My blood sugars usually run higher than 200 and recently I have been trying to lower them, but when they drop below 200, I get queasy and shaky. Should I be worried?
Q: My blood sugars usually run higher than 200 and recently I have been trying to lower them, but when they drop below 200, I get queasy and shaky. Should I be worried?
Trying to lower blood sugar levels can be very frustrating when you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
The target for blood sugar level before meals ranges from 80-130 mg/dL. Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar level is 70 mg/dL or less. If your blood sugar drops suddenly, you may develop symptoms of hypoglycemia even if your level is in the target range.
Although a blood sugar level over 200 is not low, this reading is relatively low for you. This may be the reason for the uncomfortable feelings you are experiencing. This is a normal response, but it's important to let your body get used to being at a healthy blood sugar level.
Eat regular meals that contain protein, fat and a small amount of carbohydrate. Try not to skip meals or snacks. Your efforts will be rewarded. You might have to ride out some uncomfortable symptoms, but your body will gradually become accustomed to lower blood sugar levels.
If you are feeling very uncomfortable but your blood sugar is 90 mg/dL or lower, consume a protein food with a small amount of carbohydrate, such as 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or a handful of nuts. Do not consume high-carb foods that will raise your blood sugar quickly. Drink some water or another sugar-free beverage as well.
However, if you are taking insulin or insulin-stimulating medication and your blood sugar is less than 80 mg/dL, you should treat with glucose or another fast-acting carbohydrate source, and then retest your blood sugar within 15 minutes. You might have to wait several minutes for the symptoms to go away.
Originally answered by Liz Quintana, RD, CDE; edited by Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE
Answered By dLife Expert: Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE
Certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian living in Southern California.
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