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Can Stress Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels In Non Diabetics


What Is Normal Blood Sugar Levels For A Non Diabetic

What causes low blood sugar levels in Diabetic individuals? – Dr. Mahesh DM

If we are going to be talking about low blood sugar in non diabetics, it makes sense to know what normal blood sugar ranges are for non-diabetics.

Youve got to know what is normal before veering into what is not normal.

Indeed normal blood sugar should apply to everybody. Diabetics and non diabetics should be striving to achieve the same normal blood sugar levels. Achieving normal blood glucose is just a little more challenging for diabetics in comparison.

On this account, here is what the American College of Clinical Endocrinologists recommend as normal blood sugar levels for both non-diabetic and diabetics too.


  • Fasting blood sugar should be 99 mg/dl or less
  • 1-hour blood sugar after meals should be 140 mg/dl or less
  • 2-hour blood sugar after meals should be 120 mg/dl or less

This is what every individual regardless of whether diabetic or otherwise should be aiming for every day.

For instance, a non-diabetic fasting blood sugar levels should be kept between 4.0 mmol/l and 5.5 mmol/l .

Indeed, so should diabetics too, because fasting blood sugar levels within that range implies a very good blood glucose control if you are diabetic.

Keeping your blood glucose within this range is good for the optimal metabolic health of everybody. Maintaining your blood glucose within this range, both for fasting and after meals, is an important step in taking control of your health.

With that in mind, it begs the next question:


What is low blood sugar?

Should non diabetics check blood sugar?

Fill Your Doctor In On Big Life Changes

If a stressful situation is causing your blood sugar to swing, your healthcare team needs to know. Says Campbell, Your doctor may temporarily change your diabetes medication or put you on a higher dose. If necessary, he or she can even make a referral to a mental health professional. Right now, increasingly more primary care physicians, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals are offering telehealth services so that you can get the help you need while maintaining social distancing practices.

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How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself

Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:

  • Have a sugary drink or snack like a small glass of fizzy drink or fruit juice, a small handful of sweets, 3 or 6 glucose tablets or 1 to 2 tubes of glucose gel.
  • Test your blood sugar after 10 to 15 minutes if its improved and you feel better, move on to step 3. If theres little or no change, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • You may need to eat your main meal if its the right time to have it. Or, have a snack that contains a slow-release carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or toast, a couple of biscuits, or a glass of cows milk.
  • You do not usually need to get medical help once youre feeling better if you only have a few hypos.

    But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.


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    Types Of Diabetes And Their Major Causes

    Can stress cause high blood sugar levels in non diabetics ...

    Diabetes is mainly of 3 types, type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, and with all 3 types of diabetes, the body is either not able to produce enough insulin or unable to use the insulin that it makes, leading to high blood sugar levels.Type 1 Diabetes usually starts in childhood and carries on for life. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the patients pancreas stops making insulin. The causes of Type 1 Diabetes are:

    • Family History and Genetics: A person having a close relative with Type 1 Diabetes usually has a high chance of getting the condition himself. So, it is imperative for every child with a parent or a sibling having Type 1 Diabetes to undergo a screening test for Type 1 Diabetes.
    • Pancreatic Diseases: Persons with diseased pancreas may acquire Type 1 Diabetes because the pancreas may fail to produce insulin needed to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
    • Infections or Illnesses that Cause Damage to the Pancreas: Viral infections such as German measles, mumps, and rotavirus may cause damage to the beta cells of the pancreas which produce insulin and lead to the development of Type 1 Diabetes.

    Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body develops insulin resistance and is not able to make use of the insulin produced by the pancreas, leading to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Type 2 Diabetes usually affects adults, but it can occur in individuals of any age. The main causes of Type 2 Diabetes include:

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    When Should I Call My Child’s Pediatrician

    • Your child has trouble thinking clearly.
    • Your child has symptoms of hypoglycemia and cannot eat.
    • Your child has blurred vision or vision changes.
    • Your child feels very tired and weak.
    • Your child is sweating more than usual.
    • Your child feels dizzy, lightheaded, and shaky.
    • You have questions or concerns about your child’s condition or care.

    Can Hypoglycemia Occur Without Diabetes

    While hypoglycemia is commonly associated with diabetes mellitus, there are other medications and conditions that cause itbut hypoglycemia without diabetes is quite uncommon, according to Satjit Bhusri, MD, founder of Upper East Side Cardiology in New York City.

    Diabetes is defined by excess sugar in the blood, or hyperglycemia. Hypoglycemia is defined by insufficient sugar in the blood.

