High Diastolic Pressure Caused by Low Blood Sugar


The body raises blood pressure to keep all parts of the body nourished with blood sugar. Normally, the blood sugar rises during activity or an alert state. A blood sugar drop to a low level can occur after exercise, when sugar intake is low or with overly strong insulin production. The body increases blood flow to protect the brain and the rest of the body from undernourishment, including between heart beats.

Blood pressure moves blood sugar through the body. Between heart beats, the diastolic blood pressure keeps sugar moving. The adrenal gland regulates the arousal with the hormone epinephrine. In response to the adrenal gland's regulation, the liver and kidney secrete glucose into the blood.

Abnormal Drops in Blood Sugar

When the body's blood sugar drops below 70 mg per deciliter, the person experiences hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can cause undernourishment in the brain, nerves and and the autonomic organs that perform involuntary vital functions. Severe hypoglycemia can even cause death.

Arousal Response

Aware of the danger of hypoglycemia, the body responds with arousal to remedy the low blood sugar condition. The adrenal glands' regulation is one of these responses. According to a study by Pauline Genter, published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, epinephrine matches blood sugar lows with high hormone levels. Epinephrine raises the heart rate and the amount of blood pumped in the heart to increase blood flow. With more blood flow, the body's vital parts receive more blood sugar for nourishment. Because the nourishment needs to be constant, epinephrine keeps the blood pressure high between beats. Diastolic blood pressure can rise above 90 millimeters of mercury.

Blood Sugar Increase

Epinephrine, with glucagon produced by the pancreas, cause the liver and kidneys to secrete glucose. The rise in blood sugar compensates for the drop. For a period, the person experiences strong blood sugar supply. The brain and vital organs can function normally.

Autonomic Neuropathy

The autonomic nervous system and organs perform the body's involuntary vital functions, such as regulating blood pressure and blood glucose. In autonomic neuropathy, the nerves in the organs, or the system that controls the organ, becomes damaged. Extended conditions of low blood sugar can cause autonomic neuropathy. With damaged nerves in the kidneys, epinephrine can become poorly regulated. A drop in blood sugar after under eating and over exercising can cause high blood pressure when too much epinephrine affects the heart and arteries.

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