What Happens If My Glucose Is Low – Hypoglycemia is the medical term used when blood glucose levels fall below what is considered healthy (below 70 mg/dL in adults). Since glucose is one of the main sources of energy for the body, hypoglycemia can be dangerous. Glucose is a sugar that is usually obtained by consuming carbohydrates, such as bread or fruit. After a meal, glucose is absorbed from the gut into the blood. To use this glucose, the body produces insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose from the blood.
Hypoglycemia literally refers to low blood glucose: the prefix “hypo” means “below,” while “glycemia” means “blood glucose.”
What Happens If My Glucose Is Low
Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include hunger, fatigue, tremors, sweating, pale skin, headache, and dizziness. If hypoglycemia persists, these signs and symptoms may worsen, leading to confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, fainting, seizures, or even coma.
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Hypoglycemia most often occurs in people with diabetes as a side effect of taking too much insulin or diabetes medication; it can also be the result of eating less or exercising more than usual.
Hypoglycemia is less common among non-diabetics. When this happens, it can occur due to prolonged starvation or not eating enough food for a long time. It can also be a side effect of certain medications or alcohol, or it can be a sign of an underlying condition.
Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of various medications, including salicylates (eg, aspirin), beta blockers (eg, propranolol), some antibiotics (eg, levofloxacin), some antifungals (eg, pentamidine), and antimalarials (eg, quinine).
When blood glucose is low, especially in the case of hunger or starvation, the liver releases stored glucose to maintain healthy glucose levels. However, drinking too much alcohol can block the liver from releasing that stored glucose and can lead to hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar): Symptoms, Causes, And More
Hypoglycemia may indicate an underlying condition, such as liver, kidney, or heart disease. In addition, blood glucose is tightly regulated by the interplay of hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, glucagon, and epinephrine. So, hormonal imbalance can lead to hypoglycemia. Finally, hypoglycemia without a clear cause may indicate the presence of an insulin-producing tumor. An insulinoma is a rare tumor of the pancreas that produces extra insulin, while other tumors such as mesenchymal tumors can produce an insulin-like growth factor.
Reactive hypoglycemia can occur in non-diabetics after a carbohydrate-rich meal. This is probably the result of the body producing more insulin than it needs. Reactive hypoglycemia can be a sign of pre-diabetes or risk of diabetes.
Reactive hypoglycemia can also occur due to dumping syndrome, which can be a consequence of gastric bypass surgery. Dumping syndrome is characterized by the rapid movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine, which can cause increased insulin production. However, with this rapid movement of food, most of the food is not absorbed into the blood; as a consequence, excess insulin produced can lead to hypoglycemia.
If you are diabetic and take insulin or other diabetes medications and experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, it is important to check your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. A blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL confirms hypoglycemia, and a level below 54 mg/dL requires immediate action to increase blood sugar.
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To treat hypoglycemia, it is necessary to raise the blood sugar level to a healthy level. To do this, people are usually asked to eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates – for example, glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or a tablespoon of sugar or honey are common remedies. Since these sugary foods and drinks have no protein or fat, they are more easily processed by the body. Blood sugar levels should be rechecked 15 minutes after consuming at least 15 grams of carbohydrates.
If, after 15 minutes, the blood sugar level is still below 70 mg/dL, the person with hypoglycemia should eat or drink another 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and recheck the blood sugar level after another 15 minutes. This is generally referred to as the 15-15 rule and is repeated until the blood sugar level is above 70 mg/dL. Once they recover and are no longer hypoglycemic, people usually benefit from eating larger snacks or meals.
People who suffer from severe hypoglycemia may need help to recover. If someone is unconscious and unable to eat, they may need an injection of glucagon. Generally, diabetics will have an emergency glucagon kit. However, if no kit is available, those assisting should call 911.
Various measures can be taken to prevent hypoglycemia from occurring. Individuals who have diabetes or struggle with reactive hypoglycemia should try to include more complex carbohydrates in their diet. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grains, beans, and vegetables like broccoli. Unlike simple carbohydrates (such as honey, sugar, and fruit), complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to break down, which helps keep blood glucose levels constant for longer periods of time.
