Tips to handle hypoglycemia

It becomes a medical issue when it falls below 70mg% because important organs like the brain, which are dependant on blood sugar for normal functioning, start to fail causing irritability, nervousness, lightheadedness in the milder form of hypoglycemia, and mental clouding, coma and death in the severest form. Hypoglycemia must therefore be avoided as far as possible as it is linked to impaired quality of life and increased patient mortality.

The commonest cause of hypoglycemia is anti-diabetes therapy in patients suffering from diabetes. Patient should understand their hypoglycemic symptoms, learn to recognise them early and resolve them in time.

Snack can prevent attack

The most effective way to deal with a hypoglycemic attack is to consume natural sugars (fruits, etc) or artificial sugars (sugar crystals, chocolate) in case natural sugars aren’t available. The patients must try to reach out to their healthcare physicians as early as possible and re-think their diabetes therapy and diet which is often the culprit. Such steps are usually successful in most cases. Every attempt must be made by the patient and the physician in maintaining a safe blood sugar target goal and avoiding further hypoglycemic episodes.

Situations that endanger the patient should be avoided as far as possible (for instance, driving). Hypoglycemia is particularly dangerous in patients with heart disease, kidney trouble and liver ailments. It is often unpredictable in onset but usually occurs in the early hours of the day. A simple way to prevent such attacks is to have a snack till appropriate help from a specialist is sought. It is very important to ensure that the drugs that the patients are using are safe.
 
New treatment

In the past, oral anti-diabetes treatments were synonymously classified as oral-hypoglycemics. It was not till recently (2007) that the advent of newer medications influenced the way physicians think, as being anti-hyperglycemic rather than hypoglycemic. A study called the ACCORD, published in 2008, showed a significant increase in the number of deaths when an attempt was made to achieve very strict blood sugar control. Tight blood sugar control is required to decrease diabetes related complications. The main contributing factor to the increased mortality in the study was weight gain and hypoglycemia.

Just imagine a situation where tight blood sugar is achieved without increasing the risk of weight gain or hypoglycemia. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? This dream probably became a reality with the introduction of a new class of anti-diabetes drugs.

They have found a unique place in the United Kingdom’s diabetes treatment guidelines. The main indication for their usage exploits these very advantages (i.e. being weight neutral and anti-hyperglycemic rather than hypoglycemic) for which they are becoming popular in the healthcare circuit. The future of all diabetics holds a lot of promise with drugs being researched whose primary goal is safety (little or no hypoglycemia) and efficacy.

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