Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, occurs when the sugar levels in your blood are too low. Hypoglycemia, that occurs in people with diabetes, however, it can also occur in people who don’t have diabetes.
Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of glucose present in the blood falls below a set point: Below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL)
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Symptoms associated with hypoglycemia are:
- Being pale
- Feeling weak
- A feeling of extreme hunger
- A higher heart rate than usual
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
- personality changes
- And in extreme cases, coma
Some people experience low blood sugar during the night; symptoms include:
- Sweating during the night more than would be expected
- Crying out in the night
- Feeling tired or irritable when waking
Causes of Hypoglycemia
Whilst medication is the chief factor linked to hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, a number of other circumstances can enhance the risk of hypoglycemia-
- Too high a dose of medication (insulin or tablets such as glibenclamide, gliclazide, glipizide, glimepiride, tolbutamide))
- Late meals
If you feel one or more hypoglycemia symptoms, check your blood sugar level. If your blood glucose level is under your target or less than 70, eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates immediately away.
For rapid effects, glucose tablets, sugar lumps, sweets, or a glass of fruit juice are ideal.
Wait 15 minutes and check your blood glucose repeatedly. If your glucose level is still low, eat or drink another 15 grams of glucose or carbohydrates. Review your blood glucose again after another 15 minutes. Repeat these steps until your glucose level is back to standard.
How Serious is Hypo?
Mild hypos are not associated with notable long-term health problems.
Severe hypoglycemia will require hospitalization and may require an ambulance. Severe hypos can commence to immediate danger if not treated quickly. Whilst rare, severe hypos can likely lead to coma and death.