Low Blood Sugar On Diet – Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy may surprise you: it is sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential for the brain, heart and digestive system to function properly. It even helps maintain healthy skin and vision.
When your blood sugar levels fall below the normal range, it is called hypoglycemia. There are many recognizable signs of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is to do a blood glucose test.
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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, the pancreas does not make enough insulin or your body cannot use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetes medications can lower blood sugar and cause hypoglycemia.
However, contrary to popular belief, low blood sugar is not unique to diabetes, although it is rare. It can also happen if your body makes more insulin than it should.
Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over long periods of time. This can affect the liver’s ability to create a store of glucose and then release it into the bloodstream when needed.
When your blood sugar levels are too low, your cells run out of energy. At first, you may notice minor symptoms, such as hunger and headaches. However, if you don’t raise your blood sugar levels in time, you could be at risk of serious complications.
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To prevent blood sugar levels from becoming too high, known as hyperglycemia, you need the right amount of insulin. With insufficient insulin, blood sugar levels rise. On the other hand, too much insulin can cause your blood sugar to drop quickly.
After you eat, your digestive system breaks down carbohydrates and turns them into glucose. Basically, glucose is your body’s source of fuel.
As sugar levels rise, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which helps cells throughout the body take up and use glucose. If you have insulin-dependent diabetes, you need to take the right amount of insulin to do the job.
When you go a few hours without eating, blood sugar levels drop. If you have a healthy pancreas, 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 bloodstream.
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If everything is working as it should, your blood sugar levels should stay in the normal range until your next meal.
Inadequate blood sugar levels can cause rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations. However, even if you have diabetes, you may not always have noticeable symptoms of low blood sugar. This is a potentially dangerous condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness. It happens when you have low blood sugar so often that your body’s response changes.
Normally, low blood sugar causes your body to release stress hormones, such as epinephrine. Epinephrine is responsible for those early warning signs, such as hunger and tremors.
When low blood sugar occurs too often, your body can stop releasing stress hormones, called hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure, or HAAF. That’s why it’s so important to check your blood sugar levels often.
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Low blood sugar can often indicate extreme hunger. However, low blood sugar can sometimes cause you to lose interest in a meal, even if you’re hungry.
Low blood sugar levels can cause a variety of problems within your central nervous system. Initial symptoms include weakness, light-headedness, and dizziness. Headaches can occur from a lack of glucose, especially if you have diabetes.
You may also feel signs of stress, such as nervousness, anxiety, and irritability. When blood sugar levels drop overnight, you may have nightmares, cry in your sleep, or experience other sleep disorders.
Lack of coordination, chills, clammy skin, and sweating can occur with low blood sugar. Other effects that may occur are tingling or numbness of the mouth. In addition, you may experience blurred vision, headaches and confusion. Daily tasks and coordination are also difficult.
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Untreated low blood sugar can be very dangerous. It can cause seizures, loss of consciousness or death.
It has sourced strict guidelines and is based on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical societies. We will avoid the use of tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
Our experts constantly monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Medically reviewed by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, Nutrition – By Mary Ellen Phipps MPH, RDN, LD – Updated February 4, 2021
These are all words I used growing up with type 1 diabetes, to describe how I felt when my blood sugar was low.
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I was diagnosed when I was 5 years old. So I came up with some interesting ways to describe how I felt to my parents and other adults in my life.
I remember one time when I was in kindergarten, I was describing how I felt to a physical education teacher, and she thought that I was trying to avoid that I had to do the activity.
I almost had a hypoglycemic attack because I did not have access to proper care and treatment. (In her defense, she was a surrogate and was not told she had diabetes.)
The right treatment for low blood sugar? To answer that question, we must first find out what is considered hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
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The American Diabetes Association (ADA) defines hypoglycemia as any time your blood sugar level falls below the healthy range. This can be different for everyone with diabetes, but it usually means your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL (1).
I have sometimes described it to my non-diabetic friends as an almost “out of body” experience.
As soon as you feel these symptoms, it is essential to check your blood sugar immediately to confirm if you do, in fact, have hypoglycemia.
Some of these symptoms are also associated with high blood sugar levels or hyperglycemia. You may also feel these symptoms anytime you feel a rapid drop in your blood sugar.
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If your blood sugar is high and you use insulin to lower it, you may experience symptoms commonly associated with hypoglycemia as your blood sugar drops, even if it is not low by definition (2) .
Once you have confirmed that your blood sugar is low, or lower than normal, how should you treat it? Basically, you want fast-acting carbs, which are simple sugars that don’t have much fiber.
You also want to avoid high-fat foods. The fat that often stabilizes blood sugar levels after meals can slow down how quickly your body absorbs the simple carbohydrates it needs.
And let me tell you, those glucose tablets are not the tastiest things in the world. Think chalky, super sweet, and fake fruit flavor all in one…sounds delicious, I know (1).
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Do not misunderstand; Nutrition is not our main goal when treating low blood sugar; the main goal is to raise blood sugar quickly.
But what if you could treat low blood sugar properly and not resort to calcium tablets filled with processed sugar, food coloring and artificial flavors?
If your blood sugar is higher than 80 mg / dl, you will probably have these symptoms because your blood sugar levels are changing quickly and you do not need fast-acting carbohydrates.
Peanut butter (or any nut butter) with no added sugar is packed with protein and fat and can help alleviate these symptoms without spiking your blood sugar.
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At this point, your blood sugar is still not technically low, by definition. However, this may be lower than you are comfortable with.
Any kind of starch – in this case, crackers – will gradually help raise your blood sugar a bit, and the fat and protein in peanut butter will keep those levels up.
All the foods listed above are fresh or dried fruits with higher amounts of natural sugars than other fruits. Although some fiber is present in these, the amount is minimal and will raise your blood sugar quickly and effectively.
If your blood sugar has dropped below 55 mg/dL, you need quick, fast liquid carbohydrates. No fiber, fat or protein should be present.
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Grape juice is one of the highest carbohydrate juices and is my choice for myself and clients who experience this severity of hypoglycemia.
Some people have difficulty chewing and swallowing when their blood sugar reaches this level, so we want to focus on concentrated sources of carbohydrates, such as high-carb juices or sweeteners such as maple syrup and honey.
Before implementing any of these suggestions into your hypoglycemic plan, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider first.
. She is also a wife, mother, has type 1 diabetes, and develops recipes. Check out her website for delicious diabetes recipes and helpful nutrition tips. She strives to make healthy eating easy, realistic, and most importantly, fun! He has experience in family meal planning, corporate wellness, adult weight management, adult diabetes management, and metabolic syndrome. Submit to her
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It has sourced strict guidelines and is based on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical societies. We will avoid the use of tertiary references. you
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