While people seem to agree that fruits and vegetables are healthier choices, other food classes, such as dairy, spark further debate and seem to have contradictory advice.
Choose My Plate guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that adults will eat 3 servings of dairy products a day. Children can eat around 2 or 2.5 servings a day, depending on age.
Examples of traditional dairy servings include:
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of yogurt
- 1 ounce of hard cheese, such as cheddar or Monterey Jack
- half a cup of cottage cheese
The USDA has urged people to eat milk daily for decades. Some health advocates, however, agree that people should not eat dairy to be healthy. Some think that even if people consume too much of it, the meat can be bad for health.
These mixed signals can be humiliating. We’ll break down what the evidence says in this post.
Milk and bone health
Calcium is an important mineral. It helps create strong bones and is needed for other functions such as muscle contraction and transmission of the nerves.
Dairy products are a decent source of calcium, and this is one of the key reasons that the USDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend the dairy intake to citizens.
Dairy also provides other major bone health nutrients, such as phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D and protein.
One individual may be at risk of osteoporosis without enough calcium. This condition causes the bones to weaken, leaving them vulnerable to rupture. The National Foundation for Osteoporosis states people need sufficient calcium and vitamin D to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
Although though dairy products can contain more calcium than many other foods, there appears to be contradictory evidence to indicate that eating dairy may prevent bone fractures.
For example, one systematic review and meta– indicates that in certain studies, with increased dairy consumption, the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture decreases. And in all the research included in the study this was not the case.
It is also important to understand that many other factors, including exercise, smoking status, alcohol use, and changes in hormone levels during aging, can influence bone health.
A long-term Swedish study involving more than 61,000 women and 45,000 men found a possible correlation between higher intake of milk and higher mortality and higher bone fracture incidence.
The association does not, however, imply a relationship of “cause and effect.” For example, women who had hip fractures and a higher intake of milk could have drank more milk because they were at risk of hip fractures.
The authors of the study warn that other lifestyle factors and health problems are not taken into account in the findings.
Another long-term analysis of 94,980 Japanese people found the opposite correlation, with a lower mortality risk linked to increased milk use.
Overall, most dairy evidence indicates milk is beneficial to bone health and cardiovascular health.
One thing that is obvious is that calcium is essential for bone health, and the other nutrients that milk offers.
Those who can not or do not want to consume milk should consume other calcium-rich foods or speak to a doctor about whether they need a calcium supplement.
Dairy, saturated fat, and heart health
Saturated fats are present in full-fat dairy products such as whole milk, butter and cream, and to a lesser degree in low-fat dairy products such as 1% milk. There are also saturated fats present in poultry, some processed foods, coconut oil, and palm oil.
The American Heart Association (AHA) claims saturated fats can contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol. As a result, many whole fat dairy foods do not feature in the guidelines for heart healthy diets.
The AHA suggests that people use fat-free or low-fat dairy foods to get calcium without the saturated fat. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute also suggests selecting low-fat or fat-free dairy products as part of a balanced diet for people.
Recent research, however, shows that the link between saturated fat and heart disease isn’t as clear as people once believed. One study notes that the role of saturated fat in heart disease has been underestimated by some. Again, several other factors in the lifestyle are significant when determining risk of heart disease.
A team of cardiologists wrote an article explaining that consuming saturated fat foods doesn’t clog the arteries, as people once believed. We argue that the “fat free” trend has induced higher carbohydrate food intakes, including sugars. This can explain why heart disease rates have gone up.
Another article notes that the claim that consuming saturated fat is related to heart disease is not confirmed by multiple studies and reviews. The article also states that in some cases the risk of obesity-related diabetes may be decreased by saturated fat.
While there is no longer a direct connection between full-fat dairy and heart disease, there are other things a person can do to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle including:
- eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
- exercising regularly
- not smoking
- limiting alcohol consumption
- getting adequate amounts of sleep
- controlling blood sugar levels, if they have diabetes
People may also determine how much they need blood pressure checks, cholesterol and glucose levels, and other interventions that may predict the risk of heart disease with a health professional.
