Signs That Your Blood Sugar May Be Crashing

If you've ever felt weak, shaky, or lightheaded after eating a meal loaded with carbs or sugar, it's possible you experienced a blood sugar crash. According to the Mayo Clinic, a blood sugar crash is when the sugar in your blood — also known as glucose — drops below normal. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. Low blood sugar happens in both people with diabetes and those without the health condition. It's vital to raise your blood sugar to avoid uncomfortable symptoms and a potentially dangerous health scare.

Low blood sugar is sometimes known as hypoglycemia, however, the term is used more in diabetes treatment. Verywell Health reports there are two types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia: reactive and fasting. Reactive typically happens a few hours after a meal, while fasting occurs when you haven't eaten or have a medical condition. The type of hypoglycemia can give insight into what caused the condition. For example, the causes of low blood sugar can range from not eating, prediabetes, and stomach surgery to alcohol, tumors, specific medications, and serious illnesses.

Symptoms of a blood sugar crash

Because the body desperately needs glucose, a blood sugar crash can result in various symptoms. According to Healthline, lightheadedness, shaking, weakness, dizziness, and irritability are all signs that your blood sugar level may be crashing. It's also possible to experience confusion and sleepiness, as well as fainting. In order to raise your blood sugar levels, you'll want to eat 15 grams of carbohydrates. Livestrong reports that the carbohydrate-loaded food can have up to 30 grams, such as half a banana or half a cup of applesauce. These carbs are quick to digest, so your blood sugar will rise more quickly.

To help avoid regular sugar crashes, it's best to change your eating habits, Insider reports. Start with eating smaller, more frequent meals with more protein and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, like white rice and pasta, lack fiber and protein, while complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice or quinoa, contain protein and fiber. Complex carbohydrates can help stabilize blood sugar when needed because their digestion time takes longer.