Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hypoglycemia happens when blood glucose levels drop too low. Low blood sugar can be caused by many things including the two different types of diabetes, certain medications, alcohol, endocrine disorders, eating disorders, pregnancy , and disorders of the liver, kidneys, or heart.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that someone with low blood sugar might experience:
- Tingling lips
If your blood sugar is low you might start to feel some of the first signs of hypoglycemia like dizziness, lightheadedness, or sweating. The only way to know for sure if your blood sugar is low is to test it with a glucose meter or other glucose monitoring device.
If you dont have access to these tools and start to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar, consume 15 grams of carbs or take a quick dissolve glucose tablet to raise your blood sugar levels and avoid further symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association . Once your blood sugar is back in its target range, you can have a snack or meal to make sure it doesnt drop again.
Here are some other lifestyle and medicinal treatments that can help treat hypoglycemia:
- Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods that are minimally processed.
- Take prediabetes or diabetes medications as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Use a glucagon kit in emergencies. Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels quickly.
Before You Break A Sweat Determine Whether You Need Neuropathy Treatment
If you feel tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, or pain from common clothing like socks or even bedsheets, thats your cue to stop what youre doing and potentially seek treatment for neuropathy. If you find from checking your feet daily that you have a blister or ulcer, be sure to notify your physician to help prevent infections.
Loss of sensation in the foot or ankle can significantly increase the risk of getting infections in those areas from routine cuts or abrasions, Machowsky says. Since you may not feel the extent of the damage done and therefore not take action to treat it until it becomes a major medical emergency.
Meanwhile, if youre standing on the gym floor performing squats, its the nerves in your feet that help you gauge your bodys positioning and maintain balance, he explains. Both are vital to performing your workouts safely and effectively.
Signs That Blood Sugar Levels Are High
People with high blood sugar may:
- pee a lot. When blood sugar levels get too high, the kidneys flush out the extra glucose into your urine , which is why people who have high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- drink a lot. Because youre losing so much fluid from peeing so much, you can get very thirsty.
- lose weight. If there isnt enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body starts to break down your muscle and fat for energy and you lose weight.
- feel tired. Because the body cant use glucose for energy properly, you may feel really tired.
High blood sugar levels dont always cause these symptoms. Sometimes you can have high blood sugar levels without even knowing it. But if left untreated, they can cause serious health problems. Thats why its important to work with your parents and diabetes team to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. This can mean checking your blood sugar levels a few times a day, even when you feel fine.
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Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
These tend to show up after your glucose has been high for a long time.
- Yeast infections. Both men and women with diabetes can get these. Yeast feeds on glucose, so having plenty around makes it thrive. Infections can grow in any warm, moist fold of skin, including:
- Between fingers and toes
- Under breasts
- In or around sex organs
What Causes High Blood Sugar
A variety of things can trigger an increase in blood sugar level in people with diabetes, including:
- missing a dose of your diabetes medicine or taking an incorrect dose
- overtreating an episode of low blood sugar
- taking certain medicines, such as steroids
Occasional episodes of hyperglycaemia can also occur in children and young adults during growth spurts.
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How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia
There are simple ways to reduce your risk of severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:
- Be careful what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
- Stick to your treatment plan remember to take your insulin or other diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
- Be as active as possible getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much
- Take extra care when you’re ill your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
- Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home, so you can spot an increase early and take steps to stop it.
Microvascular Damage Of Eyes Kidneys Toes Etc
Microvascular damage is defined as damage to small blood vessels, and its a common consequence of high blood sugar. Evidence confirms that acute hyperglycemia causes microvascular damage and leads to poor functional recovery, especially in patients who have sustained myocardial infarction.
For example, numbers show that more than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure, but high blood pressure and diabetes are the most common risk factors for this serious health problem. Almost half of the patients with chronic kidney disease have diabetes. This isnt such a surprise if we bear in mind that poor glycemic control is associated with microvascular disease development.