Diabetes and dairy
Diabetes is a widespread health problem, with more than 100 million people affected by diabetes and prediabetes in the US. Although several factors affect whether a person develops diabetes or not, diet is one important aspect.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the ingestion of balanced olive oil and fish oils, as well as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and small quantities of dairy.
A meta-analysis found that dairy consumption, particularly yogurt, may have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes. Another research showed that people who ate the highest fat dairy products had a 23 percent lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes relative to those who ate the lowest fat dairy food.
For many people with type 2 diabetes, the dairy can fit into a healthy diet. Considering that each person is special, it is best to talk to a doctor or nutritionist about dietary guidelines for good blood glucose control and diabetes management.
Nutrients in milk
Milk provides a range of beneficial nutrients for the wellbeing. It contains a complete protein which means it contains all the necessary amino acids for safety. This also contains other vitamins and minerals which provide limited amounts of other foods.
One cup of fortified whole milk contains:
- Calories: 149
- Protein: 7.69 grams (g)
- Carbohydrate: 11.7 g
- Fat: 7.93 g
- Calcium: 276 milligrams (mg)
- Vitamin D: 3.7 international units (IU)
- Vitamin B-12: 1.1 mcg
- Vitamin A: 112 IU
- Magnesium: 24.4 mg
- Potassium: 322 mg
- Folate: 12.2 IU
- Phosphorus: 205 mg
Many milk farmers use vitamins A and D to fortify their products. A person will see if the label on ingredients fortifies milk. The label lists the added vitamins as additives, such as vitamin A palmitate and vitamin D-3.
Milk is a nutrient-rich drink that provides many nutrients that are missing from other beverages, such as sports drinks, sodas, and other nondairy milk substitutes.
The dairy products contain a lactose called sugar. A person’s small intestine needs to generate an enzyme called lactase to digest lactose.
A person will not be able to digest dairy products which contain lactose without enough lactase. This leads to lactose intolerance symptoms which may include:
- stomach pain
Lactose is found in breast milk and in humans. Most babies have no problems digesting it. Lactose intolerance is primarily a rare condition in infancy.
Many people, however, become lactose intolerant as their bodies slow their lactase development. Approximately 65 percent of the world’s population has a “reduced capacity to absorb lactose after infancy.” Many fermented dairy foods, such as yogurt and some hard cheeses, produce lower lactose levels than a glass of milk. These forms of fermented products may be good choices for certain lactose sensitive people.
Others find that almost every volume of milk is causing symptoms. People who are unable to digest dairy that wish to eat lactose-reduced dairy milk or alternatives to fortified soy milk. Certain alternatives to the nondairy milk do not have comparable nutrients.
Many credible evidence indicates milk can be an essential nutrient-rich option for a balanced diet. It is up to each person however to determine whether to consume it or not.
People who do not or can not eat dairy should receive calcium from other sources, such as fortified nondairy soy milk, leafy green vegetables, and other foods rich in calcium.
People may need to address their dietary needs with a health care provider based on their health history and lifestyle.
Uses of vitamin B-12 level test: Normal ranges, and results
The amount of vitamin B-12 in the blood or urine is measured in a vitamin B-12 level test to determine the body’s overall vitamin B-12 reserves.
Vitamin B-12 is required for a variety of body functions, including neuron function, DNA and red blood cell formation.
Treatment is required if a person’s vitamin B-12 levels fall outside of the usual range. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological symptoms as well as fatigue, constipation, and weight loss. B-12 levels that are too high could indicate liver disease, diabetes, or another condition.
Continue reading to learn more about B-12 testing and what the results indicate.
Purpose of a vitamin B-12 level test
The vitamin B-12 level test determines the amount of vitamin B-12 in your body. Doctors can use the data to see if low vitamin B-12 levels are causing symptoms.
If a person exhibits any of the following symptoms, a doctor may recommend a vitamin B-12 level test:
Vitamin B-12 insufficiency
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is thought to affect up to 15% of people in the United States, according to research. The following are signs and symptoms of a deficiency:
- fast heartbeat
- numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- poor memory
- a sore mouth or tongue
- difficulty maintaining balance
Vitamin B-12 deficiency in infants can cause them to underachieve. They may have mobility issues in addition to developmental delays.
