Highs, lows and all that’s in-between
Blood sugar to a non-diabetic isn’t in the forefront of their thoughts.
I remember before I was diabetic, those heady days of not having a clue what my blood sugar was, and for that it didn’t matter. My pancreas would just sort out whatever I could throw at it. Those days are sadly a distant memory now.
Now my days are full of blood sugar numbers. Am I too high, am I too low, are the numbers dropping quickly. The list of thoughts in my mind is endless.
The upshot of it all is I am either hypo, hyper or sometimes just right.
Diabetes.co.uk definition of a hypo is ”Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL).”
All type one diabetics will have a hypo at some time or another. Nobody enjoys having them but they are a part of life for us now.
It can be caused by a number of factors
- Taking too much insulin
- Over estimating the carb content of your food
- Exercising without having enough carbohydrates in your system
- Over indulging in alcohol
- Hot weather
I am lucky that I still have very good hypo awareness. I can feel a hypo coming on from when my blood sugar gets down to around 4.2 mmol/L. Others are not so lucky and lose this awareness. Once this happens then if you hold a UK driving licence the DVLA will revoke it. If they do not revoke your licence it is advisable to hand it back yourself in my opinion. Hypo unawareness is very dangerous if you are a driver, you will lose consciousness if your blood sugars drop too low.
Symptoms of a hypo
The symptoms of a hypo do vary massively person to person.
The ones I have experienced over the years are -:
- Feeling shaky
- Excessive sweating
- Blurred vision
- Increased heart rate
- Lack of concentration
- Arms and legs feel heavy
- Extreme hunger
- Stroppy temperament
- Feeling emotional
- Pins and needles around mouth/face area
This is not an exhaustive list, please comment on this post with your own symptoms and I will add them on the list.
Check out the Diabetes.co.uk advice on hypos – ➡ Diabetes.co.uk – Hypo
Diabetes.co.uk definition of a hyper is ”Hyperglycemia occurs when people with diabetes have too much sugar in their bloodstream. Fasting level above 7m/mmol or 11 m/mmol 2 hours after a meal”
Personally I really hate it when I am hyper. It makes me feel groggy and generally pretty pants. Psychologically I detest hypers when my levels go higher than 9 mmol/L. It is at that blood sugar level that damage starts to occur over time, I think that is what motivates my tight control in all honesty.
Hypers again are caused by a number of reasons
- Eating more carbs than your body can deal with
- Eating more carbs than you have taken insulin for
- Having the wrong insulin to carb ratio
- Forgetting to take your medication
- Stressful situations
- Hot weather
- Bad insulin
- Pump failure
- Over treating a hypo – we are all guilty of it
- Dawn phenomenon
Symptoms of a hyper
Again these will vary massively between people
Ones I get are
- Really lethargic
- Increased trips to the toilet – number 1’s not number 2’s!!
- Extreme tiredness – I can fall asleep in seconds!!
- General feeling of ”urgh” – similar to a hangover but without the fun beforehand
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Feeling nauseous
As you can see some of the symptoms are the same for hyper and for hypo. That is why it is so important to check with your meter rather than relying on how you feel.
Check out the Diabetes.co.uk advice on hypers – ➡ Diabetes.co.uk – Hypers
Blood sugar – When it’s just right
I am sure if you think back you will remember how it feels when your blood sugars are just right. The times when you are sitting happily between 4.5 and 6.5 m/mmol.
For any non-diabetics reading this is how you would feel most of the time, normal. For us diabetics this feeling is not taken for granted. For us, when we have this feeling we know we are doing well and for once we are kicking diabetes ass. Doesn’t happen all the time but when it does, it’s great.
Take care and blood sugars beware
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