Low Blood Glucose Levels

Written by Amy Hall
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Low blood glucose levels can be just as dangerous as high blood glucose levels. Having low blood sugar is often referred to as hypoglycemia. What many people do not realize is that glucose is just as important to proper brain function as oxygen is, so when blood glucose levels are low, this is a major problem. When we eat carbohydrates, these foods are broken down into glucose in the stomach. From there, the glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream.

This blood glucose circulates throughout the entire body, where it is burned for energy. In order for it to be used for energy, the body needs insulin, which is produced in the pancreas. Insulin is a natural hormone that acts on the walls of our body's cells and muscles to force them to let glucose through. Glucose is also manufactured in the liver from fat and protein, which keeps our blood glucose levels stable when we are not eating. Insulin is also supposed to signal the liver when there is enough blood glucose circulating in the body.

Understanding Low Blood Glucose Levels

People with diabetes can run into trouble with low blood glucose levels because their liver does not always get the message to switch on the production of glucose. Insulin injections can throw off the liver, and as a result the blood sugar levels continue to drop and drop. Symptoms of low blood glucose levels include: sweating, shaking, an increased heart rate, tingling in the mouth, a feeling of being unable to concentrate, and feeling ravenous.

Others may see your face turn pale, your hands visibly shake, and you may have a look of confusion on your face. It is imperative at this point that you ingest foods or beverages high in glucose immediately, such as gummy bears, fruit juice, raisons, or glucose tablets. Once your blood sugar levels out, you may wish to eat something more substantial, such as a peanut butter sandwich, crackers with cheese, or some other nutritious food choice.


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