How we feel can be affected by our blood sugar. When we eat sweets, we often say we have a “sugar rush.” We say we are “hangry” when we are angry because we haven’t eaten. Most of the time, the body has a good handle on blood sugar. But if your blood sugar goes up and down a lot, you may have a disease called dysglycemia. This could make you feel tired, shaky, or confused.
Dysglycemia means that the amount of sugar in the blood is either too low or too high. Diabetes is the most well-known disease that can cause dysglycemia. It’s a very common disease that kills people and costs money.
Why does the sugar in the blood go up and down?
When we eat, sugar molecules, like glucose, are made from the carbs we eat. Glucose gives us energy, but it has to get into our cells to do so. Insulin is a hormone that lets glucose into the cells. Glucose stays in the blood when insulin doesn’t work as it should. This leads to hyperglycemia, which is high blood sugar.
Blood sugar can also go too low. This is what is called hypoglycemia. Most of the time, this happens when you don’t eat for too long. It can also happen when people with diabetes take too much medicine. There are a few other things that can cause hypoglycemia, but they don’t happen very often. Hypoglycemia is not as bad of a problem as hyperglycemia or diabetes.
Symptoms and Treatment of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia doesn’t show up right away with symptoms. If your blood sugar has been high for several days or weeks, you may have signs like:
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
As time goes on, you may experience more serious signs, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling sick and puking
- Not enough air to breathe
Follow your doctor’s advice about what to eat and what medicines to take to avoid hyperglycemia if you have diabetes. Once you notice signs of hyperglycemia, you should see a doctor right away.
Hypoglycemia’s Signs and How to Treat It
If your blood sugar is too low, you might:
- A heartbeat that is fast or erratic
These symptoms can get worse and lead to mental confusion, seizures, trouble seeing, and even passing out.
Hypoglycemia needs help right away. Most people with diabetes know that if they have signs of hypoglycemia, they need to drink or eat something high in calories. If this doesn’t help, you need to see a doctor right away. If someone who doesn’t have diabetes has these signs, it’s also important to treat them quickly.
Result of not being able to control blood sugar
When you let your blood sugar get too high, bad things happen. If you have had high blood sugar for too long, you may have:
Problems with circulation
Diabetes makes it hard for your blood vessels to work right. This could cause a heart attack or a stroke. Poor blood flow can also cause problems with your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Even if your blood sugar is not high enough to be called diabetes, hyperglycemia puts you at risk for these problems.
Having stable blood sugar is important for keeping your mood in check. People with diabetes are more likely to get depressed, anxious, or have problems with what they eat.
Dysglycemia affects about one in six pregnant women around the world. Blood sugar problems make it more likely that both the mother and the child will die. It also makes miscarriages and birth defects more likely.
How to better keep blood sugar in check
Follow these simple tips to avoid dysglycemia if you have diabetes:
- Test it. Make a plan for when you will check your blood sugar and stick to it.
- Log in. Write down your blood sugar readings or use your meter or phone to save them.
- Look out for patterns. Know how your blood sugar levels change over time and pay attention to when they go up or down.
- Set up regular habits. If you have regular times to eat and work out, your blood sugar will be more stable.
- Learn your signs. Find out how you feel when your blood sugar is high or low.
Risk Factors for Prediabetes and Diabetes
If your blood sugar is higher than usual but not high enough to be called diabetes, you have prediabetes. The same things put you at risk for both prediabetes and diabetes.
Some risk factors are:
The way of life. Diabetes is more likely to happen if you are overweight, especially if you have a big waist. If you smoke, eat bad food, or don’t get enough exercise, your risk goes up.
Demographic factors. If you are over 45, you are more likely to get diabetes. If you have a close family member with diabetes, your risk is also higher. Some people, like those who are Black, Hispanic, Asian-American, or American Indian, also have a higher chance of getting diabetes, but no one knows why.
Related conditions. If you have sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing while you sleep, you are more likely to get diabetes. Women who had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) are more likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life. The same is true for women who have polycystic ovary syndrome.
Diabetes is a serious health problem, so some public health agencies have programs to help lower the number of people who have it. Two groups in the United States are working together to reduce the chance of getting diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is often called “juvenile diabetes” because it is most often found in kids and young adults. It can also be found in adults who are healthy. When you have type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is attacked by your immune system. It stops your body from being able to make insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes or diabetes that starts in adulthood, but it can also be found in children. People who are overweight or obese are most often told they have it.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) does research on how to keep diabetes from happening. In their first study, people who were at high risk of getting diabetes were given a program to help them change their lives. The second group of people who were at risk took the diabetes drug metformin to keep from getting diabetes.
After three years, people who took part in the lifestyle program were 58% less likely to get diabetes. 31% of the risk was cut for those who took metformin.
The first study was over in 2001, but the NIDDK is still keeping track of people who took part in the program. Diabetes rates continue to be lower in both groups than in the placebo group. The NIDDK is now looking into whether keeping people from getting diabetes can lower their chances of getting cancer or heart disease.
Building on the work of the NIDDK, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) made the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). People who are at risk of getting diabetes have been able to take part in the National DPP’s lifestyle change program since 2010.
The National DPP lifestyle program is all about eating well and being active. People with prediabetes can get help from a life coach and a support group. Some places give it away for free. For people who qualify, Medicare also pays for the program.
Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by anup