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 people’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 quantity of glucose in the blood is known as the blood glucose level. Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is a condition where this level drops below 70 mg/dL.
You must check it immediately if you suspect a low blood sugar level. Extremely low blood sugar levels might lead to severe symptoms that necessitate immediate medical care. Knowing what to do if your blood sugar levels drop frequently will help keep you safe.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the foods that spike blood sugar and the steps you may take to keep it within normal ranges.
Low Blood Sugar Levels (Hypoglycemia): The Root Causes
Many different factors can cause a dip in your blood sugar levels. Here are some of the most common causes:
- People with diabetes are more likely to experience 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.
- The most vulnerable patients to hypoglycemia are those who skip meals while using blood sugar-lowering medications.
- People who don’t consume enough calories through their meals or snacks or have insufficient carbs throughout the day are more likely to experience hypoglycemia.
- A study found that excessive alcohol consumption without enough calories can cause hypoglycemia. Usually, when you don’t eat, and your blood sugar drops, your pancreas releases a hormone that prompts your liver to release glucose from storage into your bloodstream, raising your blood sugar level.
- Increasing your exercise intensity or duration can lower your blood sugar. So make sure to take precautions to prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping too low after intense exercise.
- Health conditions, such as liver illnesses, hormonal imbalances, and prolonged starvation, might also affect your blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of low blood sugar levels may differ from person to person and from one episode to the next.
The first time you experience low blood sugar, you may have specific symptoms, but they may be different the next time. The following are early signs that your blood sugar levels are dropping too low.
- Blurred vision
- Pale skin
- Jitters or shaking
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Trouble concentrating
- Tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue, or cheek
- Irregular or fast heartbeat
If you have diabetes, it is vital to be aware of hypoglycemia and how your body responds to low blood sugar levels. Recognising the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia can help you manage it more effectively and avoid developing severe hypoglycemia.
The HealthifyMe Note
If you skip meals or don’t eat enough, your blood sugar levels can drop temporarily. Eating a snack 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 sometimes experience a drop in blood sugar. If your symptoms are severe or a snack doesn’t help or makes them worse, get medical help immediately.
Ways To Quickly Raise Blood Sugar Levels
The quickest way to increase blood sugar is by consuming food or liquids. Your blood sugar will rise rapidly if you ingest food or beverages.
If your blood sugar levels are low and you need a quick increase, you’ll need anything that contains carbohydrates. However, be careful not to overconsume.
The following are some methods for increasing blood sugar:
Taking glucose tablets is an intelligent way to raise blood glucose levels. They are pre-measured, containing four grams of carbohydrates each. It prevents people from overeating, which can increase blood sugar. Glucose tablets come in a wide range of flavours.
Although liquid glucose is more expensive than other options, it can still be helpful because it is liquid and absorbs nutrients more quickly than other solid food suggestions.
Although market-available juices may be tempting, it is crucial to be aware that they are often high in sugar and sweeteners, which can cause a significant rise in blood sugar.
Additionally, they tend to lack fibre. To avoid these potential problems, it is advisable to limit yourself to sipping on a half-cup of your preferred juice.
Fresh or Dried Fruit
Fruit is the best way to increase blood sugar. A small apple or orange, 15 grapes, two tablespoons of raisins, half a banana, and other fruits have the proper amount of carbohydrates.
Drink one cup of low-fat/skimmed milk when your blood sugar starts to fall because it contains vitamin D and carbs.
When your blood sugar levels drop, a one-tbsp snack of jam or honey might help you restore balance.
The carbohydrates found in gummy sweets significantly impact blood sugar levels. The recommended amount of sugar in a small pack of gummies is 15–17 grams. They are quick to prepare and affordable as well.
Additionally, if you are aware that you may be prone to blood sugar drops, carry gel tablets or other quick fixes when you’re out and about.
Blood sugar levels quickly rise after eating simple or pure carbohydrates. To maintain healthy blood sugar levels, finding snacks that do not cause spikes is crucial.
Some people prefer to snack on complex carbohydrates, while others find that protein-rich snacks are the best option. Ultimately, the patient should limit their intake of junk food, alcohol, and caffeine as these substances might exacerbate low blood sugar levels.