Hypoglycemia Symptoms include tiredness, weakness, shakiness, paleness, confusion and dizziness. It is no wonder that some people find the experience unpleasant and will go to great lengths to avoid another episode of hypoglycemia. Fortunately, with care and attention to medication and meal planning, hypoglycemia – which is an abnormally low blood glucose level – can be prevented.
Hypoglycemia can be a complication of diabetes treatment, especially for people with Type I diabetes. Too much insulin in the blood can bring glucose levels down to a hypoglycemic level. Some medications can trigger low blood sugar, so it is vital that your health care provider be aware of all your medical conditions and possible medication side effects. An alcoholic drink, especially with a sugary mixer, can lead to a hypoglycemic episode. If you have a drink, make it with a non-sugary mixer and have some food along with it.
Low blood sugar is likely to strike 1 – 3 hours after a meal, especially a large meal with simple carbohydrates. By including protein and a high fibre food with each meal, your digestion will be at a slower and steadier rate and minimize plunges in blood glucose levels. Try several small meals and snacks over the course of the day, no more than three hours apart. An alcoholic drink after a stressful day on the job may seem like a good idea, but on an empty stomach it is likely to add more stress to your day!
If you have Type 1 diabetes, always carry glucose tablets, hard candy, or other fast acting carbohydrate with you. If you begin to feel shaky, immediately have something that will give your blood sugar level a boost. Let people in your friends and family know what to expect and how to help you if you have hypoglycemia. Wearing a Medic Alert bracelet that indicates your diabetic status is also a good idea.
Hypoglycemia Diet Plan
Spacing your food intake into small meals and snacks over the course of the day is a good start to preventing hypoglycemia. Each meal or snack should combine some protein and a low glycemic carbohydrate if possible. This can be as simple as a small apple and a slice of cheese. It’s not a bad idea to have portable snacks with you at all times. Individual packets of almonds and small juice boxes are a good idea, or prepackaged cheese and crackers. If you are Type I diabetic, monitor your meals and insulin needs so that you learn how your body reacts to food – or the lack of it!