A vitamin B-12 level test may be required for people who have signs of low iron. Pernicious anaemia is caused by a lack of vitamin B-12 absorption, resulting in poor red blood cell causes.
It usually affects the elderly or people who are deficient in intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a gastric material that binds to vitamin B-12 and allows it to be absorbed by the body.
The following are signs and symptoms of pernicious anaemia:
- pale skin
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
High levels of folate in the blood
They can also make you more susceptible to anaemia.
Symptoms of other illnesses
Vitamin B-12 levels that are unusually high can be a symptom of liver disease, diabetes, or certain types of leukaemia. The findings of a vitamin B-12 test may be used by a doctor to help them make a diagnosis.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is more common in some people than in others, especially those with low stomach acid or other digestive problems. Stomach acid helps the body absorb vitamin B-12 more effectively by separating it from meals.
Low vitamin B-12 levels are more common in the following groups of people than in others:
- people with conditions that reduce vitamin B-12 absorption, including celiac disease and Crohn’s disease
- people who have had gastric bypass surgery
- those who are breast-feeding
- people who are taking medicines such as chloramphenicol, proton pump inhibitors, or H2 blockers
- older adults
- vegans and vegetarians
- people with diabetes
How does the B-12 vitamin level test work?
Vitamin B-12 status is normally determined by a blood test, but home urine tests are now available. Vitamin B-12 levels can be checked as part of a routine blood test by a doctor.
Although fasting is not required before a B-12 test, it may be necessary if the doctor is utilising the test to check at other blood components.
It is important that patients inform their doctors about any medications or supplements they are taking, as some may have an impact on the outcome.
Acknowledging the results
The following are possible results:
- Low. Vitamin B-12 levels below 200 pg/mL are considered low. This indicates that you may have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, pernicious anaemia, or an overactive thyroid. Neurological symptoms are common in people who have low vitamin B-12 levels.
- High. Anything over 900 pg/mL is considered excessively high vitamin B-12 status. This result could indicate problems with the liver or kidneys, diabetes, or certain types of leukaemia.
Because the ranges of results differ from one laboratory to the next, it’s important to talk to a doctor about the results and what they signify.
To rule out vitamin B-12 deficiency, the doctor may measure levels of methylmalonic acid (MMA) and other chemicals. These lab results aid in the early detection of vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency treatment
Vitamin B-12 injections are frequently required by people who have low amounts of the vitamin. These shots are more successful at boosting vitamin B-12 levels than supplements, especially when people have medical issues that make supplements difficult to absorb.
High doses of vitamin B-12 supplements may help some people improve their B-12 status. Supplements are sold in the form of capsules or liquids in pharmacies, supermarkets, health food stores. It may also be beneficial to consume extra vitamin B-12-rich foods.
Treatment for high vitamin B-12 levels
There is no upper limit on vitamin B-12 consumption because high amounts do not cause problems. Having naturally high levels of vitamin B-12 in the body, on the other hand, could be cause for alarm, since it could indicate a serious underlying condition. Doctors will focus on treating the underlying medical condition rather than the vitamin B-12 levels.
Vitamin B-12 foods.
Although low vitamin B-12 levels are frequently caused by absorption problems and other medical conditions, some people may be deficient because they do not acquire enough vitamin B-12 through their food. This is especially true for vegans and vegetarians who have been vegetarian for a long time.
Vitamin B-12-rich foods include:
- fortified plant-based dairy alternatives
- fortified breakfast cereals
- fortified nutritional yeast
- fish and seafood
- dairy products
Vitamin supplements can help vegans and strict vegetarians make up for dietary deficiencies. Older persons should seek to achieve their vitamin B-12 needs through fortified meals and vitamin supplements, as supplements are simpler for their bodies to absorb than naturally occurring vitamin B-12.
