Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What To Do If A Diabetic Feels Dizzy

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What Is The Connection Between Diabetes And Dizziness

Learn first aid gestures: Diabetic Dizzy Spells

Dizziness can be a symptom of a diabetes-related issue as well. Some common concerns include:

  • low or high blood sugar levels
  • some diabetes medication
  • dehydration, brought on by hyperglycemia
  • low blood pressure that can happen in diabetes when you suddenly stand up from sitting or lying down
  • some people may experience dizziness from their blood pressure medication and may require an adjustment in the dose

Be sure to seek medical help immediately if youre experiencing continued dizziness or balance issues, especially if youre falling or having trouble walking.

What Is Hyperglycemia And What Causes Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia is defined as high blood glucose levels. This develops when the body has far too much sugar in the blood and hence does not produce enough insulin to disperse the necessary quantity of glucose in the blood.

Many diabetics suffer from hyperglycemia. It happens when a person with diabetes of type 1 is unable to create enough insulin via the pancreas. Because the body may be resistant to insulin, a person with type 2 diabetes isnt producing enough natural insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. This is one of the contributing factors for diabetes dizziness.

If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to a variety of complications. Among the potential complications are:

  • Blood vessel damage

What Do Other Treatment Options For Vertigo Cost

Medications range from $500 $2,000 per year. And I dont think I need to discuss the issue of side effects any further.

A surgery could easily rack up $10,000. And again, these are typically useless.

Even a set of walking-canes, walkers and other support devices will cost hundreds of dollars.

Even if your health insurance pays for all this, it wont cover costly taxi fares when you cant drive yourself and other hidden cost of vertigo.

More importantly, no insurance will cover your pain, suffering and lost quality of life.

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What Is The Connection Between Diabetes And Balance

Impaired balance is one of the most commonly identified risk factors associated with falls in older adults with type 2 diabetes. There are several diabetes-related complications that can impact balance and contribute to falls. These include:

  • nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy, which can result in the loss of sensation in the feet/legs and can impact walking
  • hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, which can trigger a loss of balance
  • retinopathy as well as cataracts and glaucoma, which can lead to difficulty in seeing objects obstructing your path

With diabetes, you also have a higher risk of bone issues that can affect balance and mobility compared to those without the disease.

What To Do In An Emergency

Diabetes Dizziness Morning

A diabetic emergency happens when symptoms relating to diabetes overwhelm the body.

At this point, home treatment is unlikely to help, and delaying medical care could cause permanent damage or death.

Some of the signs that can indicate a serious problem include:

  • chest pain that radiates down the arm
  • difficulty breathing
  • a severe headache and weakness in one side of the body
  • loss of consciousness

If there are signs of an emergency, the person should go to the emergency room, or they or someone with them should call 911 immediately.

Without rapid help, some diabetic emergencies can be life-threatening.

It is not always possible to prevent an emergency, but being able to recognize the signs can improve the chances of early treatment and a full recovery.

Strategies that can help to reduce the risk of an emergency include:

Following the treatment plan: Use medications as a doctor prescribes and keep in touch with the healthcare team. If a person cannot remember whether or not they took their last dose of drugs, they should ask a doctor before taking a further dose. This can help to prevent hypoglycemia. Anyone who notices a change in their symptoms should see a doctor.

Eating healthful, balanced, regular meals: People who use insulin or other medications that lower blood glucose should ask their doctor about what foods to eat, how much, and when, in order to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Small, frequent meals are better than fewer larger meals.

People with diabetes should:

Also Check: How To Find Out Diabetes

Is Nausea A Symptom Of Diabetes

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of diabetes for a variety of reasons, mostly related to blood sugar and digestive issues.

Potential causes of diabetes-related nausea and vomiting may include:

  • Hypoglycemia also known as low blood sugar
  • Hyperglycemia also known as high blood sugar
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis, when ketones in your blood increase to dangerous levels
  • Pancreatitis, which is swelling of the pancreas
  • Gastroparesis, or partial paralysis of the stomach

Can Having Gestational Diabetes Make You Tired

Gestational diabetes is a condition that approximately 4% of women experience during pregnancy. Due to the hormones, insulin resistance occurs, and causes higher blood sugar levels. This can be a problem because it causes babies to be born larger and have difficult births. It can also cause birth defects and it makes the first few days difficult for the newborn to maintain their blood sugar. It usually can be controlled with a change in diet, but sometimes insulin may be required.

Some women show no signs of gestational diabetes, while other have extreme fatigue, elevated thirst, and an increase in urinating. The problem is that most pregnant women experience all of these symptoms anyway. For this reason, all women are tested for gestational around 24 weeks of pregnancy. Women at a higher risk may be tested earlier.

