Cold sweats, trembling hands, intense anxiety, a general sense of confusion -- no, it's not the night before final exams. These are signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and it often happens when you take too much insulin.
Hypoglycemia happens to many people with diabetes. And it can sometimes be serious. Thankfully, most episodes related to insulin can be avoided if you follow a few simple rules.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our July/August 2012 issue, we asked WebMD's diabetes expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, about the link between diabetes and poor sleep.
Q: I have diabetes, and I'm not sleeping well. Are the two related, and what can I do?
A: Yes, people with diabetes often have reduced sleep quality and quantity. Sleep apnea, medications, lack of exercise, and abnormal glucose and hormone...
You might have too much insulin in your system and get a drop in your blood sugar for several reasons. It most often happens when you:
Misread the syringes or vials. This is easy to do if you’re unfamiliar with a new product.
Use the wrong type of insulin. Let's say you normally take 30 units of long-acting and 10 units of short-acting insulin. It's easy to get them mixed up.
Take insulin, but don't eat. Rapid-acting and short-acting insulin injections should be taken just before or with meals. Blood sugar rises after meals. Taking rapid-acting or short-acting insulin without eating could lower sugar levels to a potentially dangerous level.