People with diabetes, when applying an excessive diet, skipping meals after drinking alcohol… will cause a very dangerous blood sugar deficiency if not handled promptly, which can lead to serious complications.
Most people with diabetes are afraid of high blood sugar, so they often diet, skip meals, drink alcohol, or exercise without eating.
1. Causes of low blood sugar in people with diabetes
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) occurs when a person’s blood sugar (glucose) is 70mg/dL or less.
The patient is usually on a carbohydrate diet. While this nutrient is the body’s main source of glucose. If you don’t eat enough, your blood sugar can drop. This can especially happen if the patient reduces their carbohydrate intake but does not adjust the medication accordingly.
In the case of patients taking insulin or oral medications for diabetes, eating meals later than planned or skipping meals altogether can lead to hypoglycemia.
Although exercise is one of the measures that contribute to blood sugar control. However, if people with diabetes exercise without eating or exercising more than usual or delay their meals, they will be very susceptible to hypoglycemia.
Non-compliance with medication, and taking too much insulin also causes hypoglycemia. In case the patient is taking insulin or oral antidiabetic medication, drinking alcohol can cause hypoglycemia.
Weight loss can also make a person more sensitive to insulin, resulting in less or no need for medication. If you continue to take the same dose of the drug after weight loss, you may experience hypoglycemia due to increased sensitivity…
2. Signs of low blood sugar
When hypoglycemia, the patient initially feels tired, has weak limbs, has pale skin, cold sweats, a feeling of gnawing in the intestines, rapid pulse, a slight increase in blood pressure, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, dizzy.
If hypoglycemia is severe, the patient begins to have convulsions and goes into a coma of varying degrees and is at risk of death if not promptly intervened.
3. Management of hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes
The treatment of hypoglycemia depends on the severity of the symptoms and the extent to which the blood sugar is lowered.
In mild cases, hypoglycemia can be treated with sugary foods or drinks. For severe hypoglycemia due to diabetes, it is necessary to use the drug prescribed by the doctor.
Mild hypoglycemia can often be treated with fast-acting carbs that are quickly absorbed in the gut and released into the bloodstream within 5 to 15 minutes. These are simple carbohydrates that do not need to be broken down during digestion.
Foods that provide 15g of fast-acting carbs include:
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup assorted fruit juices
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- One tablespoon of honey
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- The 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon syrup
- 6-8 small candies
After eating, you should rest, after 15 minutes check your blood sugar.
If blood sugar is still below 70mg/dL, eat 15g more carbohydrates.
Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is at least 70mg/dL.
After recovering, the patient should go to a medical facility to check his health status.
In case the patient has shown convulsions, or coma, need to open the airway, check the patient’s breathing and heart rate. Do not give food or drink because it is easy to cause respiratory failure due to choking. When the patient is in a coma, the swallowing reflex is very poor or lost, leading to aspiration of oropharyngeal fluid, gastric juice, food, etc. into the lungs, causing pneumonia, severe respiratory failure, and death. It is necessary to bring the patient to a medical facility for emergency treatment in a timely manner.
4. Diet helps control blood sugar in people with diabetes
Blood sugar management to maintain proper blood glucose levels is one of the most important measures to control and prevent complications of diabetes.
Besides medication, diet also plays an important role in blood sugar management.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all diet for all patients with diabetes, depending on the severity of the disease and its comorbidities, implementing a well-balanced diet with a wide variety of foods can be helpful. Rich in nutrients from all food groups, prioritizing whole, natural foods is important.
Eat plenty of vegetables like broccoli, carrots, spinach, zucchini, and bell peppers that are low in carbohydrates. These vegetables do not have much effect on the blood sugar of the patient.
People with diabetes should limit starchy plants such as potatoes, corn, and green beans … can cause blood sugar to rise faster than non-starchy varieties.
Although fruit contains carbohydrates, it is packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Patients should choose fresh, frozen or canned fruit without added sugar.
Patients should ensure that at least half of their daily cereal intake should be from whole grains such as wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat bread…
4.4. Lean protein-rich foods
Skinless chicken, eggs, nuts, and fish are all great sources of lean protein. It should be noted that legumes are a good source of plant-based protein, but they are also quite high in carbohydrates.
4.5. Low-fat milk
People with diabetes should try to eat low-fat or reduced-fat milk and dairy products.
5. Foods and drinks to limit to control blood sugar
- Fried and grilled food
- Foods high in saturated and trans fats
- Sugary drinks and sports drinks
- Food with added sugar
- Foods high in salt (sodium)