Low Blood Sugar And Nausea
Whether people have diabetes or not, when they have mild low blood sugar, they may feel extremely hungry, often also nauseated. This symptom combination is the first sign of low blood sugar and is caused by the release of the stress hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline.
When your blood sugar drops, it triggers the fight-or-flight response, causing a surge of adrenaline. This flood of adrenaline functions as a helper, moving stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. However, this surge isnt without effects. Other symptoms like sweating, shakiness, and anxiousness can also be caused by this process.
That said, people with diabetes shouldnt assume their nausea is always related to low blood sugar. The only way to know for certain is to measure your blood sugar. If your levels are within the normal range, other factors may be contributing to your nausea.
Pre Diabetes Symptoms Trio Tingling Nausea And Dizziness
Pre diabetes is not necessarily a condition on its own. It is more a signal of a problem that demands immediate attention. It is a precursor in many cases to a diagnosis of diabetes. However, unlike most medical conditions, pre diabetes serves as an early warning system to a potential medical condition. It is a sign that some changes need to be made in order to prevent a future diagnosis of diabetes. It really can be considered a blessing because it provides people an opportunity to change their lifestyle quickly and severely and potentially delay or even stop the development of full blown diabetes. Few diseases provide this early window, and unfortunately some people miss it entirely and receive a diagnosis of diabetes before realizing that while their blood sugar was above 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL, they may have had an opportunity to stop the diseases progression. This is often because pre diabetes symptoms can be rationalized, dismissed or missed entirely.
What Are The Symptoms Experienced When A Person Feels Dizzy
- Lightheadedness is the feeling of weakness and faintness as if you are about to pass out. The symptoms tend to be short-lived, depending on the cause. There may be associated nausea, sweating, and blurred vision.
- If the cause is dehydration or bleeding, the symptoms may worsen by standing quickly and may resolve somewhat by lying down
- Heart rhythm disturbances may occur without warning and may be associated with palpitations. This may come and go or it may persist. The heartbeat may be felt as too fast , too slow, and/or irregular.
- Vertigo is the sensation of spinning and may present without warning and be associated with nausea and vomiting. People with inner ear problems may be debilitated and unable to move without generating symptoms.
- People with a cerebellar cause of vertigo such as a stroke or tumor may have associated coordination problems or difficulty walking, and other signs of stroke.
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How Is Dizziness Diagnosed
The diagnosis of dizziness begins with the health care professional deciding whether the complaint of dizziness refers to lightheadedness or vertigo. Further diagnosis continues once this distinction is made.
The key to the diagnosis of dizziness is a thorough history and physical examination. Often the diagnosis is made by listening to the patient’s story. The health care professional may ask about triggers that cause and relieve the symptoms of dizziness.
- “Is it related to changing positions quickly?”
- “Does it resolve on its own or does the patient have to do something, like lie down to make it better?”
- “Does turning the head bring on the symptoms? Do the symptoms resolve when the patient is very still?”
- “Is there associated hearing loss or ringing in the ears?”
A review of systems is a series of questions that review the patient’s body functions. The doctor may ask questions about associated symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or abnormal bleeding.
The doctor may review the past medical history, and this includes reviewing medications the patient is currently taking.
The doctor may do a thorough physical examination that may include:
Imaging studies and blood tests: The need for imaging studies and/or blood tests will depend on the concerns the health care professional and patient have in regard to the cause of the dizziness. Common tests that may be ordered include:
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
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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How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
What Are The Risks Of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia can be a sign that your body isnt getting enough insulin. It is normal for patients with T1D to get hyperglycemia, and most of the time this is simply treated with insulin. If the body does not have insulin for approximately 8 hours, you could develop a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
In DKA, your body breaks down fat for energy because it doesnt have enough insulin to use the sugar in your blood. This produces chemicals called ketones, which make your blood more acidic.
