How Low Blood Sugar Affects Your Body?
Blood pressure fluctuation can be deadly and can affect your body in various ways, this fluctuation can be determined with various symptoms and thereby the effects can be curbed down accordingly.
Human body is a mysterious creation and thereby it functions in a certain way. Blood sugar is an important part of this system which controls the blood pressure with again controls a lot of other things. Now to understand the importance of blood sugar, let’s answer a few questions.
What Exactly Is Low Blood Sugar?
Low blood sugar is a dangerous condition also known as hypoglycemia. Now blood sugar is basically glucose. The glucose in our body comes from food items like carbohydrates and is an important energy source. After consumption of these foods, the glucose is absorbed in the bloodstream and travels to the body cells. The hormone insulin, which is secreted in the pancreas, helps the cells to use this glucose for energy. Without enough glucose your body cannot function normally and that might lead to a lot of abnormalities. Your blood sugar is considered low when it drops below 70 mg/dL. Immediate treatment is important to prevent serious symptoms from developing.
How Low Blood Sugar Affects Your Body?
Physical Consequences of Having Low Blood Sugar – Effects on Your Body
Feeling Shaky, Dizzy or Weak: Hypoglycemia can make the patient feel weak and dizzy. The patient feels dizzy or weak because of the lack glucose supply in the brain. When the blood pressure falls, not much of oxygen-rich blood reaches the patient’s brain and the function of the brain can get affected because of that. If the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain decreases too much, then the patient can pass out, that is also called ‘syncope’. Symptoms may get worse if the patient tries to stand up or lie down, basically when the patient tries to change their position. So if someone feels shaky, dizzy or weak and faces other symptoms in their body regarding hypoglycemia, they must consult the doctor immediately.
Fatigue: Low blood sugar means low glucose, and since glucose is the fuel to a person’s brain triggering their energy, if the glucose level falls down, that denotes that the person is running out of fuel for their energy and thus, that causes fatigue. Generally chronic low blood sugar does not cause low blood sugar, but if the patient’s blood sugar falls suddenly due to some heart problem or dehydration or any other factors, then the patient can suffer from fatigue.
Headaches: Hypotension headache or low blood sugar headache. This type of headache is also known as ‘orthostatic’ and it occurs when the blood sugar falls in your body. Fasting, dieting too much, consuming high-sugary food items and skipping meals are the main causes of headaches and migraines. Even if someone delays or cannot control their meal cycle, they can suffer from headaches and migraines too due to low blood sugar. Thus, to avoid low blood sugar that causes headache and migraine one must stop fasting, over-dieting, consuming high-sugary items and skipping meals because headaches are one of the worst thing that can happen to your body.
Sweating - Sweating is a very commons consequence for patients suffering from low blood sugar. Low blood sugar makes the patient weak and uncomfortable, it causes dizziness and it makes the person go into a fight or flight situation, and that is how the hormone that releases sweat increases and the patient starts sweating rapidly.
Hypoglycemia causes stress and that is also another reason of sweating and night sweating. When the blood sugar gets disrupted, the nervous system gets affected too, and it leads to sweating. It is a very common phenomenon.
Pale Skin: Paleness that is also called pale complexion is a condition where the patient’s skin becomes light as the color as compared to normal complexion of the skin. This usually happens when there is reduced blood flow and lack of oxygen. This paleness can be localized (usually involves one limb) or generalized. Paleness can also be noticed in the inner part or the inner membranes of the patient’s palms, lower eyelids, fingernails, tongue and even the mucous membrane inside your mouth. Paleness can be one of the first symptoms of low blood sugar and can be the sign of lack of oxygen. Paleness is a symptom of anemia as well as both low blood sugar and anemia arises from low glucose and oxygen level.
Blurred Vision: Low blood sugar cause blurriness in the patient’s eye vision. Though blurred vision is caused mainly due to high blood pressure but even low blood pressure can cause blurriness. When the patient is suffering from hypoglycemia, it becomes difficult for the brain to focus on what vision that eye has. This happens due to lack of glucose, as glucose is supply of energy, the brain loses the energy and thus loses some of it’s power such as vision, so it becomes difficult for the brain to concentrate on all the senses and that is how blurred vision occurs.