High blood sugar damages nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals, which causes diabetic neuropathy. Damage of this kind usually affects eyes, kidneys, toes, and other parts of a patients body.
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You Have Bad Breath And Dry Mouth
An unusual smell when you breathe in through your mouth might indicate that something is wrong with the way glucose moves throughout your system. This can cause a buildup in ketone levels within your blood, giving off an unpleasant odor, much like nail polish remover or acetone.
Sometimes people mistake this for regular bad breath, but if it happens frequently and seems to have no other cause, it could be a sign that your insulin balance is out of whack, so make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice this happening.
Gum disease is also a frequent problem for people with diabetes, so if you notice that your gums are inflamed or swollen, it might be a sign that blood sugar is starting to rise. The dry mouth associated with this problem can lead to the development of cavities and other dental issues, so make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day as well as brushing after meals if necessary.
Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Dangerous
Yes, low blood sugar symptoms can cause problems such as hunger, nervousness, perspiration, dizziness and even confusion if untreated, low blood sugar may result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma, or death. Low blood sugar levels begin at 70 mg/dL or less. People with diabetes who take too much medication or take their usual amount but then eat less or exercise more than usual can develop hypoglycemia. Although much rarer, hypoglycemia may develop in some people without diabetes when they take someone elses medication, have excessive alcohol consumption, develop severe hepatitis, or develop a rare tumor of the pancreas . The treatment for hypoglycemia is oral glucose intake (15. 0 grams of sugar, for example, 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, corn syrup, or IV fluids containing glucose. Recheck your blood sugar levels in about 15 minutes after treatment is advised.
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Insulin Resistance: Understanding What Happens In Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the body has become insulin resistant, meaning insulin is no longer able to effectively remove sugar from the blood. As a result, the pancreas ramps up its insulin production to try to keep up with the amount of carbohydrates youre eating a state of overproduction that can lead to B-cell fatigue.
When B-cells become fatigued , they can no longer make enough insulin to shuttle glucose out of your bloodstream. The end result: hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.
How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar levels happen when theres too little glucose left in the bloodstream to continue supplying fuel to your organs, muscles, and tissues. It most often occurs when you dont eat enough food, especially carb-containing foods, given your blood-sugar-lowering medications and physical activity levels, ONeill says. Levels can decrease gradually or suddenly.
When the amount of glucose in the bloodstream drops to too-low levels, the body reacts by releasing epinephrine, also called adrenaline or the fight or flight hormone. Epinephrine revs your heart rate and can cause sweating, shaking, anxiety, and irritability. If not enough glucose is able to reach the brain, the result may be difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, and slurred speech. In extreme cases, a lack of glucose within the brain can lead to seizures, coma, and even death, she says.
People with low glucose levels can use the ADAs 15-15 Rule, which advises people consume 15 g of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check their levels again. If the number is still low, repeat until reaching at least 70 mg/dL.
You can find 15 g of carbs in:
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 small piece of fresh fruit
- cup of yogurt
- Three to four hard candies
- Glucose tablets as indicated on the label
- Glucose gel as indicated on the label
Once your glucose levels are back to normal, the ADA suggests going ahead and eating your next scheduled meal or snack, which will help prevent levels from dropping again.
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What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
- Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and cystic fibrosis.
- Certain medications .
- Gestational diabetes, which happens in 4% of pregnancies, and is due to decreased insulin sensitivity.
- Surgery or trauma.
Managing Blood Sugar Levels
Many people with diabetes must check their blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. This device takes a drop of blood, usually from a finger, and displays the sugar level within a few seconds.
People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their doctor recommends, usually several times a day.
Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may need to change their diet and exercise habits. They may also need to take oral medications or insulin.
A number of strategies can help prevent hyperglycemia.