Vitamin B-12 dietary recommendations
Vitamin B-12 is required in 2.4 micrograms (mcg) per day for adults and adolescents over the age of 14. During pregnancy, this rises to 2.6 mcg, and breast-feeding raises it to 2.8 mcg.
Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that is necessary for good health. The status of a person’s vitamin B-12 is determined by a vitamin B-12 level test. This test may be recommended by a doctor to people who have symptoms of a deficiency or who are at risk of having low vitamin B-12 levels in their bodies.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency can be avoided by eating a well-balanced diet that includes many sources of the vitamin on a daily basis, or by taking supplements. If they have trouble absorbing vitamin B-12 from food, oral supplements or injections can help them avoid symptoms and consequences.
Symptoms, stages, causes, and treatment of diabetic nephropathy
Diabetic nephropathy is a type of kidney disease that affects people who have diabetes for a long time. It happens when a person’s kidneys are damaged by high blood glucose levels.
Diabetic nephropathy is a type of chronic kidney disease caused by diabetes. The kidneys aid in the regulation of fluid and salt levels in the body, which is critical for blood pressure control and cardiovascular health.
When a person has diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, or gestational diabetes, their bodies are unable to use or manufacture insulin properly. Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
High blood sugar levels are a symptom of diabetes. High glucose levels can harm several parts of the body over time, including the cardiovascular system and the kidneys. Diabetic nephropathy is the term for the kidney damage that occurs as a result of diabetes.
Diabetic nephropathy is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease in people with diabetes (ESRD). The kidneys in ESRD are no longer able to satisfy the demands of daily life. Kidney failure can occur as a result of ESRD, which can be life-threatening.
This page examines how diabetes affects the kidneys, as well as the treatment options and ways to prevent the risk.
Because nephropathy is caused by damage caused by high blood glucose levels, it can affect people with any kind of diabetes.
High blood glucose levels have an effect on the arteries in the body, and the kidneys filter the blood that passes through them.
According to the authors of a 2016 study, 20–40 percent of people with diabetes suffer renal disease.
A person’s tests may reveal one or both of the following:
High levels of albumin in the urine: When the kidneys are in good shape, the urine should include no albumin protein.
A low glomerular filtration rate (GFR): The kidneys’ primary role is to filter the blood. Their ability to do so is hampered by kidney disease. The kidneys should ideally function at 100% or have a GFR of 100Trusted Source. A doctor will not diagnose renal disease unless the GFR is 60 percent or higher. Kidney disease affects 15–60% of the population. Kidney failure is indicated by a percentage of less than 15%.
The end stage of renal disease is ESRD. In the United States, diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of ESRD. Diabetes is responsible for 40–50% of all occurrences of ESRD, according to Trusted Source. Dialysis will be required if a person has ESRD.
Controlling blood sugar levels can help to lower the risk. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you can lower your risk of diabetic nephropathy by doing the following:
- blood glucose levels should be monitored and kept within the target range
- consuming a nutritious, low-sugar, low-salt diet
- exercising on a regular basis
- adhering to a treatment plan that may include the use of insulin or other drugs
- keeping a healthy weight is important.
What is chronic kidney disease? Find out more here.
Kidney damage puts a strain on these critical organs, preventing them from functioning normally.
When this occurs:
- the kidneys cannot maintain healthy fluid levels in the body
- the kidneys cannot remove waste products from the blood
- the body starts to lose protein through the urine
Diabetic nephropathy takes time to develop. According to one study, 15 years after a diabetes diagnosis, a third of people have high levels of albumin in their urine. Only about half of these people will acquire complete nephritis.
Kidney disease is uncommon in people who have had diabetes for less than ten years, according to statistics. Also, if a person does not get nephropathy 20–25 years after diabetes begins, they have a low probability of developing it later.
Diabetic nephropathy is less likely if a diabetic’s blood glucose levels are well controlled.
Because of the damage to blood vessels, high blood glucose levels raise the risk of high blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can aggravate kidney disease.
Other potential dangers
Other aspects to consider are:
Smoking: A relationship between smoking and increased levels of inflammation may cause kidney injury. While the exact link between smoking and diabetes is unknown, people appear to have a higher risk of diabetes, as well as hypertension and kidney disease.
