Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, symptoms can include:
- Pale skin
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue or weakness
In severe cases, it can lead to seizures, unconsciousness, or death. It’s important to treat low blood sugar as soon as symptoms are noticed. This can usually be done by eating or drinking a source of glucose, such as fruit juice or a sugary snack.
Please note that these symptoms may vary from person to person, and some individuals may experience different symptoms. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of low blood sugar, as it can lead to seizures, unconsciousness, or death if left untreated.
Causes of low blood sugar
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, occurs when the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood drops below normal. Here are some common causes of low blood sugar:
Medications: Certain medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin and sulfonylureas, can cause low blood sugar if the dosage is too high.
Skipping meals or delaying meals: When you don’t eat on schedule or miss a meal, it can cause your blood sugar levels to drop.
Excessive alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can cause low blood sugar, especially if consumed on an empty stomach.
Overdose of diabetes medication: Taking too much medication can cause low blood sugar levels.
Intense physical activity: Exercise can cause the body to use up glucose quickly, leading to low blood sugar levels.
Illness: Some illnesses, such as infections or pancreatitis, can cause low blood sugar.
Certain medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as adrenal or pituitary gland tumors, can cause low blood sugar.
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, shakiness, confusion, and rapid heartbeat and take appropriate action. Also, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to adjust your treatment plan if you experience low blood sugar frequently.
Treatment of low blood sugar
The treatment of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) depends on the severity of the symptoms, but typically involves consuming a source of glucose such as:
Glucose gel or tablets: These can be found at most pharmacies, they are small, portable and easy to carry. They are usually in the form of small tablets or gels that dissolve quickly in the mouth.
Fruit juice: Fruit juice, such as orange juice, is a fast-acting source of glucose.
Hard candy: Hard candy, such as lifesavers, is another fast-acting source of glucose.
Glucagon injection: In case of severe hypoglycemia and the person is unable to consume sugar by mouth, a glucagon injection may be given by a family member or friend of the person with diabetes.
Eating a small snack: Eating a small snack that contains carbohydrates such as crackers or a banana can help raise blood sugar levels.
It’s important to treat low blood sugar as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming severe. Once blood sugar levels return to normal, it’s important to eat a small snack or meal to prevent the blood sugar from dropping again. It’s also important to work with your healthcare provider to adjust your treatment plan if you experience low blood sugar frequently.
Blood sugar levels
Blood sugar levels refer to the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) present in the bloodstream. Glucose is a primary source of energy for the body’s cells and is regulated by the hormone insulin.
Normal blood sugar levels for most adults are between 70 to 130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) when fasting (not having had anything to eat or drink for at least 8 hours) and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after a meal. However, these levels can vary depending on factors such as the time of day, the individual’s overall health, and their treatment plan.
If blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal, it may be a sign of diabetes. High blood sugar levels can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage.
It’s important to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, as well as to discuss with a healthcare professional about what is a normal range for you.