There are a lot of people complaining about having low blood sugar. Probably, some of us have experienced it also in some phase of our lives. It is also an issue that it can cause a large variety of symptoms (and this includes making you feel like crap) and, in case it becomes a regular thing it may be a sign of a serious health issue. High blood sugar on the opposite, is also something that people fear a lot.
High blood sugar—hyperglycemia—happens when the level of glucose (i.e. sugar) in your blood elevates.
We ingest the glucose from the food we eat, and most of the foods we ingest can have an impact to our blood sugar in one way or another, as the certified dietitian-nutritionist Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., CEO of NY Nutrition Group. All this includes foods that are very high in carbohydrates and sugar but still lower in fat and fiber, as for example baked goods, white – flour breads, soda, as well as candy – she adds. “This is as well the case with foods high in added sugar, which include desserts, sweetened yogurts, candy, ice cream, certain breakfast cereals, granola bars and many sugar-sweetened beverages”, Alissa Rumsey, M.S.,R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells to SELF.
But, luckily, the high blood sugar is not something most of us have to be worried about. “Human bodies are much resilient to controlling blood sugar levels, especially when high,” Deena Adimoolam, M.D., assistant professor of endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. It is normal that when you eat something sugary or something that is carb-filled, the pancreas makes insulin, which is a hormone that your body will need in order to produce glucose. All glucose that is left is stored in your liver in order to make sure that it is not hanging around in your blood.
Dr. Adimoolam says that this system works pretty well in the non-diabetic healthy adults. “All normal people who have no problem with their ability to control blood glucose shall never become overly hyperglycemic,” she adds. In case you have developed insulin resistance or have diabetes, the body will not be as great at producing the insulin necessary to process glucose, which in turn means you will be more at risk for having blood glucose levels that can be dangerously high.
Some of the early signs of high blood sugar include:
Headaches are very common, so it is a huge help to know what kind of headache you’re dealing with (migraines, for example). But, in case of any new, chronic headache it deserves to be discussed with your doctor.
High amounts of glucose in the blood will affect your retina, causing a condition called diabetic retinopathy and thus, you might be able to notice blurred vision and extra floaters.
If feeling overly tired or fatigued, which are usually non-specific symptoms, they might also be signs of low blood sugar, Dr. Adimoolam confirms.
The additional glucose can likewise influence your kidneys, which are in charge of expelling the extra water from your blood in order to produce urine. High levels of glucose in your blood can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys, which will cause the process of filtering less efficient and pee more.
As Dr. Adimoolam tells, having the feeling like you need to drink more than usual is a natural side effect of peeing more often. In the case where your high blood sugar symptoms are left untreated, they can become more obvious and severe over the course of a few days or weeks. According to our experts and the Mayo Clinic, here’s what could happen if your blood sugar is too high: Difficulty concentrating, Dry mouth, Increased hunger, Confusion, Shortness of breath, Abdominal pain.
If you’re in the stage of sickness where you can’t keep food or fluids down, you need immediate medical attention or at least, make an appointment with your doctor.
You can use your food choices to lower the odds you’ll experience these symptoms. If you do have diabetes, it’s very important to stick to your individualized nutrition plan and if your symptoms are seen early enough, it is possible to lower high blood sugar by adjusting some different lifestyle changes (which both include diet as well as physical activity).
Although a set “diabetes diet,” does not exist, most people have been advised to make fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the bulk of their diet because they’re low in sugar and high in fiber. Foods containing sugar are fine every once in a while, but how much and how often you should have them will depend on your individual circumstances—including the fact whether you have type 1 or 2 diabetes.
A great size from this process is educating patients about which foods are truly healthy, Dr. Adimoolam says. Although the quinoa is something we generally think of as being healthy, it in itself still has carbs that can interfere with your blood sugar. In case of assistance in putting together a nutrition plan, check in with your doctor (who may refer you to an R.D.).
If you’re often experiencing the symptoms of high blood sugar and aren’t sure why, please talk to your doctor. If it is suspected you might have diabetes,the doctor will do a blood test to see the amount of sugar in your blood that’s physically attached to hemoglobin cells, Dr. Adimoolam says. As the blood sugar goes higher over the past few months, the more of those hemoglobin cells will be attached to sugar molecules. However, that test’s results may be inconclusive or the test may not be available. If this happens you’ll be given a different type of blood test (possibly one that requires you to fast). What’s more, if your specialist supposes you may have type 1 diabetes, there might be a couple of extra tests to look for compounds in your urine and to test your immune system.
Diabetes treatment, in addition to managing your nutrition and exercise, may include monitoring your blood sugar, medication, and insulin therapy. Humans with type 1 diabetes will definitely require insulin (in the form of a pump or injections), as do many (but not all) people with type 2 diabetes. There are cases where people with type 1 diabetes may opt for a pancreas transplant, which would replace the need for insulin therapy.
The sickness diabetes is itself a serious condition, so therefore it’s crucial to be aware of the sometimes subtle signs, and of course, to see your doctor if you have any concerns.