What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body – If your blood glucose (sugar) level gets too low, you may develop hypoglycemia. It can be dangerous and affect many body systems. It requires immediate medical attention.

Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy may come as a surprise: it is sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential for proper brain, heart, and digestive function. It helps keep your skin and eyesight healthy.

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

When your blood sugar drops below the normal range, it’s called hypoglycemia. There are many recognizable symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is to test your blood glucose.

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Learn more about the symptoms of low blood sugar, as well as the long-term effects on the body.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or your body can’t use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetes medications can lower blood sugar levels, leading to hypoglycemia.

However, contrary to popular belief, low blood sugar is not the only cause of diabetes, although it is rare. It can also happen if your body makes more insulin than it needs.

Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over a long period of time. This can interfere with the liver’s ability to build up glucose and then release it into your bloodstream when you need it.

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When your blood sugar levels get too low, your cells are starved for energy. At first, you may notice minor symptoms like hunger and headaches. However, if you don’t get your blood sugar levels right in time, you may be at risk of serious complications.

You need the right amount of insulin to prevent blood sugar from getting too high – called hyperglycemia. With insufficient insulin, your 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. Essentially, glucose is your body’s fuel source.

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

As your sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which helps glucose be used by cells throughout your body. If you have insulin-dependent diabetes, you need to take the right amount of insulin to work.

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When you go a few hours without eating, blood sugar levels drop. If you have a healthy pancreas, it produces a hormone called glucagon to respond to food shortages. This hormone tells your liver to process stored sugar and release it into your bloodstream.

If everything works 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, if you have diabetes, you may not always have obvious symptoms of low blood sugar. This is a potentially dangerous condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness. This happens when you experience low blood sugar so often that it changes your body’s response.

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 shaking.

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When low blood sugar becomes too frequent, your body can stop releasing stress hormones, causing hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure, or HAAF. That’s why it’s so important to check your blood sugar levels frequently.

Often, low blood sugar can indicate a greater appetite. However, sometimes low blood sugar can make you lose interest in food even when you’re hungry.

Low blood sugar can cause a variety of problems within your central nervous system. Early symptoms include weakness, lightheadedness and dizziness. Headaches can be caused by a lack of glucose, especially if you have diabetes.

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

You may also experience symptoms of stress, such as nervousness, anxiety, and irritability. When blood sugar levels drop during the night, you may have nightmares, cry during sleep, or other sleep disturbances.

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Lack of coordination, chills, clammy skin, and sweating can accompany low blood sugar. Tingling or numbness of the mouth are other effects that may develop. Additionally, you may experience blurred vision, headaches, and confusion. Daily tasks and coordination also prove difficult.

Untreated, severe low blood sugar can be very dangerous. This can result in seizures, loss of consciousness, or death.

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Our experts constantly monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles as new information becomes available. Medically reviewed by Kelly Wood, MD — Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA — Updated June 30, 2023

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Eating too few carbohydrates or taking certain medications can cause you to get low blood sugar. Treatment may include easily digestible carbohydrates, medication, or immediate medical care, depending on the severity.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) drops below the normal range. If your blood sugar gets too low, you need treatment right away.

This article will take a closer look at hypoglycemia, including the symptoms and treatment and how to prevent your blood sugar from getting too low.

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar is below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Blood sugar is also known as blood glucose. If your cells don’t get glucose, your body can’t perform its specific functions.

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Even a short-term drop in blood glucose can cause problems. In this case, prompt treatment for low blood sugar levels can help prevent serious symptoms such as loss of consciousness.

If you have this condition, your blood sugar may be low without you realizing it. Without immediate treatment, you may faint, experience seizures, or even go into a coma.

If you have hypoglycemia unawareness, you may need to check your blood sugar regularly. A doctor may recommend a continuous glucose monitor, a device that can alert you to changes in your blood sugar levels.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate hypoglycemia, you should eat or drink 15 grams (g) of easily digestible carbohydrates immediately.

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Very low blood sugar is a medical emergency. If you or someone else with diabetes is experiencing serious symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, it is important to administer a medicine called glucagon and contact local emergency services immediately.

Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person, as it can cause choking. If you have diabetes, make sure your family and friends know not to do this if you lose consciousness.

Low blood sugar can be caused by many reasons. This is usually a side effect of diabetes treatment.

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels may sometimes drop too low as a result of your treatment. Hypoglycemia can also occur if you:

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If you have untreated diabetes or don’t know you have diabetes, you may experience low or high blood sugar. You can help manage your blood sugar levels with diet changes, regular physical activity and, if necessary, medication.

You may develop low blood sugar levels after eating because of the composition of your food. Contributing factors may include:

If you suspect you have low blood sugar, it’s important to check your blood sugar right away. If you don’t have a blood glucose meter and you’re taking diabetes medications that increase insulin, talk to your doctor about getting one.

If you experience low blood sugar a few times a week, talk to your doctor right away to find out the cause. They may begin your visit by requesting your medical history, asking questions about your eating habits, and learning more about your symptoms.

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If you don’t have diabetes but suspect you may have hypoglycemia, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. A doctor will use three criteria to diagnose low blood sugar, sometimes called Whipple’s Triad:

Your doctor may send you home with a blood glucose meter to track your blood sugar over time at home. They may ask you to check your blood sugar at certain times of the day, such as after waking up and after eating.

To test blood glucose, you need to use your finger with the lancet (provided in the blood glucose test kit). You will take a small sample of blood from it and put it on a strip inserted into a blood glucose meter.

What Effect Does Low Blood Sugar Have On The Body

Before you test your blood sugar at home, it’s important to find out from your doctor what a healthy blood sugar range is for you. The doctor will determine this range based on factors such as:

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If you don’t have a blood glucose meter on hand and are experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar with diabetes, your symptoms may be enough to diagnose low blood sugar.

You can treat hypoglycemia by raising your blood sugar. It is important to treat low blood sugar as soon as possible.

The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming at least 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar. Options include:

You can also take glucose tablets to speed up your growth

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