DKA is dangerous. Too much acid in your blood can make you pass out or even cause death.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor About High Blood Sugar
Please ask your health care professional about the following:
- How to recognize high blood sugar levels
- How to treat a high blood sugar level when it occurs in you, a family member, or coworkers
- How to prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too high
- How to contact the medical staff during an emergency
- What emergency supplies to carry to treat high blood sugar
- Additional educational materials regarding high blood sugar
What Causes People With Diabetes To Get Diarrhea
The cause for the connection between diabetes and diarrhea isnt clear, but research suggests that neuropathy may be a factor. Neuropathy refers to numbness or pain resulting from nerve damage. If you have diabetes, high blood sugar levels can damage your nerve fibers. This generally occurs in the hands or feet. Issues with neuropathy are common causes for many of the complications that accompany diabetes.
Another possible cause is sorbitol. People often use this sweetener in diabetic foods. Sorbitol has proven to be a potent laxative in amounts as small as 10 grams.
An imbalance in your enteric nervous system can also cause diarrhea. Your ENS regulates the functions of your gastrointestinal system.
Researchers have also looked at the following possibilities:
- bacterial overgrowth
- fecal incontinence resulting from anorectal dysfunction
- Celiac disease
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Planning For Sick Days
Your diabetes management plan will help you know what to do when you’re sick. The plan might tell you:
- how to check your blood glucose levels and ketones when you’re sick
- which medicines are OK to take
- what changes you might make to your food and drink and diabetes medicines
- when to call your doctor
Also, people with diabetes should get the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against some serious infections. You also should get a flu vaccine every year. These vaccines may help cut down the number of sick days you have and keep your diabetes under better control.
A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving
You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or you’re at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but you’ll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while you’re driving.
You also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.
For more information, see:
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Are There Different Types Of Diabetes
The most common ones are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children. It is also called juvenile onset diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this type, your pancreas does not make enough insulin and you have to take insulin injections for the rest of your life.
Type 2 diabetes, which is more common, usually occurs in people over 40 and is called adult onset diabetes mellitus. It is also called non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In Type 2, your pancreas makes insulin, but your body does not use it properly. The high blood sugar level often can be controlled by following a diet and/or taking medication, although some patients must take insulin. Type 2 diabetes is particularly prevalent among African Americans, American Indians, Latin Americans and Asian Americans.
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Managing Diabetes Lessen The Risk Of Diabetic Gastroparesis
Many endocrinologists focus patient education to improve diabetic gastroparesis on managing blood sugar levels, says Dr. Camilleri. While there is some evidence that those whose poor glucose management and high hemoglobin A1c levels are more likely to end up in the hospital with gastroparesis, achieving good blood glucose is not a miracle cure he says.
Dr. Grover adds that better management of blood glucose may help some patients feel better. You may want to talk to your endocrinologist about using an insulin pump, which will continuously monitor your blood sugar and deliver insulin as needed. By allowing your blood sugar to be automated, you may find that you feel better in many ways, including improvements in the symptoms related to the diabetic gastroparesis.
There are some treatments for diabetes itself that can cause the stomach to empty more slowly, Dr. Camilleri says. These drugs end in -tide, like exenatide a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist .
There are other good diabetes medications, such as the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors, or gliptins, but they dont have as favorable an impact on gastric symptoms. When working with his diabetic patients who have gastroparesis, he makes a specific effort to be sure any medications given for blood sugar management wont cause or worsen stomach problems.
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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.
Scared Of Getting Diabetes
According to the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology , the type of diet that Dr. Doyle recommends is highly beneficial for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.
For people accustomed to SAD standard American diet the idea of the whole food, plant based diet will seem impossible.
If preventing and treating type 2 diabetes is as simple as adhering to a particular diet, why dont more mainstream medical doctors push this approach?
Its because medical school spends only a few hours on nutrition, and only in the general sense.
During internships and residencies at hospitals, medical doctors are essentially trained in only diagnostics, drugs and surgery.
