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Does High Blood Sugar Cause Confusion

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High Blood Sugar And Diabetes

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes? | Mastering Diabetes | Dr. Michelle McMacken

Diabetics are prone to high blood sugar, which can have a serious affect on their mood. When diabetics have high blood sugar levels, they can feel grouchy and may have trouble concentrating. Frequent fluctuations in blood sugar levels can also affect mood, leading to more “low” moods and depression. Also, emotional stress can raise blood glucose levels, resulting in a vicious cycle of worsening mood and rising blood glucose levels.

What Is Low Blood Glucose

Low blood glucose, also called low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below what is healthy for you. For many people with diabetes, this means a blood glucose reading lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter .1 Your number might be different, so check with your doctor or health care team to find out what blood glucose level is low for you.

Risk Factors For High Blood Sugar

Doctors do not know exactly what causes diabetes. Some factors may increase the risk, however.

Type 1 diabetes

Researchers believe certain genetic or environmental factors may make people more likely to get type 1 diabetes.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases say certain genes play a role, and other factors such as viruses and infections may have an impact.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation say that there is nothing a person can do to prevent type 1 diabetes. Eating, exercise, or other lifestyle choices will not change the outcome.

Type 1 diabetes usually begins during childhood or early adulthood, but it can happen at any age.

Type 2 diabetes

The following risk factors may make developing type 2 diabetes more likely:

  • having certain genes

People who have high blood sugar should discuss their target levels with their doctor.

They may need regular testing to keep these within a healthy range. Each person is different and levels can vary between individuals.

To find out their blood sugar levels, the person may need to fast for 8 hours, 2 hours after a meal, or at both times.

Some people may also take a glucose tolerance test, in which they drink a sugary liquid and have a blood test after.

The American Diabetes Association recommend a pre-meal blood sugar level of 80130 milligrams per deciliter . Around 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal, blood sugar should be less than 180 ml/dL.

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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.

The Usc Healthier Vessels Healthier Brain Study: Research To Understand How Early Diabetes Affects Capillaries Brain Cells And Memory Function

Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia: What

Dr. Helena Chui and the research team at the USC ADRCare conducting a study to determine how early diabetes affects capillaries, brain cells and cognitive abilities. USC is the home to the Stevens Institute of Neuroimaging and Informatics. We perform state of the art, high resolution MRI images of the brain and blood vessels. We have developed a new method of assessing capillary integrity using contrast MRI. We can measure hundreds of proteins, including insulin, insulin growth factor, beta-amyloid, tau proteins, omega-3-fatty acids from samples of cerebrospinal fluid. If you are interested in more information, please click here: or call the Research Center for more information and to set up a confidential screening phone interview: Lina DOrazio, Ph.D. 442-7680 or Maria Hernandez 442-6845.

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How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar

Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.

Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.

If you can, check often!

  • Check before and after meals.
  • Check before and after exercise .
  • Check before bed.
  • After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
  • Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.

What To Do If Your Partner Experiences Mood Swings

It’s not your responsibility to make sure your partner consistently eats well, but knowing the crucial role diet plays in managing mood for people with diabetes may help you understand their condition better. Don’t underestimate the importance of their diet and regular mealtimes.

If your partner struggles with managing moods as a result of fluctuating blood sugar, talk to them about it. Have a plan in place for emergencies, such as calling paramedics immediately at the first sign of a mood swing or outburst. Your partner should be willing, if not eager, to create an emergency plan for the sake of your safety and that of others.

If you’re in a relationship that’s abusive, it’s important to tell someone you trust: a friend, counselor, social worker, or healthcare provider. Abusive relationships are often isolated ones, where the abused partner lives in secrecy and fear. Telling others breaks the silence and enables you to more easily seek help.

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Causes Of Low Blood Sugar

There are many reasons why you may have low blood sugar, including:

  • Taking too much insulin.
  • Not eating enough carbs for how much insulin you take.
  • Timing of when you take your insulin.
  • The amount and timing of physical activity.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • How much fat, protein, and fiber are in your meal.
  • Hot and humid weather.
  • Unexpected changes in your schedule.
  • Spending time at a high altitude.
  • Going through puberty.
  • Menstruation.

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

The Effects of High Blood Sugar On Arteries â Dr.Berg on Arteriosclerosis & Atherosclerosis

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.

