28Apr

Blood Sugar Highs and Lows

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Controlling the amount of sugar in your blood is imperative for anyone diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. When Type II diabetics experience high or low levels of sugar in the blood, they can develop significant complications. High blood sugar levels in diabetics can cause serious damage to the body, while low levels of sugar in the blood can cause immediate, life threatening complications.

LOW BLOOD SUGAR

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may not be as commonly discussed as high, but it can be life threatening especially for diabetics. When the level of sugar drops below 80 mg per deciliter of blood, the body begins to develop serious problems. Typical symptoms displayed by people with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are:

• Dizziness
• Sweating
• Anxiety
• Shaking
• Hunger
• Confusion
• Sleepiness
• Numbness and tingling

If you are, or know a Type II diabetic showing these symptoms, it is important to check your level of sugar in your blood immediately. If your blood sugar level is low, it is advised that you have a small snack that has sugar in it, like drink some fruit juice or eat a few small pieces of candy. It is very important to remember to ingest the sugar slowly not having large quantities at one time.

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It is also very important to remember to check the level of sugar in your blood again after ingesting the sugar. If the blood sugar level is still low, take some more candy. Checking your blood sugar levels every fifteen minutes to ensure that they are back to normal is recommended. If your blood sugar levels is frequently too low, seek medical advice and treatment as this could be a sign of a major problem that should be addressed immediately.

Diabetics that have low levels of sugar in their blood are prone to passing out. Because of this, it is very important for someone experiencing effects of low levels of sugar to be extra careful when driving or operating heavy machinery. People with low sugar tendencies should pay special attention to their individual symptoms and make sure they are not in dangerous situations when they start experiencing them.

HIGH BLOOD SUGAR

High levels of sugar in the blood can also be very damaging to the body. Moderately high sugar levels can cause long-term degenerative problems in the body, including ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar syndrome. The warning signs for high sugar levels that people need to watch out for include:

• Dry Mouth
• High Fever
• Loss of Vision
• Sleepiness
• Confusion
• Weakness on one side of the body
• Hallucinations
• Warm dry skin without sweat
• Extreme thirst

If you, or someone you know if a type 2 diabetic and experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to seek the help of a doctor immediately. Both high and low sugar levels can be life threatening when they are not controlled.

27Apr

Diabetic Erectile Dysfunction

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For men suffering from type 2 diabetes, life is difficult enough without the added frustration and embarrassment of experiencing sexual problems and erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be described as a consistent inability to have an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. Estimates of the number of males that suffer from this condition vary from as low as 20% to as high as 70%. Because of the embarrassment associated with this dysfunction, nobody can be sure what an accurate percentage could be.

Diabetic men are three to four more times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than the average non-diabetic man. It is difficult to make the connection between erectile dysfunction and pre-diabetes, as most people with pre-diabetes are unaware of their condition. Aware or not, pre-diabetes problems can affect erectile dysfunction.

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Erectile dysfunction is a problem with the nervous system. It is believed that diabetes and high blood sugar levels can damage nerves, which seems to lead to the erectile dysfunction. It is also important to factor in that high blood sugar levels play in altering hormone production. This altered hormone production can cause a male to take on more female hormone characteristics. This means that a male could have increased estrogen levels and decreased testosterone level because of diabetes and high blood sugars. With decreased testosterone levels, the male will experience a low sex drive and an inability to get and sustain an erection.

Most men with erectile dysfunction use medication to correct their problem. Using medication may be an effective to improve ‘performance,’ but it really does nothing to fix the cause of the real problem. Medications in general are an effective way to help certain conditions like blood flow, they rarely get to the root cause of the problem.

If the real problem is high blood sugar levels, then it is very important to get them under control. Too many people suffering from type 2 diabetes do not make an effort to get their blood sugar under control. Instead of doing the education needed for their condition, they are given medication after medication. This is not as effective as it needs to be, and so there has to be another way.