Seizures: A seizure due to hypoglycemia happens due to extremely low blood sugar in your body. A human body needs the right amount of glucose to function properly. When the blood sugar drops quite low, that is normally under 30, the actions of the neurons in the brain decrease and the person lose his senses. It is extremely painful and scary for the patient to have a hypoglycemic seizure and also people around him. High blood sugar can also cause seizure but that is not as common as hypoglycemia. Thus, the patient must keep a glucose shot with them every time to avoid an incoming seizure.
Voracious Hunger: Since the brain does not possess the power to keep in store or manufacture glucose, it needs to have a supply of glucose that is continuous. Our brain is very much like any machine, for example a car engine needs oil to drive because it does not have the capability to produce oil on its own, thus it needs a constant supply of oil to run and in the same way a human brain needs to have a constant supply of glucose to drive. When it does not get that amount of glucose, ravenous hunger hits the patient.
Rapid Heartbeat: As your sugar levels increases, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin controls the level of glucose in your body. When the body is not receiving enough amount of glucose to its brain, the brain becomes restless which cause rapid heartbeat. Low blood sugar triggers epinephrine or adrenaline hormones that act as a biological alert system in our body which makes the patient anxious and it’s responsiveness with low potassium level in the blood causes abnormal heart beat and heart palpitations.
Feeling Anxious: There is a concept that anxiety occurs mostly due to physical problems. But, anxiety is one of the main symptoms of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia means that there is not enough glucose in the patient’s brain and that cause the patient stress which leads to anxiety attacks and nervousness, as the brain gets worked up due to less energy.
Effects of Low Blood Sugar On Your Body
Our body shows effects to everything that is happening inside our body. Thus, there are some effects of low blood sugar on our body.
Response to Hormones- Hormones always respond to everything that is happening in your body, just like oxytocin, endorphin, dopamine and more. Just like that, when your body is suffering from low blood sugar, the pancreas releases a hormone called glucagon ( it helps to convert glycogen into glucose in our liver), which is the exact opposite of insulin, and that denotes the symptom of hypoglycemia. The patient’s body also releases epinephrine which is the hormone of stress, as stress is one of the symptoms of low blood sugar in your body. Thus, the hormones that are glucagon and epinephrine are the inner body symptoms of low blood sugar. Hormones are the messengers of our body.
Let the Reserves Out- Low blood sugar triggers the liver to release the reserves of glucose to increase the blood sugar in our body. The liver stores some amount of glucose in case of hypoglycemia, so when the patient is suffering from hypoglycemia, the liver releases the glucose to increase the sugar level in our body. It basically works as an emergency situation control for our body. Our liver saves the glucose for emergency situation and then releases it during the emergency situation that is hypoglycemia. The liver releases glucose in the patient’s bloodstream which reaches the brain and increases the blood sugar level.
Hypoglycemic Unawareness- If a person is suffering from hypoglycemia for a prolonged period of time, then the person can be unaware of the symptoms of hypoglycemia. It may fail to secrete the stress hormone, that is epinephrine and thus the patient might not even notice the symptoms of low blood sugar (weakness, seizure). If the hypoglycemia unawareness increases, it can even lead to uncontrolled blood glucose supply and there can be lot of complications in the patient’s body. This is why, regular check is quite necessary.
Don’t Hurt the Heart- Rapid heartbeat and rapid heart palpitation is one of the effects of low blood sugar. Increases rate of heartbeat or abnormal heartbeat means that the patient’s blood sugar is low. As discussed earlier, the brain becomes restless with the shortage of glucose which leads to heart palpitations.
The Blood Is Where to Seek For- Checking blood sugar regularly is very important, especially for people who suffer from chronic hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar is not something that one should entertain or delay, if the patient’s blood sugar falls very often, they should immediately visit a doctor for treatment. Checking the sugar level in your blood is very important as it is the only prominent answer to all the questions. Thus, ‘blood glucose test’ is really important.
Unsteadiness- Unsteadiness refers to dizziness, weakness and feeling shaky lack of coordination due to lack of glucose leads to this condition.
Don’t drink and live- Alcohol intake can cause low blood sugar. Drinking can be dangerous to a low blood sugar patient as it messes up the level of the blood sugar; it shakes up and turns nasty. This can cause a huge drop in the blood sugar level, also drinking alcohol sometimes numbs the symptoms of low blood sugar which is deadly and dangerous as the low blood sugar creeps in without any symptoms and may result in stroke. This can disturb the liver’s capacity to hold glucose and circulate it in the bloodstream; can cause kidney disorder and other diseases too.
