Serious signs of blood sugar levels impact your body, hence it’s important that your blood sugar levels stay controlled whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or living with the condition. Read on to learn about serious signs of blood sugar levels, both high and low, and how you can adjust accordingly and prevent serious health consequences.
Your kidneys need to work hard to process all that extra sugar in your blood. When they can’t keep up, your body gets rid of it, along with water that your body needs.
To get rid of that extra sugar, your body draws water from its own tissues. Because you need that fluid to make energy, transfer nutrients, and get rid of waste, a switch flips in your brain to tell you that you’re thirsty so you’ll drink more.
Your mouth could get dry and cracked at the corners as your body draws fluid from it. Less saliva and more sugar in your blood make infection more likely. Your gums might swell, and white patches can grow on your tongue and inside your cheeks (your doctor will call this oral thrush). It can help to drink more water or chew sugar-free gum.
Dry itchy skin
Your body takes water from all over to get rid of extra blood sugar. That may cause dry, itchy, and cracked skin, particularly on your legs, elbows, feet, and hands. In time, high glucose levels also can damage nerves. This is called diabetic neuropathy. It can make it harder for you to feel cuts, wounds, or infections. Without treatment, they can become bigger problems, like the loss of a toe, foot, or part of your leg.
Your body may pull fluid from the lenses in your eyes, which makes it harder to focus. And high blood sugar can damage blood vessels on the back part of your eye (retina). That can cause long-term vision loss and even blindness.
When you are weak or have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is high too often, you become less sensitive to insulin, which helps move energy to your cells. A lack of fuel can make you tired. You can have the same fatigue with type 1 diabetes because your body can’t make its own insulin. If you don’t treat it correctly, your levels can stay high all the time. Your doctor can help by prescribing medication and suggesting lifestyle changes you can make.
If your blood sugar is high for too long, it can damage the vagus nerve, which helps move food through your stomach and intestines. You may lose weight because you aren’t as hungry. You might have trouble with acid reflux, cramps, vomiting, and severe constipation.
Signs of low blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, insulin is one way to lower your blood sugar when it gets high. But if you take too much, it might remove so much glucose so quickly that your body can’t replace it fast enough. That leaves you tired. Other illnesses and drugs also may also upset this cycle and empty your tank.
The hormones that help raise your blood sugar when it’s too low can also spike your heart rate and make it feel like it skips a beat. The drop in glucose most often happens as a side effect of drugs used to treat diabetes.
Low glucose can unsettle your central nervous system, which controls how you move. When that happens, your body releases hormones, like adrenaline, to help bring your levels back up. But those same substances also may make your hands and other parts shake or tremble.
The hormones your body releases to raise your blood sugar when it gets too low also make you sweat a lot. It’s often one of the first things you notice when your glucose levels fall too far. Your doctor can help you track your levels and try to keep them in a healthy range with medication, exercise, and eating habits.
Sudden, intense hunger, even after you’ve eaten, maybe a sign that your body doesn’t convert food to blood sugar in the right way. Illness or certain drugs can cause it, too. If you have diabetes, your doctor might be able to adjust your medication, which is often the source of the problem.
Actually, it isn’t low blood sugar by itself. When your levels get either very high or very low, it can cause a rebound effect. Your blood sugar swing from one extreme to the other confuses your body’s digestive system and nauseates you.
Your brain cells need glucose to work properly. When they don’t have enough, then you may start to feel tired, weak, and dizzy. You also might have a headache.
When your blood sugar gets really low, you start to lose focus. Your speech may slur or you may suddenly forget where you are. In serious cases, you could have a seizure or fall into a coma.
How to manage your blood sugar level
In order to avoid serious signs of blood sugar levels, you need keep your blood sugar level under control. So it’s important to balance the act. Because some of the factors that affect your readings are out of your control. However, you can still defend against those factors that cause blood sugar swings as follows:
- Stay hydrated and healthy with water and calorie-free beverages throughout the day non-sugary fluids, eating right, regular exercise, proper medication (if necessary), and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range.
- Sleep is restorative. Therefore not getting adequate sleep is stressful on the body and results in higher blood sugar levels.
- Avoid the hottest part of the day by staying indoors. Also, monitor your blood sugar closely for changes when the mercury starts to rise.
- Try to eat small meals every four hours throughout the day.
- Cut back on caffeine beverages (coffee, tea, and diet sodas) if you experience frequent blood sugar swings. to see if your glucose control improves.