If you, or someone you know is, or thinks they may be a type 2 diabetic, please see a physician as soon as possible and have tests done so you learn exactly what you are dealing with. Type 2 Diabetes is a very serious disease and if left untreated can create serious permanent damage. Go get treated today, you deserve the very best!

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26Apr

The Side Effects Of Selected Diabetes Medications Part 1

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Diabetes is a formidable chronic illness to be seriously considered. It sadly affects millions of people who move about without knowing it. If left unchecked diabetes can turn out to trigger to many other ailments which may include kidney failure, loss of sight and limbs. The condition itself is associated with problems with insulin which is essential for facilitating the absorption of blood glucose into the body. The disease is divided into two namely type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

There are a range of medications used to treat diabetes. To begin with these medications are also divided into two. Type 1 diabetes is usually treated using regular insulin injection. Type 2 diabetes can be treated using oral medications such as drugs.This can happen over a period of time for many years even. However it has been noted that individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes and are on oral treatment may at a later stage require insulin injection as a result of oral drugs failing.

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Just as many other medications, diabetes drugs vary and also carry some side effects. It is important for patients to known these side effects and report them immediately to the doctor when ever they occur;

Side Effects Of Sulfonylureas

One of the leading drugs for diabetes which has been in use in America for some a long time. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. When the pancreas fails to produce insulin glucose fills your blood stream leading to diabetes. These drugs are designed to force your pancreas into producing insulin. Sulfonylureas drugs are for patients with pancreas that is weak in producing insulin yet producing some. This is why it is for type 2 diabetes. Were there is absolutely no insulin this drug will be useless. Some side effects;

1 Nausea
2 Low blood sugar
3 Weight gain
4 Rash

Generic names of drugs under this medication include glipizide, glyburide. Brand name drugs include Amaryl, Glucotrol amd DiaBeta.

Side Effects Of Thiazolidinediones

Drugs that fall into this category again are for type 2 diabetes and work by facilitating the better usage of insulin by cells and also reducing glucose levels produced by your liver. The side effects;

1 Damage to patient’s liver
2 Fluid retention
3 Nausea
4 Feeling tired/fatigue
5 Abdominal pain
6 Colored urine

As mentioned earlier, type 1 diabetes patients will need to rely on injected insulin considering that in this category of diabetes the pancreas is absolutely failing to produce any insulin. You will need to work with your doctor all the way to ensure effective control of a diabetic condition.

25Apr

Type 2 Diabetes – Evaluate The Best Exercise Routine For You!

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If you are a Type 2 diabetic, being physically active is one of the best natural ways to control your blood sugar according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. However, there are still many other benefits associated with taking part in regular exercise. This may include:

burning calories – even after you have finished exercising, your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate for a while
helping to control your weight especially once you’re approaching your desired weight
helping to increase your cell’s sensitivity to insulin
lowering your blood pressure
lowering the lipid or fat levels in your blood
lowering the risk for the development of heart diseases and vascular problems

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What kind of physical activity or exercise is best for Type 2 diabetics?

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, there are many ways of following a healthy exercise plan for people with Type 2 diabetes:

First off, discuss with your doctor your plan to exercise. Being a “couch potato” will never do you any good even without Type 2 diabetes. But if you continue being inactive, you will have less chance of controlling your blood sugar. With regular exercise, your blood sugar will be more controlled and eventually you will start feeling better:

playing with the kids
taking your dog for a regular daily walk
working in the garden
using the stairs instead of the elevator, and even
washing your car

are a few ways to burn-off a few of those extra calories.

Second method is by performing aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercise makes your large muscles contract continuously and you heart beat a little faster. Aerobic exercise makes you burn-off a lot more calories than you usually do. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, having a regular aerobic exercise routine thirty minutes a day, five times each week, gives endless benefits in helping to control Type 2 diabetes:

dancing
brisk walking
swimming
hiking
bicycle riding, and
enrolling in an aerobics class

are enjoyable aerobic activities that can help you burn some fat and control you blood sugar.