Age: Kidney disease, particularly a low GFR, is more common in people over the age of 65.
Sex: The condition is more common in men than in women.
Ethnicity, race, or both: African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans are more likely to have it.
Some of these risks are or appear to be contributing factors to diabetes or complications.
Diabetic nephropathy is distinct from diabetic neuropathy, a condition that affects the nerve system.
Stages and symptoms
A person with diabetic nephropathy may not experience any symptoms in the early stages. Changes in blood pressure and fluid balance in the body, on the other hand, may already be evident. Waste materials can accumulate in the blood over time, causing symptoms.
Depending on the GFR, which also measures the proportion of functional kidney function, a clinician may divide renal disease into phases.
Stage 1: Kidney damage is present, but kidney function is normal and the GFR is 90 percent or higher.
Stage 2: Kidney impairment, with some function loss and a GFR of 60–89%.
Stage 3: Mild to severe function loss, with a GFR of 30–59%.
Stage 4: Severe impairment of function with a GFR of 15–29%.
Stage 5: Kidney failure with a GFR of less than 15%.
A person may not detect any symptoms in the early stages. They may feel sick and exhibit the following symptoms at stage 4 or 5:
- fatigue due to lack of oxygen in the blood
- nausea or vomiting
- a metallic taste in the mouth
- swollen ankles, feet, lower legs, or hands due to water retention
- darker urine due to blood in the urine
- shortness of breath
Cardiovascular disease is a complication of late-stage renal disease.
Following a diabetic treatment plan and getting frequent health checks can help a person with diabetes maintain their blood sugar levels, lower their risk of kidney problems, and detect problems early.
A urine test is used to check for proteins in the urine during screening. Protein in the urine, on the other hand, does not always indicate kidney disease; it could also be the result of a urinary tract infection.
Diabetic nephropathy can be delayed or prevented with early treatment.
The major goal of treatment is to keep blood glucose and blood pressure under control. This may entail the administration of drugs.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) can help to control blood pressure, protect renal function, and avoid future damage.
In individuals with CKD associated with type 2 diabetes, Kerendia (finerenone) is a prescription drug that can minimize the risk of persistent GFR decline, end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and hospitalization for heart failure.
For people with type 2 diabetes and CKD, the American College of Cardiology issued guidelines in 2018 supporting the use of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). These medications may lower the risk of CKD progression, heart attacks, or both.
If you have kidney disease, your doctor may advise you to track the following nutrients:
Water: Although necessary, drinking too much water or fluid can lead to edema and high blood pressure.
Sodium: Because it is a salt component, it might elevate blood pressure.
Protein: Protein can cause waste to build up in the blood, putting extra strain on the kidneys in people who have kidney disease.
Phosphorus: This can be found in a variety of protein and dairy sources. Phosphorus overload can weaken bones and put strain on the kidneys.
Potassium: Potassium levels in people with kidney disease can be greater than they should be, which can harm nerve cells.
Keeping blood sugar levels in check
This is critical for reducing the risk of diabetes complications such as renal disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetic neuropathy, a nerve system disorder.
These disorders can also lead to additional difficulties. Blood sugar control can also help prevent these problems from arising.
Late-stage treatment options
Diabetic nephropathy can proceed to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which necessitates dialysis or a kidney transplant. They will very certainly require dialysis for the remainder of their lives or until a kidney donation becomes available.
Kidney dialysis is a process that separates waste items from the blood and removes them from the body using a machine. Dialysis is used to replace a healthy kidney.
Dialysis comes in a variety of forms:
Hemodialysis: Blood is drawn from the body by a needle in the forearm and transported to a dialysis machine via a tube. The blood is filtered outside the body by the machine, then returned through a tube and needle.
Depending on the choice selected, a person may need to do this three to seven times a week and spend two to ten hours per session.
Dialysis can be done at a dialysis facility or at home, and in some cases, overnight alternatives are available. People are increasingly able to incorporate dialysis into their work and personal routines because to flexible choices.
Peritoneal dialysis: The peritoneum, or lining of the abdomen, is used to filter blood inside the body.
