Hypoglycemia, as stipulated on the website http://www.emedicinehealth.com/low_blood_sugar_hypoglycemia/article_em.htm, has three key features to be aware of. They refer to the combination of these features as Whipple’s Triad. The three features include:
- symptoms consistent with hypoglycemia,
- a low plasma glucose concentration, and
- relief of symptoms after the plasma glucose level is raised.
This means that seniors that have blood sugar levels below 60 mg/dL may show signs of hypoglycemia although they could potentially begin to feel the symptoms even before their blood sugar level gets this low. If their blood sugar drops below 50 mg/dL, it may affect their brain function.
What? Can this really happen? Is the blood sugar level this important? IT CERTAINLY IS!!!!
The blood glucose is the primary source of energy for the human brain, the muscles of the body and all other essential cells. The body attempts to regulate the glucose level by calling on the actions of the various hormones inside it. Insulin is the most important hormone as its duty is to lower the blood sugar level of the body. Glucagon, growth hormone and epinephrine help to raise the blood sugar levels.
Insulin and glucagon are manufactured in the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that is located near a person’s stomach and its main function is to assist the digestive tract.
The pancreas is made up of special cells. Beta Cells make the insulin while Alpha Cells make glucagon. Without the proper functioning of the pancreas, a senior is in trouble!
Tomorrow we will concentrate more on the role of insulin because as caregivers we need to know these things in order to display that With Age Comes Respect. We want to show that we are willing to learn in all to keep our seniors healthy and happy!