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What is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?

The goal of diabetes care is to manage your blood glucose levels so they don’t go too high or too low. A spike in your blood sugar levels either direction can lead to a serious condition that would require immediate attention. When your blood glucose levels fall too low, the condition is called hypoglycemia.

 

Low blood sugar symptoms may include:

  • Hunger
  • Pale appearance
  • Shakiness, nervousness, dizziness and/or weakness
  • Sweating
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion or irritability
  • Headaches, with or without blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Fast heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

 

Your symptoms may be minor or more significant. You may experience only one symptom, or multiple signs of low blood sugar, simultaneously.

 

What are some factors that may cause hypoglycemia?

  • Diabetes medications like insulin and oral medications can lower the blood glucose too low.
  • Skipping or delaying meals or snacks.
  • Increased physical activity.
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages. 

How is hypoglycemia treated?

Treating hypoglycemia quickly is important so that your condition doesn’t become worse. Eating sugar is the quickest way to raise your blood sugar level. In fact, you may want to consider carrying glucose tablets as a precautionary measure. According to the American Diabetes Association, if you pass out from low blood sugar, you will need immediate treatment, such as an injection of glucagon or emergency treatment in a hospital.

 

Note: If you experience hypoglycemia or have any questions about hypoglycemia, be sure to talk to your doctor.

 

 

Related articles:
Diabetes 101
What products are used to manage diabetes?
What are diabetes complications?
 
SOURCES
www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/hypoglycemia/
www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hypoglycemia-low-blood.html