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What are the implications of low blood sugar?

Q: I am a diabetic since 10 years and I am aged 47. I have been on insulin for the past 4 years. I have a desk job and I play badminton daily (3/4 games). If I do not eat sufficiently, many a times my sugar level goes low and I get shivering, sweating and feel very uneasy. I just wanted to know if my sugar goes low does it have an effect on any of my other organs? What are the side effects of low sugar?

A:Low sugars can affect the functioning of the brain, both in the short run, and over a period of time, and therefore should be avoided as far as possible. However that does not mean that in trying to avoid a low sugar, you keep your sugars high all the time! To walk this tightrope between low and high, and maintain the balance at all times, you need to: 1. Check your sugars yourself, at different times of the day, using a reliable glucometer (several are now available in India). On the basis of the patterns you have, your diabetologist will help you adjust your insulin doses. 2. Be regular with food intake, and try for predictable patterns. 3. Make sure you take an extra snack before a badminton game, or alter the dose of insulin on badminton days. 4. Check the HbA1c every 3 months: this test gives the average blood sugar over the previous 8-10 weeks, and therefore the overall sugar control. 5. Follow up with a good diabetologist, who has expertise in childhood onset diabetes. I do not know where you live, but even if you have to travel to another city to consult the right person, it may be worth the effort, since you would need to do so just 3-4 times a year.

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