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Hypoglycemia: Causes & Symptoms

Raina Rahul Agarwal 18 Dec, 2023 Health & Fitness No Comments

Introduction

Hypoglycemia, commonly known as low blood sugar is a condition that demands attention and understanding, especially for individuals managing diabetes who are susceptible to sudden glucose fluctuations. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of hypoglycemia, exploring its causes, symptoms and effective management strategies.

Hypoglycemia is a medical condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar ( glucose). This occurs when the concentration of glucose in the blood drops below the normal range, typically below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Glucose is a vital energy source for the body’s cells, especially the brain, and maintaining an appropriate blood sugar level is crucial for overall health.

Hypoglycemia is often associated with conditions like diabetes, particularly if individuals are taking medication such as insulin or certain oral hypoglycemia agents. However, it can also occur in individuals without diabetes under certain circumstances.

Understanding Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the blood sugar level is lower than the normal range or standard range. Glucose is the main source of the body’s cells especially the brain and it maintains the appropriate blood sugar level which is important for overall health. For diabetic patients, hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar level is below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 3.9 millimoles per litre (mmol/L). For people who are not suffering from diabetes hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar level is low below 55 mg/dL or 3.1 mmol/L.

What Is Blood Sugar

We obtain sugar mainly from carbohydrates found in the food which we consume. It is the main energy and blood carries glucose throughout the body’s cells to use for energy. Glucose is the primary source of the brain. In the absence of diabetes, various inherent bodily processes work together to ensure your blood glucose stays within a healthy range. Insulin a hormone, produced by the human pancreas plays a vital role as the primary contributor to regulating healthy blood sugar levels. Additionally, another hormone, glucagon takes part in this intricate process.

Due to excess insulin diabetes happens. It also happens when the human body naturally makes too much or injects too much synthetic insulin. Other hormonal and metabolic issues are responsible for low blood sugar levels.

Causes Of Hypoglycemia

Medication & Insulin:

An excessive dose of diabetes medication or insulin can lead to a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels.

Delayed or Missed Meals:

Skipping meals or delaying them significantly can contribute to hypoglycemia as the body lacks a timely supply of glucose.

 Strenuous Exercise:

Intense physical activity can lead to a rapid depletion of glucose levels, especially if not balanced with sufficient carbohydrate intake.

Alcohol Consumption:

Consuming alcohol without adequate food intake can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.

Medical Conditions:

Certain health conditions, such as adrenal gland disorders or pancreatic tumours, can contribute to hypoglycemia.

Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia:

Recognizing the signs of hypoglycemia is crucial for timely intervention. Common symptoms include:

Shakiness or trembling
Sweating
Irritability or Mood changes
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Confusion
Difficulty Concentrating
Hunger

Management Of Hypoglycemia:

Immediate Carbohydrate Intake:

Consuming a fast-acting source of carbohydrates, such as fruit juice or glucose tablets can quickly raise blood sugar levels.

Regular Monitoring: 

Individuals at risk of hypoglycemia should regularly monitor their blood sugar levels to identify and address potential lows.

Balanced Nutrition: 

Maintaining a well-balanced diet with regular meals and snacks can help prevent episodes of low blood sugar.

Adjustment of Medications: 

Consultation with a healthcare provider to adjust medication dosages, especially insulin, can help prevent hypoglycemic episodes.

Emergency Glucagon Kit:

Individuals at high risk, particularly those using insulin, should have access to a glucagon kit for emergency use.

Conclusion: 

Hypoglycemia poses challenges for those managing diabetes and others who may experience sudden drops in blood sugar levels. Awareness of proactive management and collaboration with healthcare professionals are key components of effectively navigating the complexities of low blood sugar. By understanding the causes and symptoms and implementing appropriate strategies, individuals can lead healthier, more balanced lives despite the challenges posed by hypoglycemia.

References: www.cdc.gov

www.clevalandclinic.org

Disclaimer: All the content of this article is for information purposes only.

author avatar
Raina Rahul Agarwal
A Non-Medical Scientist, BSL-2 Lab, Mirzapur

Raina Rahul Agarwal

A Non-Medical Scientist, BSL-2 Lab, Mirzapur

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