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Can High Blood Sugar Cause Confusion

When To Get Urgent Medical Attention

Do I Have Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia?

Contact your diabetes care team immediately if you have a high blood sugar level and experience the following symptoms:

  • feeling or being sick
  • a fever for more than 24 hours
  • signs of dehydration, such as a headache, dry skin and a weak, rapid heartbeat
  • difficulty staying awake

These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious complication of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.

Causes Related To Lifestyle

Physical inactivity

Exercising prompts your body to burn more energy than usual, and, as a result, consume more glucose. Maintaining a low level of physical activity, on the other hand, means more glucose will remain in the bloodstream. This raises your overall blood glucose values in the process.

Exercise also makes our body more insulin sensitive, which means we will require less insulin for the rest of the day to control glucose levels.


Part of the bodyâs fight-or-flight response to stress is to produce additional glucose. Another facet of that response is an increase in the hormone cortisol. High cortisol can reduce the bodyâs sensitivity to insulin. As a result, blood glucose levels may also increase.

Poor sleep

A lack of quality sleep can inhibit how much insulin your body can release. It can also cause the production of cortisol, which makes it harder for insulin to work. When your bodyâs insulin cannot properly metabolize the glucose in your blood, the glucose remains there and your glucose levels rise.

Get better insight into your glucose levels

Want to gain a better understanding of how your body responds to glucose? Try monitoring your glucose levels in real time with the Nutrisense Continuous Glucose Health Program.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

Conducted after fasting for eight hours, drinking a high-sugar glucose solution, and waiting two more hours a reading of at least 140 mg/dL is considered a sign of prediabetes. A reading of 200 mg/dL or higher is type 2 diabetes. For optimal health, you want to aim for a two-hour glucose of 110 mg/dL or lower.

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Can High Blood Sugar Cause Brain Damage

Researchers are finding more evidence linking elevated blood sugar levels with cognitive problems.

Visit your doctor, and no matter what your age, you’ll step on the scale, get your blood pressure checked, and receive a lab slip to test your cholesterol levels. But a test for blood sugar? That’s a toss-up.


Doctors are short on time, patients don’t like being stuck with needles, and the prevailing opinion is that blood sugar isn’t an issue until people reach their golden years. Trouble is, a growing body of research suggests that maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels throughout your life could play a key role in preserving your brain.

Research has shown a link between diabetes and for decades. In fact, a November 2012 review in Experimental Gerontology reported that people with diabetes have double the risk of developing dementia. Now, scientists are discovering that even modestly elevated blood sugar levels may speed up cognitive decline.

“We know that people with diabetes are at increased risk,” says James A. Mortimer, PhD, professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of South Florida and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology . Even pre-diabetes has shown up in some studies. But this is pre-pre-diabetes, in the 90 to 100 mg/dL range.”

Sugar Spike

Swing Low

Safeguarding Your Brain

How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy

Hypoglycemia diet: How to help low blood sugar

Follow these steps:

  • Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth so they do not choke.
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
  • If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If they’re fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.

    Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

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    When To See A Doctor

    If mild brain fog improves with better diabetes management, you probably dont need to see your healthcare provider.

    But if you take steps to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, yet you dont see any improvement in cognitive function, talk to your healthcare provider.

    Again, they may need to adjust your medication or complete tests to rule out other medical conditions such as an autoimmune disease or depression.

    S For Treating A Person With Symptoms Keeping Them From Being Able To Treat Themselves

  • If the glucagon is injectable, inject it into the buttock, arm or thigh, following the instructions in the kit. If your glucagon is inhalable, follow the instructions on the package to administer it into the nostril.
  • When the person regains consciousness , they may experience nausea and vomiting.
  • Dont hesitate to call 911. If someone is unconscious and glucagon is not available or someone does not know how to use it, call 911 immediately.

    Do NOT:

    • Inject insulin
    • Provide food or fluids

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    Low Or High Blood Sugar

    Low blood sugar occurs when your blood glucose drops below your target range. This usually happens at less than 70 mg/dl, but everyones range is different. It is best to talk to your doctor about what is healthy for you. Often, when you experience low blood sugar, you will need to take action to fix it quickly.

