When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
Healthy Tips For Lowering Blood Pressure
Making certain lifestyle changes can not only reduce complications from diabetes but can also greatly reduce your risk of high blood pressure. In fact, lowering your systolic blood pressure by 10 points has been shown to lower all diabetes complication risks by 12 percent overall.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Regularly visit your primary care physician and take advantage of free blood pressure screenings.
- The American Heart Association recommends either 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity each week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit your salt intake to two grams per day, which is about one teaspoon.
- Eat a diet with low sugar but plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Dont smoke and drink only in moderation.
- Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which can raise blood pressure. Take acetaminophen instead whenever possible.
If you have type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, these lifestyle changes can help you get your diabetes and blood pressure under control. The goal is to live well with diabetes and work to prevent complications, and lowering your blood pressure is a critical step.
How To Avoid Added Sugars And Improve Your Blood Pressure
Avoiding added sugars is the key to limiting sugar intake in your diet. Dietary guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend that for men, 36 grams of added sugar is the daily maximum and for women, 25 grams is the daily maximum. Less is always better though, so aim to consume as little added sugar as possible. Knowing where added sugars are hiding is important for making the best food choices for a low-sugar diet. Follow these tips for cutting down on the amount of added sugar in your diet.
Read Also: How To Reduce Sugar Level Immediately
Risk Factors Associated With Diabetes And High Blood Pressure
Why should those with diabetes be aware of the risks of high blood pressure? Type 2 diabetes is caused by resistance to insulin, the hormone your body needs to use blood sugar for energy. Since the bodies of those with type 2 diabetes resist insulin, sugar builds up in their blood.
That means your body makes even more insulin, and insulin causes your body to retain salt and fluids, which is one way diabetes increases your risk for high blood pressure, said Dr. Hatipoglu. Over time, diabetes damages the small blood vessels in your body, causing the walls of the blood vessels to stiffen. This increases pressure, which leads to high blood pressure.
The combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes can greatly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Having type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure also increases your chances of developing other diabetes-related diseases, such as kidney disease and retinopathy.
Chronic high blood pressure can also contribute to early onset of conditions such as Alzheimers disease, dementia, and stroke because the blood vessels in the brain are particularly susceptible to damage due to high blood pressure.
Improves Oral Health :
Also Check: What Is Signs Of High Blood Sugar
High Blood Pressure: Sugar Vs Salt
Typically, people think of salt as bad for blood pressure. However, sugar is actually also responsible for high blood pressure and is a leading cause of it.
Fructose, a type of simple sugar, raises the levels of uric acid in the blood, which in turn inhibits the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is what helps your blood vessels maintain flexibility, so when levels of NO are lowered, you can experience a rise in blood pressure.
In addition, increased sugar consumption can lead to weight gain. Obesity is also a contributor to elevated blood pressure.
Sugar in processed foods is considered a main driver of hypertension, as well. Some sugars are worse than others. In particular, “added sugar,” such as table sugar and syrups used to prepare and process foods, is thought to be more harmful than naturally occurring sugars like those in fruit and milk.
Furthermore, research suggests that sugar intake can actually increase salt sensitivity, leading to the enhanced negative effects of sodium on blood pressure. A 2017 research study, in fact, discovered an association between sugar intake and high blood pressure in older women.
Current Levels Of Sugar Consumption And Dietary Guidelines
Approximately 300years ago humans were only consuming a few pounds of sugar per year. More recent estimates suggest intakes in the US population anywhere from 77 to 152lbs of sugar per year,, with 13% consuming at least 25% of their total caloric intake as added sugars. This level of consumption equates to an approximate average intake of added sugars of 2447 teaspoons per day, with an average daily fructose consumption of 83.1g. suggests how such large intake may be possible, showing some representative foods and the sugar loads associated with their consumption. In a study of over 1000 American adolescents the average daily intake of added sugars was 389g for boys and 276g for girls, or up to 52% of total caloric intake. The level of added fructose intake implied by these numbers is shocking, especially considering there is no physiological requirement for added sugar, particularly fructose, in the diet so potential harms of ingestion clearly outweigh any potential benefits.
