People absorb glucose from food, and the bloodstream transports it to every cell in the body, serving as the body’s primary energy source. When sugar enters a person’s cells, the hormone insulin helps the cells use it as fuel. Even when people are asleep, their brains need glucose to stay active.
The medical term for the amount of glucose in the blood is known as the blood glucose level. Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is a condition in which this level drops below 70 mg/dL.
You should get it checked immediately if you suspect that your blood sugar level is low. Very low blood sugar levels may cause severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention. Knowing what to do if your blood sugar levels drop frequently will help keep you safe.
In this article, we will delve into foods that spike your blood sugar and the steps you may take to keep it within normal levels.
Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia): root causes
Many different factors can cause low blood sugar levels. Here are some of the more common causes:
- People with diabetes are more likely to develop hypoglycemia than people without diabetes. Therefore, you may need to take synthetic insulin. It may also result from diabetes medications used to control blood sugar levels.
- Patients at greatest risk of developing hypoglycemia are those who skip meals while using hypoglycemic drugs.
- People who do not consume enough calories through their meals or snacks or who are deficient in carbohydrates throughout the day are more likely to develop hypoglycemia.
- A study found that excessive consumption of alcohol without sufficient calories can cause hypoglycemia. Normally, when you are not eating, and your blood sugar level drops, your pancreas releases a hormone that causes your liver to release glucose from storage into your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar level.
- Increasing the intensity or duration of exercise can lower your blood sugar. So be sure to take precautions to prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping too low after an intense workout.
- Health conditions, such as liver disease, hormonal imbalances, and prolonged starvation, may also affect your blood sugar.
Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia
Symptoms of low blood sugar levels may vary from person to person and episode to episode.
The first time you experience low blood sugar, you may have certain symptoms, but they may be different the next time. The following are early signs that your blood sugar levels have dropped too low.
- blurred vision
- pale skin
- tension or vibration
- dizziness or lightheadedness;
- Difficulty concentrating
- Tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue, or cheek
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
If you have diabetes, it is essential to be aware of hypoglycemia and how your body responds to low blood sugar levels. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia can help you manage it more effectively and avoid developing severe hypoglycemia.
If you skip meals or don’t eat enough, your blood sugar levels can drop temporarily. Snacking isn’t harmful if you want to raise your blood sugar levels quickly. However, if you have diabetes or another underlying medical condition, you may occasionally experience low blood sugar. If your symptoms are severe or eating a snack doesn’t help or makes them worse, seek medical help right away.
Ways to raise blood sugar levels quickly
The quickest way to increase your blood sugar is with food or liquids. Your blood sugar will rise quickly if you eat or drink something.
If your blood sugar levels are low and you need a quick boost, you’ll need anything with carbohydrates. However, be careful not to overconsume.
Here are some ways to increase your blood sugar:
Taking glucose tablets is a smart way to raise your blood sugar levels. These are pre-measured, and contain four grams of carbs each. It prevents people from overeating, which can lead to an increase in blood sugar. Glucose tablets come in a variety of flavours.
Although liquid glucose is more expensive than other options, it’s still beneficial because it’s a liquid and absorbs nutrients more quickly than other solid food suggestions.
As tempting as the juices available in the market may be, it is essential to be aware that they are often high in sugar and sweeteners, which can lead to a significant spike in blood sugar.
In addition, they tend to lack fiber. To avoid these potential problems, it is recommended that you limit yourself to half a cup of your favorite juice.
Fresh or dried fruit
Fruit is the best way to increase blood sugar. A small apple or orange, 15 grapes, 2 tablespoons of raisins, half a banana, and other fruit have a decent amount of carbs.
Low fat/skimmed milk
Drink 1 cup of low-fat/skimmed milk when your blood sugar starts to drop because it contains vitamin D and carbohydrates.
When blood sugar levels drop, have a snack with a tablespoon of jam or honey It may help you regain balance.
The carbohydrates in sweets greatly affect blood sugar levels. The recommended amount of sugar in a small pack of gum is 15-17 grams. It’s quick to prepare and affordable, too.
Additionally, if you realize you may be prone to blood sugar drops, carry softgels or other quick fixes when you’re out and about.
Blood sugar levels rise rapidly after eating simple or pure carbohydrates. To maintain blood sugar levels, finding snacks that don’t cause spikes is crucial.
Some people prefer complex carbohydrate snacks, while others find protein-rich snacks to be the best option. Ultimately, the patient should limit the intake of junk food, alcohol, and caffeine as these substances may exacerbate low blood sugar levels.
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