If fatigue does become worse during pregnancy, the expectant mother should seek help from their physician to rule out gestational diabetes or other complications such as low blood pressure or anemia .

Further reading:

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High Blood Sugar: Hydration

Managing high blood sugar may also help treat dehydration. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help the body stay well-hydrated. For more severe cases of dehydration, people may need to replenish their electrolytes.

It is best to avoid sugary drinks or fruit juices, as these could increase blood sugar levels.

When To Call A Professional


People with diabetes should contact their doctors promptly if they experience frequent episodes of hypoglycemia. They may need to adjust their daily doses of medications, meal plans and/or exercise program.

Nondiabetic people who experience symptoms of hypoglycemia should contact their doctors for evaluation of the problem.

Recommended Reading: What Can Type 2 Diabetes Do To Your Body

Could My Fatigue Be Linked To My Depression About Diabetes

Diabetes is a very stressful disease. It takes a lot of time and energy to plan meals and insulin dosages. Having all of the stress can lead to depression. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression as those without diabetes.

Depression is a major cause of fatigue, and can make it even harder to manage diabetes because of lack of motivation. It is important that individuals with depression seek help from their doctor/therapist to make sure that they are able to care for themselves. Learning coping mechanisms to deal with your depression which is linked to your diabetes will be effective in the long term.

Whats The Link Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is most common, by far, in people with diabetes. Treatment for the diseaseoften involves taking medication to increase insulin. Hypoglycemia can develop if things like food, exercise and diabetes medications are out of balance.

Common pitfalls for people with diabetes include:

  • Being more active than usual.
  • Drinking alcohol without eating.
  • Eating late or skipping meals.
  • Not balancing meals by including fat, protein and fiber.
  • Not eating enough carbohydrates.
  • Not timing insulin and carb intake correctly .

Also, if someone with diabetes uses the wrong insulin, takes too much or injects it incorrectly, that can cause hypoglycemia.

Read Also: Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated With Insulin

What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.

What Should You Do If You Are Feeling Dizzy

Diabetes Symptoms Type 2 Dizziness

If you have diabetes and you feel dizzy, there is only one way to know if your blood glucose levels are the cause of your symptoms.

You must check your blood glucose levels.

The quickest way to do so is to use a meter. Checking your blood glucose levels will let you know in 3 to 10 seconds if youre in a danger zone. And if your level is normal, well youve ruled out hypo- or hyperglycemia as a cause of your symptoms.

It May Be Time to See Your Doctor

So when diabetes dizziness strikes, it might be time to visit your health care provider to make sure you are managing your blood glucose levels effectively and avoid developing any serious complications. Especially if it seems you have felt lightheaded more frequently and you cant attribute it to a hot room or too much Champagne.

It might be that you just need to adjust your diet, lifestyle or medications slightly, but its always worth reporting any changes in your condition to your doctor as its usually easier to correct all of these complications earlier rather than later.

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This Morning: Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Devastating Says Expert

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Signs of type 2 diabetes appear gradually, so its vital to be aware of the early symptoms of the condition. Better yet, there are ways to minimise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

The Global Diabetes Community confirmed dizzy spells are a common warning sign of type 2 diabetes.

Feeling unsteady and unbalanced could be due to low blood pressure, as the heart struggles to sufficiently pump blood to the brain.

This tends to occur when you suddenly stand up from a sitting or lying position.

Reasons Why Dizziness Happens With Diabetes

There are several reasons why you might experience dizziness with diabetes.

  • Low blood sugar levels. Also called hypoglycemia, a drop in blood sugar below 70 mg/dL causes brain cells to malfunction, leading to possible dizzy spells.
  • High blood sugar levels. Also called hypoglycemia, elevated blood sugar levels over 180 mg/dL can also lead to dehydration and dizziness.
  • Low blood pressure. Low blood pressure can occur with diabetes. The force with which the heart pumps blood to the brain can become weak. This can be more risky when standing up quickly.
  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure can occasionally come with feelings of nausea, headache, and dizziness.
  • Postural hypotension. This happens when blood pressure drops after standing up suddenly after sitting or lying down for a long period of time. Postural hypotension is fairly common in older adults, however it is something to watch for as it can lead to fainting and injury.
  • Diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy is a common symptom of diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar levels cause damage to the nerves which leads to tingling and pain. Another factor of nerve damage is gastroparesis, in which it takes longer for the stomach to digest food. Complications of diabetic nerve damage include pain in hands and feet, erectile dysfunction, UTIs, bowel issues, and eye and heart problems.
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    Treatments And Management Of Nausea

    Treatment options may vary depending on the cause of your nausea, whether it’s related to blood sugar, pancreatitis, or gastroparesis.