- Dialysis fluid enters the abdomen by a catheter in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Before draining out, the fluid lingers inside for several hours, filtering waste materials. It takes 30–40 minutes to drain.
- Continuous cycler-assisted peritoneal dialysis (CCPD), also known as automated peritoneal dialysis, involves a person sleeping linked to a dialysis machine for 8–10 hours. The fluid drainage is controlled by the machine.
Peritoneal dialysis can be done at home, at work, or while traveling. It provides flexibility and gives the individual some control over their condition. If a person is going to travel, for example, they will need to learn how to operate the essential equipment and make sure they have all of the necessary materials.
If diabetic nephropathy has progressed to the point where a kidney transplant is necessary and a qualified donor is available, a doctor may propose it. It may take some time to find a donor.
Because a person can live with only one functioning kidney, some people offer to donate a kidney to a loved one.
The individual who receives the kidney, on the other hand, may find that their body rejects the new organ. The body has the best chance of accepting a kidney donation from a family member.
To lessen the risk of the new kidney being rejected by the body, the individual who has had a kidney transplant will need to take medicine. This can have some negative consequences, such as raising the risk of infection.
Many people can get financial assistance. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Medicare and Medicaid normally cover kidney failure treatment.
If all of the following apply, a person can acquire Medicare for ESRD at any age:
- Their kidneys are no longer functional.
- They require dialysis on a regular basis or have had a kidney transplant.
- They have worked for Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board, or as a government employee for the required amount of time.
- They are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement payments or are eligible for them.
- They are the dependent kid or spouse of someone who fits one of the aforementioned criteria.
The individual should discuss their options with their insurance provider or their doctor.
Controlling blood sugar and blood pressure is the greatest strategy for someone with diabetes to lower their risk of diabetic nephropathy.
This can be aided by making the following lifestyle changes:
- checking blood glucose levels regularly
- following any treatment plan their doctor suggests
- limiting stress where possible
- eating a nutritious diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and salt
- exercising regularly
- limiting alcohol intake
- avoiding tobacco
Learning as much as possible about diabetes and related consequences, such as kidney disease, can make a person feel more confident and in charge of their condition and prevention options.
The National Kidney Disease Education Program of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides a downloadable record of test results that can assist a person maintain track of their kidney testing and development.
The outlook for diabetic nephropathy people will be determined by how well they manage their blood sugar and blood pressure levels, as well as the stage at which they are diagnosed. The sooner therapy begins, the better the outlook.
Diabetic nephropathy can be slowed or stopped with treatment. People with diabetes should have their blood pressure checked as recommended by their doctor and take precautions to prevent kidney disease from worsening.
Exercise-induced hypoglycemia: Things to know
The medical name for low blood sugar during or after exercise is exercise-induced hypoglycemia (EIH). The condition can cause itself in a variety of ways, including weakness, shakiness, and extreme exhaustion.
The body’s major source of energy is glucose. The body requires more energy during activity and hence uses more glucose. EIH is caused by an increase in the desire for glucose. Other factors could also be at play.
The symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention of EIH are all covered in this article. It also covers if EIH is an indication of diabetes and when EIH should be treated.
When to ask assistance
If blood glucose levels go too low, hypoglycemia can be fatal. If you have one or more of the following symptoms, you should get medical help right away:
- loss of consciousness
- symptoms that persist despite resting or consuming more food
If people commonly develop EIH or hypoglycemia at other times, they should see a doctor. If the person has diabetes, this could indicate that they are taking too much insulin or that their diabetes medicine dosage is inaccurate.
What is EIH?
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the blood glucose level is insufficient to supply the body’s energy requirements. Hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level of less than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) according to doctors. Most people, however, do not experience hypoglycemia symptoms until their blood glucose levels fall below 55 mg/dl.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by the body. The glucose then enters the bloodstream, prompting the pancreas to produce insulin in response. Insulin aids glucose entry into the body’s cells, allowing it to be used as fuel.
