The body uses glucose as the primary source of energy. Hypoglycemia is the condition of having below normal blood sugar (glucose) levels. Treatment of diabetes often includes management of hypoglycemia. However, individuals without diabetes can experience low blood sugar due to various medications and a variety of diseases, many of which are uncommon. Studies It is said that diabetic patients can have hypoglycemia if their body produces too much insulin. If you have diabetes and you use too much insulin, you may also experience hypoglycemia.
studies Note that a fasting blood sugar of 70 mg/dL, or 3.9 mmol/L, or less, should be a warning sign for hypoglycemia. Therefore, treatment should be started immediately to prevent adverse effects of hypoglycemia.
Nowadays, devices such as a continuous glucose monitor can help you prevent hypoglycemia. It tells you whenever your blood sugar level gets too low or too high. HealthifyPro 2.0 by Digital Health Platform, HealthifyMe helps you measure your blood sugar level. The BIOS continuously tracks your blood sugar level. The data will be sent to you, and your coaches will provide you with the advice and tips you need to improve your health.
Who is more likely to experience low blood sugar levels?
You are more likely to have low blood sugar if you
- have type 1 diabetes
- take insulin or certain other diabetes medicines
- Age 65. more than
- history of low blood sugar
- Have other health problems (kidney disease, heart disease, or cognitive impairment).
Signs and symptoms
Everyone reacts differently to changes in their blood sugar levels. If someone has hypoglycemia, they may experience:
- inability to concentrate
- extreme hunger
- to sweat
- looks puckish
- pale skin
- blurred vision
- personality change
- Numbness in the lips, cheeks, or tongue
Studies Also note that the following symptoms may appear as hypoglycemia worsens (chronic):
- confusion, unusual behavior, or both, such as an inability to complete routine tasks
- loss of coordination
- slurred speech
- blurred vision or tunnel vision
- nightmares, if sleeping
- unresponsive (loss of consciousness)
The HealthifyMe Note:
Let’s say you have diabetes and you experience frequent hypoglycemic episodes. In that case, your body may stop exhibiting symptoms, making it harder for your brain to detect hypoglycemia. Dangerously low blood sugar levels can lead to coma or possibly death. If you experience frequent hypoglycemic episodes, consult your health practitioner as soon as possible so that you can keep it under control.
due to hypoglycemia
Whether you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or don’t have diabetes, hypoglycemia has many different causes.
type 1 diabetes
With type 1 diabetes, hypoglycemia is typical. Studies Note that this often happens when you consume more insulin than your body needs to metabolize your diet, but other factors, such as:
- failing to schedule your insulin shots during meals
- drinking alcohol or exercising without carefully monitoring your blood sugar
- temperature and humidity
- Schedule changes, such as those resulting from travel
- to be at a higher altitude
diabetes type 2
The prevalence of hypoglycemia is lower in type 2 diabetes than in type 1. This often results in:
- Medications – Excessive use of insulin and other drugs
- Food – Inadequate carbohydrate intake related to your insulin
- Physical activity- Exercise reduces the need for insulin.
Hypoglycemia can lead to serious infections, kidney disease, advanced heart disease, and liver disease such as severe cirrhosis or hepatitis. Additionally, kidney problems can prevent your body from adequately eliminating the drugs. Accumulation of drugs that lower blood sugar levels can affect glucose levels.
too much alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol without eating can prevent the liver from releasing glucose from glycogen stores into the bloodstream. Studies It is reported that this can cause hypoglycemia.
Accidentally taking someone else’s oral diabetes medicine can cause hypoglycemia. Other drugs can potentially cause hypoglycemia, especially in younger patients or people with kidney disease, for example- the malaria drug quinine (Qualaquin). Low blood sugar in people without diabetes can be brought on by
- diabetes medications, including insulin
- Beta Blocker
- sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Chronic malnutrition and chronic starvation
Malnutrition and starvation can cause hypoglycemia because when you don’t eat enough, your body uses up the glycogen stores it needs to produce glucose. resulting in hypoglycemia.
surplus of insulin
If your pancreas produces too much insulin because of a rare pancreatic tumor called an insulinoma, one can develop hypoglycemia. A surplus of molecules such as insulin can also be caused by other cancers. The abnormal cells of the pancreas can cause excessive insulin release, leading to hypoglycemia.
Specific diseases of the pituitary and adrenal glands can cause insufficient levels of certain hormones that control glucose synthesis or metabolism. For example, if a child has too little growth hormone, he may have hypoglycemia.
