How to Recognize the Signs of Low Blood Sugar in Yourself and Your Family

Why is it important to be able to recognize the signs of low blood sugar?

  • Because having low blood sugar is bad for you.
  • No one wants to be grumpy.
  • People often don’t think clearly when their blood sugar is low and may not even realize that they need to eat.
  • People who have signs of low blood sugar on a regular basis may be developing more serious health issues like metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and / or type two diabetes. and for diabetics, it may just save their life.

Technically low blood sugar is defined as having a blood glucose level of 70 mg/dL or less. In reality, you may experience symptoms of low blood sugar when your blood glucose is higher than this, but when your blood sugar has fallen quickly - like after eating a sugary snack. For example you may experience signs of low blood glucose before lunch after eating a breakfast that consists of cereal and a glass of orange juice. This is a good reason to feed your children eggs in the morning instead of cereal. 

Really low blood sugar levels

Hypoglycemia is often defined as having 70 mg/dL or lower. In reality, someone’s blood sugar really only becomes a life threatening emergency if it drops down to 50-55 mg/dL or below. At this level, they will typically be exhibiting several of the signs of low blood sugar listed below. If a person’s blood glucose drops down into the 20 mg/dL to 30 mg/dL range for an extended period of time, they can become unconscious. Ingeneral, truely low blood sugar levels like this only happen to diabetics that inject too much insulin or if someone has a rare endocrine disorder. 

The top 15 signs of low blood sugar you may recognize in yourself

Here are 15 common symptoms that may indicate that you are experiencing low blood glucose levels.

  1. You feel inexplicably irritable
  2. You feel really hungry or nauseous
  3. You are tired for no reason
  4. You vision is suddenly blurry
  5. You feel suddenly shaky, nervous or anxious
  6. You feel sweaty or have chills
  7. You feel unexpectedly angry or confused
  8. Your heart is beating rapidly unrelated to exercise
  9. You feel light headed or dizzy
  10. You feel really hungry or nauseous
  11. You are tired for no reason
  12. You vision is suddenly blurry
  13. You have a headache
  14. Your tongue or lips are suddenly tingly or feel numb
  15. You start feeling really clumsy

Top signs of low blood sugar you may recognize in others

Here are some important signs of low blood glucose you may recognize in those close to you:

  • They start acting unexpectedly irritable, stubborn or bad tempered
  • Sudden anger, stubbornness, or sadness
  • Start acting confused
  • Complain that they feel dizzy or light headed
  • Complain that they are ravenously hungry
  • Complain that their vision is blurry
  • Acting nervous or anxious all of a sudden
  • Suddenly start sweating or complaining they are cold
  • Complain that they have a headache
  • Complain that they are tired, start acting sleepy when they shouldn’t be
  • Unexplained lack of coordination, kids often will get clumsy or hurt one another by accident
  • Kids in particular may get nightmares or cry out in their sleep

Supporting factors that may confirm that someone may be suffering from low blood sugar levels

  • It has been more than 3 hours since their last meal
  • They have been performing intense physical exercise
  • Their previous meal was full of simple sugars (fruit juice, table sugar) and simple starches (potato, white rice, pancakes) with minimal healthy fats and/or protein.

More Information

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Signs of Low Blood Sugar

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