Type 2 diabetes is usually treated with diet and exercise alone, yes, but the patient is typically only told to watch sugar intake or cut back on fast food, rather than told to keep intake of animal and processed products under 10 percent.
FoodTherapyMD is the brainchild of Dr. Mitchell Doyle and recognizes that phytonutrients, the substances that make plant food so amazing, can be tailored to fight specific disease states.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You’ll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.
Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:
- a fast or pounding heartbeat
- becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody
- turning pale
If a low blood sugar level is not treated, you may get other symptoms, such as:
- unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness
- feeling sleepy
- seizures or fits
- collapsing or passing out
A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while you’re sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
High Blood Sugar Treatment
- Medication change: High blood sugars may be a sign that the person with diabetes needs to take medication, to change medications, or to change the way it is given .
- Other illness: Other illnesses need to be diagnosed and treated if an illness is causing high blood sugar levels. Infection or illness may need to be treated in the hospital, where health professionals can adjust the plan of care.
- Other Medications: A number of medications are available to help control blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Insulin is also prescribed for people with diabetes .
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What Does Diabetes Do To The Kidneys
With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. You may have protein in your urine. Also, waste materials will build up in your blood.
Diabetes also may cause damage to nerves in your body. This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure resulting from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. Also, if urine remains in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that has a high sugar level.
Dietary Management Is Key To Improving Gi Symptoms
For some individuals the easiest method for feeling bettera semi-liquid dietcan be hard to implement, says Dr. Grover. The way to reduce most of the unpleasant symptoms is to blend up solid food into a soft paste, which solves the problem of poor gastric emptying, but this is often unappealing and so not readily embraced.
Dr. Camilleri agrees liquids and blended solid foods are often much better tolerated but his patients find it distasteful. So hell often say, Consider this: blending up a peanut butter sandwich is a better option than tube feeding, which may happen if the symptoms get bad and last long enough. Often, individuals who are very rigorous with their diet are able to avoid the need for medications altogether,6 the doctors point out.
Many patientsabout 80%can avoid tube feeding by adjusting your diet to facilitate speedy gastric emptying.6 Dr. Camilleri says: Gastroparesis is a chronic condition that will probably not go away but also isn’t likely to get worse.
Be aware of the potential for nutrient deficiencies of some minerals, like copper and zinc,6 says Dr. Grover. This is more likely to occur when the condition has been present a long time. He also warns against any suggestion that you are a candidate for gastric bypass surgery or removing the stomach as a way to manage the symptoms. This often replaces one problem with another, he says.
Neither doctor has any financial conflicts regarding this discussion.
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You Know That Low Blood Sugar Can Make Your Head Spin But Can High Blood Sugar Too Make You Feel Dizzy Or Lightheaded
The answer is yes, but the way this happens is not what youd expect.
Connection Between High Blood Sugar and Feelings of Dizziness
High blood sugar can make you dizzy because of the physiologic response to high glucose levels, says Stacy Mitchell Doyle, MD, resident physician of FoodTherapyMD and long-time advocate of plant-based nutritional protocols.
In order to clear the sugar from the blood, your body will try to eliminate the sugar by urinating it out, explains Dr. Doyle. So the result is dehydration, which makes you feel dizzy.
The feeling wont be like the dizziness youd experience if you were to sit strapped to a rotating stool and rapidly swung around.
It also wont be the same sensation youd get if you were to suffer an attack of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. high blood sugar, dizzy
But the sensation could still be described as having a dizzy-like or lightheadedness feeling.
When To Call A Professional
If you have type 1 diabetes and feel unwell, check your blood sugar levels often. Also test your urine for ketones. Call your doctor if you have:
- Unexplained nausea and vomiting with or without abdominal pain,
- Moderate or high levels of urine ketones, or
- Your blood sugar is high and you can’t lower it by adjusting your insulin dose.
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