hypoglycemic when their blood glucose reaches 50- 55 mg/dl.  In people who have diabetes, hypoglycemia can’t really be defined as a specific blood glucose level, because the point at which they feel “low” changes, depending on their usual BG level.

So, individuals who are not properly controlled can “feel low” at normal or high BG levels, and individuals whose blood glucose runs consistently in the low-normal range and have frequent hypoglycemia may not “feel low” until their BG falls to a dangerously low level.  This has happened to me once and it was not fun.  So lets take a look at what hypoglycemia unawareness is and what we can do prevent it!

Hypoglycemia Unawareness Causes:

Hypoglycemia unawareness is actually quite common. It happens to me and that’s why I am so grateful for my dexcom. Studies show that 17 percent of us with Type 1 diabetes suffer from some sort of hypoglycemia unawareness.  Symptoms of a low blood sugar become less obvious after having diabetes for several years because repeated lows tend to impair the body’s release of stress hormones.  As we are probably aware at this point, or maybe not if your newly diagnosed, the major counter-regulatory hormone that causes glucose to be released by the liver to raise the blood sugar is glucagon, but is reduced in most people who have Type 1 diabetes within the first two to ten years after diagnosis.

Drinking alcohol increases the risk of an unacknowledged low because the mind becomes less capable of recognizing what’s happening, the liver is blocked from creating glucose needed to raise the blood sugar, and free fatty acid (the backup to glucose for fuel) release is also blocked. These factors make symptoms milder and harder to recognize and personally after a couple trips to the ER due to severe low blood sugars…lets just say I’m not a fan of alcohol any longer.

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Sep

15

What Is A Diabetic Seizure, Warning Signs And Symptoms:

What Is A Diabetic Seizure?As diabetics we should all be very familiar with hypoglycemia but for those who are not, what is hypoglycemia and how can it effect us?

Hypoglycemia is the clinical syndrome that results from low blood sugar. The symptoms of hypoglycemia can vary from person to person, as can the severity as I’ve personally dealt with in the past when my severe low was accompanied with a seizure.

This was the first time this as ever happened to me since being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic over 11 years ago now.  While I don’t remember the seizure itself, lets just say we made it a memorable experience for the community as it happened at my sons fall soccer tournament.  So what is a hypoglycemic seizure and what are the warning signs of having a seizure?  Lets take a closer look!

What Is A Hypoglycemic Seizure:

So what causes a seizure? A hypoglycemic seizure may be triggered by injecting too much insulin, or failing to eat soon enough after using a fast acting insulin (exactly what happened to me); excessive use of alcohol, skipping meals,or exercising vigorously without adjusting insulin dosages or eating properly.

A seizure may also be triggered by oral diabetes medications that cause the pancreas to produce more insulin. Whatever the cause of the seizure, it needs to be treated as a medical emergency. To identify the onset of ahypoglycemic seizure,look for the following warning signs of seizures and symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Feeling faint or too sleepy
  • Shakiness
  • Feeling cold or clammy
  • Hallucinations
  • Unexplained emotional behaviors
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Unaware of surroundings
  • Changes in vision
  • Loss of ability to speak clearly
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Muscle weakness
  • Anxiety 

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Jul

17

The Cost Of Fast Acting Insulin, Are There Cheaper Alternatives?

Fast Acting Insulin Side Effects As diabetics, we are all well aware of fast acting insulin and the vital role it plays when it comes to keeping us alive and upright, but for those newly diagnosed diabetics (type 1 and type 2), Insulin is secreted by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, a small organ between the stomach and liver. This hormone regulates the sugar levels in the human body. When the pancreas stops secreting insulin, it results in hyperglycemia which is a common and lethal symptom of diabetes.

There are several rapid acting insulin brands, and  as a type 1 diabetic, I am extremely reliant upon fast acting insulin, Novolog in particular. When discussing a topic over on The Organic Diabetic Facebook page, we got onto the subject of all the negative side effects associated with insulin and blood sugar regulation.  So for all you newly diagnosed type 1’s, lets take a peek at some of the most dangerous side effects associated with fast acting insulin.  Also, what drives the cost of insulin and are there programs to help defer the costs?  Lets take a closer look! 

Diabetes And Insulin:

Less common, but potentially more serious, is generalized allergy to fast acting insulin, which may cause rash (including pruritus) over the whole body, shortness of breath, wheezing, reduction in blood pressure, rapid pulse, or sweating. Severe cases of generalized allergy, including anaphylactic reaction, may be life threatening. Localized reactions and generalized myalgias have been reported with the use of cresol as an injectable excipient (preservative to keep insulin potent).

