High Blood Sugar: Causes Complications And How To Lower Blood Sugar
Your body breaks down glucose for energy using the insulin produced by the pancreas. This is required for our bodies to function. Illness can have an impact on the way our pancreas functions. Read this to learn how high blood sugar can affect your health.
7 minute read
Your body requires energy to function, and this energy comes from food. Specifically, your body breaks down glucose for energy using the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause impairment to this breakdown of sugar in the body, causing blood glucose levels to become irregular. When glucose is not broken down into energy, it can build up in the bloodstream and then becomes a health problem.
Your pancreas produces insulin, which breaks down glucose. With type 1 diabetes, the cells that produce insulin are mistakenly attacked by your immune system. As a result of this autoimmune condition, blood sugar levels can become dangerously high without intervention.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body no longer responds to insulin as well as it should and then also causes glucose to accumulate in the blood.
Low Blood Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
Severe Low Blood Sugar
As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:
- Feeling weak.
- Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
- Acting strange or feeling confused.
- Having seizures.
Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.
People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.
You May Like: Vinegar And High Blood Pressure
A Few Final Notes On Keeping Blood Sugar Stable
Taking an active, intentional approach to your blood sugar levels is crucial to your quality of life and overall health, ONeill says. Avoiding too-high or too-low blood sugar levels will help you avoid adverse symptoms and health complications, and staying within your target range can enable you to feel your best and do whatever you want to do in life, she says.
Test your blood sugar regularly, listen to your body, and dont ever hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
Additional reporting by Karen Appold.
How Is High Blood Pressure Caused
Too high blood pressure tends to result from a build up of cholesterol within the walls of blood vessels. This causes narrowing of the blood vessels, restricting blood flow and raising blood pressure.
Narrowed arteries raises the risk of heart problems and stroke if too little blood gets to these vital organs or if a blood clot blocks the blood flow to them.
Sometimes, other conditions can cause high blood pressure such as diabetic nephropathy, kidney or hormone problems.
Recommended Reading: Apple Watch 2 Blood Pressure
Can High Blood Sugar Cause Brain Damage
Researchers are finding more evidence linking elevated blood sugar levels with cognitive problems.
Visit your doctor, and no matter what your age, you’ll step on the scale, get your blood pressure checked, and receive a lab slip to test your cholesterol levels. But a test for blood sugar? That’s a toss-up.
Doctors are short on time, patients don’t like being stuck with needles, and the prevailing opinion is that blood sugar isn’t an issue until people reach their golden years. Trouble is, a growing body of research suggests that maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels throughout your life could play a key role in preserving your brain.
Research has shown a link between diabetes and for decades. In fact, a November 2012 review in Experimental Gerontology reported that people with diabetes have double the risk of developing dementia. Now, scientists are discovering that even modestly elevated blood sugar levels may speed up cognitive decline.
“We know that people with diabetes are at increased risk,” says James A. Mortimer, PhD, professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of South Florida and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology . Even pre-diabetes has shown up in some studies. But this is pre-pre-diabetes, in the 90 to 100 mg/dL range.”
Safeguarding Your Brain
Can Low Blood Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of the Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences.
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, is defined as blood sugar levels of 70 milligrams per deciliter or lower. Symptoms of low blood sugar can include tiredness, sweating, and tingling lips. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can also be a sign of low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar is especially common in people with type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas creates little or no insulin. However, it can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or certain medications.
Read Also: Calibrate Blood Pressure Monitor Omron
Hypoglycemia In Children: Pediatric Ketotic Hypoglycemia
Some children experience pediatric ketotic hypoglycemia, a condition involving low blood sugar levels and high levels of ketones. If people do not have enough glucose to use as energy, the body begins to break down fat in the body instead. The body produces chemicals called ketones as a by-product of breaking down fat.
According to a 2019 study , pediatric ketotic hypoglycemia usually occurs due to poor intake of food, a gastrointestinal illness and vomiting, or a period of prolonged fasting. Severe metabolic and hormonal conditions may also cause pediatric ketotic hypoglycemia.
Pediatric ketotic hypoglycemia may affect children from 6 months old and often resolves after the age of 6 years.
Dash Diet Meal Ideas For Hypertension
Here are a few examples of the DASH diet-friendly meals that help promote low blood sugar and low blood pressure:
- Breakfast: For a DASH diet breakfast, try making quinoa porridge! Its basically a heartier version of oatmeal, with more high-quality protein and essential amino acids. Add cinnamon, sliced banana, raisins, and plant-based milk to hot, cooked quinoa. Top with a generous dollop of low-fat, low-sugar Greek yogurt. Serve with a side of brewed coffee and unsweetened almond milk for a liver-friendly, low-sugar beverage.
