While your blood sugar levels can vary throughout the day, they should still be above a certain range. Once your blood sugar levels fall below the expected standard, you’ll be diagnosed with low blood sugar. It’s important to know how to identify this and what actions to take as prolonged low blood sugar can lead to serious health complications.
10 Early Signs Of Low Blood Sugar
You might not have all the symptoms on this list but these are the most likely ones that you’ll notice.
1. You’re Suddenly Hungry
When your blood sugar drops, it’s normal for your body to signal that it needs sugar immediately. As a result, you’ll feel like you’re starving.
2. You’re Shaking
Sugar gives your body’s systems the energy to operate. When the levels fall, some things won’t work as well. Shaking is a sign from your nervous system that things are wrong.
3. You’re Anxious
When your blood sugar falls, your body releases the hormones epinephrine and cortisol. These hormones signal your liver to put more sugar into your blood, which can cause feelings of anxiety.
4. You Suddenly Feel Tired
Without the sugar needed to maintain your energy, it’s understandable that you’ll feel fatigued. This feeling of being sleepy usually happens very quickly.
5. You Start Sweating
This symptom is also associated with the hormones that your body releases. You’re likely to start shaking and sweating.
6. You Have Tingling And Numbness
As mentioned before, low blood sugar levels can affect your nervous system. This can manifest as tingling or numbness in your lips, tongue, or cheeks.
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7. You’re Lightheaded
When your blood sugar levels are low, your brain will try to preserve your energy. That will leave you feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
8. You Look Pale
Along with the shakiness and sweating, low blood sugar can leave you looking a little pale.
9. You Can’t Concentrate
As you might expect, as your brain is trying to preserve your energy, you might not be able to focus on the things you need to do.
10. You Have An Erratic Heartbeat
Having an erratic heartbeat is also related to the hormones that your body releases in response to low blood sugar levels.
It’s important to note that these are just the beginning. If you’re having blurry vision, slurred speech, trouble keeping your balance, and trouble carrying out your regular tasks, then things have gotten worse. If you’re trying to sleep but you’re being bothered by night sweats and nightmares, then things have gone past the early stages as well.
What To Do About Low Blood Sugar
The immediate treatment for low blood sugar is to have some form of food that gets converted to sugar quickly. Some options are candy, soda, honey, or fruit juice. If you can check your blood sugar, then you need to find out whether or not the levels have risen. Since the sugary food will go through your system quickly, it’s important to follow up with more complex carbohydrates that will release sugar into your system more slowly.
Some people experience severe low blood sugar that needs to be addressed in a medical setting. In this case, they might be unable to eat so they need an IV infusion.
In many cases, low blood sugar is caused by diabetes. You may be having trouble because it’s undiagnosed or there’s an issue with managing it. However, you can experience low blood sugar without diabetes as well.
For example, excessive alcohol consumption can affect your blood sugar. The medications that you take for diabetes, malaria, or kidney disease can also cause a drop in your blood sugar.
Additionally, liver disease, kidney disorders, and heart disease can negatively affect how your body handles the buildup of waste. That buildup may result in unexplained low blood sugar.
When To See A Doctor
There are several reasons for seeing a doctor when you’re experiencing low blood sugar. If you lose consciousness or have a seizure with a drop in blood sugar levels, you should be taken to the emergency room immediately.
Usually, drinking or eating something should increase your blood sugar so if this doesn’t work, you need to see your doctor as there could be another issue at play. Finally, the most common cause of persistent low blood sugar levels is diabetes but it’s not the only one. Anyone who keeps experiencing low blood sugar should see their doctor for a thorough assessment.
Low blood sugar can happen to anyone. Though it should be easy to get the levels back up, it doesn’t always work. In this case, you should talk to your doctor immediately.