People with diabetes often develop diabetes. In this situation, doctors recommend taking insulin. Let us know what is insulin and how it helps in reducing sugar in our body.

What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas when you eat2. It helps convert glucose, or sugar, from food into your body’s cells where it can be used as energy2. In simple terms, when your insulin level goes up, your blood sugar level goes down2. Without insulin, your body cannot make use of and absorb glucose and it stays in your blood2.

The importance of managing blood sugar
Having balanced blood sugar levels is important for your body to function properly. Too much or too little sugar in your blood can have some very serious consequences and and reduce risks of complications like3, 4:

Heart attack
Reduced eyesight, blindness
Kidney disease
Nerve problems
Blocked circulation in the feet
Foot infection
High or low levels of blood sugar can be very dangerous3, 4.
Read more about low and high blood sugar, how to spot the symptoms and how to manage it, below.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycaemia or a “hypo”, occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low4. 

People with diabetes who are on insulin need to be aware of the signs of a hypo as they can be very dangerous. A severe hypoglycemic event is classified as a diabetic emergency that may lead to coma and requires assistance from another person to treat5.

Symptoms of low blood sugar
Shakiness or feeling sick
Sweating, chills and clamminess
Intense hunger
Blurred vision
Slurred speech.
Nervousness or irritability
You may experience one or more of these when your blood sugar levels are too low4. A family member or friend may even mention that you are acting a little
 strangely or look unwell.
High blood sugar (hyperglycaemia)
High blood sugar, also called hyperglycaemia or a ‘hyper’, happens when glucose cannot enter the body cells and builds up in your blood3. A hyper can be dangerous, damaging your blood vessels and reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood going to your body’s organs and nerves3. Over time, this can result in irreversible tissue damage and serious health complications7.

Symptoms of high blood sugar
Tiredness and lethargy
Passing more urine than usual
Being very thirsty
Blurred vision
You may experience one or more of these symptoms when your blood sugar levels are high3, or a family member or friend might mention that you do not quite seem your usual self. Understand the signs a hyper, as well as some ideas to prevent it, here.

How to manage high blood sugar (hyper)
If you experience frequent high blood sugar levels, you may be advised to3:

Check your blood sugar more often than usual, specifically before and after your meals
Change your diet and try to avoid foods that cause your blood sugar to rise, such as cakes and sugary drinks
Drink lots of sugar-free liquids
Try and exercise more often to lower your blood sugar level, it can be something gentle and regular, like walking
Look for patterns in your blood sugar results to understand what might be causing it
Adjust the dose of you medication – you care team will give you specific advice on this

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