- Lunch: Make a salad bowl with a serving of whole-grain buckwheat pasta, soybeans, and sliced red pepper, carrots, cucumber, basil, and any other fresh vegetables and herbs of your choice for a powerful punch of antioxidants. Drizzle with a low-sodium, low-sugar peanut sauce or dressing of your choice.
- Dinner: For an anti-inflammatory dinner that promotes low blood pressure, try oven-baked salmon for healthy fats and optimal ratios of essential amino acids. Be sure to use a marinade thats low in salt and sugar. Serve with loads of veggies on the side by topping a bed of lettuce with chopped beets, roasted asparagus, and steamed broccoli, and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
You May Like: Apple Watch Blood Pressure Cuff
Sugar Contributes To Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, means that the blood in our blood vessels is exerting excessive force on arterial walls. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers, the first being systolic pressure, which describes the pressure as the heart contracts to circulate blood throughout the body. The second measurement, diastolic pressure, describes the pressure in blood vessels between heartbeats. In general, the systolic pressure measurement tends to be higher than the diastolic pressure measurement.
High blood pressure is associated with metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Added sugar is a well-known culprit in causing a host of metabolic conditions including obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver disease.
Blood Sugar And Insulin Response
When you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar, or blood glucose level, goes up. When your blood sugar level goes up, it sends signals to your pancreas to release the hormone insulin. Insulin then attaches to the sugar, or glucose, molecules and either carries them into your cells where theyre used for immediate energy or stored in the liver for use later. As insulin carries glucose out of your blood, your blood sugar levels go down. When your blood sugar levels go down, it signals your pancreas to release less insulin.
You May Like: Blood Pressure Side Effects
Your Blood Pressure Results
Youll get your results straight away. The reading on the monitor lets your healthcare team know whether your blood pressure is too high, too low or just right. But its important you understand your results too. Make a note of your reading at each appointment and get to know what the numbers mean.
Your healthcare team will agree a target level thats safe for you. Its important you do everything you can to keep in your target range. The longer your blood pressure is high, the more at risk you are of getting serious complications. Weve got lots of information and advice to help you bring your to the target level you’ve agreed with your healthcare team.
Overview Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure may seem desirable, and for some people, it does not cause any problems. However, for many people, abnormally low blood pressure can cause dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening. Blood pressure lower than 90 millimeters of mercury for the upper pressure or 60 mm Hg for the lower truck is considered blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the force of blood that presses against the walls of your blood vessels when the heart pumps blood. For most adults, healthy blood pressure is usually less than 120/80 mm Hg.
- Blood pressure around 120/80 mmHg is normal
- Blood pressure lower than 90/60 mmHg is defined as hypotension
Some people have low blood pressure all the time, and this is normal for them. Other people experience a sudden drop in blood pressure or have low blood pressure that may be linked to a health problem. Many systems of the body, including organs, hormones and nerves, regulate blood pressure.
Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries during the active and dormant phases of each heartbeat.
- Systolic Pressure The top digit of a blood pressure reading is the pressure your heart generates when you pump blood through your arteries to the rest of your body.
- Diastolic pressure The lower number of a blood pressure reading refers to the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between heartbeats.
Don’t Miss: Do Allergy Pills Raise Blood Pressure
Symptoms In Low Blood Pressure
- Neck or back pain
Sitting down can alleviate these symptoms. If blood pressure drops too low, the vital organs of the body do not receive enough flow of blood . When this happens, low blood pressure can lead to shock, which requires immediate medical attention. Signs of shock include cold and sweaty skin, rapid breathing, a blue skin tone or a weak and rapid pulse.
Avoid Packaged Foods And Soft Drinks
A good rule of thumb for avoiding added sugar is to avoid all packaged or processed foods. Packaged foods are manufactured and filled with added sugar to improve the taste. Packaged foods to avoid include cookies, crackers, cakes, cereals, and many granola bars and snack food items.
Plus, by avoiding packaged foods in general, youll also be avoiding other harmful ingredients like trans fats, saturated fats, excess salt, and preservatives that contribute to inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease.
