With the very young and the elderly, diabetes can play havoc during sleep.
Hypoglycemia During Sleep Is Possible. First things first, what is nocturnal hypoglycemia? This is hypoglycemia that occurs when a person is sleeping. This is specifically anywhere between the injection in the evening and in the morning when getting up.
The symptoms of nocturnal hypoglycemia is restlessness, sweating profusely and nightmares. This is especially observed by the person’s partner or parent more than the patient suffering from nocturnal hypoglycemia himself.
Other mild symptoms are those that could be easily corrected. They include pangs of hunger, trembling, and rapid / fast heartbeat.
Be cautious though, as extremely low levels of blood glucose could help activate the following neurological symptoms: weakness, confusion, combativeness, disorientation. The worst case scenarios include the following symptoms: seizure, coma, death.
If the patient becomes helpless and there is no response available in fifteen minutes, oral sugar should be provided as well as a solution of glucose that is administered intravenously.
More on Hypoglycemia
Believe it or not, hypoglycemia affects twenty
five percent of those people who are using insulin. Even one episode of hypoglycemia may actually make it difficult for anyone to detect a subsequent episode.
However, through monitoring with vigilance and by avoiding low levels of blood glucose, patients taking insulin have the ability to sense the onslaught of symptoms. In a study made back in 2001, it was discovered that by glucose-control let-up and through making it tight again, sufferers of diabetes could actually reset their own awareness of symptoms.
Measures to Help Prevent Hypoglycemia
Actually, nocturnal hypoglycemia is most commonly experienced by children just as those who are being treated with insulin therapy that is non-intensive.
Bedtime snacks are advisable to be given if in case the levels of blood glucose become lower than 180 mg/dL. Protein-containing snacks are the best choice.
Studies have also indicated that children who are thin have a greater risk of experiencing hypoglycemia since the insulin injection directly goes to the tissues of the muscles. It may help if the skin is pinched so fat is gathered instead of muscle tissues. Using short needles could actually help.
Taking insulin that is fast-acting – such as insulin lispro – prior to dinner could be helpful in the prevention of hypoglycemia.
Controlling and monitoring blood sugar as well as blood glucose levels as much as possible – particularly about more than 4X in a day, is important.
Adults should also monitor their levels of blood glucose prior to driving as hypoglycemia could be hazardous during this time.
Patients that are diabetics must always carry candy, packets of sugar as well as glucose substitutes that are commercially available.
High Risk Hypoglycemia Patients
Those that are considered high risk patients are those who are unaware when the symptoms of hypoglycemia occur. Children and the elderly are also high risk.
Hypoglycemia that is severe could also lead to bleeding in the retinas resulting in visual loss, shutdown in the renal area.
Those who are suffering from angina pectoris is also susceptible, as well as those with eating habits that are erratic. Patients whose work involve sudden activity that is sporadic as well as vigorous are also among those that are high risk.
All in all, hypoglycemia and nocturnal hypoglycemia is difficult yet preventable and controllable. All it takes is a few significant lifestyle and diet change as well as a regular treatment of insulin. More importantly, it helps a lot if one is aware of hypoglycemia and is actively acknowledging and taking responsibility for its treatment.