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How Can Diabetes Affect Memory Loss

Memory loss in diabetes can be a short term problem brought on by too low or high blood glucose levels.

During hypoglycemia , for example, you may struggle to remember words. This is not necessarily a sign of a long term problem. In most cases, raising sugar levels over 4 mmol/l should get your memory back to normal.

If memory problems happen at other times and this significantly affects your life, speak to your GP.

Diabetes can increase the risk of developing long-term memory problems if blood glucose levels are less well controlled. High blood glucose levels , over a number of years, can damage the nerves, including those of the brain, which can increase the risk of dementia

Research shows that good diabetes management can help prevent memory problems from developing or advancing.

Can High Blood Sugar Cause Brain Damage

Researchers are finding more evidence linking elevated blood sugar levels with cognitive problems.

Visit your doctor, and no matter what your age, you’ll step on the scale, get your blood pressure checked, and receive a lab slip to test your cholesterol levels. But a test for blood sugar? That’s a toss-up.


Doctors are short on time, patients don’t like being stuck with needles, and the prevailing opinion is that blood sugar isn’t an issue until people reach their golden years. Trouble is, a growing body of research suggests that maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels throughout your life could play a key role in preserving your brain.

Research has shown a link between diabetes and for decades. In fact, a November 2012 review in Experimental Gerontology reported that people with diabetes have double the risk of developing dementia. Now, scientists are discovering that even modestly elevated blood sugar levels may speed up cognitive decline.

“We know that people with diabetes are at increased risk,” says James A. Mortimer, PhD, professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of South Florida and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology . Even pre-diabetes has shown up in some studies. But this is pre-pre-diabetes, in the 90 to 100 mg/dL range.”

Sugar Spike

Swing Low

Safeguarding Your Brain

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Causes Of Sudden Confusion

Sudden confusion can be caused by many different things. Do not try to self-diagnose get medical help if someone suddenly becomes confused or delirious.

Some of the most common causes of sudden confusion include:

Who Gets Hypoglycemia

Can Diabetes Cause Confusion And Memory Loss ...

Almost all teens who take blood sugar-lowering medicine for diabetes get hypoglycemia from time to time. Insulin moves sugar out of the blood and into the body’s cells, where it’s used as a fuel. Someone with diabetes who takes too much insulin or doesn’t eat enough food to balance the effects of insulin may have a drop in blood sugar.

Hypoglycemia related to not eating rarely happens in teens and adults unless the starvation is severe, as in anorexia.

Poisoning or overdoses of some substances, such as alcohol, or certain drugs, like insulin or other diabetes medicines, can cause some otherwise healthy people to develop hypoglycemia. People with certain types of cancer or severe chronic illness also can get hypoglycemia. There are also rare genetic forms of hypoglycemia, but the symptoms are severe and almost always begin in infancy.

If hypoglycemia is so rare among people in their teen and adult years, why do a lot of people think they have it?

There are a couple of reasons. For one thing, the symptoms that happen with hypoglycemia overlap with those that people can have for many other reasons or no reason at all. It’s normal to feel very tired or weak, or have a headache periodically, especially if someone has had a stressful day or too little sleep. And drinking a lot of coffee, cola, or other caffeine-containing beverages can certainly make a person feel a bit shaky or jittery.

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When To See A Doctor

If mild brain fog improves with better diabetes management, you probably dont need to see your healthcare provider.

But if you take steps to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, yet you dont see any improvement in cognitive function, talk to your healthcare provider.

Again, they may need to adjust your medication or complete tests to rule out other medical conditions such as an autoimmune disease or depression.

Can High Blood Sugar Levels Cause Confusion

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Over time, high glucose levels can have serious repercussions, such as heart disease and stroke. But lower them too much and you could face immediate and severe side effects including confusion and cognitive impairment and, possibly, an increased risk of long-term cognitive decline .

Also, what does it feel like when your blood sugar is too high? The main symptoms of hyperglycemia are increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate. Other symptoms that can occur with high blood sugar are: Headaches. Tiredness.

Regarding this, can diabetes affect your thinking?

One large study, called the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, showed that low blood sugar does not have a long-term impact on memory or the ability to think in people with type 1. High blood glucose may not feel terrible, but it might cause problems with dementia.

Why do diabetics get confused?

