It’s true what they say – you’ve got to listen to your body. While some health ailments are scarily silent, there are a number of loud alarm bells that sound off when things are looking a little pear-shaped. Let’s start with unstable blood-sugars – if you’ve got any of these 5 symptoms, it’s worth heading to your doctor.
Balanced blood sugar levels are essential for overall health and well-being. When blood sugar levels are consistently too high or too low, it can lead to a range of health issues. Recognising the signs of unbalanced blood sugars is crucial for taking proactive steps to maintain stability. In this blog, we'll explore five common signs that your blood sugars may be out of balance and discuss the importance of addressing these warning signals to support your long-term health.
Frequent Hunger and Cravings
If you find yourself constantly hungry, especially shortly after eating a meal, or experience intense sugar or carbohydrate cravings, it could be a sign of unbalanced blood sugars. High-glycaemic foods can cause rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, leading to a cycle of persistent hunger and cravings.
Fatigue and Energy Fluctuations
Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and lacking in energy. When blood sugars are too high, it can lead to feelings of drowsiness and lethargy. Conversely, low blood sugar can result in jitteriness, irritability, and a need for quick energy fixes.
Frequent Urination and Thirst
Find yourself getting up throughout the night to get to the toilet? Yeah, that's not a good sign. Persistent thirst and frequent urination, particularly when unrelated to increased fluid intake or hot weather, may indicate unbalanced blood sugars. High blood sugar levels can cause the kidneys to work harder to remove excess glucose from the bloodstream, resulting in increased urine output and thirst.
Mood Swings and Irritability
Unstable blood sugars can have a significant impact on your mood. High blood sugar levels can lead to irritability and a sense of "fogginess," while low blood sugar may result in mood swings, anxiety, and even symptoms resembling depression.
Unexplained Weight Changes
Sudden weight loss or gain, especially when accompanied by changes in appetite or eating habits, can be a sign of unbalanced blood sugars. High blood sugar can lead to weight loss due to increased urination and a failure to utilise glucose for energy. Then, in something of a domino effect, low blood sugar can trigger overeating and weight gain. It’s also worth noting unexplained weight changes are always a concern and should be investigated to find any underlying causes.
Why Blood-Sugar Levels Matter
High blood sugar levels are dangerous in the short and long run, but when these levels become chronic, our risk for a number of diseases skyrockets. Let’s take a look at what can happen with hyperglycaemia:
Type 2 Diabetes: Chronic high blood sugar is a primary characteristic of type 2 diabetes. Over time, untreated hyperglycaemia can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where cells don't respond effectively to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar.
Cardiovascular Disease: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications.
Nerve Damage: Prolonged hyperglycaemia can lead to neuropathy, a condition characterised by nerve damage that causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the extremities. Not to be mistaken with carpal tunnel!
Kidney Damage: Hyperglycaemia can impair kidney function and increase the risk of kidney disease.
Vision Problems: Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to eye problems, including diabetic retinopathy, which can result in vision loss.
Weakened Immune System: High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections.
But some people struggle with low blood sugars – and it’s certainly not a good thing! Just like high blood sugars, it can cause a number of problems:
Confusion and Dizziness: Hypoglycaemia can cause confusion, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.
Mood Changes: Low blood sugar can lead to irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and in severe cases, seizures.
Fainting and Loss of Consciousness: Severe hypoglycaemia can result in fainting or a loss of consciousness.
Impaired Cognitive Function: Hypoglycaemia can affect cognitive function, leading to poor decision-making and decreased reaction times.
Unbalanced blood sugars can have a profound effect on your daily life and long-term health – from having the energy to get through the day to being able to get out of bed in the morning. Recognising the signs is the first step towards taking control of your blood sugar levels. To maintain balanced blood sugars, focus on a healthy, balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Regular physical activity, stress management, and monitoring your blood sugar levels as advised by a healthcare professional can also help you achieve and maintain blood sugar stability. Remember, listening to your body is the key to promoting overall wellbeing and preventing the potential health complications associated with unbalanced blood sugars.
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