Hypoglycemia is a condition where your blood sugar level is below the normal range. Glucose is the main source of energy of the body.
The rule of 15 works as long as relevant details of the symptomatology are known. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
Typically, the concentration of glucose in the blood is between 70 and 110 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 3.9 to 6.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), whichever is less. that it is hypoglycemia. It is one of the complications arising from the disease. diabetes, It is known that the incident in Puerto Rico diabetes It is 20% of the population, and 28% of Puerto Ricans have or may have prediabetes according to recent studies.
To get a clearer picture of what we should do in the event of unusual occurrences, we spoke to Dr. Monica Ortiz Rivera, an endocrinologist at the Hospital Universitario de Adultos del Recinto de Ciencias Medicas de Puerto Rico, who explained what we can do.
For this reason, it is necessary to dimension the importance of knowing how to prevent or react to a crisis situation. However, we must also clarify that there are other types of drugs and different conditions, many of them rare, that can cause low blood sugar in people who do not have it. diabetes,
requires hypoglycemia treatment Immediately, and according to the expert: “It can lead to life-threatening complications”.
Recognizing Hypoglycemia and Treatment
Studies have managed to identify that hypoglycemia is associated with fasting sugar. Experts stress that “if it is not treated properly and in time, it can cause seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death,” she says.
treatment This involves quickly returning blood sugar levels to normal with a food or drink with a high sugar content, or with medications. The said process stems from two factors: in the event of an emergency and not having a glucometer, and the patient having to make corrections such as therapy of 15, which consists of “15 grams of simple carbohydrates,” Ortiz says.
Of course, Dr. Ortiz explained that hypoglycemia “normally occurs in people who have diabetes who are taking certain medications to control their blood sugar, whether it’s a pill or an injection,” he says.
How to identify a hypoglycemic episode
“It is important that you, your family, friends and co-workers know the signs of a hypoglycemic episode and know how to react quickly. The most common symptoms include: nausea, dizziness, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremors, hunger, irritability, disorientation or even an unusual bad mood. These are signs that your body is trying to correct low blood sugar levels,” explains the endocrinology specialist.
Given this scenario, measuring blood glucose levels with a glucometer is recommended: “A continuous glucose meter (CGM) is used,” he says.
The most common causes of hypoglycemia are: “skipping meals, not eating snacks you usually eat, being too physically active, or using excessive doses of medication diabetes“, explains Ortiz Rivera.
He says that learning to recognize allows the patient to stop, consult a doctor, and take action in favor of health, without affecting the person’s quality of life too much.
Of course, there are times when a glucometer is not available, we barely have the resources for the signals emitted by the body. In this case, it is important to use the well-known therapy of 15.
This rule indicates that an intake of 15 grams of simple carbohydrates is important for time management. Experts suggest these carbohydrates that could save your life on this regimen: “4 ounces of fruit juice, preferably apple juice; 4 ounces of regular soda; or 4 sugar pills (available at any drugstore or pharmacy) ); or a tube of 15 grams of glucose”, he explained.
Once one of these products is consumed, the patient should wait 15 minutes, during which time it is possible for the person to see an improvement or change in stability while experiencing that drop in sugar.
Now, if the sugar level is higher than 70 after 15 minutes as registered with the glucometer: “You have to eat a small snack that includes protein, carbohydrates (cheese, some crackers, or even half a peanut butter sandwich),” he says. Says
If you don’t have a glucometer, your body will signal that it needs attention, so you may notice that symptoms persist when, in fact, it’s possible that the picture is declining. In view of which, Dr. Ortiz recommends: “You should retake the drugs that were previously described as sources of simple carbohydrates (juice, gel or ‘regular soda’, or tablets),” she continues.
He explains that in this case, the patient cannot eat a strong breakfast at that time as it will take a while for the body to absorb the sugars needed to level itself.
“If your blood sugar doesn’t return to normal after three attempts at the Rule of 15, you may experience severe symptoms, and you may need glucagon rescue therapy with injections or nasal glucagon instead of just taking medications. what your doctor prescribed”, warns the endocrinologist.
If you start to feel very sleepy, or your blood sugar drops below 70, you should find someone to take you to a hospital or call 911 for immediate medical help.
glucagon and insulin
Now, if you know someone who has a history diabetes, experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, and cannot follow these steps described above, you will need the help you need because it is likely severe hypoglycemia. “An immediate response could save that person’s life,” Ortiz says.
“If the person has difficulty swallowing, they may need a glucagon kit, which is what we call an anti-insulin hormone, which counteracts the effects of insulin and manages to raise blood sugar levels ,” he details.
patient with diabetesThey are usually prepared with this drug, so it is important that you know where you keep that glucagon, and incidentally, learn how to administer it should an emergency occur.
“It is extremely important that you do not inject insulin at this time, as this will cause your blood sugar levels to drop further,” she says.
Dr. Ortiz Rivera concluded, explaining that in most cases it is forgotten that prevention is fundamental: “After a hypoglycemic event, it is necessary to determine what caused it, in order to avoid future events, she says.