    What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level

    High and Low Blood Sugar Symptoms

    In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:

    • the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
    • skipping or delaying a meal
    • not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
    • exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
    • drinking alcohol

    Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.

    Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.

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    Slurred Speech And Clumsiness

    Your sugar-starved brain may change the way you sound. Slurred speech is a common symptom associated with blood sugar levels that drop below 40 mg/dL, according to University of Michigan Health Systems. Combined with clumsiness another sign of low blood sugar you may seem as though you’ve had a few too many cocktails, even if you haven’t touched a drop, according to the National Health Service.

    For more on managing low blood sugar, check out Diabetes Daily’s article “How to Treat Lows Without Sabotaging Your Diet!

    What Are The Causes Of Anxiety

    Being diagnosed with diabetes can instigate anxiety in a number of ways.

    People with diabetes may potentially be anxious about how their condition will be perceived by others including friends, family and work colleagues.

    Anxiety may also arise over what could happen if they were experience a hypo while driving or whilst looking after their children.

    Excessive worrying can lead to social anxiety.

    Symptoms of social anxiety include

    • Being fearful of leaving the house or place of comfort
    • Anxiety of being around people, known or strangers
    • Avoidance of social interaction

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    How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar

    Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.

    Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.

    If you can, check often!

    • Check before and after meals.
    • Check before and after exercise .
    • Check before bed.
    • After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
    • Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.

    Signs & Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

    Tips to counter hyperglycemia

    Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually don’t start all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. Signs and symptoms include:

    • fatigue
    • excessive thirst/urination
    • dry mouth and dehydration

    These symptoms are caused by the sustained hyperglycemia that typically happens before someone develops diabetic ketoacidosis.

    If the person isn’t treated, these symptoms can happen:

    • abdominal pain
    • unconsciousness

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    Causes Of Sudden Confusion

    Sudden confusion can be caused by many different things. Do not try to self-diagnose get medical help if someone suddenly becomes confused or delirious.

    Some of the most common causes of sudden confusion include:

    What To Do If You Have A Blood Sugar Spike

    For those with diabetes, having a blood sugar spike can be dangerous because too much sugar in the blood passes into the urine. This triggers the body to filter out the fluid, which could lead to dehydration or a diabetic coma.

    In the event that blood sugar levels spike because of stressors that cannot be managed, its vital to make managing your blood glucose a priority. You can do this by focusing on things you can control, such as your diet and exercise, checking your blood sugar regularly, and taking your medications as instructed by your physician.

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    The Dangers Of High Blood Glucose

    Some of diabetesâ effects on the brain arenât obvious right away, especially when they are related to high blood sugar.

    âWith diabetes, you have an increased risk of damage to blood vessels over time, including damage to the small blood vessels in the brain. This damage affects the brainâs white matter,â says Joseph C. Masdeu, MD, PhD, of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute.

    White matter is the part of the brain where nerves talk to one another. When the nerves in the brain are damaged, you can have changes in thinking called vascular cognitive impairment or vascular dementia.

    Vascular cognitive impairment can happen with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but there are some differences in risk, says Joel Zonszein, MD, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

    âThe longer you have diabetes , the more of a chance there is of developing dementia, but we see much less of it in people with type 1 whose diabetes is well-controlled,â he says.

    People with type 2 may face a double-whammy because they tend to have other problems that also can cause blood vessel damage.

    âThese patients tend to be less metabolically fit overall, with low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure, and they are more likely to be obese,â Zonszein says.

    Diabetes can combine with these other problems to create inflammation that damages blood vessels, so good diabetes control is all the more important, he says.

    Anxiety Disorders In People With Diabetes

    Can High Blood Sugar Cause Dizziness?

    Diabetes is associated with both elevated anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders. There is evidence of a bi-directional association between anxiety and diabetes. Therefore, it is possible that people with elevated anxiety symptoms or an anxiety disorder may be at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, while having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may place people at increased risk of developing elevated anxiety symptoms or an anxiety disorder.

    Overall, the prevalence of elevated anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders in people with diabetes is within the range of general population estimates. Further research is needed regarding the specific types of anxiety disorders associated with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

    Many factors may contribute to the development of elevated anxiety symptoms or an anxiety disorder. These include: personal or family history, personality, stressful life circumstances, substance use, and physical illness. Diabetes may be completely unrelated for some people, while for others, it may be a contributing factor. As various factors can contribute, the exact cause will be different for every person.

