Do you ever have trouble focusing when it’s just the middle of the morning? Have you felt yourself suddenly feel tired or weak for no apparent reason? It is not your mind playing tricks on you. These symptoms are real, and they could be your body’s way of telling you that blood sugar is too low.
It is often simple to prevent low blood sugar if you tend to get it regularly Recognizing low blood sugar is the first step to knowing if you have it, so here are five signs of low blood sugar. If it is caused by what you eat, Netrition has plenty of low-glycemic index products that you can swap into your regular diet.
Five Signs of Low Blood Sugar
These are some common and classic signs of low blood sugar.
Feeling tired or weak when it is broad daylight and you have not done something exhausting could be a sign of low blood sugar. You might even feel shaky when you sit or stand. Your muscles may feel like gelatin, or you might feel as though you want to lie down and take a nap.
Along with shakiness may come jitters or anxiety. These can happen if you have had too much coffee or another source of caffeine, but they can also be the result of low blood sugar. Giving your body more blood sugar can help you control those jittery muscles.
Irritability with low blood sugar is so common that it has its own term: “hanger.” It is a portmanteau of “hunger” and “anger,” and the word is an apt description for the condition. It happens when low blood sugar (“hunger”) puts you in a bad mood (“anger”).
Brain fog is not normal, but it may have a simple cause: low blood sugar. If you have slept well, are well-hydrated, and possibly even caffeinated, and you are still having trouble thinking or focusing, your confusion may be due to low blood sugar. That is because the brain depends on glucose or sugar for fuel.
A mid-morning or (especially) an afternoon headache is often a sign of dehydration, but what if it is not? A headache can be a sign that blood sugar is low. The cause of the pain is blood vessels in your head dilating, or expanding, due to your brain being low in glucose, which is blood sugar that fuels the brain. It could feel like a migraine, or it might feel like a tension headache. Caffeine withdrawal, fatigue, and too much noise can also trigger headaches.
Why Your Diet Can Cause Low Blood Sugar
Why does low blood sugar happen? There are a lot of possible reasons, but it may be related to what you eat. Here’s why.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates can spike blood sugar levels when you eat them. Sugars and starches are the culprits, and they are in foods such as bread, pasta, sweets, potatoes, and rice. After your blood sugar spikes, it can drop to levels below where they were when you first started eating. That can cause the above signs of low blood sugar. Foods that spike blood sugar have a high glycemic index.
In contrast, foods that are low in carbohydrates, or that you eat with some fiber, protein, and fat, don’t spike blood sugar much. And, blood sugar levels do not drop much later on. Instead, blood sugar is more stable. These types of foods have a lower glycemic index.
How to Prevent Low Blood Sugar Using the Glycemic Index
Eating a lower-glycemic diet is a strategy for preventing low blood sugar. You can lower the glycemic index of any meal or snack by adding some fiber, protein, or fat. These are some foods that can help lower the glycemic index of a meal or snack.
- Chicken, beef, turkey, seafood, and eggs.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Butter and oil.
- High-fiber, non-starchy vegetables.
You can also choose lower-glycemic foods or ingredients. Netrition has a range of low-glycemic options that can help stabilize blood sugar* or prevent blood sugar spikes or drops. By swapping in these foods or ingredients for higher-glycemic ones, you can lower the glycemic index of your diet.
These are some types of products at Netrition that are low-glycemic.
- Sugar Substitutes - these can be used instead of regular sugar, which spikes blood sugar. Coconut Sugar and Low-Calorie products such as Stevia and Monk Fruit are examples.
- Low-Glycemic Protein Shakes - these can be used as meal replacements or snacks that will not spike blood sugar like a high-carb meal or snack, such as pasta or crackers.
- Protein Bars - when you are hungry, these can be delicious choices that do not spike blood sugar. Protein is slow-digesting to help prevent low blood sugar.
- High-Protein Pancake Mixes - It’s not just sugar in the foods you eat. Starches can spike blood sugar too. Using high-protein mixes instead of regular baking mixes can lower the glycemic index and prevent low blood sugar in a couple of hours.
Low blood sugar can lead to unwelcome signs, but they are often easy to prevent. Netrition has a wealth of low-glycemic foods that are formulated to help prevent blood sugar spikes and drops so that signs of low blood sugar do not occur. They can help you enjoy a delicious diet while focusing on more stable energy levels!*
If you do experience low blood sugar often, it is good to check with your doctor about possible causes other than the glycemic index of what you eat. Trouble regulating your blood sugar could be an indication of a metabolic condition such as diabetes.
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Netrition products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.