Monday, October 3, 2022

Can Low Blood Sugar Cause Confusion

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Low Blood Sugar After Meals

Low Blood Sugar vs High Blood Sugar

If a person has low blood sugar shortly after finishing a meal, they could have reactive hypoglycemia.

People recovering after recent stomach surgery may be at a higher risk of this after meals. This is because food passes through the stomach too quickly.

Similarly, people who experience pre-diabetes may notice a drop in blood sugar levels after eating because their bodies cannot regulate insulin properly.

How Diabetes Causes Brain Fog And Memory Loss: Can Anything Help

Diabetes causes brain fog and memory loss. Both are frustrating and can drastically reduce someones ability to complete daily tasks. Brain fog isnt an official diagnosis but instead is a blanket term that aptly describes how someone is experiencing the world. As its name implies, brain fog makes people feel as though theyre enshrouded in a fog so thick they dont know how to find their way out. Diabetes is a cause of brain fog and the memory loss that often is a part of brain fog.

Diabetes causes serious health problems throughout the body. The brain isnt exempt from damage, and symptoms of brain fog make the disease even more difficult to deal with. Brain fog can involve:

  • Memory loss and forgetfulness
  • Struggles in finding the right words in conversations
  • Exhaustion

Specific mechanisms of diabetes cause brain fog and memory loss.

What Causes Hypoglycemia In A Child

Hypoglycemia can be a condition by itself. Or it can be a complication of diabetes or other disorder. Its most often a problem in someone with diabetes. It occurs when theres too much insulin. This is also called an insulin reaction.

Causes in children with diabetes may include:

  • Too much insulin or oral diabetes medicine

  • The wrong kind of insulin

  • Incorrect blood-glucose readings

  • Tingling feelings around the mouth

  • Seizure

  • Nightmares and confusion on awakening

The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Read Also: What Supplements Help Control Blood Sugar

How Can Parents Help

Nearly every child with diabetes will have an episode of mild hypoglycemia at times. Rarely, an episode will be a serious emergency. You can help make this less likely, and be ready if it does happen. Here are some tips:

  • Follow your childs diabetes care plan. This is the best way to keep their sugars in a healthy range. The plan will guide you on the timing of:
  • meals
  • exercise
  • blood sugar checks
  • Track and adjust sugar levels before and during exercise. And make sure your child eats snacks as needed to keep or bring blood sugar levels into the healthy range.
  • Keep sugar handy and give it to your child right away if they have symptoms.
  • Teach adult family members, caregivers, and school staff the signs of hypoglycemia, when and how to give glucagon, and when to get emergency medical care.
  • Get your child a medical ID. Your child should wear or carry identification stating they have diabetes and includes who to contact in case of an emergency.
  • If you have questions about how to prevent or treat hypoglycemia, or about the diabetes care plan, call your child’s diabetes health care team.

    Causes Of Diabetes And Irrational Behavior Mental Confusion

    Hypoglycemia diet: How to help low blood sugar

    When someone without diabetes eats carbohydrates, the carbs are digested and transformed into glucose, the sugar that gives the entire body and brain energy. Glucose leaves the digestive system and enters the bloodstream to be delivered to the bodys cells. Glucose cant get into the cells on its own. Thats where insulin comes into the picture. An organ called the pancreas makes and releases insulin to unlock the cells and let glucose in.

    In diabetes, this process goes awry. Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the immune system attacks the pancreas so it cant make insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body can make insulin, but it either doesnt make enough or it cant use its insulin efficiently. Either way, glucose remains in the bloodstream rather than entering cells of the body for fuel consequently, blood sugar levels climb too high and cause problems.

    Diabetes treatment involves manually regulating insulin and blood sugar. This is difficult, and sometimes blood sugar levels become off center. When theyre too high , too low , or remain in the normal range but swing up and down, blood sugar levels arent where they need to be for the brain to operate correctly. Irrational behavior and mental confusion can result.

    These factors contribute to the development of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and unstable spikes and dips:

    Recommended Reading: How To Stop Sugar Cravings And Lose Weight

    Read Also: Does Sugar Make Cancer Grow

    What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

    If you dont experience low blood sugar very often, youll likely notice distinct symptoms when you become hypoglycemic. These symptoms arise when your adrenal glands release epinephrine and cortisol hormones in response to hypoglycemia.

