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how does a diabetic "spell" feel?

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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 01:54 AM
Original message
how does a diabetic "spell" feel?
Is there face flushing?

Shaky?

Palpitations?

What?

And if a person thinks they might be having a mild spell like this, should they drink some milk? Some juice?

A person without a diagnosis of diabetes might need to know these things prior to seeing a doctor.
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kdmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. It really depends on the type of "spell"
There's two dangerous things that can happen to a diabetic (well, there's more than that, but we are just talking about "spells" here).

Blood sugar is too high or blood sugar is too low. How you would treat each of these would be vastly different, so the very first thing that needs to happen is the person (or someone else) needs to determine which it is. If a person is Diabetic, they will have a glucose monitor and that should be used to determine whether the blood sugar is high or low.

If it's low, then the person often feels shaky, cold, fast heart rate, dizzy, pale, and sometimes sweaty. The actual symptoms may vary, but can include fainting. If a person has fainted, then someone else should call 911 immediately. If the person who has passed out carries a glycogen pen, then that should be administered. If the person is awake, and has low blood sugar, they should have 1/2 of orange juice or regular (NOT diet) Soda. After 15 minutes, check your blood sugar again and see how it's doing. If it's still low, another 1/2 cup of orange juice or soda, until it comes up to at least 90.

Now, if a person has high blood sugar, they will often feel nauseous, sweaty, hot, fast heart rate, flushing and dizzy (as you can see, the symptoms can overlap, which is why it's important to get the number first). If your blood sugar is high, but less than 250, you should walk around the block, or do some sort of exercise to bring it down (if you are not on insulin). If you are on insulin, you would take some insulin to bring it down (I'm not, so I'm not exactly sure what the protocol is for that. I was told by my doctor that if it's over 250, not to exercise as it could make it worse, and if it's over 300, call him immediately to get instructions).

Are you Diabetic? Or were you just curious?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The recommendation now is to drink a glass of milk
before you get the meter and munch a couple of saltines while you're waiting for the results. Proteins and complex carbos will get that sugar up there pretty quickly without producing a quick peak followed by another valley, which is what fruit juice and sugary soda does.

If the sugar is too high, the protein and complex carbos won't add too much to it and it can quickly be corrected by regular insulin.

Hypoglycemia can lead to unconsciousness very quickly if it isn't treated, so the protocol is feed, then check.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-17-07 04:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Oil question
I understand that if you switch from lard or Crisco or other bad fat, to olive oil or peanut oil, that you're likely to have your cholesterol go down. I understand there are good oils that are better to use if you're going to be needing to use oil. What I'm not quite sure about, are the oils actually good for you. Like in the old days when they gave us castor oil, which now I see was full of Omega 3's and maybe made a certain amount of sense. If I don't eat oils on salads, etc., can I worry less about frying a corn tortilla in a little canola oil. Or should I make a point of actually doing that if I'm not going to get the oil any other way, is the oil good for me to have every day. See what I mean?
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kdmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-17-07 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Really?
I didn't know that. Of course, I'm not insulin dependent, so I rarely have lows, but I do take a medication that CAN cause lows.

Thanks for the information!
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-17-07 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Since it only takes 5 seconds
for bg results, that seems strange.

I often don't know whether I am low or high because my main symptom of both is thirst. If I get adrenergic then I know I am low but I rarely do that.

I can't drink milk but have found peanut butter to be a great bg leveler for both highs and lows.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-17-07 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. We used to give a glass of milk and peanut butter crackers
in the hospital. Peanut butter is a great thing to use.

I can't drink milk, either, horrible stuff.

I know some of the meters out there are very fast. Ours in the hospital still took the same 3 minutes to cook the strip. We fed first.
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-17-07 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. None of them take that long anymore.
Of course they don't tell you the most important thing - "is it on its way up? or down?" :)

I treat first if I am not near a meter or in a situation that would preclude testing (like someplace dark).

It was somewhat easier back in the animal insulin days. If you didn't know your sugar was low, the people around you certainly did. Now everything is so damn subtle. I've been known to get up, go to the kitchen, eat or drink something, and continue to work successfully on my crossword all with a bg of 30 or less.

But with a 3 minute test time I can certainly understand why one would treat!
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