    Also Check: Is Greek Yogurt Good For Diabetes

    Monitor Your Overall Health And Blood Sugar With Nutrisense

    Continuous glucose monitors are an excellent way to track and monitor your blood sugar levels. With programs like the CGM Program and the Nutrition Coaching Program from NutriSense, you can experiment with the help of a CGM and advice from a registered dietitian. You will have help learning how to add things to your diet to meet your health goals. And, using the data from the CGM, your dietitian can help you optimize your health by helping you understand your personal diet and lifestyle needs.

    How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemic Episodes

    Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) and How to Avoid it

    The key to preventing hypoglycemic events is managing diabetes:


    • Follow your healthcare providers instructions about food and exercise.
    • Track your blood sugar regularly, including before and after meals, before and after exercise and before bed.
    • Take all your medications exactly as prescribed.
    • When you do have a hypoglycemic event, write it down. Include details such as the time, what you ate recently, whether you exercised, the symptoms and your glucose level.

    Read Also: Hypoglycemia Induced Hypertension

    Signs Of Hypoglycemic Unawareness

    Some people have no symptoms of low blood sugar. The only symptom you may have is confusion. Or you may become unconscious before anyone realizes you have low blood sugar.

    You may have hypoglycemic unawareness if you:

    • Cannot tell by your symptoms that your blood sugar is low.
    • Have low blood sugar several times a week.
    • Have type 1 diabetes, or have had type 2 diabetes for a long time.

    If you have hypoglycemic unawareness, test your blood sugar often, especially before activities like driving a car. Keep quick-sugar foods with you. If you take insulin, carry a glucagon emergency kit. You can also give friends and family instructions to treat low blood sugar.

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    What Happens To My Blood Sugar Levels When Im Stressed

    During stressful situations, epinephrine , glucagon, growth hormone and cortisol play a role in blood sugar levels. Stressful situations include infections, serious illness or significant emotion stress.

    When stressed, the body prepares itself by ensuring that enough sugar or energy is readily available. Insulin levels fall, glucagon and epinephrine levels rise and more glucose is released from the liver. At the same time, growth hormone and cortisol levels rise, which causes body tissues to be less sensitive to insulin. As a result, more glucose is available in the blood stream.

    When you have type 2 diabetes, low blood sugars from too much medication or insulin are a common cause of stress. The hormonal response to a low blood sugar includes a rapid release of epinephrine and glucagon, followed by a slower release of cortisol and growth hormone. These hormonal responses to the low blood sugar may last for 6-8 hours during that time the blood sugar may be difficult to control. The phenomena of a low blood sugar followed by a high blood sugar is called a rebound or Somogyi reaction.

    When you have type 2 diabetes, stress may make your blood sugar go up and become more difficult to control and you may need to take higher doses of your diabetes medications or insulin.

    During times of stress, individuals with diabetes, may have more difficulty controlling their blood sugars.

    Read Also: Mac And Cheese And Diabetes


    What Causes Low Blood Sugar In The Morning

    The causes of low blood sugar in the morning vary. If you have diabetes, you likely need to adjust your background insulin levels. Make sure youre aware of how any other medications you take can affect your blood sugar. Your doctor can help you make sure that your insulin dosage and any other medications you take are a good fit with your diet and exercise routines. Additionally, alcohol usage is a risk for hypoglycemia.

    If you dont have diabetes, hypoglycemia is less likely to occur. However, some non-diabetes-related causes of hypoglycemia include the following:

    • drinking too much alcohol the previous night, which makes it harder for your liver to release glucose into your blood, thus causing a low blood sugar
    • chronic starvation

    Treating low blood sugar is fairly simple. If you wake up with hypoglycemia symptoms, try to consume about 15 grams of carbohydrates as soon as possible. Snacks that provide this include:

    • 3 glucose tablets
    • 1/2 cup of non-sugar-free fruit juice
    • 1 tablespoon of honey
    • 1/2 can of non-diet soda

    Make sure you dont eat too much to treat low blood sugar, as this can have an opposite affect and make your levels too high. Wait 15 minutes after your first snack. If youre not feeling better, have another 15 grams of carbohydrates. Pairing your carbohydrate with a protein and healthy source of fat, such as nuts, seeds, cheese, or hummus, helps to keep you full and prevent another big drop in blood sugar.

    Arm Yourself With Quick Fixes

    Low Blood Sugar Symptoms: Low Blood Sugar

    The toll stress takes on your health largely depends on how you react to it, Campbell says. Identify things that help you cool off, and keep them ready-to-go in your back pocket. Maybe you treat yourself to a massage or a manicure, she says. Or maybe you just talk to someone. Okay, a professional massage might not be possible at the moment, but maybe you have a significant other who can lend a hand. Focusing on your breath is another simple way to calm your mind and body, wherever you are. If you have an Apple device, open the free Breathe app, and let it help you slow and deepen your breath.