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If hypoglycemia recurs frequently in a diabetic, their doctor may suggest changing, stopping, or adjusting the dose of insulin or diabetes medication.
Hypoglycemia is a term that describes a low blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL. It is most common among diabetics as a side effect of treatment. However, it can also occur in people without diabetes due to certain medications, prolonged starvation, not eating enough food, or an underlying condition. Symptoms include hunger, fatigue, tremors, sweating, headache, dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, fainting, seizures or even coma. Hypoglycemia can be tested for by checking blood sugar levels and must be treated immediately by supplementing glucose with at least 15 grams of carbohydrate, usually through glucose tablets, fruit juice, or sugary candy. Unconscious persons may require an injection of glucagon. Finally, nondiabetic individuals who experience hypoglycemia should consult with a physician to evaluate for potential underlying conditions.
Anno, T., Kaneto, H., Shigemoto, R., Kawasaki, F., Kawai, Y., Urata, N., Kawamoto, H., Kaku, K., & Okimoto, N. (2018). Hypoinsulinemic hypoglycemia induced by liver injury in the elderly with low body weight: case reports.
Kalra, S., Mukherjee, J., Venkataraman, S., Bantwal, G., Shaikh, S., Saboo, B., Das, A., & Ramachandran, A. (2013). Hypoglycemia: an overlooked complication.
Treating Low Blood Sugar
Parekh, TM, Raji, M., Lin, Y., et al. (2014). Hypoglycemia after prescribing antimicrobials to elderly patients using sulfonylureas. During pregnancy, a woman experiences several changes in her body. Hormone levels change and so does her need for energy to support fetal growth. Therefore, it is mandatory for a pregnant woman to go for regular check-ups and avoid causes that can lead to sugar fluctuations. Both increasing and decreasing sugar levels are harmful to the child and the mother and lead to complications during childbirth. Read this blog to learn about the relationship between low sugar and pregnancy.
Insulin is a hormone that transports glucose, or blood sugar, from the blood into the body’s cells, where it is stored for energy. During pregnancy, the body produces more insulin for the development of the baby. In certain cases, it is seen that during pregnancy the body becomes more resistant to insulin. Therefore, many women develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
Chances of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) are more common in pregnancy, due to changes in the body during pregnancy. The way the body responds to insulin can also cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerously low levels. Therefore, it causes a condition called hypoglycemia. This is the case when blood sugar is less than 60 milligrams per deciliter (mgdl).
Hypoglycemia during pregnancy is a common occurrence in women with diabetes. A healthy eating plan, a safe and effective fitness regimen, proper sleep patterns, and other lifestyle modifications help keep blood sugar at healthy levels during and after pregnancy.
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Slight fluctuations in sugar levels during pregnancy are normal, but if there is a persistent decrease in sugar levels known as hypoglycemia, several precautions are necessary. First of all, the causes that lead to hypoglycemia should be avoided.
There is an underlying cause of diabetes in pregnant women in the case of hypoglycemia. Therefore, women who were not previously diabetic usually do not face this problem. However, women who suffer from it have difficulty concentrating or may faint.
Random variations in blood sugar during pregnancy are often seen, as both pregnancy and diabetes cause insulin to fluctuate. Health experts recommend avoiding too much or too little sugar. It is mandatory for all ladies to go for blood sugar analysis even if they are not in a high risk case.
Hypoglycemia in pregnancy without diabetes is rare. The following types of diabetes put a pregnant woman at high risk of hypoglycemia:
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Eating a nutrient-dense diet can prevent, treat, and maintain normal blood sugar levels. It is very important to know what you eat and how much you eat if you are planning, expecting or have just given birth to a baby. To understand the quality and quantity of your diet, a consultation with a personal nutrition coach is recommended. Simple habit changes can help you reverse diabetes for life.
As the body becomes weak and unable to draw energy for growth
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