Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level
If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:
- Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
- Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
- Do not skip meals.
- Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
- Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
- Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you’re asleep
If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.
How Does Hypoglycemia Cause Headaches
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is said to occur at blood glucose levels lower than 70 mg/dL. The body relies on glucose as its primary source of fuel for many cells, including the cells in the brain. Without an adequate amount of fuel, the body is unable to function properly and symptoms typically develop quickly, including headaches.
With low blood sugar, you may feel perfectly fine one minute and then develop a bad headache just moments later. However, you are also likely to experience other symptoms of hypoglycemia at the same time.
In addition to headache, symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
People with diabetes can experience hypoglycemia if they use too much insulin or other medications to manage their diabetes. Severe hypoglycemia can cause life-threatening complications, including seizures, loss of consciousness, or coma, so its important to know how to recognize the signs and take action when needed.
Rapid-absorbing glucose powder and other fast-acting carb and sugar products can come in handy when this happens. Regularly experiencing hypoglycemia is a sign that a person may need to make changes to their diabetes care plan.
How To Treat Someone Who’s 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.
Of Course There Are Apps For That
In many cases, the cause of your headaches can be easily explained by factors such as changes in blood glucose levels, lack of quality sleep, or missing your morning coffee. But headaches that continue despite making lifestyle changes should always be brought to the attention of your doctor. He or she may refer you to a headache specialist. You can also keep tabs on your headaches by using an app. App suggestions include:
Want to learn more about the relationship between diabetes and headaches? Read Diabetes and Headaches: Soothing That Aching Head.
Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.
Food And Eating Habits
Despite the constant recommendations to eat healthfully when you have diabetes, its not necessarily easy to change your eating habits. No one is perfect! But when it comes to your food choices or how and when you eat, its worthwhile to focus on a) trying to get into an eating routine and b) making healthful food decisions most of the time. Youll reap a host of benefits by doing so, including more stable blood glucose levels, reaching and staying at a healthy weight, a lower risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, and, yes, fewer headaches. What and how you eat can be directly responsible for headaches, especially migraines. Typical triggers for migraines include:
Too much or too little caffeine Alcohol, especially red wine, whiskey, Scotch, and champagne Aged cheeses Nitrates and nitrites, found in cold cuts, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon Monosodium glutamate Foods or drinks containing aspartame, a nonnutritive sweetener Citrus fruits
Other culprits: skipping or delaying meals, and not drinking enough fluids.
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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 Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes usually starts in childhood or young adulthood, whereas type 2 diabetes usually starts in adulthood. In people with type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys pancreatic cells that produce insulin. In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is not attacked and usually produces insulin. However, people with type 2 diabetes, for numerous reasons, cannot use the available insulin effectively.
People with type 2 diabetes can have the same symptoms as those with type 1 diabetes, however, people with type 1 diabetes usually have symptoms that occur more rapidly. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle.
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Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Itâs important to get your blood sugar under control to avoid these serious conditions:
- Hypoglycemia. If your blood sugar falls below 70 milligrams per deciliter , it can lead to accidents, coma, and death.
- Hyperglycemia. Blood sugar that goes above 180 to 200 mg/dL can give you heart, nerve, kidney, and vision problems. Over the long term, it also can cause coma and death.
Over time, people with type 2 diabetes may have other health problems:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis. When you donât have enough insulin in your system, your blood sugar rises, and your body breaks down fat for energy. Toxic acids called ketones build up and spill into your urine. It can cause coma and death if you donât treat it.
- Heartand blood vessel diseases. People with diabetes are more likely to have conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which play a role in heart disease. Also, high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.
- High blood pressure. Diabetes doubles your risk of high blood pressure, which makes you more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
- Nerve damage . This can cause tingling and numbness, most often in your feet and legs. But it can also affect your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart.
- Eyedamage. Diabetes can cause:
- Glaucoma, a buildup of pressure in your eyes
- Cataracts, a cloudiness of your lens
- Retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in your eyes
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:
- the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
- skipping or delaying a meal
- not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
- exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
- drinking alcohol
Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.
Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.
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Uncontrolled Diabetes May Trigger Unexpected Weight Loss
In type 2 diabetes, the bodys cells don’t get enough glucose for energy. As a result, the body can turn to breaking down its fat stores for energy, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Severe, unintended weight loss is most common when the type 2 diabetes goes undetected for a long time, according to research.
Increased urination can also contribute to weight loss. For example, if you are urinating high levels of glucose because of uncontrolled diabetes, you are literally flushing calories down the toilet, says Daniel Einhorn, MD, the medical director of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California in San Diego. Dehydration involves a significant loss of water weight.
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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How Do You Treat A Headache Caused By Hypoglycemia
Headaches are a common symptom of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and can come on suddenly.
If you suspect that your headache is the result of low blood sugar, check your blood sugar to confirm that this is the case before attempting to treat your headache.
