Having type 2 diabetes means that you must pay special attention to your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is a potentially serious complication of the condition. It can cause symptoms such as confusion, weakness, and dizziness. It can even lead to unconsciousness or seizures if left untreated. Understanding what causes blood sugar to drop can help you take steps to avoid it.
Insulin and Other Diabetes Medications
If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be taking insulin or other medications to help manage your blood sugar. These medications are designed to help your body lower its blood sugar levels. But if you take too much or take it at the wrong time, it can cause your blood sugar to drop too low. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and take your medications as prescribed.
Eating Too Little
Your body needs to have a certain amount of glucose, or sugar, in order to function properly. If you don’t eat enough food, your body won’t have enough glucose to use as energy. This can cause your blood sugar to drop. People with diabetes should make sure to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day to keep their blood sugar levels stable.
Exercising Too Much or Too Little
Exercise is an important part of managing diabetes. But if you exercise too much or too little, it can cause your blood sugar to drop. If you’re going to be exercising, it’s important to make sure that you have something to eat beforehand. This will help prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low. Additionally, if you’re taking diabetes medications, you should talk to your doctor about how to adjust your dosage to account for the exercise.
Alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels in different ways. Some types of alcohol can cause your blood sugar to rise, while others can cause it to drop. Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can be particularly dangerous and can cause a sudden drop in your blood sugar. If you do choose to drink, make sure to do so in moderation and to have something to eat beforehand.
Stress and Hormones
Stress and hormones can also affect your blood sugar levels. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, can cause your blood sugar to rise. On the other hand, certain hormones, such as growth hormone, can cause your blood sugar to drop. Paying attention to your mental health and managing stress can help you keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Being sick can also cause your blood sugar levels to drop. When you’re ill, your body releases stress hormones that can make your blood sugar drop. Additionally, if you’re vomiting or have diarrhea, it can also cause your blood sugar to drop. It’s important to check your blood sugar regularly when you’re sick and to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned.
Certain medications can also cause your blood sugar to drop. Some antibiotics, cold medications, and even certain pain medications can have this effect. If you’re taking any type of medication, it’s important to talk to your doctor about any potential interactions with your diabetes medications.
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
By understanding what causes blood sugar to drop, you can take steps to prevent it. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking your diabetes medications. Additionally, pay attention to your diet, exercise, and stress levels to help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Finally, talk to your doctor about any potential medication interactions.