Hypoglycemia

  • Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by abnormally low blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, usually less than 70 mg/dl. However, it is important to talk to your health care provider about your individual blood glucose targets, and what level is too low for you.
  • Hypoglycemia may also be referred to as an insulin reaction, or insulin shock.
  • Hypoglycemic symptoms are important clues that you have low blood glucose. Each person’s reaction to hypoglycemia is different, so it’s important that you learn your own signs and symptoms when your blood glucose is low.
  • The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing hypoglycemia is to check your blood glucose, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood glucose for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia has the potential to cause accidents, injuries, coma, and death.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia (happen quickly):

  • Shakiness
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Sweating, chills and clamminess
  • Irritability or impatience
  • Confusion, including delirium
  • Rapid/fast heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Hunger and nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Blurred/impaired vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
  • Headaches
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Anger, stubbornness, or sadness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nightmares or crying out during sleep
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

FAQ’S

  1. What is hypoglycemia / low sugar ?
    A person with abnormally low levels of blood sugar (glucose) has hypoglycemia (BG <70mg/dl). Hypoglycemia is not a disease in itself; it is a sign of a health problem.
  2. What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?
    Early signs and symptoms of mild hypoglycemia usually include:

    • Hunger
    • Tremor (trembling/shakiness)
    • Sweating
    • Anxiety
    • Irritability
    • Pallor (face goes pale)
    • Heart palpitations
    • Accelerated heart rate
    • Tingling lips

    When the hypoglycemia is more severe the following signs or symptoms are possible:

    • Concentration problems
    • Confusion
    • Irrational and disorderly behavior (similar to somebody who is drunk)
    • Seizures
    • Loss of consciousness
  3. Should I stop medicine if I have hypoglycemia?
    No, one should not completely stop medicines. One should immediately treat hypoglycemia and the contact doctor for any dose adjustment.
  4. What should we eat during hypoglycemia?
    • Preferably consume ½ glass juice
    • Soft drink
    • 3 spoons sugar in water
    • Some fruit
    • 2 Biscuits
  5. Causes of hypoglycemia?
    • Missed meals
    • Intake of food less than regular
    • Alcohol
    • Strenuous exercise
    • Overdose of medication.
  6. Insulin causes hypoglycemia?
    It may cause hypoglycemia.

    • If you take insulin and do not eat your meal or eat less than usual.
    • Overdose of insulin.
  7. I have had hypoglycemia episode while exercise, how can I avoid that ?
    It may be necessary to eat a carbohydrate-containing snack to prevent a low blood sugar especially if the exercise is unplanned or prolonged. Ideally, the snack should be a liquid or readily absorbed form of simple carbohydrate. Remember fiber rich foods such as whole grain breads, fruits, salads or sprouts takes a longer time to digest. High-fat such as chocolates, mithaais or Fiber rich snacks may increase the risk of exercise-related low blood sugars.