Soft drinks and other sweetened drinks are a major contributing factor when it comes to sugar consumption. Its easy to down a can of soda in just a few minutes, which could contain 40 grams of sugar or more. Soft drinks arent the only problem, however. Fruit juice, sports drinks, sweet tea, and sweetened coffee drinks all contain massive amounts of sugar that contribute to metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure.
Don’t Miss: Vinegar And Blood Pressure
Diabetes And Low Blood Pressure
Talk around blood pressure usually fixates what to do if blood pressure is too high. We know that hypertension is more typical in people with diabetes than individuals without diabetes. We also know that unchecked hypertension is a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. The American Diabetes Association suggests a blood pressure objective of less than 140/80 for the majority of people with diabetes. But what if your blood pressure is too low? Is it cause for issue? And what do you do about it?
Health Risks Of Low Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a concern in any context. Low blood pressure, on the other hand, isn’t always an issue. But while complications are less common, low BP can sometimes be just as serious.
Technically, low blood pressure is any reading below 90/60. Low BP is simply genetic for some people. But it’s only considered dangerous if it’s brought on suddenly by things like infection or dehydration, or if it’s accompanied by symptoms, such as nausea, feeling faint or having cold, clammy skin.
Read Also: Mayo High Blood Pressure
Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes
People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.
These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.
People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.
Ut University Health Services
For some people, a blood sugar below 90 mg/dL can make them feel like this. For others, it takes a lower blood sugar to cause these symptoms.
You must watch your blood sugar level closely. Regular testing of your blood sugar may allow you to detect and treat hypoglycemia before it causes serious symptoms. You may be able to prevent ever having low blood sugar.
Some high blood pressure medicines called beta blockers hide the symptoms of hypoglycemia. If you are taking medicine for high blood pressure, ask your healthcare provider if the medicines you are taking could have this effect.
You should know the difference between the symptoms of low blood sugar and high blood sugar . High blood sugar doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when it does the symptoms may include blurry vision, extreme thirst, and a lot of urination.
Also Check: What Makes Your Bp High
Potential Role Of Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy
It is possible that an interaction between hypoglycemia-induced abnormalities of cardiac repolarization and autonomic neuropathy contributes to the risk of sudden death in individuals with diabetes. Diabetic autonomic neuropathy is known to be associated with an increased mortality, and resting QT intervals are generally longer in patients with autonomic neuropathy than in patients without . The recent demonstration that brief periods of experimental hypoglycemia impair CV autonomic function for up to 16 h is additional evidence for a clinically relevant interaction .
However, not all data are supportive, since individuals with diabetic autonomic neuropathy actually have smaller increments in QT intervals during experimental hypoglycemia than individuals without . The apparent paradox relates to the diminished sympathoadrenal responses that are observed both in patients with neuropathy and after repeated episodes of hypoglycemia. Thus, on the one hand, a combination of autonomic neuropathy and then a severe episode leading to a powerful sympathoadrenal response might substantially increase the risk of arrhythmia-provoked sudden death, whereas on the other hand, repeated hypoglycemia in a person with impaired sympathoadrenal responses and longstanding diabetes might be protective. The way in which these different factors interact to confer risk is poorly understood and requires further experimental work.
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
Although sweets will always raise your blood sugar and cause the dips that come with it to some degree, there are some things you can do to prevent from your blood sugar from getting too low. Dont eat sweets on an empty stomach. The sugar in sweet foods digests really quickly and if you eat sugary foods on an empty stomach, there is nothing there to slow down this digestive process. As a result, your blood sugar will spike and youre more likely to experience a blood sugar crash shortly after. Instead, eat sweets after a meal that is rich in protein and healthy fats. Dont overdo it. Its probably not surprising that the more sugar you eat, the higher your blood sugar levels get . If you want to eat something sweet, pay attention to portion sizes, use them as an occasional treat , and dont eat too much.
You May Like: High Blood Pressure And Vinegar
How Does Sugar Contribute To Metabolic Syndrome
Sugary beverages and processed foods that contain lots of added sugar that are immediately broken down by the digestive system, entering the bloodstream in high amounts. This causes a spike in blood sugar levels. Lots of glucose is coursing through the blood vessels and in response, the pancreas releases insulin that signals to body tissues to use available glucose to power cellular processes. Though some glucose is vital for survival and normal energy levels, excess glucose causes inflammation and is stored as fat throughout the body and in the liver.
Over time, chronic consumption of excess glucose can cause inflammation that damages the pancreas and makes insulin unresponsive to glucose in the bloodstream. This results in hallmarks of metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.