    If you get low blood sugar often, you might develop hypoglycemia unawareness . Hypoglycemia unawareness is a complication where you dont experience the typical warning signs of low blood sugar.

    People who have had diabetes for a long time or have a history of recurrent low blood sugar are more likely to develop hypoglycemia unawareness.

    The most common symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

    • Feeling shaky and/or dizzy

    What Is Hypoglycemia And Low Blood Sugar

    Hypoglycemia is the state of having a blood glucose level that is too low to effectively fuel the body’s cells.

    Glucose, which comes from carbohydrates found in foods, is a main source of energy for all of the cells of the body and, especially, the brain. While the body is quite good at extracting glucose from the foods we eat, it relies on a hormone called insulin to actually get the glucose inside the cells of specific organs: the liver, fat, and muscle.

    We can think of insulin as holding the key to a cell without insulin, the glucose just remains in the blood, where its also known as blood sugar. During an episode of hypoglycemia, theres not enough glucose in the blood. The normal range is approximately 70 to 150 mg/dl .

    Hypoglycemia is most common in newborns. In older children, its most often seen as a complication of insulin therapy for diabetes but can sometimes have other causes as well.

    In the majority of cases, hypoglycemia is temporary, easily treated, and usually does not have serious consequences. There are several rare disorders in which hypoglycemia is recurrent and potentially life-threatening. However, with timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment, these can be effectively managed.

    Also Check: What Do You Do When You Have High Blood Sugar

    Dont Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar

    It’s dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if needed. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on. Be prepared. Keep a sugar source, such as glucose tablets, in your car at all times for emergencies.

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    How Common Is Low Blood Glucose

    High and Low Blood Sugar Symptoms

    Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2

    Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3

    Also Check: What Happens To Blood Sugar When You Fast

    Severe Low Blood Sugar

    As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

    • Feeling weak.
    • Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
    • Acting strange or feeling confused.
    • Having seizures.

    Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.

    People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.

    Do Not Drive With Low Blood Sugar

    People will need to avoid driving while they have low blood sugar levels as it could be dangerous. People will need to wait until their levels return to within a normal range before driving.

    If people start to experience symptoms of hypoglycemia while driving, they will need to safely stop the car and check their blood sugar levels.

    People may find it helpful to store quick-acting carbohydrates, such as orange juice or glucose tablets, in their car if their levels drop while driving.

    If people have hypoglycemia or diabetes, they can discuss an eating plan with a healthcare provider. Tips may include the following:

    • eating snacks and small meals around every three hours throughout the day
    • opting for a variety of foods, including protein, high-fat foods, and high-fiber foods
    • limiting foods high in sugar

    may help . These include:

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    Preventing Low Blood Sugar

    For someone with diabetes, the best way to prevent low blood sugar is to check your blood sugar often. You can check your blood sugar with a continuous glucose monitor or glucometer. Discuss with your healthcare provider how often you should be checking your blood sugar.

    Your healthcare provider might suggest checking before and after meals, before and after exercising, when changing your routine or schedule, when traveling across time zones, and more. By checking your blood sugar, you can identify when your sugar is falling and enact steps to normalize your levels.

    For people both with and without diabetes, another tried-and-true way to prevent low blood sugar is to eat regular meals. Avoid skipping meals or fasting. When you do eat, research indicates that eating a diet low in refined carbohydrates, and inclusive of omega-3 fats and adequate protein, can help regulate blood sugar and lower anxiety levels.

    Slurred Speech And Clumsiness

    Reactive Hypoglycemia: Overview and More

    Your sugar-starved brain may change the way you sound. Slurred speech is a common symptom associated with blood sugar levels that drop below 40 mg/dL, according to University of Michigan Health Systems. Combined with clumsiness another sign of low blood sugar you may seem as though youve had a few too many cocktails, even if you havent touched a drop, according to the National Health Service.

    For more on managing low blood sugar, check out Diabetes Dailys article How to Treat Lows Without Sabotaging Your Diet!

    Also Check: What Does It Feel Like When Blood Sugar Drops

    Signs Of Low Blood Sugar

    With hypoglycemia, the blood sugar falls below the normal, healthy levels mentioned earlier, which can occur for a variety of reasons.

