How to avoid hypoglycemia

Most hypoglycemia is mild with recognizable symptoms. It is not a cause for alarm as it can be easily managed. However, hypoglycemia that causes mental confusion, unconsciousness or seizures is serious. The biggest danger is accident. Motor vehicle or other types of accidents such as falling down the stairs can occur. Repeated severe hypoglycemic attacks can also cause brain damage.
Treating Low Blood Sugar:
•    Anything equivalent to 15 g of carbohy¬drate should be eaten
•    Wait for 10-15 minutes
•    If the condition does not improve, eat the same amount of food again
•    Rest again for 10-15 minutes
•    Follow with a meal or snack
Measures to Avoid Hypoglycemia:
•    Do not delay, skip or reduce the food intake
•    Take a carbohydrate containing snack before doing physical exercise
•    Avoid insulin injections in the limb which is actively involved in the exercise
•    Avoid exercise during the peak time period of insulin action, i.e. 2-4 hours and 6-12 hours after injection for plain and intermediate acting insulin respectively
•    When shifting to human insulin, the time gap between plain insulin injections and food intake should be reduced to 15 minutes since human plain insulin is absorbed faster
•    When changing over from conventional insulin to highly purified insulin in those patients requiring more than 40 units of insulin per day, reduce the total insulin dosage by 20 per cent
•    Do not use sulfonylurea in patients with hepatic and or renal insufficiency
•    Ask the patient to avoid alcohol
•    In older diabetics do not insist on a very tight control of blood glucose and short-acting sulfonylurea should be preferred to long-acting sulfonylurea in these patients
•    Monitor blood glucose regularly

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