Types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia without diabetes (non-diabetic hypoglycemia) can fall into two categories:
This happens when you do not eat anything for a long time. Any of the following factors can cause fasting hypoglycemia:
- Medications (most common causes):
- non-selective beta-blockers (such as propranolol)
- ACE inhibitors (such as captopril)
- certain antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin)
- Diseases such as liver disease, hypothyroidism, pancreatic tumors, malnutrition, abdominal surgery, eating disorders, sepsis, hemodialysis and insulinoma can cause sudden episodes of hypoglycemia.
This happens within a few hours of eating a meal. Reactive hypoglycemia may be caused by:
- Hyperinsulinism (excessive production of insulin)
- Refined carbohydrates (such as white bread)
- digestive system surgery
- Prediabetes (condition in which blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be called diabetes)
How does skipping a meal cause hypoglycemia?
A missed meal can affect how food intake and insulin production interact, ultimately resulting in a drop in blood sugar levels. Skipping meals can be risky for diabetics who are dependent on insulin or other blood sugar lowering drugs as it can result in low blood sugar.
To be diagnosed with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a person must have the following symptoms:
- Low blood sugar level brings symptoms.
- A blood test that measures blood sugar levels (often less than 60 mg/dL)
- A person feels better after eating anything to normalize blood sugar levels.
You can identify the cause of hypoglycemia by doing the following tests:
- blood test
- a CT scan (computerized tomography)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
If you start taking new medicines, change your eating or medication schedule, or start doing more activity, your management of diabetes and your risk of low blood sugar may be affected. Know the warning signs and symptoms of low blood sugar before your blood sugar level becomes too low; It can help you recognize and treat hypoglycemia. Also, you can monitor it regularly to find out when your blood sugar is going down.
A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a good option for some people. A CGM can transmit blood sugar levels to a receiver via a small wire implanted under the skin. If blood sugar levels drop too low, some CGM devices will alert. In addition, to help prevent hypoglycemia, specialized insulin pumps now have CGM integration. As a result, they may stop giving insulin when blood sugar levels are falling too quickly. Always have a fast-acting carbohydrate on hand, such as a glucose drink, juice or glucose tablets. This can address falling blood sugar levels before they reach dangerously low levels.
Several small meals throughout the day are a temporary solution for treating hypoglycemia which is often to prevent blood sugar levels from falling too low. However, it would help if you had a more specific intervention to have a good long-term plan. So instead, work with your health coach and nutritionist to determine and address the cause of hypoglycemia.
When to see a doctor?
Seek medical attention immediately if,
- You have symptoms of hypoglycemia, but you do not have diabetes.
- You have diabetes, and nothing seems to work despite trying to manage your hypoglycemia by drinking juice or eating regular (not diet) soft drinks, candy, or taking glucose tablets.
- Let’s say you have diabetes or a history of hypoglycemia, experience severe hypoglycemic symptoms, or faint. In that case, you should seek emergency medical help.
For treatment, if you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, follow these steps:
fast acting carbohydrates
Eat or drink 15-20 grams of quick-acting carbs. These are high-sugar, low-protein and low-fat foods and drinks that the body can quickly convert to sugar. Take honey, glucose tablets or gel, fruit juice or fruit.
double check blood sugar level
After 15 minutes of treatment:
- Double check the blood sugar level.
- Eat or drink another 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, and then check your blood sugar levels every 15 minutes if they are still below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L).
- Continue these actions until blood sugar exceeds 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L).
breakfast or meal
Have a meal or snack. Having a nutritious breakfast or meal once your blood sugar returns to normal will help avoid a further drop in blood sugar. Plus, it will restore your body’s glycogen stores.
foods to eat to treat hypoglycemia
Treatments for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) include:
- consuming quick sources of sugar
- glucose tablets or gel
- Fruit Juice
- glucose drink
The HealthifyMe Note:
Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of glucose in the blood is low. Consuming foods that contain a good amount of carbohydrates or sugars can help treat and prevent the adverse effects of low blood sugar levels. Consuming glucose-containing or sugary beverages can help stop symptoms immediately. Apart from this, you can also use alternative medicines. Fruits and fruit juices are a healthy option that boosts energy and immunity and are a good source of sugar. Immediate treatment involves eating or drinking 15-20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates. However, it is necessary to consult a health expert to understand the underlying causes of hypoglycemia.
Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day for a variety of reasons, including when and what you eat and your physical activity and stress levels. But if you have frequent hypoglycemia or feel persistent symptoms, you need to take action. Although a diagnosis of diabetes can be problematic, the sooner you manage your glucose and resume your favorite activities, the better.
In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is common. Let’s say you’ve had diabetes before, and you continue to experience hypoglycemic symptoms. In that case, your doctor may need to modify your treatment strategy or assess you to rule out any other underlying conditions. If you have never been diagnosed with diabetes but exhibit hypoglycemic symptoms, you should still be tested.