- check their blood sugar levels as their doctor advises and take the correct amount of insulin, if they have type 1 diabetes
- speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian about which foods to eat or avoid, how much to eat, and how often
- take precautions to avoid infections, for example, through regular hand washing, as illness, such as a cold, can trigger a rise in blood pressure
- plan their food intake and exercise to balance blood sugar levels
- minimize stress, as far as possible, for example, through exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when a person:
- has certain medical conditions
- does a lot of exercise
- skips meals or eats too little
It can also be a side effect of diabetes medicines. Taking too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
- visit a doctor regularly
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Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels In Check
If you’re feeling any of these early warning signs that something might be wrong with your body, then make sure to speak with a doctor or a certified diabetes educator who can provide medical advice on what steps to take next.
It doesn’t hurt to get your blood sugar regularly tested, especially if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. The earlier something is detected, the better chance there will be at reversing it and making sure that your blood sugar levels stay in a healthy normal range.
On the contrary, if none of these apply, but your blood sugar level still seems off – please see a doctor as soon as possible! Your health matters more than anything else in this world. Never forget that. And remember: if it’s not one thing on this list or another, just go get checked out by a medical professional immediately.
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The Kidneys: Your Internal Waste Management System
The kidneys are two organs that rest on opposite sides of the spine. Think of them as the TSA of your bloodstream: They scan the blood for unwanted acids and excess minerals and usher the waste products out of the body through the urine. But they also play a surprising role in regulating blood sugar levels.
Specifically, the kidneys remove sugar from the blood and use it as their own source of energy, which provides the fuel they need to function.
Whats more, in partnership with the liver, the kidneys perform a process called gluconeogenesis, which produces sugar and releases it into the blood for the body to use as fuel.
Finally, kidneys responsibility to filter waste comes into play. The kidneys filters, called glomeruli, remove sugar from urine. Then, sodium-glucose cotransporters often referred to as SGLTs reabsorb the filtered sugar, moving it to the bloodstream.
When these filters are forced to work too hard, they can become permanently damaged, leading to the development of diabetic kidney disease and, eventually, kidney failure.
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Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
You might notice:
- Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat. See which foods are high in trans fatty acids.
- Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
Its especially important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia if you have type 1 diabetes. If hyperglycemia is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can develop into ketoacidosis, where ketones, which are toxic acids, build up in the blood. This condition is an emergency situation that can lead to coma or death.
Early symptoms of hyperglycemia include:
- High blood sugar.
- Unusual fruity smell on the breath.
- Deep labored breathing or hyperventilation.
- Rapid heartbeat.
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Signs Of High Blood Sugar
Someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes will be familiar with how it feels to have hyperglycemia. But for the millions of people who have diabetes or prediabetes and are unaware of it, knowing the signs of high blood sugar could prompt them to seek care and get a diagnosis as soon as possible.
While type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on suddenly and severely, its important to note that type 2 diabetes symptoms can creep up gradually and be so mild that theyre not noticeable, the NIDDK explains. And most people with prediabetes actually have no symptoms, per the NIDDK. So its extremely important to get screened if you have risk factors, like having a family history, being overweight, or being over age 45, the NIDDK says.
Still, there are many potential signs of high blood sugar in the short and long term that it doesnt hurt to be conscious of, especially if you are at elevated risk.
Early on, hyperglycemia can make you feel off in a variety of ways:
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood and can’t get into the body’s cells to be used for energy. This can happen, for example, when someone skips doses of insulin or when the need for insulin suddenly increases and the doses are not adjusted.
When the body can’t use glucose for fuel, it starts to use fat. When this happens, chemicals called ketones are released into the blood. Some of these ketones, like extra glucose, pass out of the body through the urine.
High levels of ketones in the blood can be a problem because they cause the blood to become acidic. Too much acid in the blood throws off the body’s chemical balance and causes the symptoms listed below. In people with diabetes, this problem is called diabetic , or DKA. DKA is a very serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it’s not treated. The good news, though, is that it’s preventable and can be treated.
DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes also happen to those with type 2 diabetes.
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