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World Diabetes Day: What symptoms point to low blood sugar levels in morning?

A pregnant woman checks her blood sugar levels at home on a glucometer. — Unsplash/File

Do you experience lightheadedness or confusion when you wake up from fasting overnight? It could be because of low blood sugar in the morning which is particularly valid for those who have been managing diabetes. 

This phenomenon of experiencing low blood sugar is known as hypoglycemia, according to Health Shots, and should not be taken lightly.

Let’s dive into the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar in the morning in honour of World Diabetes Day, established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), in response to a growing health threat posed by diabetes.

According to WHO, about 422 million people are living with diabetes worldwide with at least 1.5 million deaths directly attributed to this condition every year. Hence, more awareness about how to recognise low blood sugar and what to do about it is crucial.

According to endocrinologist and diabetes specialist Dr Nithya Abraham,  hypoglycemia is a condition “characterised by a decrease in the levels of glucose in the bloodstream, usually below 70 milligrams per deciliter.” 

This can affect people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, as well as those without diabetes who may have other underlying health issues.

While you might not experience all the symptoms of low blood sugar, there are some common ones to watch for.

Fast heartbeat

The body reacts to low blood glucose by trying to pump blood more quickly in an attempt to make up for the glucose shortage, which causes an elevated heart rate.

Shaking

According to Dr Abraham, tremors or shaking, particularly in the hands, can be a result of the body’s stress reaction to low blood sugar.

Sweating

Sweating a lot might be an indication of low blood sugar since the body attempts to cool down when it senses danger.

Nervousness or anxiety

Experiencing low blood glucose causes the body to go into stress mode, it might make you feel uneasy or anxious.

Irritability or confusion

Low blood sugar can impair mood and cognitive abilities, making people agitated and confused.

Dizziness

One typical symptom that might arise from the brain not getting enough glucose for proper function is dizziness.

Loss of coordination

Low blood sugar can impair coordination and motor abilities, making it difficult to carry out daily chores.

Headache

Low blood glucose can affect brain function and blood arteries, which can lead to headaches.

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