Exercises not recommended:

The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse explains that there are certain diabetes complications that need to be considered when deciding on the best type of exercise routine for you. If you are having problems with your eyes as a result of your high blood sugar levels, lifting heavy weights may not be good for your eyes. If your feet are numb because of diabetic neuropathy, walking may not be the right exercise for you as you will not be aware of pressure from your shoes giving you blisters.

For most people, physical activity should be a combination of activities that accomplish these three goals:

build strength
increase endurance
increase your aerobic capacity (make your heart and blood vessels work more efficiently)

The best plan is to talk to your doctor. Find out what limitations you might have and how you could help work with them in an exercise program.

22Apr

Diabetic Health Maintenance: Should Be As Regular As an Oil Change

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For the millions of individuals suffering from juvenile diabetes, sticking to a health maintenance schedule should be as routine as changing the oil in your car’s engine. Considering the multitude of life threatening complications that can develop, if this disease is not kept under strict control, your actions will determine the difference between a healthy life and a short one.

Type one diabetes what is it?

Juvenile diabetes can strike at any age. In some cases, a person can be classified as a juvenile diabetic up till the age of twenty-four. It’s all predicated on dependence of insulin. While only about five percent of the population falls under this definition, the primary factor that distinguishes between juvenile and adult diabetes is that in juvenile diabetics, the pancreas no longer creates the hormone insulin at all.

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What does this hormone do?

This hormone is vitally necessary in order to convert sugars and food that we consume to energy that our body needs. Sugar is the gas in the human gas tank. When the beta cells in the pancreas no longer make insulin, the sugar level in our system gets elevated and literally dries out our body. One of the primary indications that you may have developed diabetes is excessive thirst.

What are the complications?

As the body becomes dehydrated from high levels of sugar in your system, sight will be affected quickly. Other complications include circulatory issues and damage to the liver, kidneys, and heart. Until the early nineteen twenties, when scientists figured out how to manufacture insulin to make up for the lost production of insulin in a diabetics pancreas, the complications from the excessive glucose levels assured death in a matter of years. Today, the first part of the problem has been solved. We know how to get insulin into the system via syringe or with an insulin pump under the skin.

How will this affect my life?

Make no mistake; diabetes will change your life forever. You will have to be ever vigilant in monitoring what you eat, your blood sugar levels, and regular checkups with the doctor to make sure the complications are not over taking your hard work to remain healthy. The good news is that as opposed to some diseases, diabetes isn’t the death sentence it once was. When you think of it, most of us are very diligent about taking care of our car. Why should we be any less diligent in taking care of our health?

What can I do to stay healthy?

There are natural remedies that can help control some of the complications caused from damage by the strain that uncontrolled sugars cause to your body. Omega 3 fish oil is strongly suggested for several reasons. First, one of the most common complications from diabetes is inflammation to the cardio vascular system and body organs. Fish oil high in fatty acids works to combat inflammation throughout the body. In addition, Omega 3 fish oil has proven to fight high levels of cholesterol naturally. Cholesterol is a major cause of coronary heart disease in the general population. In diabetics, this is exacerbated by a factor of three because of blood sugar elevation. High blood pressure is another complication more prevalent in diabetics. For this reason, in addition to prescription drugs to fight high blood pressure, your doctor will most likely recommend Omega 3 fish oil as a health supplement to lower blood pressure naturally.

Conclusion

Now that you know the many benefits that rich Omega 3 fish oil can deliver to diabetics in the quest for good health, it’s vitally important to remember that the most important job for a diabetic in protecting his or her health is proper regulation of blood sugars. Omega 3 fish oil can do wonders to help protect your organs and arteries, but job one is always your blood sugars. Many people have led healthy lives by following these rules, you will too!

