Low Blood Sugar Affects Mental Functions
You have probably experienced times when you were so hungry that you couldnt think straight. This is not a mere coincidence. Glucose also happens to be the primary source of energy for the brain. The more you are required to think, analyze or solve problems, the more glucose your brain will need to work optimally.
It is then not surprising that the level of glucose available to the brain affects our mental functions. If we do not have enough glucose to fuel the brain, work that require mental effort such as will be greatly affected.
Do you know that low blood sugar level does not just trigger bad headaches? It may also cause irritability, anxiety, shakiness, confusion and heart palpitations, symptoms that resemble that of anxiety attack. If you have had episodes of panic attacks, it may be worthwhile to make sure your sugar levels are not responsible for them.
Although glucose is an important source of fuel for the body and the brain, as we have seen, it is not a good idea to consume high sugar foods in one go. How then should we eat to ensure that our blood sugar level remains steady and balanced? That is what we will discuss next.
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Get Those High Blood Sugar Levels Down
High blood sugars arent random they are the what happens where theres an imbalance of any combination of food, activity, medications, stress, and hormones.
If you have type 1 diabetes and persistent high blood sugar levels, its definitely time for a tune-up of your insulin doses and how you dose insulin for the food you eat. High blood sugars in type 1 diabetes mean one very simple thing: youre not getting enough insulin. While making nutritional changes can eventually lower blood sugar levels, the most important thing right now is make sure youre getting adequate insulin.
Our insulin needs change throughout our entire life dont resist making changes with your healthcare team.
For patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, it can be very daunting to start a diabetes medication after your diagnosis, or if other approaches arent working. Remember, for many people with type 2, diabetes is a progressive disease which means your bodys ability to properly produce and use insulin is going to decrease over time.
Starting a diabetes medication is the most important thing you can do to not only reduce your headaches, but also to save your eyes, your kidneys, your stomach, and your feet! Dont let shame or fear of starting a medication get in the way of doing what you need to do right now to get your blood sugars down to a safer level.
No diabetes diet needs to be 100% perfect.
How Much Sugar Do You Need
Its increasingly difficult to manage a proper sugar intake. Americans eat far more sugar than they should on average. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day and men consume no more than nine teaspoons. This is in sharp contrast to what Americans actually consume, which is 22 teaspoons for adults and 34 teaspoons for children daily.
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What Is The Best Thing To Eat When Your Blood Sugar Is Low
First of all you cant eat anything that increases sugar in the blood like sugar. I dont remember the exact scientific name but I think sugar is hemoglobin and this is the substance in the blood that carries oxygen to the cells. So, the lack of oxygen to some part of the brain will give you headaches. The sugar further increases the sugar in the blood. So, the best way to keep your blood sugar low is to use sugar substitutes and avoid sugar completely..
How To Treat Someone Whos Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
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If You Have High Blood Pressure
Considering that nearly two-thirds of people with diabetes struggle with high blood pressure, its very likely contributing to your headaches. This is especially important to discuss with your doctor because very few people with high blood pressure actually have symptoms.
High blood pressure can easily go undiagnosed and untreated. Consequences of long-term high blood pressure include:
- Severe damage to your heart
- Severe damage to your arteries
- Increased risk of stroke and blood clots
- Difficulty sleeping
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What Should A Child S Blood Sugar Level Be
autoimmune antibodies against insulin, pancreatic beta cells, or their protein products are not found in the blood.
Once your glucose levels are back to normal, the Normal Blood Sugar ADA suggests going ahead and eating your next scheduled meal or snack, Could Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches which will help Lower Blood Sugar prevent levels from dropping again.
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There are many ways you can reduce your risk of complications.
When anxiety increases, cortisol provides the body with glucose from stores in the liver to power that fight or flight response.
Being obese makes you 20 to Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar 40 times Normal Blood Sugar Levels more likely to develop diabetes Could Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches than someone with a healthy weight.
If you live with an endocrine or pancreatic condition, had surgery recently, or are experiencing intense physical stress , you may also see your glucose value Low Blood Sugar Symptoms rise.
Without sufficient insulin, cells starve and high Could Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches Could Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches blood sugar results.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes Could Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches adult onset Could Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches diabetes are closely related conditions, both linked to What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level problems with the body s metabolism.
Exercise also makes our body more insulin sensitive, .
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Issue 92 Item 6 Migraines Caused By Low Blood Sugar Episodes
Hypoglycemic episodes can cause migraines People whose blood sugars are not stable and have Type 1 diabetes can experience severe headaches after an episode of low blood glucose according to a researcher from Dartmouth. Dr. Jacome, MD, from Dartmouth, Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, found that hypoglycemic episodes could be the cause of migraines.
He studied the clinical history of a patient with type 1 diabetes. It was observed that the patient, who had suffered from severe bouts of low blood glucose for 40 years, got a migraine after each episode once his blood-glucose levels were stabilized. Both the low blood glucose and the headache improved after the man was given valproic acid, a medicine to control seizures.
After a bout of low blood glucose, migraines, may occur in patients with unstable diabetes as a rebound phenomenon, Dr. Janocme states. Headache Oct. 2001
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When To Seek Medical Help
A person with consistently low blood pressure who is otherwise healthy and feels fine may not need medical treatment. However, doctors may continue to monitor the low blood pressure.
People who experience low blood pressure symptoms for the first time should check in with a doctor who can diagnose any underlying issues.
