Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. Given its vital role, it will give rise to discomforting symptoms when it falls below its normal range. Therefore, if identified early on, one can manage low blood sugar through lifestyle modifications. However, if left too late, it may become a life-threatening crisis.
Hypoglycemia is a life-long condition; you can manage its symptoms by following a proper diet and exercise pattern.
Understanding Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is when the glucose level in one’s blood gets too low, dangerously below 70 mg/dl. A severe low blood sugar might result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma and even death.
Some of the causes for this ( which are easy to change) include irregular food habits or long gaps between meals, rigorous exercise regimen, alcohol or too little food consumption. However, many times, low blood sugar can happen even in the absence of these lifestyle habits.
Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
Predicting the low blood sugar condition can be challenging as the signs and symptoms vary from mild to severe, based on the individual’s health. Below are some common symptoms of low blood sugar,
- Feeling hungry
- Dizziness or fainting
- Headache or lightheadedness
- Blurry vision
- Increased heartbeat
- Tingling or numbness in the tongue, cheeks or lips
- Loss of concentration
- Lack of coordination
Low Blood Sugar: Potential Reasons
When one has diabetes, there are various triggers present that induce hypoglycemia. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the reasons to know whether you have a dangerously low glucose level.
- Consuming fewer carbs, the primary energy source, may cause a drop in blood glucose.
- Like low carbs, skipping meals also makes you lack energy, inducing hypoglycaemia.
- Performing strenuous exercises at more than normal levels, especially when you haven’t consumed adequate carbs, can stimulate a hypoglycemic episode.
- Excess alcohol consumption can also interfere with the function of insulin in regulating the blood sugar level.
- If you take too much insulin than the level prescribed by a healthcare professional, it will lead to dangerously low glucose levels.
Ways to Deal with Dangerously Low Blood Sugar
Blood sugar control is crucial for diabetic people, as it can significantly lower the risk of developing diabetic complications in future.
Here are some tips to deal with dangerously low blood sugar.
The 15-15 Rule
When hypoglycemia happens, patients should follow the 15-15 rule. It is an effective method to implement when your blood sugar level falls between 55-69 mg/dl. The process is simple: consume 15 grams of easily absorbable carbs and check your blood sugar level in 15 minutes.
For instance, taking glucose tablets or fruit juice during the episode is the best step to raise and stabilise the blood sugar level instantly. Once it reaches the normal range, you can opt for small healthy snacks to prevent the drop again.
Regular Monitoring of Blood Sugar
You must note your readings at least three times daily alongside your meals. In addition, keeping a continuous glucose monitor will benefit the process and improve diabetes control.
Performing moderate exercises or simple walking after a high-carb meal will help prevent the occurrence of low blood sugar levels.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for people with low blood pressure. When, how much and what you eat is vital in your glucose levels. Consume small meals every 3 to 4 hours. Simply put, build a plan with low carbs, high fibre, lean proteins and healthy fats to improve the overall glucose level, reducing the inadvertent drop.
Some points to remember while planning your meals
- Consume complex carbs and avoid simple carbs
- Make it a point to follow a healthy plating method with lean protein, high soluble fibre, complex carbs and good fats.
- Reduce Processed Food and Refined Sugars
- Consume foods with a low glycemic index score
Can Low Blood Sugar Be Life Threatening?
Low blood pressure is not too concerning if it does not drop to a dangerously low level, showing visible symptoms. According to the American Heart Association, the worrisome low blood pressure level is 50/30. In such circumstances, one should seek medical attention immediately.
The condition can induce further severe complications if left untreated by reducing brain function. It can lead to seizures and interfere with essential body functions, ultimately resulting in death.
You should speak to a nutritionist if diagnosed with this condition. Innovations like a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) have revolutionised health management.
A CGM can alert the individual when their blood sugar gets dangerously low, paving the way for appropriate preventive action. The HealthifyPRO 2.0 comes with powerful tools like a CGM, metabolic panel, smart scale, AI-backed technology and personalised nutrition advice from the coaches.
The HealthifyMe Note
The key to improving low blood sugar levels in an emergency is consuming certain foods rich in carbohydrates, including fruit juice, fruits or cookies. Such dietary interventions can help revive your blood sugar level, ensuring a healthy range and prevailing from dropping again.
Most people think diabetes is about increased blood sugar, but it is also about low sugar levels. In addition, critical illnesses, hormonal deficiencies and sometimes even medications can lead to hypoglycemia without diabetes.
Though it is usually a lifelong condition, maintaining a healthy eating and exercise routine while regularly monitoring your blood sugar level is crucial to keep low blood sugar episodes at bay and staying healthy in a holistic way.