21Apr

Selected Frequently Asked Questions About Glucose And Diabetes

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Diabetes just like high blood pressure and heart disease is a chronic disease that affects millions of people all across the globe. In fact millions more people are living with diabetes without knowing it. When left unchecked diabetes can even cause loss of sight, limp loss through amputations and may cause other existing diseases to deteriorate rapidly such as high blood pressure, heart disease and even kidney disease. The following are some questions often asked about glucose and diabetes;

What Is Glucose Monitoring?

Glucose monitoring involves a keeping watch of the levels of blood glucose. This prevents a diabetic condition from deteriorating any further. It helps diabetes patients to be in control of a diabetic condition. Results of a glucose monitoring will inform what food one eats, the activities they engage in and the medications they need to take. Using a blood meter a patient pricks the tip of a finger with a special device to obtain a blood sample which the meter uses to interpret blood sugar levels.

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What Is Whole Blood and Plasma Calibration?

This is a simple concept which yet confuses many that is used to define how blood glucose is measured. A blood glucose meter can be calibrated to measure glucose levels in the blood using whole blood or plasma. Plasma is a part of whole blood. Plasma calibrated measurements are often used in labs.

Both whole blood and plasma measurements numerically point to one and the same thing. It is best understood as temperature measurements. temperature can be measured in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit. Both mean the same thing in as giving us an understanding of the accurate state of the weather.

What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring?

A fairly new technique, CGM as it is also known in short involves the insertion of a tiny device under the skin to continuously provide glucose levels for days on end and even up to a week. This device sends signals to yet another device that is attached to the belt like a pager of the patient. This does not eliminate the need for a standard meter. The user will still need it to take a sample of their blood in order to program the CGM device.

These are some of the often asked questions about diabetes and glucose. It needs to be remembered that diabetes is a chronic disease which can be managed for a life time. Monitoring and measurement is only but a part. A lot more depends on what a person eats, exercise and so on. Our eating habits will need to change to accommodate a diabetic condition.

18Apr

Type 2 Diabetes – With or Without Drugs!

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Do you have Type 2 diabetes? How do you feel about taking oral anti-diabetic medications or insulin for the rest of your life?

Many diabetics experience medication fatigue… imagine taking the same set of bitter bad-tasting medications day in and day out just for the sake of controlling your blood sugar. For some people, seeing and tasting the same medications everyday can give them enough stress that may last a lifetime. One of the most common questions raised by many diabetics is this: “How can we possibly control our blood sugar without the aid of anti-diabetic drugs?”

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Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic problem that results from high blood sugar levels caused by the increased resistance of your body’s cells to the action of insulin. Insulin, a special hormone that facilitates the transfer of sugar extracted from your meals to your cells, is essential to life and has wide-spread effects all over your body. Risk factors for the development of blood sugar problems include:

age… the older you are, the greater your risk for Type 2 diabetes
being overweight or obese… being overweight predisposes you to diabetes
lack of exercise goes hand in hand with obesity
heredity… if you have a family member who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you are at a greater risk for getting it yourself
sleep habits… insomnia makes you more prone to diabetes
decreased “good” cholesterol level, increased “bad” cholesterol level, high blood pressure and a history of diabetes in pregnancy.

Many experts consider Type 2 diabetes as a lifestyle disease, therefore, with proper correction to the lifestyle you live, this condition really can really be managed without the use of drugs.

According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, many diabetics control their blood sugar levels without the aid of anti-diabetic medications by:

normalizing their body weight
by having regular physical exercise, and
by eating a proper diet

Many studies have shown how both weight loss and exercise can increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thus reducing insulin resistance. The more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the healthier you body is. Choose to eat properly and to exercise, and your pancreas will thank you by functioning well. Then no drugs are involved.

However, according to Joslin Diabetes Center many diabetics fail to normalize their blood sugar levels despite their best efforts. For these diabetics it will be necessary for them to continue taking their anti-diabetic medications.