    In people with diabetes, elevated anxiety symptoms are associated with adverse medical and psychological outcomes, including:

    People with a co-existing anxiety disorder and depressive symptoms are likely to experience greater emotional impairment and take longer to recover.

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    How Diabetes Impacts Mental Health

    Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2001.She has spent over…Read More

    In addition to marking the beginning of the holiday season, November is American Diabetes Month and given the influx of unhealthy foods and practices that abound during this time of the year, I cant help but wonder if the timing of this was strategically planned.

    When we think of diabetes, its physical manifestations and symptoms often come to mind first. After all, the vision problems, foot complications, hypertension, and high risk of wound infection due to slower healing weigh heavy on the minds of those with diabetes and their caregivers. However, diabetes affects people in a more insidious way that is no less important it impacts mental health.

    Think about it. Diabetes is characterized by blood glucose levels that are too high. The brain uses glucose for all of its functions, which include thinking, judgment, memory, emotions, and behavior. If we have too much glucose coursing through our body, our brain will be affected along with our eyes, skin, feet, and every other anatomical system.

    Here are a few ways that diabetes impacts mental health:

    Balhara, Y. P. S. . Diabetes and psychiatric disorders. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 15, 274-283.

    When Anger Becomes Abuse

    Every person has a right to get angry sometimes, but it isn’t normal for someone with diabetes to erupt into anger and take it out on others. If anger is expressed violently to hurt or scare you, then it becomes domestic abuse. Abuse can be actual physical contact, like hitting, slapping, pushing, or otherwise inflicting bodily harm, but it can also be threatening or belittling you or making you feel intimidated or scared.

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    Maintain An Active Lifestyle

    Take breaks during a sedentary workday, add a walk around the block to your morning routine, or try a new form of exercise. These activities bring great benefit in both the short and long term while helping reduce your overall stress. Including regular strength training and aerobic exercise will help to lower glucose values, as well.

    What To Do If Your Partner Experiences Mood Swings

    Fasting Blood Sugar

    It’s not your responsibility to make sure your partner consistently eats well, but knowing the crucial role diet plays in managing mood for people with diabetes may help you understand their condition better. Don’t underestimate the importance of their diet and regular mealtimes.

    If your partner struggles with managing moods as a result of fluctuating blood sugar, talk to them about it. Have a plan in place for emergencies, such as calling paramedics immediately at the first sign of a mood swing or outburst. Your partner should be willing, if not eager, to create an emergency plan for the sake of your safety and that of others.

    If you’re in a relationship that’s abusive, it’s important to tell someone you trust: a friend, counselor, social worker, or healthcare provider. Abusive relationships are often isolated ones, where the abused partner lives in secrecy and fear. Telling others breaks the silence and enables you to more easily seek help.

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    Resources For Domestic Violence

    If you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, seek help. Here are organizations that can provide referrals and assistance:

    • The United States and Canada: The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE or 800-787-3224 , or there’s a free confidential online chat available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
    • Great Britain: Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247, 24 hours a day.

    Does High Blood Sugar Affect Memory

    Uncontrolled diabetes may increase the risk of experiencing cognitive problems, such as memory loss. Higher than normal blood glucose levels can damage nerve cells, supportive glial cells, and blood vessels in both peripheral nerves of the body and the brain.

    Does high blood sugar cause mental confusion?

    Over time, high glucose levels can have serious repercussions, such as heart disease and stroke. But lower them too much and you could face immediate and severe side effects including confusion and cognitive impairment and, possibly, an increased risk of long-term cognitive decline .

    Can high blood sugar cause short term memory loss? Memory loss in diabetes can be a short term problem brought on by too low or high blood glucose levels. During hypoglycemia, for example, you may struggle to remember words. This is not necessarily a sign of a long term problem. In most cases, raising sugar levels over 4 mmol/l should get your memory back to normal.

    Can diabetes cause memory loss and confusion?

    Memory loss and general cognitive impairment, which are both symptoms of AD, may be connected to type 2 diabetes. Damage to the blood vessels is common in people with diabetes. This damage can lead to cognitive problems and vascular dementia.

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