    To treat high blood sugar, exercise may help. However, if your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dl, it is recommended that you check your urine for ketones. If ketones are present, do not exercise, as this can make your blood sugar rise even higher.

    What Are Some Ways To Improve Balance And Dizziness


    There are many ways to improve your balance and reduce dizziness when you have diabetes. Here are some things to do in the short-term to improve dizziness and balance:

    • Take your time when moving from a lying down position to sitting and standing
    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
    • Avoid stimulants such as alcohol and coffee that can make dizziness worse
    • When feeling unsteady, focus on a fixed object in your vision
    • When outside, avoid crowds and crowded areas
    • Manage your blood sugar levels to reducelows and highs
    • Talk to your healthcare provider about your diabetes and/or blood pressure medications and whether they are contributing to the problem

    Its a good idea to include balance training along with physical activity and strength training in your regular activity.Here are some balance exercises you can try.

    Keeping active through other exercises such as pool aerobics or gentle yoga and pilates is another good way to improve balance.

    While diabetes-related complications can affect your balance and cause dizziness, especially as you get older, know that there are things you can do to improve your balance and reduce symptoms. Remember that any activity that keeps you on your feet and moving, such as walking, can help you maintain your balance. And its never too late! Research shows that the right exercises can help people who are sedentary to dramatically improve their strength and balance at any age or ability level.

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    When Should You Consult A Doctor For Dizziness

    Generally, an occasional dizzy spell that goes away quickly on its own is not a source of concern.

    But if bouts of dizziness become a regular experience or dont go away easily, you may need to consult with your doctor or healthcare team.

    Persistent dizziness can indicate a serious health concern, including cardiovascular disease and circulatory conditions.

    Dizziness can also cause you to fall, leading to injury or accidents. Injuries caused by dizziness can lead to additional negative health effects, according to

    Hypoglycemia And The Brain

    Hypoglycemia happens when your blood sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dL and can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. When your brain doesnt get enough sugar, it shuts down the oxygen to the brain. And unlike high blood sugar, which takes time to affect the brain, when you have low blood sugar the signs are often immediate. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include feeling dizzy, shaky, or irritable, and you may have trouble walking or talking. Severe low blood sugar can cause you to pass out or have seizures. It can even put you in a coma.

    Some people with low blood sugar may not have any symptoms, which can make it hard to treat early. This is why its important to check your blood sugar often, so you can treat your low blood sugar before it causes serious problems. And although its not clearly understood if low blood sugar causes long-term effects to the brain, some research does show that big dips in blood sugar may be linked to problems with depression, memory, and attention span. If you have any of these problems and have frequent low blood sugar episodes, talk to your doctor, who can help:

    • Figure out why you may be having low blood sugar episodes.
    • Adjust your medicine, if needed.
    • Refer you to a mental health counselor to help with feelings of depression.

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    Can Diabetes Cause Headaches And Dizziness

    Diabetes is a condition when your body cannot synthesize the sugar in the food due to inadequate or ineffective insulin. This sugar stays in the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. When the body tries to expel this sugar in the urine, it leads to dehydration, which is one of the main cause of headaches and dizziness in diabetes.

    Treatment & Prevention For Dizziness In Diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Dizzy spells could be a sign of the condition ...

    The root cause of headaches and dizziness in diabetes is due to fluctuating blood sugar levels. If this is managed, with constant monitoring of blood sugar levels and maintaining it in range there may be fewer occurrences of dizziness spells.

    1. Dizziness due to Low Blood Sugar Levels

    • Follow the 15-15 rule. People with type 2 diabetes and dizziness can follow the 15-15 rule where you consume 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and check your blood sugar after 15 minutes. If your blood sugar is still low, you can take another 15 grams. This will certainly bring your blood sugar levels back to normal.
    • In severe cases of hypoglycemia, your doctor may recommend hormones such as glucagon, which helps the body release stored glucose.

    2. Dizziness due to High Blood Sugar Levels

    • A properly balanced diet is the best way to prevent dizziness due to high sugar. Also, exercise plays an important role. A healthy and active lifestyle is important to manage type 2 diabetes and dizziness. If you are more prone to dizzy spells, it is important to keep yourself hydrated.
    • Take your insulin doses and other medications on time and monitor your blood sugar levels constantly to prevent them from spiking.

    Recommended Reading: St Vincent’s Diabetes Clinic

    When To Contact A Doctor About Dizziness

    Anyone experiencing regular dizziness should contact a doctor. They may wish to consider keeping track of when they feel dizzy to help a doctor identify any patterns.

    The doctor may carry out a physical examination and assess any other symptoms. They may check blood sugar levels and review the personâs medications to determine the cause of the dizziness.

    Treating or managing the underlying causes of dizziness in type 2 diabetes may help resolve dizziness.

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