Hypoglycemia – Symptoms and causes


Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar ( glucose ) level is lower than normal. Glucose is your torso ‘s main energy source .
Hypoglycemia is frequently related to diabetes treatment. But early drugs and a variety show of conditions — many rare — can cause abject blood carbohydrate in people who do n’t have diabetes
Hypoglycemia needs immediate treatment when blood carbohydrate levels are first gear. For many people, a fast blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter ( mg/dL ), or 3.9 millimoles per liter ( mmol/L ), or under should serve as an alarm for hypoglycemia. But your numbers might be unlike. Ask your doctor.

Treatment involves promptly getting your rake carbohydrate bet on to normal either with high-sugar foods or drinks or with medications. long-run treatment requires identifying and treating the cause of hypoglycemia .


If blood carbohydrate levels become excessively first gear, signs and symptoms can include :

  • An irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue or cheek

As hypoglycemia worsens, signs and symptoms can include :

  • Confusion, abnormal behavior or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks
  • Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

When to see a doctor

Seek a doctor ‘s help immediately if :

  • You have what might be hypoglycemia symptoms and you don’t have diabetes
  • You have diabetes and hypoglycemia isn’t responding to treatment, such as drinking juice or regular soft drinks, eating candy, or taking glucose tablets

Seek emergency help for person with diabetes or a history of hypoglycemia who has symptoms of severe hypoglycemia or loses consciousness .


Hypoglycemia occurs when your lineage carbohydrate ( glucose ) grade falls besides low. There are respective reasons why this can happen ; the most common is a english consequence of drugs used to treat diabetes .

Blood sugar regulation

When you eat, your consistency breaks down carbohydrates from foods — such as bread, rice, pasta, vegetables, fruit and milk products — into versatile sugar molecules, including glucose .
Glucose, the chief energy source for your body, enters the cells of most of your tissues with the help of insulin — a hormone secreted by your pancreas. Insulin enables the glucose to enter the cells and provide the fuel your cells need. Extra glucose is stored in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen .
If you have n’t eaten for respective hours and your blood carbohydrate flat drops, another hormone from your pancreas signals your liver to break down the store glycogen and free glucose into your bloodstream. This keeps your blood carbohydrate within a normal scope until you eat again .
Your torso besides has the ability to make glucose. This action occurs chiefly in your liver, but besides in your kidneys .

Possible causes, with diabetes

If you have diabetes, you might not make adequate insulin ( type 1 diabetes ) or you might be less reactive to it ( type 2 diabetes ). As a resultant role, glucose tends to build up in the bloodstream and can reach perilously high levels. To correct this problem, you might take insulin or other drugs to lower blood sugar levels .
But besides much insulin or other diabetes medications may cause your rake boodle degree to drop excessively low, causing hypoglycemia. hypoglycemia can besides occur if you eat less than common after taking diabetes medicine, or if you exercise more than you normally do .

Possible causes, without diabetes

hypoglycemia in people without diabetes is much less common. Causes can include the come :

  • Medications. Taking someone else’s oral diabetes medication accidentally is a possible cause of hypoglycemia. Other medications can cause hypoglycemia, especially in children or in people with kidney failure. One example is quinine (Qualaquin), used to treat malaria.
  • Excessive alcohol drinking. Drinking heavily without eating can block your liver from releasing stored glucose into your bloodstream, causing hypoglycemia.
  • Some critical illnesses. Severe liver illnesses such as severe hepatitis or cirrhosis can cause hypoglycemia. Kidney disorders, which can keep your body from properly excreting medications, can affect glucose levels due to a buildup of those medications.

    long-run starvation, as can occur in the eat disorder anorexia nervosa, can result in excessively short of substances your body needs to create glucose .

  • Insulin overproduction. A rare tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma) can cause you to produce too much insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia. Other tumors also can result in too much production of insulin-like substances. Enlargement of cells of the pancreas that produce insulin can result in excessive insulin release, causing hypoglycemia.
  • Hormone deficiencies. Certain adrenal gland and pituitary tumor disorders can result in a deficiency of key hormones that regulate glucose production. Children can have hypoglycemia if they have too little growth hormone.

Hypoglycemia after meals

Hypoglycemia normally occurs when you have n’t eaten, but not constantly. sometimes hypoglycemia symptoms occur after certain meals high in sugar because your body produces more insulin than you need .
This type of hypoglycemia, called reactive hypoglycemia or postprandial hypoglycemia, can occur in people who have had stomach bypass surgery. It can besides occur in people who have n’t had this surgery .


Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to :

  • Seizure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

hypoglycemia can besides contribute to the succeed :

  • Dizziness and weakness
  • Falls
  • Injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Greater risk of dementia in older adults

Hypoglycemia unawareness

Over time, repeated episodes of hypoglycemia can lead to hypoglycemia unknowingness. The body and brain no longer produce signs and symptoms that warn of a low blood sugar, such as shaking or irregular heartbeats. When this happens, the gamble of dangerous, dangerous hypoglycemia increases .
If you have diabetes, recurring episodes of hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia unknowingness, your repair might modify your treatment, raise your lineage sugar charge goals and recommend lineage glucose awareness train .

Undertreated diabetes

If you have diabetes, episodes of low blood sugar are uncomfortable and can be frightening. reverence of hypoglycemia can cause you to take less insulin to ensure that your rake sugar level does n’t go excessively low. This can lead to uncontrolled diabetes. Talk to your doctor about your fear, and do n’t change your diabetes medication dose without your doctor ‘s o .


If you have diabetes

Continuous glucose monitor

Continuous glucose monitor

Continuous glucose monitor

A continuous glucose monitor ( CGM ) is a device that measures your blood sugar every few minutes using a detector inserted under the hide .
Follow the diabetes management plan you and your repair have developed. If you ‘re taking raw medications, changing your corrode or medicine schedules, or adding new exercise, speak to your doctor of the church about how these changes might affect your diabetes management and your risk of low blood sugar .
A continuous glucose monitor ( CGM ) is an choice for some people, peculiarly those with hypoglycemia unknowingness. A CGM has a bantam cable that ‘s inserted under the peel that can send lineage glucose readings to a receiver .
If lineage sugar levels are dropping besides low, some models of CGM will alert you with an alarm. Some insulin pumps are now integrated with CGMs and can shut off insulin delivery when blood boodle levels are dropping excessively cursorily to help prevent hypoglycemia .
Be certain to constantly have a fast-acting carbohydrate with you, such as juice or glucose tablets so that you can treat a falling lineage carbohydrate tied before it dips perilously low.

If you don’t have diabetes

For recurring episodes of hypoglycemia, eating patronize small meals throughout the day is a makeshift measure to help prevent your lineage sugar levels from getting besides first gear. however, this overture is n’t advised as a long-run scheme. knead with your doctor to identify and treat the causal agent of hypoglycemia .

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