Diabetes treatment plans are designed to match the dose and timing of medication to a person's usual schedule of meals and activities. Mismatches could result in hypoglycemia. For example, taking a dose of insulin-or other medication that increases insulin levels-but then skipping a meal could result in hypoglycemia.
To help prevent hypoglycemia, people with diabetes should always consider the following:
- Their diabetes medications. A health care provider can explain which diabetes medications can cause hypoglycemia and explain how and when to take medications. For good diabetes management, people with diabetes should take diabetes medications in the recommended doses at the recommended times. In some cases, health care providers may suggest that patients learn how to adjust medications to match changes in their schedule or routine.
- Their meal plan. A registered dietitian can help design a meal plan that fits one's personal preferences and lifestyle. Following one's meal plan is important for managing diabetes. People with diabetes should eat regular meals, have enough food at each meal, and try not to skip meals or snacks. Snacks are particularly important for some people before going to sleep or exercising. Some snacks may be more effective than others in preventing hypoglycemia overnight. The dietitian can make recommendations for snacks.
- Their daily activity. To help prevent hypoglycemia caused by physical activity, health care providers may advise
- checking blood glucose before sports, exercise, or other physical activity and having a snack if the level is below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
- adjusting medication before physical activity
- checking blood glucose at regular intervals during extended periods of physical activity and having snacks as
- checking blood glucose periodically after physical activity
- Their use of alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcoholic beverages, especially on an empty stomach, can cause hypoglycemia, even a day or two later. Heavy drinking can be particularly dangerous for people taking insulin or medications that increase insulin production. Alcoholic beverages should always be consumed with a snack or meal at the same time. A health care provider can suggest how to safely include alcohol in a meal plan.
- Their diabetes management plan. Intensive diabetes management-keeping blood glucose as close to the normal range as possible to prevent long-term complications-can increase the risk of hypoglycemia. Those whose goal is tight control should talk with a health care provider about ways to prevent hypoglycemia and how best to treat it if it occurs.
What to Ask the Doctor about Diabetes Medications
People who take diabetes medications should ask their doctor or health care provider
- whether their diabetes medications could cause hypoglycemia
- when they should take their diabetes medications
- how much medication they should take
- whether they should keep taking their diabetes medications when they are sick
- whether they should adjust their medications before physical activity
- whether they should adjust their medications if they skip a meal
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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