Dynamic Emotional Stability- Patients feel extremely unstable emotionally with low blood sugar, that is irrational outbursts, crying without any reason, impulsive frustration or anger and want to be left alone.
Hunger Games- Feeling abrupt hunger can also be a way that your body is trying to tell you that you have low blood sugar.
Confusion and Troublesome- The patient who is suffering from hypoglycemia sometimes goes through mental phases where they feel confused and unsure about things. This makes them feel stressed and gets troubled by little things which affect their emotion.
Skin Issues- Itching skin which also known as pruritus, can have a lot of causes, like dry skin, problem in blood flow, or a yeast infection. When itching is happening due to unfamiliar blood flow, the patient will likely feel it in their lower legs and feet.
Bacterial infections or Staphylococcus skin infections are more common and serious in people with poorly controlled diabetes. When hair follicles are irritated, these bacteria can cause boils or an inflamed bump.
Vision Problems- Blurry vision is mostly one of the first warning symptoms of diabetes. The patient’s vision may be blurry because of leakage of fluid into the lens of his eyes. This makes the lens swell up and change its shape. Those changes make it hard for the eyes to focus, so things start to look blurry.
The patient may also get blurry vision when they start their insulin treatment. This happens due to shifting fluids, but it generally recovers after a few weeks. For a lot of people, as blood sugar levels stabilize, so does their vision.
Loss of Consciousness- Hypoglycemia means that there is not enough glucose in the patient’s brain and that cause the patient stress which leads to anxiety attacks and nervousness, as the brain gets worked up due to less energy. That sometimes leads to losing their senses.
Headaches- Doing Fast, eating high-sugary foods, dieting more than you should, and skipping meals can all trigger, or make people suffer from headaches or migraines. Delayed or irregular meals can also make a difference. This is normally because of people’s glucose blood levels falling down
Headaches produced due to living without enough food are often quite dangerous and accompanied by nausea. There is also a similarity between some of the symptoms of missing a meal and the early warning signs (premonitory) of a migraine attack, such as: headache, yawning, craving for sweet food, and mood swings.
Seizures- Sometimes the blood sugar level can go excessively low and the person can have a seizure and might be in a situation where they cannot eat or drink anything, then someone needs to give the person a glucagon shot. Glucagon shot is an excessive glucose shot that raises the suffering patient’s blood sugar level immediately and take the person out of the seizure. Glucagon shot must be kept in a kit near to the patient. The family member or friend of that patient must know how to give a glucagon shot. So the patient must always keep a glucagon shot kit with them. The patient should also wear a bracelet or something that denotes that they are have low blood sugar for other people to understand in case of seizure. It is imperative for the patients to have something that gives out the notion that they are a patient of low blood sugar.
Prevention of Low Blood Sugar to Avoid the Negative Effects Occurring In Your Body
One must prevent from something bad that is going to happen. There are many ways to prevent low blood sugar.
Regularly Checking Your Blood Sugar Is Something That The Patient Must Follow - If the patient has been a patient of low blood sugar in the past, they must check it often to determine the increase and decrease in low blood sugar, with the help of the glucose meter that the doctor gives you or you buy it.
Eating Healthy And Carbohydrate Rich Food Items - If the patient is leaving home for more than a hour, they must consume a good meal before leaving. They also must carry glucose rich food items with them like protein bars, crackers, candies, chocolates. Any food item that contains 15g of carbohydrate or more is good for low blood sugar. Eating healthy is almost a prerequisite for any disease or sickness, so for low blood sugar it is the same but healthy is sweetness here.
Excessive Exercise Can Cause Low Blood Sugar - The patient must have a rich meal before exercise, or have protein bars during exercise. Exercise needs energy and energy takes fuel from blood sugar thus blood sugar might fall. The patient must check their blood sugar two hours prior to exercise and check it back again after exercise. So here again the role of checking blood sugar regularly plays in. The patient must keep tabs of their blood sugar level. If it is too low then have the carbohydrate rich meal accordingly. Protein bars, energy drinks can also be a source of glucose during the workout. The patient must consult with the doctor to sort it out.
Listening To Your Doctor Is Also Very Important, Of Course - The patient must follow what the doctor advises. Right type of food and right type of medication at the right time is important. Also, the patient must inform the increase and decrease in their blood sugar level regularly. It is imperative for the patient to follow the diet chart and life cycle prescribed by the doctors such as what to eat, when to sleep, when to exercise and what medications to have.