Check your blood sugar reading every day… if your blood sugar still spikes even with your best efforts, there is no other choice but to continue your anti-diabetic medications. This is important in order to prevent both immediate and long-term complications associated with high blood sugar.

15Apr

Introduction to the Diabetes Diet Menu

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Diabetes has several adverse effects to a person’s body. It may even lead to very serious complications that in the worst case scenario can lead to paralysis, amputation of extremities, or even death. Fortunately for those suffering from type 2 of the disease the dangers can be greatly minimized through proper exercise and a diabetes diet menu. A healthy meal plan is essential not only to ensure that the diabetic meets all his nutritional needs without causing his blood glucose level to become too low or two high but also to help him maintain a desirable weight. Being overweight is a major handicap for a diabetic because it greatly increases the dangers of having the illness.

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A diabetes diet menu can help type 2 diabetics more than any available medicine. It helps stabilize blood glucose levels more effectively by guiding the diabetic in consuming the proper amounts of nutrition. A meal plan usually comes in the form of a seven-day eating program. It includes the preparation and composition of each meal including the size of each component as well as when each meal should be eaten. Most plans provide six small meals in even intervals of two to three hours. The small size of the meals helps avoid sudden spikes on the blood sugar level after a meal. The increased number of meals helps compensate for the reduction in meal size. And the regular interval between each meal helps stabilize the amount of nutrients in the body.

Adjusting to the diabetes diet menu may be really hard at first especially since small meals tend to not be satisfying enough. Keeping track of the time also has a high chance of being overlooked. But the biggest hindrance in following a meal plan is the taste. This is why one’s food preferences should always be considered when creating an eating program for him. Avoid including foods he does not like to eat and replace them with alternatives he finds more appealing. Alienation can also slow down the adaptation process. Eating something different from the rest of the family members can be very discouraging. It is best that other family members also follow the diet. Healthy eating will never hurt anyone.

It will take some time before you and your body can fully adjust to the diabetes diet menu. Be patient. Eating right is will not only allow you to keep the illness under control, it will also help you avoid other sickness.

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13Apr

Diabetes Diet Menu

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If a person is diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will recommend you go to a licensed dietician. The licensed dietician will help you in creating a suitable diabetes diet menu for your daily food intake.

The main reason a diabetic needs a diabetes diet menu is to regulate the carbohydrate and sugar intake in his everyday meal. Regulating does not necessarily mean having to stop eating sweets and your favourite dishes. This diet menu only aspires to immediately lower the glucose levels in the blood.

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Below is a sample diabetes diet menu that will provide you the right number of nutrients for your daily needs. Keeping carbohydrate intake at minimal level is the key to checking the insulin levels to normal levels.

Everyone knows that a diabetes diet menu is hard to follow. Many people have started to take this for granted due to their daily menu being bitter or tasteless. These menu ideas can help you have a diet that is not the same each passing day.

For breakfast: Diabetics are recommended to take their breakfast at least after an hour upon waking up.

• 3/4 cup of cereals with a cup of strawberry together with a cup of low – fat milk will do.

• 2 slices of whole wheat toast laced with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and a banana.

For Lunch: Remember to prioritize this one. This should be your biggest meal of the day. A mix of protein, carbohydrates, dairy and vegetables or fruits is the ideal meal for a diabetic.

• 1 cup of vegetable soup. A turkey sandwich (1 ounce turkey) on a whole wheat bread together with a small apple.

• 1 cup steamed broccoli together with 3 ounces lean roast beef on a whole bread. The sandwich could be laced with 2 tablespoon of mustard.

For dinner: A diabetic’s dinner plate should be well balanced. You can add additional calories in this meal provided you add additional minutes of exercise in the morning before eating breakfast.

• 4 ounces of chicken breast seasoned with herbs and cooked in mono-saturated cooking oil. 2/3 cups of rice and a vegetable salad dresses in low – fat dressing. A small slice of angel food cake may be added in this menu.