Sometimes, extremely low blood pressure can be a medical emergency, as it could prevent the organs from getting enough oxygen. If this occurs, the body could go into shock.
Symptoms of shock include:
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Treating Headaches From Hypoglycemia
The first step in treating a hypoglycemia-induced headache is confirming that the pain is due to low blood glucose. A blood glucose test can check this.
Taking a blood glucose test is especially important for people with diabetes who wake up with a headache in the morning, as it can be a sign of nocturnal hypoglycemia.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with low blood sugar consume 15 grams of simple carbohydrates or glucose before rechecking levels after 15 minutes.
Once blood sugar returns to the target range, symptoms, including headache pain, should reduce.
How To Treat Sugar Headaches
If you have a headache and you suspect it is from high blood sugar levels, make sure you are hydrated, says Barnathan. Your headache may be partly from the dehydration caused by hyperglycemia. You can also take an over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve your headache.
If your headache is a result of hypoglycemia, it is usually because you haven’t eaten, so eating a healthy meal will help. For example, eating small meals throughout the day full of whole grains, fiber, and lean protein can help avoid hypoglycemia.
If you have diabetes, make sure you always have a fast-acting carbohydrate with you, like juice or glucose tablets. These carbs can be quickly broken down into sugar, so you can raise your blood sugar fast before it drops dangerously low.
If you don’t have diabetes, but recently cut sugar out of your diet and are experiencing headaches, make sure your body has complex carbs to break down for energy. That will help avoid ketosis and the accompanying headaches. Complex carbs include:
- Whole grains like oatmeal or bread
- Vegetables like peas
- Legumes like beans
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How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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How To Get Relief
If you get a headache from diabetes, it is important to first check and treat blood sugar imbalances. If head pain persists, over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide relief. People who have kidney problems should not take ibuprofen unless directed by their medical provider.
In addition to OTC pain medication, headaches may respond to home care such as:
Why Am I Having Lows
If you are experiencing low blood glucose and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood glucose, insulin, exercise, and food data to a health care provider. Together, you can review all your data to figure out the cause of the lows.
The more information you can give your health care provider, the better they can work with you to understand what’s causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood glucose by adjusting the timing of insulin dosing, exercise, and meals or snacks. Changing insulin doses or the types of food you eat may also do the trick.
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How Can My Diabetes Headaches Be Treated
Causes Of Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose is common for people with type 1 diabetes and can occur in people with type 2 diabetes taking insulin or certain medications. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience up to two episodes of mild low blood glucose each week, and thats only counting episodes with symptoms. If you add in lows without symptoms and the ones that happen overnight, the number would likely be higher.
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Which Type Of Diabetes
Both hypo- and hyperglycemia can trigger headaches and migraines. They can be super painful, with a throbbing or pulsing sensation on in your head. You might also feel weak, nauseous, and sensitive to light or sound.
Diabetes-related headaches can cause other symptoms too, depending on whether your blood sugar is too low or too high.
- Low blood sugar headaches can leave you feeling faint, shaky, nauseous, or sweaty.
- High blood sugar headaches may be accompanied by feeling super thirsty or having to pee more than usual, fatigue, or blurred vision.
First up, when you notice that throbbing pain coming on, start by checking your levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends aiming for these targets:
- Between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after meals
If your blood sugar is below the target range, try having 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting carbs like glucose tablets or gel, juice, regular soda, or sugary candy.
If you dont start to feel any better within 15 minutes, have another 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting carbs. This can help bring your blood sugar back up and start to ease your headache. After, have a healthy meal or snack to keep your levels stable.
If your blood sugar is above the target range, you may need to adjust your insulin levels or take a supplement of short-acting insulin.
Say it with us: Extreme blood sugar swings can be life-threatening. No bueno.
What Else You Should Know About Ocular Migraines
An ocular migraine is short-lived and may not be painful, but it can be debilitating you have to be careful while doing daily activities like driving, reading, or writing. The chance of permanent vision loss due to an ocular migraine is rare but the reduced blood flow for a prolonged time can damage your retina. So it is a good idea to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist to check your condition.
Since hormones play such a big role in causing migraines, declining estrogen levels as women age and enter menopause is a reason why migraines usually reduce in severity in older women.11
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Low Blood Sugar Headache Whats It Like
How can you tell that you have a low blood sugar and not any other type of headache? Low blood sugar headache may look like a tension headache although seldom anyone would confuse it with a migraine.
Hypoglycemic headaches do not present with an aura, like some migraines, or concentrate on one side of the head. They do not have a sharp or aggressive quality of pain of a typical migraine, but they are non-pulsating and feel diffuse in nature.
Low blood sugar headaches are dull, nagging, aching and usually concentrate around the forehead or top of the head. The headache may be accompanied by weakness, lassitude, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness, other typical low blood sugar symptoms.
Can You Explain Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia And Their Relationship With Headaches How Does Someone Know They Have This Condition Is It A Temporary Condition Or Do You Always Have It
Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia arent diseases themselves, but rather symptoms, or indicators of a health problem.
Dr. Patel was quoted as saying:Hyperglycemia occurs when the body is not producing or using enough insulin, the hormone that absorbs glucose into cells to be used for energy.
Again, this is typical in diabetics. Hypoglycemia is caused by very low blood glucose and is often associated with diabetes treatment. It can also very rarely be a side effect of medication, alcohol consumption, severe liver illnesses or hormone deficiencies.
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