Because active muscles require more fuel, exercise raises glucose demand. Exercise may also make a person more insulin sensitive, which means the insulin works more efficiently and lowers blood glucose levels faster. These factors, when combined, can cause in EIH.
If a person has the following characteristics, they are more prone to develop EIH:
- have insulin sensitivity or take insulin
- already have low blood glucose, such as from hunger or from diabetes medication
- do an intense workout that demands more energy
Symptoms of EIH
Glucose fuels the majority of major bodily activities. As a result, EIH symptoms can vary. The following are some probable signs and symptoms:
Hypoglycemia that lasts for a long time or is severe might be fatal. It could result in the following:
Exercise increases the body’s energy demands, causing it to respond by burning more glucose. People with low glucose levels or those whose bodies metabolize glucose quickly can develop hypoglycemia.
EIH can be caused by a number of reasons, including:
- exercising immediately after a meal
- being sick
- drinking too much alcohol without food
- using insulin or other diabetes medications
- not eating enough, or fasting
- not consuming enough carbohydrates
Exercise causes a significant increase in insulin, which eliminates glucose from the blood, in certain people. Even if a person is well-nourished and does not take blood glucose-lowering drugs, this rise might cause hypoglycemia.
If a person has persistent EIH, a doctor may prescribe medicine to help them recover. Most people, however, can solve the problem by making proper lifestyle modifications.
Is EIH a sign of diabetes?
EIH is not always a symptom of diabetes. Exercise by itself can significantly lower blood glucose levels. People with diabetes, on the other hand, have increased risk factors for hypoglycemia.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, is a complication of untreated diabetes. If people who take diabetes drugs take more than they need, they are more likely to develop hypoglycemia. It’s also possible that you’re not getting enough nourishment to match your exercise level.
Also, if people with diabetes take diabetic medicine while fasting or commencing a restrictive diet, they may develop hypoglycemia.
Treatment for EIH
Mild EIH normally does not necessitate therapy. In many cases, the condition arises as a result of a person not eating enough food before exercising. Individuals should consume a carbohydrate-rich meal 1–2 hours before a workout to avoid EIH.
Chronic EIH might occasionally indicate a problem with insulin manufacturing. A doctor may administer diazoxide to treat low blood sugar in people who have chronic EIH.
A doctor may consider removing a portion of the pancreas to reduce insulin production in rare circumstances.
Prevention in people with diabetes
People who take diabetic drugs to control their blood glucose levels should check their blood glucose levels before exercising, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). If their blood glucose level is below 100 mg/dl, they should consume 15–20 grams (g) of carbs to raise it.
Among the possibilities are:
- 4 glucose tablets
- 1 glucose gel tube
- 1 tablespoon of honey or sugar
- 4 ounces (oz) of soda or juice
The American Diabetes Association recommends that a person recheck their blood glucose after 15 minutes. If the blood sugar level stays below 100 mg/dl, they should eat another 15 g carbohydrate portion. They should do this every 15 minutes until their blood glucose level reaches at least 100 mg/dl.
Anaerobic exercise, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), may reduce the incidence of hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, according to a 2019 review. Short bursts of intensive activity are followed by a rest and then another brief burst of intense activity in HIIT.
Prevention in people without diabetes
People without diabetes can usually avoid EIH by doing the following:
- avoiding drinking alcohol before a workout
- eating regular meals throughout the day
- gradually building up to new exercise routines to give the body time to adapt
Stop and take a break if you start to feel unsteady or dizzy throughout your workout. They should drink 4 oz (113 g) of juice or eat a slice of toast before continuing their workout.
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels fall too low to meet a person’s body’s energy needs. Hypoglycemia that happens during or after exercise is known as EIH. The condition can affect both people and non-diabetics.
Diabetes patients are more likely to develop EIH, especially if they use insulin or other blood glucose-controlling drugs. In such circumstances, a person should consult a doctor to see whether their drug amounts can be adjusted.
EIH is most commonly caused by not eating enough before exercising or not giving the body enough time to acclimatize to a new exercise schedule in people who do not have diabetes. If a person continues to have regular EIH despite following the necessary precautions, they should seek medical advice to establish the underlying cause.