Diabetes: This nighttime ‘feeling’ could be an early warning sign

A drop or spike in blood sugar levels can be especially dangerous if it occurs at nighttime.

More than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes, with an estimated 5.5 million of the population having the disease by 2030, according to Diabetes UK. But many people miss the early warning signs, which can lead to serious complications.

Diabetes and headaches

Diabetes is a condition whereby people are unable to control blood glucose through the hormone insulin.

If the level of sugar/glucose in the blood is not properly controlled, the disease can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications, such as heart disease and kidney failure.

Headaches can be a manifestation of poor blood sugar control, and recognizing this could be a useful first step to preventing more severe health problems.

Read more:

Diabetes: This NHS diet has helped thousands of overweight people shed pounds

Plastic causes high blood pressure in pregnant women, new research shows

Medicine recall: Common blood pressure drug may have cancer-causing chemicals

Causes

Diabetes-related headaches could be brought on by:

  • Hyperglycaemia: This is when one’s blood sugar is high due to a break in medication, consuming more carbohydrates than recommended and stress, among others. Hyperglycaemia can result in headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Hypoglycaemia: On the other hand, sometimes a diabetic could have a significant drop in blood sugar levels due to not eating enough, taking too much insulin medication or drinking alcohol. Hypoglycaemia can result in sweating, shakiness, dizziness, headaches, hunger and irritability.
thumbnail
Controlling blood sugar levels can help prevent headaches and other serious complications Getty/ Iuliia Safronova / EyeEm
  • High blood pressure: More than half of people with diabetes have high blood pressure. Although this condition may not present with symptoms, it if it remains high for a prolonged period of time, high blood pressure can result in headaches.

Headaches related to blood sugar levels can be managed through lifestyle changes to correct the underlying causal factors. Avoiding hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia is the best way to reduce headaches and other diabetes symptoms, as well as more severe complications. However, if they persist, you should talk to a doctor about it.

Nail health: These signs can warn you of a serious disease Nail health: These signs can warn you of a serious disease