Friday, August 19, 2022
HomeMust ReadWhat Happens When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

What Happens When Blood Sugar Is Too Low


Low Blood Glucose During Sleep

Insulin Questions: What if I give myself the wrong amount?

Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include

  • crying out or having nightmares
  • sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
  • feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up

Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.

What Medications Or Supplements Treat Prediabetes

    Metformin is the only medication approved by the FDA to treat prediabetes. It works by stopping the liver from producing excess glucose. For some people, metformin also helps them lose weight. It can be an option for people who aren’t ready or able to make lifestyle changes right away. Metformin also is a medication that can be discontinued as soon as blood sugar levels are at goal, and healthy lifestyle habits have become routine.

    Some dietary supplements have good evidence of helping reverse prediabetes. For example, most people with prediabetes are deficient in vitamin D and magnesium. Both of these are necessary to keep cells properly sensitive to insulin. A health-care professional can order a blood test to check and see if your deficient in these and other nutrients, for example, chromium, biotin, and N-acetyl cysteine. These also are nutrients that have research supporting their role in improving insulin sensitivity.3 Check with a health-care professional before taking supplements. You may need to find one with this specialized knowledge such as a naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, or integrative medicine doctor.


    Overdose Of Diabetes Medication

    A common cause of hypoglycaemia is taking too much insulin for your current needs. Insulin is a medication that helps control your blood glucose levels. Itâs commonly used to treat type 1 diabetes and is also recommended for some people with type 2 diabetes.

    A fall in blood glucose levels can also occur after taking too much oral hypoglycaemia medication, such as sulphonylurea, which causes a release of insulin. This medication is often used to lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

    You May Like: Sideffects Of Metformin

    A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes

    A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.

    Possible causes include:


    • a gastric bypass
    • other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
    • some medicines, including quinine

    See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.

    What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level

    Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

    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.

    Read Also: Dangerous Side Effects Of Metformin


    What Foods Can Help Raise Blood Sugar Fast

    Because your blood sugar comes from the foods and beverages you consume, one of the easiest ways to raise your blood sugar fast is to grab a quick snack.

    The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule if your blood sugar dips below 70 mg/dL: Eat at least 15 grams of carbohydrates, then wait 15 minutes to recheck your blood sugar.

    If youre still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check your levels again.

    Among the foods you can try for a quick blood sugar boost are:

    • a piece of fruit, like a banana, apple, or orange
    • 2 tablespoons of raisins
    • 4 Starbursts
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar in water

    Foods that contain protein or fat, such as peanut butter, ice cream, and chocolate, may be helpful if your blood sugar level has dropped but isnt below 70 mg/dL.


    These higher-fat foods, as well as whole-grain bread and other high-fiber foods, take longer to absorb into your bloodstream. Because of this, these foods wont raise your blood sugar as quickly as foods that have more simple carbohydrates.

    Donât Miss: Can People With Diabetes Donate Blood

    Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes

    People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.

    These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.

    People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.


    Don’t Miss: How Does Type 1 Diabetes Affect The Body

    How Common Is Low Blood Glucose

    Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2

    Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3

    What Are The Causes Of Hypoglycaemia

    What is Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)?

    The usual causes of low blood glucose level are:

    • not eating enough carbohydrate with your meal, eg, steak and salad with no carbohydrate such as bread/potato/kumara/rice/pasta
    • missing or delaying a meal
    • missing snacks
    • doing physical activity without either reducing your insulin or taking more carbohydrate before, during or after physical activity
    • taking too much insulin
    • drinking alcohol in excess or without taking carbohydrate food and/or reducing your insulin.

    Recommended Reading: Can Metformin Cause Liver Damage


    How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia

    You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:

    • Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
    • Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
    • Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
    • Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
    • Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
    • Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.

    Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia

    The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.

    For example, this could be:


    • a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
    • between three and five dextrose tablets
    • a handful of sweets

    At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.

    After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.

    It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.

    When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.

    It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.


    Don’t Miss: Diabetes Rash On Stomach

    Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

    How you react to low blood sugar may not be the same as how someone else with low blood sugar reacts. Its important to know your signs. Common symptoms may include:

    • Fast heartbeat
    • Hunger

    If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.

    You may not have any symptoms when your blood sugar is low . If you dont have symptoms, it will be harder to treat your low blood sugar early. This increases your risk of having severe lows and can be dangerous. This is more likely to happen if you:

    • Have had diabetes for more than 5-10 years.
    • Frequently have low blood sugar.
    • Take certain medicines, such as beta blockers for high blood pressure.

    If you meet one or more of the above and you have hypoglycemia unawareness, you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low. This is very important to do before driving or being physically active.


    Why Is It Important To Recognize A Low Blood Sugar Level

    Hypoglycemia: Battling low blood sugar

    Low blood sugar levels can happen with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Low levels are more likely to happen if you use insulin. Hypoglycemia can cause you to have falls, accidents, and injuries. A blood sugar level that gets too low can lead to seizures, coma, and death. Learn to recognize the symptoms early so you can get treatment quickly.

    Also Check: Stopping Insulin Side Effects

    Severe Low Blood Sugar

    As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

    • Feeling weak.
    • Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
    • Acting strange or feeling confused.
    • Having seizures.

    Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.

    People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.


