Low blood sugar, also known as “Hypoglycaemia” is a very related topic to Diabetes. Considering the fact that Diabetes reflects on increased sugar levels in the blood, it also closely reflects on decreased sugar levels as it mostly happens due to medications prescribed to treat Diabetes.
Hypoglycemia is often a side-effect of diabetic medications, so this is a medical condition suffered by mostly by many diabetics. Decreased blood sugar has many early as well as severe symptoms. Today we will talk about one of the most common severe symptoms of low blood sugar – seizures.
What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Gets Too Low?
The norm of blood sugar is measured by the levels of glucose found in the blood. A healthy level of glucose ranges from 70 to 100 mg/dL. When this rate drops to 50mg/dL or below, the patient is considered to have a low blood sugar condition.
So what happens when your blood sugar gets too low?
In the first place, it triggers the hormone called Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and the patient may experience “adrenaline rush”. Released Epinephrine puts the body into the “fight” mode, which can lead to symptoms of Hypoglycaemia.
Our Brain also significantly reacts to the low blood sugar levels. If our brain does not get enough glucose it stops from functioning in the way it supposes to.
This can also lead to many of the low blood sugar symptoms, including – increased hunger, fatigue, pounding heart, paleness, dizziness and many more. If left untreated low blood sugar can cause severe symptoms such as – blurred vision, confusion, faintings, or even seizures.
What Are The Symptoms of a Diabetic Seizure?
Many people tend to confuse epilepsy and diabetic seizures. First of all, we have to understand that diabetic seizure and epilepsy are to different and unrelated medical conditions.
In the other hand, both medical conditions include both types of seizures (generalized and focal) what is a consequence of imbalanced electrical activity in neuron groups.
People who experience low blood sugar seizures are commonly having type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The actual symptoms of low blood sugar seizures can be the same as in epilepsy. It’s often a challenge to identify the cause of seizure if you are not aware of your blood sugar levels.
The only difference between epilepsy and diabetic seizure is that, if left untreated, low blood sugar seizure can lead to coma.
So How To Know If You Have Low Blood Sugar Seizures?
You should experience severe symptoms of Hypoglycemia. The Symptoms may include:
- Lost of coordination and consciousness
- Psychological symptoms such as paranoia, anxiety, or deja vu
- Unusual smells and tastes
- Speech difficulties
- Body twitches
- Uncontrollable body movements
- Strange feelings that are hard to describe
What Are The Causes of Low Blood Sugar Seizures?
Here comes the main difference between Diabetic and Epileptic seizures – the cause. Epilepsy has a very minimal effect on glucose levels, while diabetic seizures are only linked to decreased glucose levels.
Low blood sugar seizures are one of the severe symptoms of Hypoglycaemia. Before experiencing seizures it is common that the patient will go through some early signs of Hypoglycaemia. If the early symptoms left ignored and untreated, the condition progresses into its severe form leading to the low blood sugar seizures.
As mentioned before, seizures are usually experienced by type 1st or 2nd diabetes patients who have been taking medications to control their insulin levels. Such medications may have side-effects resulting in dropped blood sugar levels. In fact, poor physical activity and diet can also be important factors playing a big role in dropped sugar levels and seizures.
Although, you don’t always need to have diabetes to experience Hypoglycaemia and its seizures. People taking certain medications such as quinine, having medical conditions, such as hepatitis or kidney disorders are at a greater risk of Hypoglycemia. Also, a tumor that over-produces insulin may have an effect on dropped sugar levels.
What Should I Eat During A Low Blood Sugar Attack?
If you know that your glucose levels in the blood have dropped to 50mg/dL or below, or you experience any of the low blood sugar symptoms, seek for the professional medical help immediately. Severe symptoms like seizures may require another type of medication rather than just food.
On top of that, carbohydrate/glucose-rich foods is a good solution to increase, normalize your blood sugar levels and stop the low blood sugar attack.
Such foods can be:
- Fruits, Berries & Juices
- Lean Protein Meats
- Brown Rice
- Kidney Beans
- Whole-wheat Bread
- Raisins & Nuts
- Peanut Butter
Remember, it’s always a good idea to eat more small meals rather than fewer large meals throughout the day. Avoid foods with high-saturated fats, as well as those containing processed sugars. Try to avoid alcohol too.