basicman2

Q:

When my blood glucose goes low I can always tell. I get a yellow spot in my right eye which is the stronger of the two. Is this warning normal for people at my age (81)?

Patty Bonsignore

A:

It is common as you get older for your symptoms of low blood glucose to change. Older adults (over 70) will usually have more subtle symptoms and the symptoms will usually occur at a lower blood glucose level. So even when you are just tired or not feeling right, it is a good idea to check your blood glucose level to make sure it isn’t low. Also, if you take a betablocker for your heart, the symptoms of low blood glucose may be less obvious. You asked whether changes in vision are a common symptom, and I would say it isn’t a common symptom, but changes in vision are definitely one symptom that you can experience. People can experience a variety of symptoms, such as confusion, trouble focusing, shakiness, sweating, fast heartbeat, etc. The most important factor to treat low blood glucose in a timely way is to be able to identify it quickly and not ignore it. It sounds like you are able to do this. Anytime you think you are having a low, it will be important to check your blood glucose using your meter, treat it with 15 grams of carb, and then recheck again in 15 minutes to make sure your blood glucose is above 80. If it is not above 80 after 15 minutes you will need to treat it with another 15 grams of carbohydrate.