It is common to feel light headed when you are hungry or if you have not eaten for long time and many people experience it. But have you ever wondered what the reason is? Well, when you are hungry, you often feel lightheaded as you experience hypoglycemia, which occurs due to low blood sugar.

Not eating for long time causes low blood sugar, which makes you feel lightheaded, a common symptom of hypoglycemia. Let us understand it in detail.

Causes of Feeling Lightheaded When Hungry

Causes of Feeling Lightheaded When Hungry

Hypoglycemia refers to low blood sugar level, which occurs when you don't eat for long time. This happens when you skip meals or there is a prolonged gap between the meals. While the cells of the body are capable enough to break down the fats as fuel the cells of the brain specifically need glucose for energy. When you don't eat for long time, the blood sugar level drops down and cause symptoms like dizziness, weakness or trembling. Sudden changes in blood glucose level often causes disturbances in the breakdown of sugar and supply of energy, which can make you feel lightheaded.

You can feel light headed when you don't eat for long time, all the more, if you have worked out a lot or performed activities that have consumed energy. All these factors result in reduced blood sugar level, which is required by the body and the brain to function efficiently, resulting in undesirable symptoms like lightheadedness and fainting.

Dehydration during summers or when you are unwell can also cause reduced blood sugar levels. It can also cause depletion of salts and affect fluid balance. Sometimes, this too may make you feel lightheaded if you are hungry.

People who are suffering from diabetes or other metabolic disorders, where breakdown of sugar is a problem, too can feel light headed when hungry or if they don't eat for long time. Moreover, people taking diabetic medications to lower blood sugar levels are at increased risk of hypoglycemia and can feel lightheaded if they don't eat for long time or at regular intervals.

In general, the complaint that you feel lightheaded if you don't eat for long time may be associated with problem in metabolism of sugar. It is also believed that it may increase the risk of metabolic disorders like diabetes and its complications.

It is important to understand what happens when you feel lightheaded due to low blood sugar.

Symptoms That Accompany Lightheaded Feeling When Hungry

When you feel lightheaded when hungry, there can be other associated symptoms too. As it is difficult to recognize that the blood sugar level is dropping, knowing these symptoms can help. These include dizziness, weakness in hands and legs, trembling, headache, inability to concentrate, work or stand, feeling the need to rest with increased thirst and hunger.

Feeling Light Headed and Long Term Complications of Low Blood Sugar

Feeling lightheaded when hungry or if you don't eat for long time, often means you are having low blood sugar or your energy levels are getting depleted. If this continues, it can lead to long term complications, which can affect the major organs of the body. It is necessary to pay attention to this and get the right treatment and follow a proper diet plan. Particularly for diabetics, it is necessary to maintain normal blood glucose level, without much fluctuations to avoid feeling lightheaded and also prevent complications.

Treatment of Lightheadedness

Low blood sugar makes you feel lightheaded if you don't eat for long time. The treatment of lightheadedness mainly depends on your health condition and the complaints.

As an emergency treatment you may need fluid replacement and intake of sugars that can help to restore your blood sugar level. If the condition is not serious, natural sweet foods like fruits, dry fruits, milk may be preferred. However, if the condition is severe, sugar in any form may have to be given.

If you are diabetic or taking any other medication that can lower your blood sugar level, it is important to seek medical opinion. The dose of the medicine may have to be adjusted or appropriate diet plan may have to be followed, based on individual requirements. With proper medical advice, you will be able to maintain normal blood sugar level and avoid fluctuations.

Another important factor in treating lightheaded feeling is your diet and lifestyle. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to maintain blood sugar levels, without much fluctuations. Here are some tips to manage feeling lightheaded.

  • Plan your meals – Plan your diet based on your daily schedule and do not skip meals. Make sure you have breakfast every day and small in-between healthy snacks. Carry homemade meals, fruits, etc. when you go out. Know when you would be hungry and eat at regular intervals, without delaying. Your blood sugar level can drop if you don't eat for long time and make you feel lightheaded, so avoid it by eating healthy foods after every 2-3 hours.
  • Eat Complex Carbs – Simple sugars, refined grains will make you energetic immediately and soon make you feel hungry again causing sudden changes in blood sugar level, which can make you feel lightheaded. Eat complex carbs instead, as they can provide you with energy for a longer time. As complex carbs like whole grains take longer time to digest they continue to have normal blood sugar level and avoid sudden fluctuations.
  • Stay hydrated – It is necessary to keep yourself hydrated depending on your activity levels. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, or you can also choose healthy drinks, fresh fruit juices. If you are engaged in heavy workouts, you may want to increase your fluid intake.

It is also necessary to take adequate rest and a good night's sleep, particularly when you are not well, have worked out rigorously or have been performing heavy physical or mental work. In addition to following a regular diet plan, seeking timely medical advice is important to avoid further complications.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 7, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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