Low blood sugar may come on gradually or suddenly. You’ll be more likely to notice symptoms when there is a sudden change, however, intensity of symptoms and types of symptoms can vary from person to person.
Low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia, can affect anyone. The condition may occur very infrequently, or may become a chronic problem. Signs are sometimes mild, but can be very serious–the sooner you recognize the signs, however mild, the sooner you can treat low blood sugar and feel better again.
Low blood sugar is considered to be below 70 mg per deciliter of blood, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website. Some people won’t feel effects at this level, while others may start feeling symptoms already at higher levels.
Many medicines and activities can cause a drop in blood sugar. Diabetics who take insulin or oral medication, for example, may occasionally take too much or not eat the right foods to stabilize the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
Non-diabetics may also suffer from low blood sugar. Causes for this include missing meals, disease, pregnancy and exercising intensely without eating soon enough after.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs your blood sugar may be too low include shakiness (tremor) nervousness/anxiety, confusion and hunger.
You may also feel dizzy and faint, tired and confused/spacey. Heart palpitations or racing, moodiness and blurry vision are also common.
Blood sugar may drop suddenly and cause serious illness or even seizures and collapse, in some. If you experience frequent episodes of low blood sugar, talk to your physician about possible causes and solutions. It may also not even be related to blood sugar–something else might be wrong.
Methods for preventing low blood sugar depend partly on the cause. Diabetics on insulin, for example, may need to cut down on the amount of insulin or make dietary changes, if low blood sugar happens frequently. Diabetics should speak to a doctor, however, before making any changes.
If you are not diabetic and suffer from hypoglycemia, you may prevent episodes by eating several small meals throughout the day.
If you feel shaky, faint or nervous and eating a small snack relieves these symptoms, chances are high that you experienced low blood sugar. However, it’s wise to see a doctor about these symptoms–diagnostic tests can tell how high or low your blood sugar goes and possible causes for this.