Most Common Causes of Low Blood Sugar
There are several reasons why low blood sugar can occur:
- Taking too much insulin or other blood glucose-lowering medicine.
- Not eating enough carbohydrate or delaying or skipping a meal. Common foods that contain carbohydrate are: fruits, vegetables, breads, bagels, muffins, crackers, pasta, starchy vegetables, grains, milk, yogurt, sugary foods, and sweets.
- Being more physically active than usual without taking less medicine or eating more carbohydrate.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol can make it hard for your body to keep your blood sugar level up, especially if you are taking insulin or a blood glucose medicine that may cause a low. Alcohol can affect your blood sugar level while you're drinking and for several hours afterward.
- Attempting to maintain extremely tight blood sugar control within a narrower range than recommended.
- Mixing up your rapid- and long-acting insulin (by accident).
- Weight loss. As you lose weight your body can become more sensitive to the insulin you're making and/or taking.
It's not always easy to identify why your blood sugar went too low. What's important is correcting it right away. Later, take some time to reflect on what may have caused it. This may help you keep low blood sugar from happening often. And don't forget, always be prepared!
By Hope Warshaw, MMSC, RD, CDE, diabetes educator, consultant, and Coordinator of the Perrigo Diabetes Care advisory board; and Riva Greenberg, diabetes patient-expert, author, speaker, and Huffington Post columnist contributed to this article.
Fresh Mozzarella Crostini Cranberry Pork Chops Loaded Couscous Salad Pumpkin-Walnut Snack Muffins Buttermilk-Dijon Watercress Salad Handmade Cinnamon Rolls Southwestern Bruschetta Mixed Citrus Salad Carrot Casserole Raspberry Lemonade Mosaics
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...