In the recent times, a couple of diseases have replaced the older ones that were considered deadly and were widespread in the previous century causing a big number of deaths around the world.
One of these is the problem of fluctuating blood sugar levels in people which are linked to many health conditions including the one with the most prolonged and complicated treatment than others – diabetes.
Who Is At Risk Of Hypoglycemia?
Uncontrolled glucose levels and relevant diseases are one of the most commonly seen problems today. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, imbalanced sugar levels – hypoglycemia – and its complications are among the top ten reasons of death at this time.
In addition, according to the latest statistics, the most prevalent health problems that people seek medical attention for are bronchitis, dengue, high cholesterol, hypertension, hepatitis A, and fluctuating blood glucose levels.
One of the effects of constantly changing blood sugar levels is hypoglycemia. This condition can typically be observed in people with symptoms of pre-diabetes, both types of diabetes as well as a number of other health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or even arthritis.
Although hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition that needs to be managed to avoid serious consequences, it is not well known even by people who have diagnosed blood sugar problem and are on medication for it.
Hypoglycemia is one of the most common and dangerous effects of some of the medicines taken by diabetes patients for lowering the glucose content in blood.
Contrary to the popular myths and beliefs, you are not only at the risk of having hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia if you are inactive, ill, or obese.
Any person with problems in glucose metabolism and diet lacking nutritional value can develop both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
Looking at the Standard American Diet today, it might be easy for anyone from any of the age groups to develop either of these conditions since it is filled with a lot of refined grains, sugars, and loaded with trans and polysaturated fats.
Hypoglycemia can be confusing and hard to diagnose at times since the symptoms may resemble some of the other health conditions and can be headaches, brain fog, and irritability.
Although problems associated with blood sugar level are considered complicated and hard to manage, a change in habits, better diet, paying attention to the timing of taking meals, and an increase in physical activity can help get rid of hypoglycemia effectively.
What Is Hypoglycemia?
You have probably heard of the term hyperglycemia a lot from people when discussing blood sugar or diabetes problems but you might not hear many even mention hypoglycemia, which is the opposite of hyperglycemia.
RELATED: How To Manage Hyperglycemia?
Hypoglycemia, like hyperglycemia, is a condition that occurs due to abnormal blood sugar content. However, it does not refer not higher than normal or needed sugar in the blood but actually lower than the needed content of sugar.
Precisely, low levels of glucose in the blood lead to a person developing hypoglycemia. This condition can be seen in people for different reasons. For example, it can be because of a relevant disease, an effect of diabetes medicines, or not enough consumption of glucose.
Usually, lack of glucose consumption is the reason behind hypoglycemia in young adult females who have diagnosed eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and either does not eat at all or vomit it all out.
Glucose is in the highest quantity in foods with carbohydrates or sugar. Both of these are also the main source of glucose.
When there is a lack of glucose in the diet or the whole process of absorbing and storing glucose as glycogen is disturbed, the needed levels in the blood may fall abnormally low.
Many people believe that hypoglycemia which is the high content of glucose in the blood is not as common as hypoglycemia. This is only true to an extent as high sugar levels are usually seen in people with pre-diabetes of any of the two types of diabetes.
However, it should also be noticed that people with diabetes can also develop hypoglycemia and that is the case in people who have been struggling with the disease for a long time usually due to drastic or constant ups and downs in the blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia in people with diabetes is a rather underestimated problem. It is typically the side effect of the medications for lowering blood sugar levels or following the dangerous ‘diabetes diets’ that are usually not balanced or a hoax in general.
Studies on hypoglycemia have highlighted that repeated episodes of it can considerably damage a person’s defense mechanism as well as the immune system against falling blood sugar levels.
Secondly, it has also be found that hypoglycemia can lead to some of the most complicated health conditions with a sixty percent increase in the risk of death from often a sudden and serious episode.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia?
The signs seen in hypoglycemia are also seen in everyday life. Whenever you skip a meal or been constantly engaged in work with not enough food due to diet or any other reason, you might have felt dizzy and cranky.
You might also have ended up eating comparatively unhealthy and sugary food due to cravings especially if you were dieting. This is what happens when there is a drop in your blood sugar levels for a long time.
In hypoglycemia you are also likely to experience similar symptoms as well as the following:
- Sudden and often intense hunger
- Feeling exhausted even after waking up
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Shakiness and nervousness
- Sweating (even during sleeping which is known as nocturnal hypoglycemia)
- Muscle weakness
- Signs of brain fog (trouble walking, thinking, concentrating, and the things you were able to do without any complication previously)
- Mood swing
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Blurred vision
- Visible paleness (especially on the face)
- In the severe cases of hypoglycemia, it can even lead to going into a coma, getting a seizure, and even death.
- People with prolonged diabetes may also have functional brain failure, heart disease, nerve damage, and dementia
What Might Be Causing Your Hypoglycemia?
You might not even realize that you are having low blood sugar due to many of your everyday habits. Generally, diabetic patients are at the highest risk of having severe hypoglycemia due to diabetic medicines that can contribute to dangerously low blood sugar content.
However, some your everyday habits such as skipping meals, restricting your diet to only a few items and consuming an imbalanced diet as well as overtraining along with it can lead to the development of hypoglycemia.
Other factors that might contribute to or worsen hypoglycemia are taking too much stress, enzyme deficiencies, other health problems such as autoimmune disorders, hormonal imbalance, tumors, organ failures, and eating disorders.
In addition, there are also some lesser-known reasons of hypoglycemia such as enzyme deficiencies. People with problems in metabolism often suffer from the inability to produce the required amount of enzymes needed for the breakdown of glucose and glycogen.
The consumption of alcohol can also cause hypoglycemia although it is usually associated with hyperglycemia. When you are drinking alcohol, your sugar levels might be very high, but this, in turn, makes the levels fall dangerously low afterward.
People who have alcohol addiction may have symptoms of both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.