Do you experience sudden mood swings and unexplained cravings through the day? Beware! This could be your body’s way of telling you that something is not right!
Do you know that this could be a probable sign of low blood sugar in your body? Yes, you heard it right – while most of us are aware of high blood sugar, the silent killer is low blood sugar that more-often-than-not goes undetected, the patient unaware of this major body stressor. And, a little awareness about this condition may go a long way in helping you take measures to correct it while at the very onset. Let us first understand what low blood sugar is all about.
Low blood sugar – or what goes by the name of hypoglycemia in the medical world – is a kind of brain emergency where the brain goes into a stress mode, affecting not just the body but mind as well. This condition occurs when the blood sugar levels in the body fall below 70 mg/dL, causing a variety of symptoms that are seemingly disconnected from blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body.
Contributors to Low Blood Sugar
Low levels of insulin –a pancreatic hormone that regulates the movement of glucose into cells for release of energy- could lead to the build-up of glucose in the blood instead of making its way to the cells leading to diabetes.
On the other hand, too much of insulin release into the bloodstream can lead to rapid depletion of the glucose levels by the body, without enough glucose being released to make-up for this loss of body sugar. This condition leads to low blood sugar problems that get manifested in a variety of ways.
While low blood sugar is most commonly seen in people who are diabetic and are taking insulin or other medicines to keep their diabetes in check, this condition is also seen in people who are energetically sensitive, i.e. those who are highly sensitive (psychic or intuitively). Very often, babies born to diabetic mothers may experience severe drop in the blood sugar levels. However, besides these cases, people who do not have diabetes may also get affected by low blood sugar issues.
Here are some of the common lifestyle, dietary and other contributors that may lead to low blood sugar in your body:
- Alcohol consumption
- Poor digestion manifested through allergies, constipation or frequent stomach upsets
- Eating habits that include consumption of processed food, especially a sugar-rich diet comprising refined sugars or a high carb diet that includes excess grain/flour/starchy-food or even excessive calorie-restrictive dieting
- Chronic stress and anxiety disorders
- Mineral deficiency
- Chronic inflammation or general infection in the body
- If you have undergone weight-loss surgery
- A rare pancreatic tumor- Insulinoma- that leads to excessive production of insulin
- Thyroid or other cortisol hormone deficiencies.
11 Symptoms that you may be suffering from Hypoglycemia
The body has its ways of indicating low blood sugar and it is a matter of reading these subtle body signals that may help you find the right treatment in a timely way. Here are 11 of the most common symptoms that you may exhibit if your blood sugar gets too low:
- Unexplained and sudden onset of anxiety, mood swings, irritability, temper tantrums, aggression or a cranky feeling
- Insomnia or disturbed sleep
- Frequent headaches
- Excessive sweating
- Blurred or double vision
- Unclear thinking, nervousness and an inability to make decisions
- Weakness, fatigue or low energy levels
- Numbness or tingling of the skin
- Hunger pangs or sudden cravings
- Palpitations or fast heartbeats
Sometimes, you may not exhibit any of these symptoms, despite your blood sugar levels being too low. In fact, you may be caught completely unaware of this silent distress condition till you faint, or have a seizure or become comatose! So, watch out and be careful!!
Tips to prevent or resolve low blood sugar issues
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or even if you aren’t, it is best to keep a tab on your blood sugar levels. If you suffer from low blood sugar and suddenly feel sick, instantly eat or drink 15 grams of easily-digestible carbohydrates, such as some juice or even regular soda.
Here are some food items that can be handy if you suffer from hypoglycemia and suddenly feel your sugar levels are dipping:
- Glucose tablets or gel
- 4-6 pieces of hard candy (not sugar-free!)
- A cup of skimmed milk
- ½ cup of regular non-diet carbonated beverage, cola or soda
- ½ cup of fruit juice
- A tablespoon of honey or syrup
- Peanut butter crackers/cheese crackers
You can also try taking 15 ml of plain sugar dissolved in a of water.
Eat small meals and choose food that are high in soluble fiber and starchy foods that have a low glycemic index such as oatmeal, oat bran, dried peas, beans and lentils, barley, skinned vegetables and fruits, and low-fat milk products.
Shift to sea salt from table salt and eat a healthy balanced diet rich in proteins, minerals and healthy fats.
On the contrary, certain foods may aggravate hypoglycemia and should be avoided:
- Some herbal supplements like ginseng, cinnamon
- Meals high in refined carbs and sugar such as white bread, flavored drinks.
- Caffeinated beverages
It is always advisable to treat your symptoms and correct your low blood sugar level. Seek medical advice.
A balanced blood sugar level can do wonders for your body and mind and help you feel grounded and at peace!
Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new nutritional or fitness program.