Memory loss in diabetes can be a short term problem brought on by too low or high blood glucose levels. During hypoglycemia, for example, you may struggle to remember words. This is not necessarily a sign of a long term problem. In most cases, raising sugar levels over 4 mmol/l should get your memory back to normal.

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How Does High Blood Sugar Affect The Body

High sugar in the blood can lead to a number of other symptoms and complications. Here are just a few.

Urination and thirst: High blood sugar goes into the kidneys and urine. This attracts more water, causing frequent urination. This can also lead to increased thirst, despite drinking enough liquids.

Weight loss: High blood sugar can cause sudden or unexplained weight loss. This occurs because the bodys cells are not getting the glucose they need, so the body burns muscle and fat for energy instead.

Numbness and tingling: High blood sugar can also cause numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet. This is due to diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes that often occurs after many years of high blood sugar levels.

What Are The Symptoms

Do I Have Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia?

Some symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when the body releases extra adrenaline , a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, into the bloodstream to protect against hypoglycemia. High blood levels of adrenaline can make the skin become pale and sweaty, and a person can also have symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, and heart palpitations .

Other symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when not enough glucose gets to the brain in fact, the brain is the organ that suffers most significantly and most rapidly when there’s a drop in blood sugar. These symptoms include headache, extreme hunger, blurry or double vision, fatigue, and weakness. At its most severe, insufficient glucose flow to the brain can cause confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness .

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Diabetes And Irrational Behavior Mental Confusion: What Theyre Like

In diabetes, irrational behavior happens because glucose levels that are too high or, especially, too low impede self-control. When people lack their normal level of self-control, they often:

  • are impulsive
  • disregard long-term consequences of their actions
  • easily give in to temptation
  • make poor decisions even when theyre aware of different choices

Irrational behavior in diabetes can reduce the quality of life if it happens often or affects major life areas like relationships and work. Mental confusion also has the potential to negatively affect someones life. Bouts of confusion, when theyre severe or long-lasting, can limit lifestyle and such things as freedom of movement and ability to work.

Signs of diabetes mental confusion include:

  • forgetfulness, including forgetting what youre doing while youre doing it
  • a sensation of brain fog
  • losing important objects
  • long pauses during speech, as if youve lost your train of thought
  • feeling like you cant think
  • disorientation
  • difficulty doing ordinary tasks
  • incoherent speech

Diabetes and irrational behavior, as well as mental confusion, have specific causes related to blood sugar levels and insulin. Knowing their cause can help you understand whats happening when you or a loved one experiences these behaviors and emotions, and it can help you manage them as well.

How Diabetes Impacts Mental Health

Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2001.She has spent over…Read More

In addition to marking the beginning of the holiday season, November is American Diabetes Month and given the influx of unhealthy foods and practices that abound during this time of the year, I cant help but wonder if the timing of this was strategically planned.

When we think of diabetes, its physical manifestations and symptoms often come to mind first. After all, the vision problems, foot complications, hypertension, and high risk of wound infection due to slower healing weigh heavy on the minds of those with diabetes and their caregivers. However, diabetes affects people in a more insidious way that is no less important it impacts mental health.

Think about it. Diabetes is characterized by blood glucose levels that are too high. The brain uses glucose for all of its functions, which include thinking, judgment, memory, emotions, and behavior. If we have too much glucose coursing through our body, our brain will be affected along with our eyes, skin, feet, and every other anatomical system.

Here are a few ways that diabetes impacts mental health:

Balhara, Y. P. S. . Diabetes and psychiatric disorders. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 15, 274-283.

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How To Prevent Brain Fog With Diabetes

Preventing symptoms of brain fog with diabetes starts with keeping a stable blood sugar level.

This helps balance brain chemicals in your brain, as well as prevent blood vessel damage that can lead to cognitive problems.

If you believe your brain fog is medication-induced, speak with your healthcare provider. They may switch you to another drug or adjust your dosage to prevent low blood sugar.

The good news, though, is that brain fog isnt usually permanent, so you can reverse mental fatigue with the right treatment.

Remember, too, brain fog isnt a medical condition. Its a symptom of unstable blood sugar.

A healthier diet and adjustments to your medication can help you manage the underlying cause of brain fog and improve cognitive function.

These measures can also lower your risk of developing future health problems like Alzheimers disease and dementia.

According to research conducted in 2015 on the effect of diabetes on cognitive function, people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have a 50 percent increased risk of developing dementia.

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