Amount of sugar in common food items
Also Check: Can We Control Sugar Without Medicine
Does Sugar Raise Blood Pressure It Depends Where It Comes From Researchers Say
by Jim Oldfield, University of Toronto
Combined data from over two dozen nutrition studies show that while sugar-sweetened drinks are linked to elevated blood pressure, healthier foods that contain some sugars do not share the same relationshipand in fact may have a protective association when it comes to high blood pressure, according to University of Toronto researchers.
Sugar-sweetened beverages were linked with a 10 percent increase in blood pressure in the review, which pooled results from more than 900,000 participants in the other studies. Fruit, small amounts of 100 percent fruit juice, and dairy and whole grains with moderate amounts of added sugar all showed some protective associations with hypertension, the researchers found.
The findings were published this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
“The food source matters,” says John Sievenpiper, an associate professor in the department of nutritional science in U of T’s Faculty of Medicine and principal investigator on the study.
“Many dietary guidelines for sugar are based on evidence that sugar-sweetened beverages are harmful, but we shouldn’t necessarily extrapolate that to whole fruit, or low-fat yogurt or a whole-grain cereal that contains sugars.”
The results should provide some relief to consumers and patients concerned about high blood pressure, and who may count teaspoons of sugars in the many foods they eat over the course of a day, Sievenpiper adds.
How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.
Read Also: What Is Signs Of High Blood Sugar
Why Was Salt Blamed For Raising Blood Pressure
Previously it was believed that excess amount of salt is responsible for altering the homeostasis of the body. This could lead to long term health hazards like high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Research studies were conducted where a personâs normal diet was replaced by fruits and vegetables. It was found that blood pressure could be kept in check after executing this diet plan. However, the results are now being reconsidered. It is true that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables does not contain added salt but at the same time it does not contain any added sugar too. Moreover, the role of sugar was overlooked while interpreting the results. Contrary to popular belief salt has various health benefits. They are as follows:
- It is responsible to maintain the concentration of blood, plasma, and other body fluids.
- Salt is responsible for carrying various nutrients into the cells and out of it.
- Blood pressure is maintained and regulated.
- Salt can increase the glial cells of the brain.
- Useful in the generation of action potential to help in neural communication within the body.
- Salt loss can lead to fainting.
- Low levels of sodium can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. The symptoms of hyponatremia are as follows-
What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can start quickly, with people experiencing them in different ways. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant. But they provide good warnings that you should take action before blood sugar drops more. The signs include:
- Shaking or trembling.
- Tingling or numbness in the face or mouth.
During a severe hypoglycemic event, a person may:
- Be unable to eat or drink.
- Have a seizure or convulsions .
- Lose consciousness.
Also Check: Is There Sugar In Pedialyte
Don’t Miss: Banana Bad For Diabetes
Swap Out Added Sugars For Nitrate
In addition to cutting sugar out of your diet, you can add foods that support endothelial function. Natural nitrates are found in many vegetables like beets, spinach, broccoli, arugula, tomato, and mustard greens.
The body can convert nitrates from vegetables into biologically relevant nitric oxide, which helps aid vasodilation.
On the other hand, avoid nitrites and nitrates that are added to meats as preservatives. Though these added compounds play a role in keeping meat fresh, they interact with meat proteins during the cooking process that leads to the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Sugar And High Blood Pressure
You might have seen the headlines in the papers a week or so ago: quickest way to lower blood pressure, shouts the Daily Express and so on.
So whats the secret? Well, its simple. Its sugar.
Or rather its avoiding sugar thats key to lowering your blood pressure at least if youre getting too much sugar which most of us are.
Sugar and high blood pressure: the evidence
Since when has there been a link between sugar and high blood pressure? you might ask. Surely salts the one to cut down on. Well, many studies are now showing that sugar is far worse for your blood pressure and pretty much every other aspect of your health than salt. Which is not to say dont be careful with salt but be very very careful with sugar.