Fast Acting And Hyperglycemia:

Hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, or diabetic coma may develop if the patient takes less fast acting insulin than needed to control blood glucose levels. This could be due to insulin demand during illness or infection, neglect of diet, omission or improper administration of prescribed fast acting insulin doses.

A developing ketoacidosis will be revealed by urine tests which show large amounts of sugar and acetone. The symptoms of polydipsia, polyurea, loss of appetite, fatigue, dry skin and deep and rapid breathing come on gradually, usually over a period of some hours or days. Severe sustained hyperglycemia may result in diabetic coma or death.

Fast Acting Insulin And Lipodystrophy

Long-term use of fast acting insulin, can cause lipodystrophy at the site of repeated insulin injections or infusion. Lipodystrophy includes lipohypertrophy (thickening of adipose tissue) and lipoatrophy (thinning of adipose tissue), and may affect insulin absorption. Its extremely important to rotate insulin injection or infusion sites within the same region to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy.
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Mar

29

Diabetes And A Healthy Sex-Life, Get The Facts:

Diabetes And SexWhile sex seems to be everywhere, television, billboards, magazine covers etc americans are still reluctant to go to the doctor to talk about issues when it relates to sex, especially diabetics.  However, many people, whether they have diabetes or not, have sexual problems. Does it need to be a deal breaker, absolutely not so lets take a look at that giant elephant in the room.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported in February of 1999 about a survey conducted of 1,749 women and 1,410 men aged 18 to 59.  The survey found sexual dysfunction is more prevalent for women (43%) than men (31%).  Diabetes may affect sexual functioning in several ways, but there are some things you may need to look out for when it comes to sex and if you suffer from diabetes:

Can You Have Sex When You Have Diabetes?

Believe it or not, this is a question that I field a lot and I hope that your answer is an astonishing, yes! If you feel diabetes is causing problems with your sex life, talk to your doctor.  While no-one relishes talking about sexual problems with a doctor, these issues can only be addressed if you seek help.

Your doctor will try to find out whether sexual problems are caused by defects in the nervous or circulatory system as a result of the diabetes, or whether they are of a more psychological nature.  Often this distinction is difficult to make.

In any case, when sexual dysfunction begins to happen on a regular basis it tends to get worse unless it is properly treated, so the psychological element inevitably builds up.

An increasing number of men who have diabetes and erectile dysfunction (ED) are being helped by medicines such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra). Or if your not into taking medication prescribed by your doctor (which I highly recommend), check out the powers of essential oils? Oils such as ylang ylang which is an aphrodisiac or sandlewood, cumin or clary sage oils are sure to knock your socks off when the mood strikes. Also, lets face it, these are much healthier and safer options.

If tests confirm that your nervous system hasn’t been damaged by diabetes, and there are no associated circulatory problems, there’s no reason why your sex life shouldn’t recover.

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Feb

20

What Are the Health Benefits of Alfalfa Sprouts?

What Are the Health Benefits of Alfalfa Sprouts?Alfalfa benefits us in so many ways.  These sprouts make a great addition to many delicious dishes and also has much medicinal value and helps prevent and manage a wide variety of illnesses.  They are also known to help one maintain their skin quality, age and overall health very effectively.  Let us now look at what Alfalfa is, how it benefits us, and how they help us prevent or manage certain diseases, so lets take a closer look!

Alfalfa And Digestion:

It’s effective in eliminating digestive problems that include nausea, stomach ulcers, gastritis and indigestion.  Alfalfa can also help improve your appetite.  If you suffer from digestive conditions such as diverticular disease or chronic constipation, sprouts may help to ease some of your symptoms.  A serving of alfalfa sprouts contains roughly one gram of fiber, which is three percent of an average adult’s daily need.  Try including sprouts in your daily diet to improve your digestive regularity.
 

Sprouts And Cholesterol:

There is convincing evidence that alfalfa lowers cholesterol and improves the cholesterol panel (HDL vs. LDL).  Several studies confirm that alfalfa supplementation reduced blood cholesterol levels, particularly for people suffering from a type of high cholesterol known as type II hyperlipoproteinemia.  Fibers and chemicals in alfalfa stick to cholesterol, so that the cholesterol cannot stay in the blood and hence cannot be deposited on blood vessel walls. Alfalfa also lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while leaving good cholesterol (HDL) alone.

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