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But chances are that you don’t have to worry about low blood sugar in any major way, much less that you have a severe case of it.Ansel points out that while some people tend to hover on the lower range of normal blood sugar and are sensitive to blood sugar swings, low blood sugar (defined as a blood sugar level of less than 70 milligrams per deciliter) rarely happens in otherwise healthy people.Luckily, even if you do experience low blood sugar, you can likely remedy the situation just by eating something.
“If someone has diabetes, they may reach for juice, but for those of us who are healthy overall and just losing steam, it’s good to have something that provides a bit of carbohydrates to get your blood sugar up,” she says.
Adding protein—like an apple with peanut butter—can also help stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep them that way until your next meal, she adds.
If you find that you’re experiencing the symptoms of low blood sugar regularly, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have an underlying medical problem, says Ansel.
“Low blood sugar” is one of those terms we’ve all heard thrown around a bunch but probably don’t know much about.
It’s understandable that you’d feel a little cranky when a last-minute work meeting or general busyness forces you to push back a meal.
But how do you know if you’re annoyed due to low blood sugar or if your irritability is due to regular old hanger?
“This is a topic that actually comes up quite a bit for me with patients and clients,” Jessica Cording, a New York-based R. Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, happens when levels of your blood glucose—an important energy source for your body—drop below normal, according to the National Institutes of Health. We get our glucose from food, which explains why someone may complain that they have low blood sugar when they haven’t eaten recently.
“Because our bodies require glucose for fuel, maintaining a steady stream of blood glucose is critical to keep your body functioning,” Karen Ansel, R. But along with not having enough to eat, certain medications or overdoing it with alcohol can cause low blood sugar in otherwise healthy people, Ansel says.
Those people may experience symptoms like feeling shaky, irritable, or weak, says Cording, who notes that people can also feel anxious, start sweating, or become confused.