    Although some people with blood sugar problems may not experience symptoms, Dr. Aldasouqi continued, there are some key things to look out for. For those with low blood sugar, someone might have symptoms like anxiety, sweating, increased heart rate, confusion, and may go into what is called a hypoglycemic coma The term diabetic coma is also used by some.

    Other symptoms of low blood sugar may include:

    • Fatigue
    • Tingling or numb lips, tongue or cheek
    • Blurry vision

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    How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy

    Follow these steps:

  • Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth so they do not choke.
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
  • If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If they’re fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.

    Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

    Read Also: Will Coffee Affect Blood Sugar

    Nighttime Low Blood Sugar

    While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:

    • Having an active day.
    • Being physically active close to bedtime.
    • Taking too much insulin.
    • Drinking alcohol at night.

    Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.

    You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.

    Anxiety Over Diabetes Management

    Stabilising low blood sugar in infancy prevents brain damage in long term: Study

    Managing your blood sugar and other aspects of your health when you have diabetes can be time consuming and stressful, and also contribute to anxiety.

    For people with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar usually involves a home finger prick test. Fear of needles, as well as fear of the results, may lead to anxiety.

    One study found that 33% of people with diabetes experience anxiety specific to the finger prick method of glucose testing. Thirty percent of people with diabetes in this same study had generalized anxiety related to their diabetes management.

    Other areas of diabetes management may also lead to stress and anxiety. This includes monitoring potential symptoms of vision loss , nerve damage , slow-healing wounds on the feet or extremities, kidney damage, and more.

    Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Sugar In Your Body Fast

    Does Everyone Have Symptoms From Hypoglycemia

    Some people dont have symptoms or dont notice them. Healthcare providers call that situation hypoglycemia unawareness. People with such a challenge arent aware when they need to do something about their blood sugar. Theyre then more likely to have severe episodes and need medical help. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should check their blood sugar more often.

    How To Treat Someone Whos Unconscious Or Very Sleepy

    Follow these steps:

  • Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth so they do not choke.
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
  • If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If theyre fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • They may need to go to hospital if theyre being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.

    Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

    Also Check: How Low Blood Sugar To Pass Out

    Acute Confusion In A Diabetic Patient

    OVERVIEW The causes of confusion or altered LOC in a middle aged diabetic male are numerous. Most causes could be delineated by a thorough history, examination and a few simple investigations. IMPORTANT CAUSES Hypoglycaemia history of hypos, episode in relation to taking medications, BSL. Diabetic ketoacidosis history of DKA, polyuria, polydipsia, thrist, compliance with medications, type I or II diabetes, ABG, BSL, dehydration on examination. Hyper-osmotic hyperosmolar syndrome unwell with concomitant infection, severe dehydration, severe hyperglycaemia, hyperosmolality . Hyperglycaemia history of control, compliance, BSL. Lactic acidosis type II diabetics on metformin -> sepsis or renal failure. Cerebrovascular accident TIA or stroke DM is a risk factor for vascular disease, history of focal neurological symptoms, brainstem or cortical infarct/bleeding. Sepsis with encephalopathy the diabetic patient is at risk of systemic infections from a number of sources.Continue reading > >

    Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Glucose

    Reactive Hypoglycemia: Overview and More

    Each person’s reaction to low blood glucose is different. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. Taking time to write these symptoms down may help you learn your own symptoms of when your blood glucose is low. From milder, more common indicators to most severe, signs and symptoms of low blood glucose include:

    • Feeling shaky
    • Color draining from the skin
    • Feeling sleepy
    • Feeling weak or having no energy
    • Blurred/impaired vision
    • Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks
    • Headaches
    • Nightmares or crying out during sleep
    • Seizures

    The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing low blood glucose is to check your blood glucose levels, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood glucose for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia.

    A low blood glucose level triggers the release of epinephrine , the fight-or-flight hormone. Epinephrine is what can cause the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as thumping heart, sweating, tingling, and anxiety.

    If the blood sugar glucose continues to drop, the brain does not get enough glucose and stops functioning as it should. This can lead to blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, slurred speech, numbness, and drowsiness. If blood glucose stays low for too long, starving the brain of glucose, it may lead to seizures, coma, and very rarely death.

    Read Also: What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops To 30

    What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself

    Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.

    If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by

    • talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
    • teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
    • wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.

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