Easier said than done though, but well come to that shortly. First of all, whats the evidence relating to sugar and high blood pressure?
The study that recent newspaper headlines have been reporting was conducted in San Francisco on obese children. 43 obese kids with high blood pressure were put on a different diet which contained much less sugar but the same amount overall of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates .
The researchers found that the kids blood pressure dropped, their weight dropped, their cholesterol levels dropped, their blood sugar levels dropped in fact all kinds of unhealthy levels fell in just nine days !
Why is there a link between sugar and high blood pressure?
How to reduce sugar and high blood pressure
You May Like: Whether Banana Is Good For Diabetes
Study Suggests Sugar Is Worse For Blood Pressure Than Salt: Really
In recent years, salt has become somewhat less of a culprit in heart disease, and sugar has, at least in some researchers eyes, taken its place. Now, authors of a new study in Open Heart argue that sugar consumption may be considerably worse for blood pressure than salt intake. In fact, they say, It is time for guideline committees to shift focus away from salt and focus greater attention to the likely more-consequential food additive: sugar. Whether its really valuable to pit one white crystal against the other is unclear, but what we do know is that neither salt nor sugar, in high amounts, is very good for anyone’s heart. For people who already have heart disease or high blood pressure, its probably best to keep an eye on both.
But heres the rationale for the argument that sugar is worse for blood pressure than salt. Sugar, in high amounts, has many well-documented negative effects on the body, and in particular, on ones metabolic profile. Theres an established link between sugar and metabolic syndrome, a conglomeration of cardiovascular markers that includes insulin resistance, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high triglycerides , and excess weight, especially in the form of belly fat.
The best thing people can do for their health, says DiNicolantonio, is eat real whole food and avoid added sugars worrying less about the salt.
A Critical Dietary Caveat
Importantly, it is likely only added fructose and other sugars that may be a problem. Naturally occurring sugars, including fructose, seem to be benign in their usual biological context . In fact, in one trial, switching from a Western diet, to a diet containing approximately 20 servings of whole fruit significantly decreased systolic blood pressure, despite a fructose intake of approximately 200g. Moreover, a study randomising 131 patients to two low added-fructose diets showed comparable improvements from baseline in blood pressure, lipids, serum glucose, insulin resistance, uric acid, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and quality of life score.
You May Like: How To Control Urine Sugar
Predicted Changes In Percentage Of Population With High Blood Pressure
Our regression model predicted that decreasing added sugar intake results in an 8.4 mmHg drop in systolic BP and a 3.7 mmHg drop in diastolic BP in females, regardless of anti-hypertensive medication use. If females consume 2.3 teaspoons less added sugar, we predicted that 34.3% of females would have high BP readings, indicating a 12.9% drop in the percentage of females with hypertension readings and a 24.3% increase in the percentage of women with normal BP readings.
Promotes Sound Sleep :
Also Check: What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Sugar Cravings
How Is Sugar Responsible For Raising Blood Pressure
Recent reports emphasize that added amounts of sugar can raise blood pressure. Fructose in particular is to be blamed for this rise. In addition, it has also been found that fructose is highly responsible for raising cardiovascular risk among patients. However intake of a solution of glucose did not lead to the same findings. Ingestion of fructose changes the homeostasis of the body. The hypothalamus, a key region of the brain, is affected due to the changes in the homeostasis. The hypothalamus is connected to the pituitary gland. When the hypothalamus is activated, it send signals the pituitary gland to produce various hormones that reach various other glands like thyroid, adrenal, etc. which then starts releasing more amounts of hormones that these glands are supposed to produce. Moreover, hypothalamus is also responsible for stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. When the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated various changes start happening in the body. They are as follows:
- Metabolism is affected in the body.
- Pupils dilate
- Peristalsis is inhibited in the digestive tract
- Renin secretion increases in the kidneys
- Blood vessels dilate in the skeletal muscles and blood pressure increases.