Is it ‘Hanger’ or Low Blood Sugar?

•Is it ‘Hanger’ or Low Blood Sugar?

• By Brianna Steinhilber

•“Having low blood sugar can certainly cause you to feel ‘hangry.’ But just because your stomach is rumbling doesn’t always indicate that your blood sugar has fallen below a normal range,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. “You can experience ‘hanger’ when you’re hungry even if you have normal blood sugar levels.”

•So how do you know if your blood sugar is low? Our body maintains a blood-sugar level within a set range throughout the day. When levels dip below the normal range, you may experience certain symptoms like lack of energy, headache, shakiness, or irritability. “This means that a less-than-normal level of sugar is available in the blood stream. Sugar is the main source of energy for our body’s cells, especially the brain,” says Palinski-Wade. “When levels are low, the cells cannot get the energy they need. You may feel hungry, unable to concentrate, or just overall irritable or anxious.”

• “For someone without diabetes, low blood sugar can be uncomfortable, but rarely dangerous,” says Palinski-Wade. “For a person with diabetes, it can be life-threatening if not corrected promptly.”

•Those living with conditions such as hypoglycemia and diabetes can experience dangerously low drops in blood sugar. People taking medications to lower blood sugar, such as insulin, are especially susceptible. In these cases, if low blood sugar is not treated correctly, it can lead to unconsciousness, coma, and even death in very severe cases, Palinski-Wade warns. It’s vital that these individuals consult with their care teams and learn how to properly manage their blood-sugar levels, as well as establish an action plan for getting levels back on track if a dip does occur

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