Frequent low blood sugar levels: Possible causes and what to do
Hypoglycemia is a normal part of battling diabetes, but persistent low blood sugar can cause serious problems and may even be life-threatening.
Ignoring the symptoms of low blood sugar can cause seizure or loss of consciousness, as the brain needs glucose in order to function normally.
Exploring the possible causes of low blood sugar may help to understand why it's happening frequently:
- Insulin dosage. Taking too much insulin can cause your blood sugar level to drop.
- Food intake. If you aren't eating enough carbohydrates - or if you don't eat enough after taking diabetes medication - you can also go into hypoglycemia.
- Exercise. Excessive exercise will use up your glucose stores. If you've recently changed your workout routine or are working out harder, this may explain frequent low blood sugar levels.
- Co-existing conditions or illness. If you have diabetes along with a critical illness or health complication, your blood sugar may be harder to control. Certain liver diseases, kidney problems, eating disorders or endocrine deficiencies can impair the hormones responsible for glucose production.
What to Do
If you're concerned about frequent low blood sugar levels, the best thing to do is consult your physician about the problem. He or she may run tests or blood work to see what other complications could be causing the hypoglycemia. You might also talk about adjusting your medication dosage or changing the time and frequency of your insulin therapy.
On your own, it can be tremendously helpful to diligently track your glucose levels so you can better understand your body's patterns. Make sure you have a clear understanding of safe eating habits, too, as small tweaks to your diet can significantly impact your blood sugar.
Source: Mayo Clinic