Low blood sugar symptoms usually occur in people with diabetes. And while many Americans are told to watch out for high blood sugar, it can be just as dangerous when your glucose levels are too low.
In this article, we’ll provide tips for how to spot low blood sugar symptoms and the potential dangers of ignoring them. Then, read on to learn how to remedy them using natural therapies.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar?
Insulin plays a central role in the occurrence of hypoglycemia in people with diabetes. The Pancreas produces this hormone to move glucose into cells.
Subsequently, the cells store glucose – the body’s main source of energy – or use it to fuel aerobic and anaerobic cellular respiration.
Cellular respiration refers to a diversion of chemical energy in glucose into life-sustaining activities, and the removal of carbon dioxide, waste products, and water.
However, a lack of insulin can lead to glucose accumulating in the blood instead of being absorbed by cells. As a result, a person may be susceptible to diabetes symptoms.
It can also trigger complications like hypoglycemia, which happens when:
- Glucose production is low
- Glucose is released into the bloodstream too slowly
- The body uses glucose up too quickly
- There’s an excess of insulin in the bloodstream
People without diabetes can also be at an increased risk of hypoglycemia if they:
- Are 65 years or older
- Consume alcoholic beverages use prescription medications
- Experience chronic Kidney, Liver failure, or Heart failure
- Lack cortisol or growth or thyroid hormones
- Previously underwent surgery for weight loss
- Are diagnosed with insulinoma or sepsis
Low Blood Sugar Causes, According To TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), meanwhile, describes hypoglycemia as a consumptive disease. Simply put, it arises from a deficiency in one of the organ systems in the body, also known as the zang-fu.
Insufficiency of blood, qi (vital life force), yin (passive energy), and yang (active energy) also constitutes the basic pathogenesis of this type of disease.
“This can often be attributed to many causes, with the most predominant being a deficiency of qi and blood in the Spleen and Stomach. It can provoke irregularities in the Heart and Liver systems, as well as the body’s spirit,” explains Eu Yan Sang Physician Peh Wei Jie.
Tips For Spotting Symptoms
Generally, hypoglycemia may induce mild to moderate symptoms, such as:
- A headache
- Dizziness, confusion, or irritability
- Inability to see or speak clearly
- Muscles that shake or jitter
- Unsteady or rapid heartbeat
Severe hypoglycemia, on the other hand, will halt brain function, and prompt a seizure or loss of consciousness. It’s worth noting that it also requires immediate medical attention.
Interestingly, a person’s blood sugar levels can also drop when they’re asleep. Consequently, they may present with physical and psychological symptoms, including:
- Profuse sweating
- Wails or nightmares
- Fatigue, confusion, or irritability when they wake up
How To Reverse Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
If you establish that your blood sugar levels are below 70 milligrams (mg)/dL, it’s advisable for you to consume 15-20 grams (g) of glucose or carbohydrates right away. It can come in the form of:
- A tablespoon of honey, sugar, or corn syrup
- Half a can of a carbonated beverage
- Half a cup of apple, grape, or cranberry juice
- One tube of glucose gel or four glucose tablets
Then, wait 15 minutes before checking your blood sugar levels. If it’s still low, repeat this step until it’s regulated.
How To Use TCM To Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
In TCM, binge drinking affects the release of glucose into the body. This can lead to a deficiency of Spleen qi and symptoms like hunger, confusion, and fainting.
Moreover, these symptoms are common in people with diabetes if they use more than the suggested medication dose or have sudden changes in their diet or physical activity levels.
People who are anxious, dizzy or confused may have Deficiencies in the Heart and Spleen. People who slur and sweat excessively usually have Phlegm-Heat in the Stomach and body. For these reasons, the consumption of herbal ingredients can boost qi and yin in the Heart or Spleen and clear Phlegm Heat.
Based on the patient’s current symptoms and diagnosis, herbs such as Astragalus (Huang Qi), jujube (Da Zao), and Chinese Angelica (Dang Gui) can effectively alleviate the former disorder.
Aged black garlic is also an effective way to balance blood sugar levels, according to one study. Many herbal teas, such as Rooibos and ginseng tea, may help regulate blood sugar levels due to their antioxidant profile.
Stimulation of the Qu Chi (LI 11) and Feng Long (ST 40) acupoints on the large intestine and stomach meridians can be beneficial for dispelling phlegm-heat.
The prevention of low blood sugar symptoms relates to effective control. Consuming a balanced diet is fundamental to achieving this objective.
TCM remedies can help address disorders that threaten to spike blood sugar levels. Do speak to a TCM practitioner to ascertain the safety of specific herbal ingredients for your body.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Low Blood Glucose (Hypoglycemia).
- MedlinePlus. Low blood sugar.
- Acupuncture.com. Consumptive disease.
- Journal of Food Science and Nutrition. 2009. Effect of Garlic and Aged Black Garlic on Hyperglycemia and Dyslipidemia in Animal Model of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.