Health

The 15-15 rule for people with low blood sugar – VnExpress


Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates when blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL and recheck blood sugar in 15 minutes.

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar drops below normal and often causes symptoms such as tremors, confusion, and lightheadedness. Anyone can experience hypoglycemia but it’s common in people with diabetes who take insulin. Health experts recommend that mildly low blood sugar can be improved by following the 15-15 rule.

Rule 15-15

When blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, you should consume 15 grams of carbohydrates and check your blood sugar again after 15 minutes. If blood sugar is still low, repeat the process above.

For example, you can consume 15 grams of carbohydrates like glucose tablets or orange juice, wait 15 minutes and then measure your blood sugar again. If blood sugar remains between 55-69 mg/dL, consume an additional 15 grams of carbohydrates. Keep repeating until blood sugar rises above 70 mg/dL.

Children usually don’t need 15 grams of carbohydrates. According to the American Diabetes Association, infants need only 6 grams, toddlers need 8 grams and older children need only 10 grams.

Blood sugar when measured below 70 mg/dL is hypoglycemia. Image: Freepik.

The 15-15 rule only applies to blood sugar levels between 55-69 mg/dL, not when blood sugar is below 55 mg/dL. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injectable glucagon is the best way to treat severely low blood sugar (less than 54 mg/dL).

When you want to raise your blood sugar spikes quickly, you should eat foods that are made up mostly of simple sugars. Foods that are high in fiber, protein or fat take longer to break down. Carbohydrates that can be used to raise blood sugar with an estimated serving of 15 grams of sugar: 4 glucose tablets; 1/2 can of regular soft drink; 1/2 cup fruit juice; 3 hard candies; a teaspoon of sugar, syrup or honey.

Symptoms of low blood sugar

After eating carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks these carbohydrates down into a sugar called glucose. Glucose from the digestive system to the blood circulates throughout the body and provides energy to tissues and organs. The brain depends mainly on glucose for energy. When blood sugar drops, judgment is impaired and concentration is difficult.

Hypoglycemia is when blood sugar levels drop below normal. A blood glucose level below 70mg/dL is considered low and a level below 55 mg/dL is considered very low. Symptoms of mildly low blood sugar include: hunger, shaking or restlessness, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, feeling lightheaded, irritable, fast heartbeat, and trouble speaking clearly. Severely low blood sugar can cause seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, or possibly death.

If your blood sugar drops while you’re sleeping, you may experience symptoms like: crying or having nightmares, feeling tired, confused or irritable after waking up, sweating.

People who take insulin to treat diabetes are prone to low blood sugar. Many factors can contribute to the development of low blood sugar such as: exercising too long without consuming carbohydrates, not eating for a long time, taking too much insulin, not eating enough carbohydrates to balance insulin , taking insulin at the wrong time, drinking too much alcohol, some drugs such as hepatitis C pills…

To minimize the risk of hypoglycemia, it is necessary to monitor blood sugar regularly, always carry sugary snacks, do not skip meals, snack before exercise. You should ask your doctor whether to use less insulin before intense exercise, limit alcohol intake. It is important to treat low blood sugar as soon as symptoms are noticed to help prevent blood sugar from dropping to severely low levels.

Mai Cat
(According to Healthline)

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