Low sugar in the blood can happen for a variety of reasons. Usually it is a side effect of diabetes treatment. In this article, We look at treatment options and the dietary changes that can help prevent low blood sugar and what causes low blood sugar.
What is low blood sugar?
Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, may be a hazardous condition. Low blood sugar can occur in people with diabetes taking insulin-enhancing drugs in the body.
For these individuals, taking too much medicine, missing meals, eating less than normal or exercising more than usual may lead to low blood sugar.
Glucose is also known as blood sugar. Glucose comes from food, which is an essential source of energy for the body. The primary source of glucose in the body is carbohydrates — foods such as rice , potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereals, fruits , vegetables, and milk.
After feeding, glucose is ingested into your bloodstream, where it passes to the cells of your body. A hormone called insulin produced in the pancreas is used to help the cells use glucose for energy.
If you consume more glucose than you need, your body can store the glucose in your liver and muscles or convert it into fat so that it can be used for energy later.
Without adequate glucose the body is unable to perform its normal functions. Those who aren’t on insulin-increasing drugs have enough glucose to sustain blood sugar levels in the short term, and the liver will produce glucose if required.
Nevertheless, a short-term drop of blood sugar can cause a lot of complications for people on these specific drugs. When the blood sugar drops below 70 mg / dL it is considered weak. Immediate treatment for low blood sugar levels is critical for preventing the development of more severe symptoms.
What are the symptoms of low blood sugar?
Symptoms of low blood sugar can happen all of a sudden. Including:
- blurry vision
- rapid heartbeat
- sudden mood changes
- sudden nervousness
- unexplained fatigue
- pale skin
- difficulty sleeping
- skin tingling
- trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
- loss of consciousness, seizure, coma
A person with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may develop or pass out a headache (loss of consciousness).
When an person also has hypoglycemia, they may cease to experience symptoms. This is called unconscious hypoglycemia.
What causes low blood sugar?
Low sugar in the blood can happen for a variety of reasons. Typically it is a side-effect in treating diabetes.
Diabetes and low blood sugar
Diabetes affects the ability of your body to employ insulin. Think of insulin as the secret to opening the cells, letting energy in on glucose.
Those with diabetes use a variety of medications to help their bodies manage the blood glucose. Among these are oral medicines which increase the production of insulin and insulin injections.
When you take too much of these medicinal products, your blood sugar can drop too low. People also sometimes experience low blood sugar when they prepare to eat a big meal, but they do not consume enough afterwards.
Skipping meals, eating less than usual, or eating later than normal, but taking your medicine can also lead to low levels of blood sugar at your normal time.
Unplanned excess physical exercise may also cause a decrease in blood sugar levels without consuming enough.
Drinking alcohol can also lead to low blood sugar when you are on these drugs , particularly if it replaces food. As the body wants to get rid of the drug, controlling blood sugar levels gets worse.
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Other causes of low blood sugar
To experience low blood sugar, you do not have diabetes. Some reasons for low blood sugar include:
- Many pharmaceutical goods, including quinine
- Many medical problems, for example hepatitis or kidney disorders
- A tumor causes excess insulin
- Endocrine conditions such as shortness of the adrenal gland
Diagnosis of Low Blood Sugar
A doctor first asks a person about his / her symptoms to diagnose hypoglycemia. When the doctor suspects hypoglycemia, a blood test can be done.
Levels below 70 mg / dl of blood sugar may indicate hypoglycemia.
All have a different level of base blood sugar, however, and the test that measures hypoglycemia can vary.
The doctor can use additional tests to determine the underlying cause of low blood sugar
Treatment of Low Blood Sugar
The best long-term approach to avoid hypoglycemia is to treat the underlying cause.
Receiving glucose in the short term helps return the blood sugar levels to normal.
The best way to treat a mild hypoglycemia, according to 2014 study, is to:
- take 15 grams of glucose
- wait for 15 minutes
- Test blood glucose levels once again
- If the hypoglycemia occurs, repeat this procedure
Glucose can be obtained in many ways including:
- Take a tablet on glucose
- injecting glucose
- drinking fruit juice
- eating carbohydrates
Eating carbohydrates at slow release can help control blood sugar levels.
Non-diabetic hypoglycemia diet
A diet that does not include diabetic hypoglycemia can help to regulate blood sugar levels. The following tips may help to prevent hypoglycemia:
- Regularly eat small meals, instead of three big meals
- Meals every 3 hours
- Eat a variety of foods such as protein , healthy fats and fiber
- Stop sugar foodstuffs
Carrying a snack to eat at the first sign of hypoglycemia may avoid falling too low in blood sugar levels.
At the end, finding and treating the root cause is the only way to avoid hypoglycemia.