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    Do I Have Reactive Hypoglycaemia

    To diagnose the reactive hypoglycaemia, you will need to be tested on your response to food or have the standard oral glucose tolerance test .

    Some practices use the Mixed Meal Tolerance Test where you are given a drink consisting of refined carbs, protein and fat. The Mixed Meal will provoke an insulin response from your pancreas.

    With a load of insulin in in your blood circulation, your blood glucose level is tested to see how your body responds every hour for about 5 hours.

    To do this test for reactive hypoglycemia, a fasting period of 10 12 hours prior to the test is necessary for validity of the test. Another test for reactive hypoglycemia instead of the Mixed-Meal Tolerance Test, is the Standard Oral Glucose Tolerance Test . Your medical facility will perform a concentrated glucose test using a 75 gms glucose drink. Hmmm, tasty, if you have a sweet tooth. But not so nice, if you dont.


    Even though your blood glucose is drawn hourly for up to 5 hours during the test for reactive hypoglycemia, in truth the result of the first 2 hours makes more sense.

    Most individuals with reactive hypoglycaemia will show a significant drop of blood glucose to hypoglycaemic levels within 2 hours and you will experience the feeling of low blood sugar within that time frame.

    Having said that, it makes sense to extend the test beyond 2 hours to be thorough.

    Make Exercise An Important Part Of Your Daily Routine:

    Following a regular exercise program will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Exercising for an hour at least 3 days a week is recommended to help maintain normal sugar levels. So, including exercise in your daily life will not only reduce your chances of getting diabetes but also help in maintaining a healthy mind and body.

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    If You Dont Have Diabetes

    Even if you dont have diabetes, its important to eat regularly to prevent hypoglycemia. Ideally, meals and snacks should contain a balance of carbs, protein, and heart-healthy fats to help support healthy blood sugar levels.

    You may also want to keep a few healthy snacks on hand in case you start feeling side effects such as hunger, sweating, or shakiness. Fresh fruit, trail mix, and crackers with peanut butter are a few quick and easy snack ideas for low blood sugar levels.

    If you regularly experience low blood sugar levels, talk with your doctor to see whether underlying factors could play a role.

    Improve Your Liver Function

    Study Links Stress Hormone with Higher Blood Sugar in Type 2 Diabetes

    As I mentioned earlier, good liver function is ESSENTIAL for maintaining stable blood sugar levels between meals.

    Being able to go 12 hours or more without eating, and without getting a stress response, is a sign of a very healthy liver!


    It means your liver is doing its job of storing glycogen and releasing glucose later when the rest of your body needs it.

    Vice versa:

    Not being able to go longer than 1 hour without getting hypo symptoms is a sign of poor liver health. Or waking up at 3 AM every night with adrenaline like symptoms.

    If you suspect your liver needs some tender loving care, here are a few things that could help:

    Recommended Reading: What Happens In Diabetes Type 1


    Causes Of Blood Sugar Rises In Non

    What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the term ‘blood sugar’? If you think of diabetes, you’re not alone. And while blood sugar does go hand-in-hand with the condition, it’s not the only time you should be thinking of it. Even if you’re healthy and don’t have diabetes or prediabetes, you can experience hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. If you didn’t already know, hyperglycemia is when your blood glucose levels are too high, while hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar levels are too low.

    If you’re not ‘at risk’ of diabetes, you’ve likely been overlooking your blood sugar. After all, why manage and pay attention to it if you don’t have a reason to do so? But remember that blood sugar plays an integral part in how your body functions. And you may not always know when you experience hyper or hypoglycemia. Left untreated, both can lead to irreversible health problems. Let’s take a look at what non-diabetic hyperglycemia means for your health.

    What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose

    Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.

    Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to

    • high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
    • hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low

    Read Also: How Much Glipizide Can You Take Daily

    Preventing Low Blood Sugar

    For someone with diabetes, the best way to prevent low blood sugar is to check your blood sugar often. You can check your blood sugar with a continuous glucose monitor or glucometer. Discuss with your healthcare provider how often you should be checking your blood sugar.

    Your healthcare provider might suggest checking before and after meals, before and after exercising, when changing your routine or schedule, when traveling across time zones, and more. By checking your blood sugar, you can identify when your sugar is falling and enact steps to normalize your levels.

    For people both with and without diabetes, another tried-and-true way to prevent low blood sugar is to eat regular meals. Avoid skipping meals or fasting. When you do eat, research indicates that eating a diet low in refined carbohydrates, and inclusive of omega-3 fats and adequate protein, can help regulate blood sugar and lower anxiety levels.

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