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Low Blood Sugar Due to Diabetes, Its Causes & Complications



Blood sugar levels do not remain the same all the time. It happens with both diabetics and healthy individuals. However, the body of a healthy individual can balance out blood sugar levels on its own. Generally, diabetics (especially those with type 1 diabetes) suffer from the complications of low blood sugar.


Sometimes the blood sugar levels may also plummet in the body of a type 2 diabetic due to the use of insulin or medications. You suffer from low blood sugar when the glucose level in your bloodstream goes below 70mg/dL. Taking immediate action is imperative in such a situation. Not doing so can be dangerous for you.


How Diabetes Leads to Low Blood Sugar


Whenever you think of diabetes, the next thought that comes to your mind is high blood sugar. But do you know that sometimes diabetics also become a candidate for low blood sugar due to the disease? Wondering how it can happen? It primarily happens due to the use of insulin and certain medications to keep blood glucose levels under control.


Insulin or a medication controls sugar levels in the bloodstream. Diabetics must keep their prescribed dosage in mind while taking them. A diabetic can show signs of hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar when they take an overdose of medications or insulin. It happens as an overdose of the latter lowers the level of sugar in the bloodstream below the normal level.


Some people become highly concerned or start panicking at the thought of hypoglycaemia. While it is not a disease, it is a condition due to which one can develop several complications. As a result, it is natural on the part of an individual to be concerned about it.


Complications of Low Blood Sugar Diabetes


Due to low blood sugar in the body, one may suffer from the following complications:

  • Seizures
  • Neurological damage
  • Loss of strength and balance
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unusually low supply of glucose to the brain


Among the above-listed complications, the last one is the most serious. The supply of low blood glucose to the brain can damage brain cells which can be the cause of the death of an affected individual.


Best Practices to Maintain Blood Sugar Levels


Diabetes brings many health problems and complications with it. It affects different individuals in distinct ways. Oftentimes, it leads to other diseases. For this reason, some medical professionals also call it “the mother of all diseases”.


By adopting some healthy practices, you can prevent yourself from developing type-2 diabetes and the subsequent complications due to it. The best approach to beating diabetes is to maintain blood sugar levels. You can do so with the following practices:

  • Say no to sugar-rich foods
  • Monitor sugar levels daily
  • Take a balanced diet with a good amount of protein and fiber
  • Exercise regularly
  • Quit alcohol
  • Follow your day-to-day food and medicine routine with diligence


You can adopt these practices even after being diagnosed with diabetes. If your doctor prescribes medications or insulin to maintain blood sugar levels in the body, stick with your doctor’s prescribed dosage. This approach will save you from becoming a candidate for low blood sugar and its complications.


Causes of Low Blood Sugar

Despite many people knowing about hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), only a few of them understand it correctly.


As it happens due to an imbalance in blood sugar levels, being well-informed about the technique for the identification of low blood sugar is essential. And it is equally significant to know its causes.


Some common low blood sugar causes include the following:

  • Menstruation
  • Puberty
  • Being in a high-altitude region for a long time
  • Sudden changes in the lifestyle
  • Humid weather conditions
  • Dietary imbalance
  • Excess consumption of alcohol
  • Prolonged duration of physical activity
  • The timing of taking insulin
  • Imbalance in the number of carbs compared to the dosage of insulin
  • Over dosage of insulin or medications for managing blood sugar levels


Apart from menstruation and puberty, others constitute the common causes of sugar-level imbalance in individuals of either gender. 


Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

How the body responds to the lowering of blood sugar levels typically varies from individual to individual. That is to say, your response to low blood sugar will be different from others. However, you may display some common symptoms which include the following: 

  • Confusion or irritability
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Hunger
  • Dizziness


Without a shadow of a doubt, the lower level of blood sugar in the bloodstream is a cause of concern. But hypoglycaemia unawareness can be an even more worrying factor. Due to it, you may not display any symptoms even if you have low levels of blood sugar.


As a result, it would remain untreated for a long time. Over time, it can maximize your vulnerability to extreme sugar level fluctuations wherein the blood sugar levels in the body can be extremely low.


Awareness and testing are the best methods to avoid the complications of hypoglycaemia unawareness. Consider if you have been managing diabetes for more than 5 years or you take beta blockers for high blood pressure or you experience low blood sugar frequently. If any one of these scenarios applies to your case, consult your doctor for the right medical advice.


The primary reason for low blood sugar is the fluctuation of blood sugar levels in the bloodstream. Depending on whether you are diabetic or not, you may either suffer from a night-time or severely low level of blood sugar.


Take insulin in the prescribed dosage and consider snacking before bedtime if you suffer from blood glucose imbalance quite often. Take a sugary food or sugar immediately when you start displaying the symptoms. It will help you normalize blood sugar levels in the body.

Medanta Medical Team
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