Type 2 diabetes: Eight bodily reactions if your blood sugar plummets – hypoglycaemia

Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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Low blood sugar can occur when a person with type 2 diabetes has taken too much insulin. Early indications of hypoglycaemia can be felt all along the body. Would you recognise the sensations if you had low blood sugar? According to the NHS, one bodily reaction to hypoglycaemia is sweating; another indication of low blood sugar is feeling dizzy. Other clues of the condition include feeling tired and hungry, which can make a person more irritable, tearful, anxious or moody.

People suffering from low blood sugar may experience “tingling lips”, or feel shaky and start trembling.

Other signs of hypoglycaemia include a fast or pounding heartbeat and/or turning pale.

Eight bodily reactions signalling hypoglycaemia:

  1. Sweating
  2. Feeling tired
  3. Dizziness
  4. Feeling hungry
  5. Tingling lips
  6. Feeling shaky or trembling
  7. A fast or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  8. Turning pale.

If low blood sugar isn’t remedied, it can cause other symptoms, such as:

  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness (like being drunk)
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Seizures or fits
  • Collapsing or passing out.

READ MORE: Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Warning signs that signal high blood sugar

If hypoglycaemia occurs while you’re sleeping, you may wake up during the night with a headache, feeling tired, and discover your sheets are damp.

The bedsheets would be damp due to the high amount of sweat coming off of you during the nighttime.

A low blood sugar reading is regarded as less than 4mmol/L, which may be remedied by having a sugary drink or snack.

Examples include a small glass of fruit juice, or a handful of sweets.

If you feel better after 10 to 15 minutes after having fruit juice or a handful of sweets, the NHS advise you to eat a “slow-release carbohydrate”.

Examples include: a slice of bread or toast, a couple of biscuits, or cow’s milk.

“You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos,” said the NHS.

“But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.”

What’s the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

The charity Diabetes UK explained that both types of diabetes “are as serious as each other”.

Type 1 diabetes involves the body’s immune system attacking the cells in the panaceas, which means they can no longer create insulin.

Meanwhile, in type 2 diabetes, the insulin made by the pancreas is either ineffective or not enough of it gets created.

Both conditions might require the use of insulin medication, although type 2 diabetes can also be managed via diet and exercise.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition which isn’t influenced by lifestyle or weight.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is more likely to occur if you are overweight.

Both conditions share symptoms of high blood sugar, which include:

  • Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night
  • Being really thirsty
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Genital itching or thrush
  • Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

While there is no cure for either condition, there is evidence that losing weight can put type 2 diabetes into remission.

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