Can Low Carb Diet Cause Low Blood Sugar – Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The primary source of energy can be surprising: it is sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential for the proper functioning of the brain, heart and digestive system. It also helps keep your skin and eyes healthy.
If the blood sugar level falls below the normal range, it is called hypoglycemia. There are many recognizable symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is to have a blood glucose test.
Can Low Carb Diet Cause Low Blood Sugar
Learn more about the symptoms of low blood sugar, as well as the long-term effects on the body.
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In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body can’t use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetes medications can lower blood sugar levels, causing hypoglycemia.
However, contrary to popular belief, although it is rare, low blood sugar is not specific to diabetes. This can also happen if your body produces more insulin than it should.
Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over a long period of time. This can interfere with the liver’s ability to store glucose and release it into the bloodstream when needed.
When blood sugar levels are too low, cells starve for energy. At first, you may experience minor symptoms such as hunger and headache. However, if you do not check the blood sugar level in time, there is a risk of serious complications.
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The right amount of insulin is needed to prevent blood sugar levels from getting too high, known as hyperglycemia. With a lack of insulin, the amount of sugar in the blood rises. On the other hand, too much insulin can cause blood sugar to drop too quickly.
After eating, the digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. In general, glucose is your body’s source of fuel.
When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which helps your body take in and use glucose. If you have insulin-dependent diabetes, you need to take insulin correctly to work.
If you go several hours without eating, your blood sugar levels will drop. If the pancreas is healthy, it releases a hormone called glucagon to compensate for the lack of food. This hormone tells your liver to process stored sugars and release them into your blood.
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If everything is working as it should, the blood sugar level should remain in the normal range until the next meal.
Not having enough blood sugar can cause a fast heart rate and palpitations. However, even if you have diabetes, you may not always have obvious symptoms of low blood sugar. This is a potentially dangerous condition called hypoglycemia unawareness. This happens when your blood sugar drops frequently, which changes how your body reacts.
Normally, low blood sugar causes your body to release stress hormones like epinephrine. Epinephrine is responsible for early warning signs such as hunger and agitation.
When your blood sugar drops, your body can stop releasing stress hormones, called hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure, or HAAF. That’s why it’s important to check your blood sugar levels frequently.
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Often, low blood sugar can indicate extreme hunger. However, sometimes low blood sugar can make you lose interest in eating, even when you’re hungry.
Low blood sugar can cause various problems in the central nervous system. Initial symptoms include weakness, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Headaches can be caused by a lack of glucose, especially if you have diabetes.
You may also experience stress symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and irritability. When your blood sugar levels drop at night, you may have nightmares, cry during your sleep, or experience other sleep disturbances.
Lack of coordination, tremors, clammy skin, and sweating can accompany low blood sugar. Other possible side effects include tingling in the mouth or numbness. You may also experience blurred vision, headaches, and confusion. Daily tasks and coordination are also difficult.
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If left untreated, severe hypoglycemia can be very dangerous. It can cause seizures, loss of consciousness or death.
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Our experts constantly monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles as new information becomes available. Cutting carbohydrates is an important tool in the treatment of diabetes, but it is not foolproof. Avoid these low-carb mistakes for better health with type 2 diabetes.
Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels: you know it. So it stands to reason that reducing carbohydrates and switching to a low-carb diet is a common dietary strategy to lower blood glucose levels and improve type 2 diabetes management.
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For example, a July 2020 study published in the ESPEN Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a low-carb, high-protein diet is an effective strategy for reducing blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes. A small study published in June 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed a low-carb diet to help people with metabolic syndrome—abdominal obesity and high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and fasting. level — Improve their numbers, even if they don’t lose weight.
That said, sticking to a low-carb diet, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, isn’t as simple as cutting out carbs. Here are seven of the most common, most important low-carb diet mistakes to avoid for better blood sugar management and overall health.
What actually constitutes “low carb” varies from person to person and researcher to researcher. There are no generally agreed-upon recommendations for how much carbohydrate to eat on a low-carb diet, says Patti Urbanski, RD, CDCES, of St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. The Diabetes Care Program is a clinical nutritionist that has helped Americans in the past. Dietary recommendations from the Diabetes Association
According to a January 2020 article in StatPearls, getting less than 26 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates in broad strokes can be considered low-carb, he said. For someone eating a 2,000-calorie diet, that means eating less than 130 grams of carbs per day.
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A “very low carb” diet involves eating at least 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Ketogenic diets, which overlap with very low-carb diets, can often require eating fewer grams of carbohydrates per day. (Most Americans get about 45 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates, he says.)
Which one is right for you? “There are many factors to consider when making this decision,” says Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Lori Zinney, RD, CDCES. “Some of these factors include how well blood sugar is controlled, current medications or insulin, additional health conditions, dietary preferences, budget and health goals.”
Your diabetes care team can help you determine the right low-carb approach for you, but it’s important to avoid any bad, potentially dangerous, low-carb options to help manage type 2 diabetes. , or may even help prevent life-threatening side effects. .
You and your doctor may need to reduce or change medications to prevent low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. cardiovascular complications; and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a health emergency. This is especially true for people who take insulin, insulin-stimulating drugs, or blood pressure medications, Urbanski says. In addition, SGLT2 inhibitors, oral drugs that help the kidneys lower blood glucose levels, predispose some people to potentially fatal DKA, a low-carb diet that further increases the risk. “Anyone taking SGLT2 inhibitors is advised not to go on a low-carb diet or to stop and change medications first under the supervision of a physician,” he says. According to the Food and Drug Administration, examples of SGLT2 inhibitors include canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin.
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For best results, working with your health care team should not be limited to getting approval before starting a new diet. As Urbanski explained, Medicare covers two hours of diabetes education and two hours of nutrition services each year for people with type 2 diabetes. “Medicare only pays for things that are proven to work,” so getting at least four hours a year is a good goal. Some people only need annual appointments, she says, while others may see a registered dietitian or diabetes educator every two to three months.
To find a registered dietitian nutritionist, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Referral Service. You can also find diabetes care and education specialists certified by the Board of Certification in Diabetes Care and Education.
Following a low-carb diet can help stabilize blood sugar levels, but following a low-carb diet does not guarantee their stability. If not monitored closely, periods of hyperglycemia can occur alongside hypoglycemia, says Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, Los Angeles-based representative of the Association for Diabetes Care and Education.
“When you’re transitioning to a low-carb diet, monitoring your blood sugar levels can provide important information you can use to adjust your meal portions.
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