Diabetes, or having abnormal levels of glucose and insulin in your body, can pose a dangerous health threat if not treated with the right precautions. People with diabetes can run into trouble if their sugar and insulin levels become out of balance. If you have diabetes, usually, you can take measures to correct and prevent the symptoms. If you’re asking the question- how do I lower my blood sugar in an emergency? This article might be a helpful guide. So read along.
If not treated immediately, fluctuations in blood glucose levels can lead to a person with diabetes to become ill and even lose consciousness. So it is essential to know what to do in an emergency. The two main conditions associated with diabetes are hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. Hyperglycemia is characterized by having a high blood glucose level. On the other hand, hypoglycemia is characterized by having a low blood glucose level.
Causes of High Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar levels rise when you:
- Skip or forget to take your insulin or oral glucose-lowering medication.
- Eat too many carbohydrates for the amount of insulin you took.
- Have an infection.
- Are ill or sick.
- Are feeling under stress.
- Become inactive or exercise less than you normally do.
- Take part in strenuous physical activity.
Early signs of a diabetic emergency include:
- Increased thirst
- Trouble focusing
- Blurred vision
- Frequent peeing
- Fatigue or weak, tired feeling
- Weight loss
- Blood sugar level of more than 180 mg/dL
Tips on How to Lower your Blood Sugar Level
Here are some measures to reduce sugar levels in an emergency:
- Administer insulin.
Always talk to your doctor on how much insulin you should administer when your sugar levels become too high. Re-assess your blood sugar 15-30 minutes after taking insulin to ensure that the medication is working.
Physical activities cause the body to burn glucose for energy. As a result, glucose gets delivered to the muscles, and blood sugar levels typically drop. Engage in cardio exercises that can get your heart to pump faster than usual.
- Drink lots of water.
Drinking water can help your body release more urine, thus, releasing more blood glucose too. However, do not drink excessive amounts of water if you have heart or kidney problems.
- Eat a high-protein snack.
Eating high-protein food can usually help to stabilize your blood sugar. It’s important to take in high protein food — not rich in carbohydrates. You can eat a handful of almonds or a piece of turkey. However, this method won’t lower your blood sugar as fast as insulin will.
Blood Sugar Ranges
Always seek your doctor’s advice about your blood sugar levels and when you should get emergency medical attention.
Here are the general guidelines for blood sugar ranges:
- Less than 100 mg/dL
Eat a small snack with about 15 grams of carbs to prevent your blood sugar from getting too low. You can take a half cup of fruit juice, a small piece of fruit, or a few crackers. Glucose tabs are also an excellent option to consider.
- 100 to 160 mg/dL
This range is a good goal for your blood sugar level unless your doctor says otherwise.
- 180 to 250 mg/dL
Consider some of the tips for lowering your blood sugar level when you reach this range. It’s already close to dangerous levels.
- 250 mg/dL or higher
Have a handy dipstick, and check your urine for ketones. If ketones are present, call your doctor immediately to see if you need medical attention.
Tips for Healthy Living
Some types of diabetes are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Ideally, you can manage and control your blood sugar levels by changing some of your habits. Here are some ways to prevent your blood sugar from getting too high:
Maintain a controlled carbohydrate intake, avoiding unhealthy foods, such as processed foods. If possible, include the following in your diet:
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
Eating plenty of dietary fiber can also keep your blood sugar levels steady. Here are some good sources of dietary fiber:
- Whole-grain foods
Regular exercise can also help to normalize your blood sugar levels. Do simple cardio exercises to make your body move and to get your heart pumping. Consider stretching and doing yoga for 30 minutes a day.
Stress can significantly increase your blood sugar levels. To reduce stress, you can try:
- Listening to music
- Taking short walks
- Doing things you especially enjoy
Keep yourself hydrated
Taking more fluids can help flush out excessive glucose in your blood. So taking in more water can help control your sugar levels. Avoid sugary drinks like soft drinks and juices.
Improve your sleeping pattern
Uninterrupted and restorative sleep can help minimize stress and control blood sugar levels. Try turning off your electronic devices before bed. For a better night’s rest, sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet room. Sleeping at the same time every day, if possible, can also greatly help.
Diabetes is one of the most common health problems we face in the current generation. That’s because of the changes in lifestyle and some environmental factors. If not treated and controlled, it can lead to more severe complications. Administering insulin and exercising are two of the most common ways on how to lower blood sugar quickly in an emergency. However, if you have ketones present in your urine or excessively high blood sugar, go to the emergency room and seek treatment immediately. Know more about first aid.