Metabolic Health
Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Type 2 Diabetes and Dizziness: Causes and Treatment

What are the common symptoms we might face due to type-2 diabetes? What are their impacts on our health status? We must understand the disease pathogenesis and the treatment and management strategies. Diabetes is a condition that tends to influence our overall lifestyle and introduce several changes in the body. These symptoms may arise due to side effects of the underlying disease or due to medications. Dizziness is a common symptom of type-2 diabetes. It is caused due to different collective factors like high blood sugar, low blood sugar, the impact of certain medications, dehydration, etc. But, does diabetes specifically cause dizziness? This blog attempts to answer this question. It specifically points out all the reasons for dizziness in the patients. The blog also recommends all necessary treatment strategies necessary for maintaining a quality lifestyle.

The probable reasons that are responsible for causing dizziness in type 2 diabetes are as under:

Low Blood Sugar 

It is also referred to as hypoglycemia and is common when we suffer from diabetes. Low blood sugar is defined as the abrupt dropping of glucose levels below the healthy range. According to research, it is observed that approximately 11-14% of patients with diabetes experience dizziness in case of low blood sugar. The prominent symptoms we may experience are shakiness, nervousness or anxiety, tachycardia, nausea, delirium, and increased hunger.

High Blood Sugar

A high blood sugar condition is also known as hyperglycemia and may lead to the development of dizziness. In this case, the body cannot regulate the normal insulin level. This leads to high blood glucose levels. Prominent symptoms include elevated glucose levels in urine, frequent urination and unusual thirst. Research studies in the UK reflect that approximately 27% of the population undergoing insulin-dependent diabetes treatment experience dizziness.

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Dehydration 

We have a higher tendency to experience dehydration due to diabetes. But does this dehydration and diabetes cause dizziness? Well, diabetes causes the kidneys to remove the excess glucose through urine, causing dehydration. This dehydration ultimately results in diabetes. The usual symptoms are dry eyes, headaches, lethargy, increased thirst, and dark urination.

Impact of Medications

Certain medications may induce dizziness in patients with diabetes. It predominantly includes medications; that tend to lower the blood glucose level. The prominent medications; that cause dizziness due to diabetes are:

• Certain diuretics

• Antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, etc.

• Typical steroids and statins

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

• SGLT2 inhibitors: Ex. Canagliflozin, Empagliflozin, Metformin, Sitagliptin, etc.

Associated Risks

Firstly, we must understand our symptoms and scenarios. Does diabetes cause dizziness? If yes, what are the risk factors associated with dizziness and type-2 diabetes? Proper consultation with doctors regarding severe dizziness is necessary for maintaining a better quality of life. In case of negligence or without treatment, dizziness may interfere with our regular activities leading to severe complications. Uncontrolled or increased blood glucose levels may lead to unconsciousness or a complete blackout. This is known as ketoacidosis and requires immediate medical attention.

Therefore, we must follow strict methods, i.e. both pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies. It is the responsibility of the caregivers to implement a stratified treatment plan to manage symptoms related to type 2 diabetes and prevent dizziness.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Firstly, the doctor needs to analyse the cause of type-2 diabetes and dizziness. Hence, a specialist must be consulted immediately if we experience any discomfort or dizziness. It is the responsibility of the doctor to carry out different physical investigations or pathological tests for the proper evaluation of the symptoms and the resultant outcomes. The routine monitoring of the glucose level and ongoing medications is necessary to evaluate the associated symptoms and validate the reason for dizziness.

Management of Dizziness with Type-2 Diabetes

We must follow a healthy lifestyle and adopt methods for determining the underlying causes of dizziness and diabetes. The different interventional strategies are as under:

Daily monitoring of blood sugar:  Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels helps maintain the glucose level within a normal and healthy range.

The 15:15 rule: Low Blood Sugar- Doctors advise patients with low blood sugar to follow the 15:15 rule. According to this rule, we may consume 15 g of carbohydrates and monitor the blood sugar level after 15 minutes. If the level is still low, the consumption of another 15 g is advisable. The typical carbohydrates recommended are different glucose tablets or gel, dietary constituents like honey, corn syrup, juice or non-diet soda, etc. When glucose level reaches the normal range, we may consume healthy snacks or liquids. However, the accurate carbohydrate content varies amongst individuals, and doctors recommend the correct quantity.

Impact of regular exercise: Proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle is recommended in cases diagnosed with diabetes. However, the type of exercise, diet, and treatment strategy must be advised by the specialist.

Medications: In case of discomfort or dizziness due to medications, we must inform the doctor. A modification or alternative suggestion must be implemented.

Bottomline

Hence, we can somewhat predict from the facts that diabetes may cause dizziness. The reasons for the disease and its associated symptoms should be clearly understood. The doctors must indicate the cause and severity of dizziness due to diabetes. We must understand the symptoms and implement the positive changes for a better quality of life.

References

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/type-2-diabetes-dizziness

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