    What To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too Low

    You’ll need to test your blood sugar if you think you have hypoglycemia.Although type 2 diabetes is characterized by blood sugar that is too high, some people take insulin and others medications that can occasionally drive blood sugar too low. When blood sugar is too lowgenerally less than 70 mg/dLit’s called hypoglycemia, and it can become a medical emergency. You can lose consciousness Hypoglycemia is more likely to occur when you start taking a new medication or if you exercise more than usual. As blood sugar drops to low levels, you may feel: Shaky Irritable Sweaty This can occur within 10 to 15 minutes, and in extreme cases you can even lose consciousness and experience seizures if you don’t consume some glucose . Hypoglycemia”My blood sugar was really plummeting” Watch videoMore about blood sugar monitoring You’ll need to test your blood sugar to confirm that you’re having hypoglycemiasome people become irritable if blood sugar is too high, so it’s not always obvious. If you drink sugar-containing juice, or some other form of carbohydrate, it should bring blood sugar back into the normal range. You can also purchase glucose pills or gels in the pharmacy that can get blood sugar back on track. âYou should always have a glucose source in the car,â says Yvonne Thigpen, RD, diabetes program coorContinue reading > >

    Read Also: Prognosis Of Diabetes Mellitus

    What Causes Reactive Hypoglycemia

    Reactive hypoglycemia comes from having too much insulin in your blood. It usually happens within a few hours after you eat. Other possible causes include:

    • Having prediabetes or being more likely to have diabetes

    What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia

    Low Blood Sugar

    Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.

    Also Check: Glyburide Metformin Dosage


    What Happens When Blood Sugar Too Low

    Blood sugarlevelstoo lowdiabetestooblood sugar levelstoo low

    Just so, how do you feel when your sugar is low?

    Symptoms of mild low blood sugar

  • Sweating . Check for sweating on the back of your neck at your hairline.
  • Nervousness, shakiness, and weakness.
  • Extreme hunger and slight nausea.
  • Dizziness and headache.
  • Blurred vision.
  • A fast heartbeat and feeling anxious.
  • Furthermore, can you die from low blood sugar? Low blood sugar levels can also cause a variety of problems within your central nervous system. Early symptoms include weakness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Untreated, severe low blood sugar can be very dangerous. It can result in seizures, loss of consciousness, or death.

    In this regard, what happens if your blood sugar is too low?


    People with hypoglycemic unawareness do not know their blood sugar is dropping. If you have this condition, your blood sugar can drop without you noticing it. Without immediate treatment, you can faint, experience a seizure, or even go into a coma. Very low blood sugar is a medical emergency.

    How Low Can Blood Sugar Go Before You Die?

    If your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter , you may have symptoms, such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky. If your blood sugar drops very low and you do not get help, you could become confused or drowsy or even lose consciousness and possibly die.

    What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops To Zero

    Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is a fall in blood sugar to levels below normal. This may result in a variety of symptoms, including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. Feelings of hunger, sweating, shakiness, or weakness may also be present.

    Recommended Reading: Regular Insulin Therapeutic Use

    How Stabilizing Your Blood Sugar Relieves Anxiety

    I found this case report where a 15 year old girl was eating a poor diet of mostly refined carbohydrate that was causing her blood sugars to go up and down like a rollercoaster, causing severe hypoglycemia anxiety.

    Switching to a diet that balanced her blood sugar levels significantly improved anxiety symptoms!

    From the article:

    AB is a 15-year-old female who presented with concerns of generalized anxiety disorder and hypoglycemia symptoms. Her diet consisted primarily of refined carbohydrates. The addition of protein, fat, and fiber to her diet resulted in a substantial decrease in anxiety symptoms as well as a decrease in the frequency and severity of hypoglycemia symptoms. A brief return to her previous diet caused a return of her anxiety symptoms, followed by improvement when she restarted the prescribed diet. This case strengthens the hypothesis that dietary glycemic index may play a role in the pathogenesis or progression of mental illnesses such as generalized anxiety disorder and subsequently that dietary modification as a therapeutic intervention in the treatment of mental illness warrants further study.

    If you are suffering from anxiety, it is super important that you make sure your blood sugar levels are nice and stable and DO NOT ever dip into dangerously low levels.

    I cant stress this enough!

    As we have talked about, low blood glucose can both trigger and mimic anxiety symptoms, so avoid it all costs.

    Do Not Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar

    The Effects of Low Blood Sugar on Your Body

    It’s very dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if necessary. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on.

    Be prepared. Keep a sugar source in your car at all times for emergencies.

    Also Check: How Does Diet Soda Affect Blood Sugar

    What Causes Low Blood Glucose

    • Symptoms occur when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl a condition known as hypoglycemia.
    • In most cases, low blood glucose results from overtreatment: Either taking too much diabetes medication or not eating enough food. Higher doses of medicine than the person actually requires can also lead to hypoglycemia.
    • People who aim for too-low values on their A1C test tend to experience more frequent drops in blood glucose.
    • Vigorous exercise doesn’t just burn calories, it also burns blood glucose! Hypoglycemia can occur unless blood glucose levels are carefully monitored during and after exercise.
    • Not eating on a regular basis can deprive the body of glucose and make it difficult to prevent hypoglycemia. Eat balanced meals throughout the day and always keep a snack on hand.

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Popular Articles