People with diabetes who have headaches when they wake up may be experiencing nocturnal hypoglycemia. If a blood sugar test indicates that you are experiencing a headache as a result of hypoglycemia, the American Diabetes Association recommends consuming 15 grams of simple carbohydrates or glucose and rechecking glucose levels after 15 minutes. If blood sugar is still too low, consume another 15g of carbs, being cautious not to consume too much. If you eat too much to treat low blood sugar, you may risk binging and end up chasing high blood sugar as a result. Using this method, the headache should subside once your blood sugar levels return to the normal range.
Early Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your body doesnât make enough of a hormone called insulin or doesnât use insulin the way it should. Insulin helps carry glucose to your cells. So when thereâs a problem with the insulin, glucose builds up in your blood. Youâve probably heard this called high blood sugar.
About 90% of people who have diabetes have type 2. The other two main ones are type 1, in which your body stops making insulin, and gestational, which happens in pregnant women.
You can usually control type 2 diabetes with lifestyle changes. Some people also need medication.
You might not know that you have type 2 diabetes until it affects your health. About 1 in 4 people with the condition donât know that they have it.
Symptoms can come on slowly. They may include:
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How Do You Treat A Headache Caused By Hyperglycemia
One key to treating and preventing headaches caused by high blood sugar levels, i.e. hyperglycemia, is to lower your blood sugar back down to normal levels.
The two easiest ways to lower blood sugar right now are to drink water and exercise.
Drinking water can help flush out excess glucose, not to mention that staying hydrated is a key part of overall diabetes care. On that note, hyperglycemic headaches can often be caused by dehydration that results from the body trying to flush that excess glucose without receiving more water to make up for whats been lost through urine. So, its no wonder that drinking water during a hyperglycemic headache can make a huge difference in a short amount of time!
Exercise as minimal as a brisk walk after lunch is another quick way to encourage the body to turn glucose into energy and lower blood glucose levels. This is especially helpful for those with type 2 diabetes as the physical activity can help increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar in that way as well!
Its important to note that exercise may not be safe for people with type 1 diabetes in certain situations. If you have type 1 diabetes, make sure to check your urine for ketones before exercising. If you have ketones in your urine, you should not exercise and should contact your doctor immediately, as exercising could unintentionally increase your blood sugar levels.
High Blood Pressure Risks
Type 1 diabetes damages arteries and makes them susceptible to hardening , which can lead to high blood pressure and other heart and circulation problems. Unfortunately, undiagnosed or prolonged high blood sugar levels can result in damage to organ systems in the body over time. People with type 1 diabetes have a high risk of vision problems, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, gum disease, tooth loss, and nerve damage . Other organs may also be damaged.
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Type 1 Diabetes And Pregnancy
Women with type 1 diabetes need to let their doctors know if they plan to become pregnant. Poor control of their blood sugars may cause complications such as birth defects. Planning ahead, even before conception, to control blood sugar levels can lower the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. During pregnancy, it is important to test blood glucose often and keep your A1c below 7%. Good blood sugar control can reduce other complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure or retinal damage in the mother.
Preeclampsia is a condition that 18%-30% of pregnant women with diabetes develop. Preeclampsia develops after the 20-week mark and is characterized by high blood pressure and proteins in the urine. It is important to treat preeclampsia, if untreated it may harm the baby and put the mother at risk for stroke and seizures. Once the baby is born and if the mother is breastfeeding, it is important for her to check her glucose levels frequently.
Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis
Simple blood tests can indicate the presence of abnormal sugar levels in the blood. If a person has any symptoms of diabetes, a fasting blood sugar test or even a random blood sugar test is usually the first step in diagnosis. A hemoglobin A1c test can reveal average blood sugar levels for the past 2 to 3 months. In most cases, these tests are repeated on at least two separate days. Other tests used are the glucose tolerance test or testing for specific antibodies in the blood.
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What Can You Do
If you have a headache, either by itself or combined with other typical symptoms of hyperglycemia, check your blood glucose. You may find that the higher your blood glucose, the worse the headache. Drinking water to lessen the chance of dehydration is important, and depending on how high your blood sugar is or if you have ketones in your urine, doing some physical activity can help to lower your blood sugar level. To lessen the frequency of hyperglycemia, follow your diabetes treatment plan as closely as possible. Talk with your health-care provider if your blood sugars are still high despite taking your medicines as directed, as you may need a change in your dose or an additional medicine.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels Treatment
For people with diabetes, complications that can damage organs can be prevented or reduced by regulating their blood sugar level. This is done by pricking the finger and putting a drop of blood on a test strip. The strip is then placed in a monitor that reads the glucose level. Close monitoring of glucose levels allows you to regulate your blood sugar by either medication if the sugar is high, or taking in sugar if the level is low. If you are able to keep blood sugar levels in or near the normal range, you will decrease the likelihood of developing complications and have more energy and fewer problems related to diabetes.
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