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Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when blood glucose drops below 70 mg/dL. Causes include too little food, too much insulin or other diabetes medication, an increase in exercise or activity or a combination of any of these factors.
Decreased kidney function can also make a person more prone to hypoglycemia. It’s important to discuss a plan for treating low blood sugar levels with your doctor or dietitian. It’s recommended to treat blood glucose that’s less than 70 mg/dL.
Follow these steps, known as the “Rule of 15” to treat low blood sugar.
For dialysis patients, it is recommended to use any one of the following items, containing 15 grams of carbohydrate, to treat low blood sugar:
If hypoglycemia is an ongoing problem, keep one of these items with you at all times.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can range from moderate to severe, including:
To help prevent blood sugar from dipping below 70mg/dL, follow your doctor’s advice about diet, medication and exercise. Remember to eat meals at regular times. Keep 15 grams of a carbohydrate-type snack handy at all times. Follow your dialysis diet and eat a healthy snack when exercising or being more active than usual.
Hypoglycemia can be a serious problem for people on dialysis. It is extremely important to have a plan of action for treating low blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia can be treated and prevented by working with a doctor and renal dietitian.
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