• 6 ounce of broiled white fish together with a mixed green salad dressed with reduced fat dressing. A 2/3 cup of whole wheat couscous is recommended to be added in this menu.

04Apr

Hypoglycemia – The Dangers of Low Blood Sugar Levels

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People with diabetes are normally concerned about their blood sugars, especially if they are experiencing higher than normal blood sugar levels, because that is the major diabetic problem in life that a person with diabetes normally has to deal with. But it is also important for the diabetic to be aware of a situation that is “opposite” to high blood sugar levels, a condition that doctors call hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar. The sugar carried in the bloodstream, called glucose, is an essential nutrient for the body and is the body’s main source of energy, needed constantly by the body’s cells.

Episodes of hypoglycemia are not common and are not often experienced by most adult diabetics or diabetic children of 10 years and older, but they do happen and the condition should be quickly recognized and treated promptly when it does. Hyoglycemia must be treated promptly because it can become progressively worse in a relatively short time, sometimes after tens of minutes, and can lead eventually to additional problems and in some extreme cases, it can become a life-threatening event.

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From my own experience as a diabetic I suspect that most of my fellow diabetics have had a few such lower than normal blood sugar occurrences. Food is the source of the blood sugars, especially the carbohydrate content of food. One reason that a hypoglycemic event might occur in a diabetic person is when they have not eaten any food for too long a period of time. An additional or alternative cause might be when they have deliberately avoided consuming carbohydrates, ironic perhaps, because by not eating carbohydrates they wish to combat their own above normal blood sugars that they know can be caused by a high carbohydrate intake.

Just as the avoidance of too many high-carbohydrate foods is a standard recommendation in the treatment of diabetes, so too is the recommendation to participate in some form of exercise. However, sometimes too much exercise can cause blood sugar problems. The muscles involved in exercise require sugar, and low blood sugars can occur after having been involved in vigorous exercise at a time when the body has insufficient blood glucose to supply the necessary energy for the extra activity.

For the person with diabetes, it is not easy to know, without taking a blood test, whether or not they have above normal blood sugar levels but in the case of lower than normal blood sugars, the symptoms experienced are usually noticeable. When glucose levels become too low it can have an effect on the brain and often a sense of confusion and an inability to perform routine tasks becomes apparent. Should that happen, fortunately it can serve as a warning, an alert for the diabetic who is familiar with such symptoms to take immediate action to rectify the situation, usually by eating food that can provide a quick boost of sugar to their system.

Some other recognizable possible symptoms are sweating, anxiety and a sense of unease, trembling hands, perhaps heart palpitations, hunger pangs, blurred vision or other visual disturbances.

The important thing is to know what to do if and when it happens. Whenever a low blood sugar event occurs, a prompt response is needed.

The quick solution is to eat or drink a fast-acting glucose food item. The condition has occurred often enough to me to know what to do, my personal choice is to first drink half a glass of apple juice and I try to always keep a supply of apple juice available.

Possible food items to raise blood sugar levels back to normal, any one of the following:

a half glass or half cup, 4 ounces, of apple juice, orange juice, or similar fruit juice

a teaspoon of honey or sugar

glucose tablets, usual 3 or 4 are sufficient

5 or 6 pieces of hard candy

an 8-ounce glass of milk

a half glass of non-diet pop

Something containing about 15 grams of carbohydrate such as a fast acting energy bar or a serving of glucose-gel snack.

Be ready for an emergency even though it is a rare event

If a hypoglycemic event is not promptly treated and then progresses to a more serious stage, it can lead to a diabetic coma or seizure, even to the extent of becoming life threatening, I’m reluctant to say death but it can happen. The fact that this is known to happen underscores the need to be ready for an emergency of any degree. Try to always have a suitable supply of a fast acting glucose source readily available.

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