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Hypoglycemia: Why It’s So Much Worse Than Its Counterpart

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Hypoglycemia is a specific condition when the amount of glucose in your body becomes less than normal. It can affect a number of bodily functions. Hypoglycemia can be life threatening .

More about Hypoglycemia

Blood glucose levels can drop during the treatment of diabetes, giving rise to several symptoms with devastating effects. However, Hypoglycemia is not always associated with diabetes. Instead, you can be affected by low blood sugar in other situations such as when you consume certain medications for a prolonged period. Extensive physical exercise may also deplete glucose from your body. Consequently, your body begins to show the symptoms of Hypoglycemia.

It is not something that you should ignore, though. Make sure to note the symptoms and get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible. Hypoglycemia needs to be corrected right away as your body will continue to suffer when it fails to get the required fuel necessary for proper functioning.

You should check the blood glucose levels in order to confirm the condition. Anything less than 70 mg /dl is deemed as a low blood glucose level. However, the actual numbers can vary from individual to individual.

Different types of Hypoglycemia

  • Diabetic Hypoglycemia – This occurs when you take insulin to lower the level of glucose in your blood and end up reducing it too much. This can cause the glucose level to fall suddenly. You need to correct the condition immediately to restore normalcy.

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Usually, hypoglycemia occurs when you have not eaten, but sometimes the symptoms of hypoglycemia occur after certain meals high in sugar as the body produces more insulin than you required.This type of hypoglycemia, known as postprandial hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia, can occur in individuals who have had stomach bypass surgery. Reactive Hypoglycemia can also occur in individuals who have not had this surgery.

  • Fasting Hypoglycemia – This is yet another type of Hypoglycemia caused by prolonged starvation.
  • Hormone.

What are the common symptoms of Hypoglycemia?

It is necessary to learn to recognize the signs of Hypoglycemia when it becomes a common occurrence. Try to improve your glucose levels by consuming sugar-laden drinks or chew candy. You may even try to eat a spoonful of sugar if you do not have any sweet items handy. The signs that you need to be extremely cautious about may include:

  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Trembling in the body.
  • Anxiety.
  • Fatigue.
  • Hunger.
  • Copious amount of sweating.
  • Paleness of the skin.
  • Irritability.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Confusion

Do not wait to contact your doctor. Other symptoms would include :

  • Lack of coherence in speech and action.
  • Inability to do routine work.
  • Numbness.
  • Seizures.
  • Unconsciousness.

When do you require the services of a doctor?

It is advisable to call your doctor urgently and seek medical intervention when you experience a the above-mentioned symptoms .

Rush the patient to the nearest ER when they lose consciousness due to Hypoglycemia.


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What are the causes of Hypoglycemia?

The condition occurs when the amount of glucose in your body becomes too low to sustain normal activity. It is often caused as a side effect of insulin injections or diabetes medication. However, you may be diagnosed with Hypoglycemia even if you do not have diabetes. The causes can, therefore, be divided into separate categories:

Patients with diabetes

  • You are sure to be prescribed with different medication and/or insulin to keep the abnormally high level of blood glucose in control. Unfortunately, it might end up triggering Hypoglycemia, with the sugar levels becoming dangerously low.
  • It can also occur if you do not eat properly after taking medication for diabetes.
  • Too much physical exercise, along with consumption of antidiabetic drugs, may result in Hypoglycemia too.

Non-diabetic Patients

  • Side effects caused by prescription medicines.
  • Consumption of alcohol.
  • Existing health conditions, including liver and kidney ailments.
  • Prolonged fasting.
  • Excessive production of insulin in the body on account of pancreatic disorders.
  • Hormonal deficiency..

How to treat Hypoglycemia?

If you experience mild symptoms of Hypoglycemia, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Eating carbohydrates that are metabolized speedily to form glucose within the body. It will help you to balance the amount of sugar, thereby ensuring recovery.
  • It is necessary to check your blood sugar level within 15 minutes of ingesting sugar. Make sure to eat a glucose tablet or consume fruit juice if the levels remain unchanged. Following the same cycle, every 15 minutes is essential until your blood glucose levels rise above 70 mg per dL.
  • It is also necessary to eat a snack once the blood glucose levels become normal. This will help to stabilize the amount of glucose in the body, allowing proper functioning of the body.
  • You will not be able to take care of yourself if you experience severe Hypoglycemia.You may want a friend or family member to help you in such a condition. Intravenous injection of glucose can help in regulating the blood glucose level. You may also consider having a glucagon kit handy to negate the excessive action of insulin.
  • Medical professionals recommend taking an unconscious patient to the nearest medical facility for proper treatment.
  • The doctor may want to treat the underlying condition that has triggered Hypoglycemia..
  • Hypoglycemia also occurs when you have a pancreatic tumor. The doctor will remove it surgically along with a part of the pancreas so that there is no spurt of insulin released suddenly.

Can you prevent Hypoglycemia?

You can always remain mindful of the fact that you have diabetes and take steps to prevent episodes of Hypoglycemia.It is advisable to do the following to prevent the recurrence of episodes of hypoglycemia:

  • Follow a well-formulated diabetes management plan.
  • Talk to your doctor and learn about the possible side effects of consuming new medicines or altering your lifestyle.
  • Use a “continuous glucose monitor” known as CGM to keep track of your blood glucose level.
  • Carry glucose tablets or candy with you when you have to be away from home for a long period.
  • You may eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day instead of having 3 heavy meals. However, it might be best to discuss your needs with the doctor before following a new diet plan .

Hypoglycemia is a reality that many diabetics have to contend with. Keep yourself updated about the facts and check the solutions available to you. You need to discuss the matter with your doctor in order to prevent such episodes from occurring in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  1. What is Reactive Hypoglycemia?

    It is a condition that refers to low blood glucose levels occurring after eating a heavy meal. It is usually noticed after 4 hours of eating.

  2. What are the common tests for Hypoglycemia?

    Your doctor will draw blood at different times of day to diagnose the condition. The “five-hour glucose tolerance test” is believed to be the standard test. You may also undergo a mixed meal tolerance test (MMTT) if your doctor suspects reactive hypoglycemia.

  3. Do I need to visit a specialist doctor if I have Hypoglycemia?

    It is advisable to check with a diabetes specialist when the blood sugar levels fall too frequently. You may also need treatment if you have been diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis.

  4. Do I need to follow any special diet if I have Hypoglycemia?

    It is best to consume small meals throughout the day instead of stuffing yourself during lunch and dinner. Including fruits and yogurt will help to keep the sugar levels under control.

  5. Is Hypoglycemia related to stress?

    Chronic stress and anxiety may result in reactive hypoglycemia. It is best to work in moderation and sleep for 7-8 hours every day while ensuring that you eat healthy, nutritious foods. Quitting smoking and alcohol can help to keep your blood glucose levels stabilized too.


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