This is not a common symptom of low blood sugar, but it can be a sign that a person may be having a seizure.
People may be able to sit down, but they may feel lightheaded and dizzy. They may also feel sick to their stomach.
Other symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
If you’re concerned that you have a seizure, see a doctor right away.
What causes it?
In most cases, low blood sugar is caused by a temporary fall in blood sugar levels after a meal.
If you eat a meal that causes a temporary decrease in blood sugar, your body may use extra insulin to compensate for the high blood sugar levels. This causes you to have too much insulin in your bloodstream at first.
The body then releases this extra insulin, causing a drop in blood sugar levels.
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body absorb glucose from the blood.
If you eat more food, your blood sugar levels will rise, and your insulin levels will drop. Your body will release more insulin to compensate for the increased blood sugar levels.
When your blood sugar levels drop, your pancreas releases insulin again. It signals your cells to absorb extra glucose from your bloodstream. This causes a spike in your blood sugar levels for a short time.
People with type 1 diabetes typically take insulin to replace the insulin the body doesn’t make.
People with type 2 diabetes often take either oral medications or insulin to help control their blood sugar levels.
How is it treated?
Treatment for low blood sugar usually involves taking a fast-acting medication.
Depending on the cause of low blood sugar, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Glucose tablets
- Ketone pills
- Exogenous glucagon
- Glucose challenge test
Your doctor will likely choose one or more of these treatment options based on the cause of your low blood sugar.
If your doctor is concerned that you’re having a seizure, they may also recommend a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to measure your blood sugar levels.
CGM is a wearable device that you put on and wear continuously to measure your blood glucose levels.
Your doctor can then check how your blood sugar levels change throughout the day.
If you have a high blood sugar level, your doctor may not recommend CGM.
If you have a low blood sugar level, CGM can help them confirm whether you’re having a seizure.
How is it prevented?
Because it’s caused by the body’s response to a meal, you can’t prevent low blood sugar.
However, you can help prevent a low blood sugar episode by eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Eating the right foods may help prevent a low blood sugar episode.
To help manage your blood sugar levels, you may also want to:
- Eat a healthful diet
- Keep your blood sugar levels within a target range
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control with medications or insulin
- Check for hypoglycemia symptoms and treat them if you notice them
- Monitor your blood glucose levels to guide treatment if you’re having a seizure
When should I seek emergency medical help?
Seizures from low blood sugar can be life threatening.
If you faint or your vision changes, seek immediate emergency medical attention.
You should never ignore symptoms that may indicate a seizure.
Common symptoms that could indicate a seizure include:
- Head injury
- Memory loss
- Speech disturbance
Seizures can cause the following symptoms:
- A change in consciousness
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of vision
Seizures can also cause:
- Severe shaking
- Severe convulsions
- Decerebrate rigidity
Seizures generally occur for a few minutes without warning. They can last up to 30 minutes or more.
Seizures are generally not life-threatening, but they can be scary. If you have a seizure, get medical help right away.
What’s the long-term outlook?
If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to take insulin for the rest of your life. People with type 2 diabetes may need to take oral medication or insulin to help control their blood sugar levels.
Some people with diabetes may have a very difficult time managing their blood sugar levels. This can lead to a low blood sugar episode.
Symptoms of a low blood sugar episode usually disappear within 30 minutes.
However, if you have a seizure with a low blood sugar episode, you may need to take insulin for the rest of your life.
It’s important to manage your blood sugar levels properly.
You can do this by eating a healthy diet, keeping your blood sugar levels within a target range, and taking medications or insulin as prescribed.
If you have a seizure with a low blood sugar episode, your doctor may prescribe a continuous glucose monitor to help you monitor your blood sugar levels.
Continuous glucose monitors are wearable devices that you wear while you go about your daily activities.
Your doctor can check how your blood sugar levels change throughout the day.
Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes to help manage your blood sugar levels.
These changes may include:
- Eating a healthy diet, such as those that are low in saturated fats and refined sugars
- Avoiding alcohol
- Keeping your blood sugar levels within a target range
- Eating a balanced diet and getting enough physical activity
- Managing stress
- Getting enough sleep
Your doctor may also recommend that you try a new medication.
For example, you may be prescribed:
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
Seizures from low blood sugar are a serious diagnosis. They can be life-threatening.
However, they’re preventable. You can help prevent a low blood sugar episode by eating a healthy and balanced diet, keeping your blood sugar levels within a target range, and taking medications or insulin as prescribed.
Generated by AI