Severely low blood sugar has the potential to cause accidents, injuries, coma, and even death, the American Diabetes Association points out.
Low blood sugar symptoms include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Being unusually pale
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
- Weakness or fatigue
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sweating, chills and clamminess
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Hunger and nausea
The only way to know for sure if you are experiencing hypoglycemia is to check your blood sugar levels with a glucose meter. If you are unable to test your blood sugar but are experiencing low blood sugar symptoms, the American Diabetes association advises taking action. To raise your blood sugar quickly, drink ½ cup of orange juice or regular (not diet) soda, eat 2 tablespoons of raisins or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey, or take a glucose tablet.
High blood sugar: HHNS
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) is a serious diabetes complication marked by extremely high blood sugar levels.
HHNS, is primarily seen in older people who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes — but it is most often a side effect of type 2. It is usually brought on by an infection or an illness in someone whose blood sugar is not controlled properly.
As blood sugar levels spike extremely high, the body tries to get rid of the extra sugar with excessive urination which, in turn, causes unusual thirst. Untreated, HHNS can lead to seizures, coma, and death.
It can take several days or weeks for HHNS to develop. If you have any of these warning signs, seek medical help:
- lood sugar level over 600 mg/dl
- Dry, parched mouth and excessive thirst
- Sleepiness or confusion
- Loss of vision
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Warm, dry skin but no perspiration
February 28, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN