Healthy Eating

10 Signs of Blood Sugar Imbalance + 5 Blood Sugar Supporting Tips

Why blood sugar control matters & how you can tell if yours is imbalanced.

By: Lauren Panoff MPH, RD

Symptoms of low blood sugar aren’t pleasant and can take a toll on your everyday quality of life. If you’ve ever experienced a dip in blood sugar following an extended period of not eating, or shortly after consuming something sugary (but not of much substance), you know the feeling. But why does blood sugar control matter and how can you tell if yours is imbalanced? We’re answering these questions, plus how to improve your blood sugar, in this article.

The Importance of Blood Sugar Control 

Keeping your blood sugar within the recommended healthy limits is important for your overall health and well-being. Blood sugar, or glucose, serves as the primary source of fuel for your body’s cells, including your brain. Proper blood sugar control is essential to prevent health complications, particularly in individuals who have diabetes. 

Having consistently elevated blood sugar levels — called hyperglycemia — can lead to a range of serious complications over time. Some of these include: 

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Kidney problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Impaired eyesight, like blurred vision

On the other hand, having low blood sugar levels doesn’t feel good either. Also called hypoglycemia, low blood sugar can result in symptoms like weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, and, in severe cases, unconsciousness. 

By adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and medication management for those with diabetes, the risk of these complications can be significantly reduced. Monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels with your lifestyle habits plays a huge role in preventing chronic conditions and supporting your overall health. 

10 Signs of Blood Sugar Imbalance

Blood sugar imbalance can show up in different ways. Below are ten common symptoms that may indicate that your blood sugar levels are outside of normal levels. 

#1 Frequent Urination: Increased thirst and a more frequent need to use the bathroom can be indicative of high blood sugar levels.

#2 Fatigue: Feeling excessively tired, even after getting enough rest, may be a sign of blood sugar imbalance.

#3 Increased Hunger: Sudden or extreme hunger, especially shortly after eating, can be a symptom of blood sugar fluctuations.

#4 Blurred Vision: Changes in vision, such as blurred vision, may occur as a result of high or low blood sugar levels affecting the eyes.

#5 Irritability and Mood Swings: Blood sugar imbalances can impact mood, leading to irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.

#6 Unexplained Weight Loss: Sudden and unexplained weight loss, despite maintaining a regular diet, can be a symptom of high blood sugar levels.

#7 Slow Wound Healing: Difficulty healing from wounds, cuts, or infections may be linked to impaired blood sugar regulation.

#8 Numbness or Tingling: Numbness or tingling sensations, particularly in the hands and feet, can be a sign of nerve damage related to prolonged high blood sugar levels.

#9 Recurrent Infections: Individuals with frequent infections, such as urinary tract infections or yeast infections, may experience these issues more often due to elevated blood sugar levels.

#10 Dry Skin and Mouth: Dehydration and dryness of the skin and mouth can be associated with high blood sugar levels.

Note that if you’re experiencing any of these, especially if it’s ongoing, speak with your healthcare provider. These could be signs of blood sugar imbalance but could potentially indicate other conditions, so it’s important to have a comprehensive evaluation.

5 Tips to Support Healthy Blood Sugar

If you’ve been struggling with unwanted highs and lows in your blood sugar, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider to get a better idea of what may be going on. Additionally, lifestyle factors play a substantial role in blood sugar regulation. Here are five things to pay attention to every day that can help keep your blood sugar more stable. 

#1 Eat a Balanced Diet

Adopting a well-balanced diet is fundamental for blood sugar control. Focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive intake of ultra-processed simplecarbohydrates and added sugars, as they can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Include plenty of fiber, which slows digestion. 

RELATED: The Best & Worst Foods For Type 2 Diabetes 

#2 Get Regular Physical Activity

Engaging in regular exercise has a significant impact on blood sugar regulation. Physical activity helps the body use insulin more efficiently, lowering blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling.

RELATED: Science Says These Types of Exercises For Lowering Blood Sugar

#3 Practice Portion Control

Pay attention to portion sizes to prevent overeating. Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can help regulate blood sugar levels. This approach avoids large spikes in glucose after meals and promotes a more stable insulin response.

#4 Prioritize Hydration

Staying well-hydrated is essential for overall health and can contribute to blood sugar control. Water helps the kidneys flush out excess sugar through urine. Limit sugary beverages and opt for plain water, herbal teas, or unsweetened seltzer water.

#5 Practice Regular Monitoring and Medication Adherence

For individuals with diabetes, consistent monitoring of blood sugar levels is crucial. Follow the prescribed medication regimen as directed by your healthcare provider. Adhering to medication schedules helps maintain blood sugar within the target range and minimizes the risk of complications associated with uncontrolled diabetes.

Mastering Blood Sugar For Health and Vitality

It’s easy to not pay much attention to your blood sugar — until it drops too low or spikes too high. This can lead to symptoms that don’t feel great, like lightheadedness and blurred vision. If you notice ongoing signs of blood sugar imbalance, get in touch with your healthcare provider to help you get to the bottom of it. In the meantime, consider how your lifestyle habits may be influencing your blood sugar. Healthy nutrition and exercise habits are key, as well as regular monitoring if you have diabetes.