Although high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) have very different symptoms and treatments,
they are both caused by blood sugar and insulin imbalances. The steps you take
to control your blood sugar level will help prevent both high and low blood
Be sure to have identification that says you have diabetes, such as a
medical alert bracelet , with you at all times. This
will help other people take steps to care for you if you are not able tell them
about your medical condition.
You can take steps to prevent high
and low blood sugar emergencies.
- Follow your treatment plan.
your blood sugar levels regularly to detect early
changes before an emergency develops. Treat your symptoms of high or low blood
sugar quickly to prevent more problems.
- Control your stress.
how much alcohol you drink. Do not drink alcohol if you have problems recognizing the early signs of low blood sugar.
Monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels
home blood sugar tests to determine whether your blood
sugar is in your
target range. Work with your doctor to set your
individual treatment goals. If you can consistently maintain this level of
control, you will have very few blood sugar level emergencies.
No matter how skilled you are at
monitoring and controlling your blood sugar levels, you are still at risk for
high or low blood sugar levels that are brought on by stressful situations.
Stress can affect your body's blood sugar levels in two ways:
- It changes the way your body uses
insulin, which is mostly a problem for people with
type 2 diabetes.
- It can cause you to
change the way you take care of yourself, a problem for all people with
Stress can be both mental and physical. Some examples of
stress include an illness, a bad day at work, and a tough problem at home. When
you are under stress, your blood sugar levels change. For more information, see
Diabetes: Preventing High Blood Sugar Emergencies
Diabetes in Children: Preventing High Blood Sugar
Blood sugar levels and exercise
You can keep your
blood sugar levels under control when you exercise, so that you do not become
too hungry or make your blood sugar level drop. There are two ways to keep your
blood sugar levels under control:
- At the meal before your planned exercise, you
can take less insulin, OR
- Before you
exercise, eat some carbohydrate.
quick-sugar food with you during exercise in case your
blood sugar level drops low.
Your doctor may recommend that you get
vaccinations, such as a
flu(What is a PDF document?) shot
pneumonia(What is a PDF document?)
shot, to prevent you from those illnesses.
Other places to get help
The American Diabetes
Association has a lot of information on diabetes and can link you to support
groups. For more information, call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or see the
organization's website: www.diabetes.org/home.