Hypoglycemia is a term that refers to low blood sugar or glucose levels. Although hypoglycemia is not a disease, it can be a sign of a health problem.
All cells in the body, including the brain, require energy to function. Glucose fuels the body. Insulin, a hormone, facilitates glucose absorption and utilization by cells.
Hunger, trembling, racing heart, nausea, and sweating are all symptoms of low blood sugar. It can result in coma and death in severe cases.
Hypoglycemia can occur for various reasons, but it most frequently appears as a side effect of medications such as insulin. Diabetes patients use insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
Individuals suffering from mild hypoglycemia may exhibit the following early symptoms:
- trembling or trembling.
- A pallid visage.
- Palpitations of the heart.
- a Heart rate that is too fast or too irregular.
- Dizziness and apprehension.
- Hazy vision.
Severe hypoglycemia may manifest itself in the following ways:
- fragility and exhaustion
- Insufficient concentration.
- irritability and trepidation.
- irrational or argumentative behavior, as well as personality changes.
- tingling sensation in the mouth
- coordination issues
If an individual does not take action, they may suffer from the following:
- eating or drinking difficulties.
- a condition characterized by a loss of consciousness.
- Severe hypoglycemia has the potential to be fatal.
A person who suffers from hypoglycemia regularly may become unaware that it is occurring or getting worse. They will miss warning signs, which can result in severe and possibly fatal complications.
Hypoglycemia is frequently indicative of poorly controlled diabetes.
A variety of factors can cause hypoglycemia.
Regulation of blood sugar
The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates. Among the molecules formed due to this reaction is glucose, the body’s primary source of energy.
After we eat, glucose enters the bloodstream. However, glucose cannot enter a cell without insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. In other words, even if there is an abundance of glucose available, if there is no insulin, a cell will starve for energy.
Following a meal, the pancreas automatically releases the appropriate insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. Blood sugar levels decrease as glucose enters the cells.
Any excess glucose store in the liver and muscles as glycogen. The body can then use this glucose when it requires additional energy.
Insulin is responsible for restoring normal blood sugar levels in diabetics.
If an individual’s glucose levels fall due to a lack of food, the pancreas secretes glucagon, another hormone, which breaks stored glycogen into glucose.
The body then reintroduces glycogen into the bloodstream, reestablishing normal glucose levels.
Diabetes and hypoglycemia
An insulin deficiency causes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the cells that normally produce insulin are damaged, resulting in the body being unable to produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes and some individuals with type 2 diabetes must take insulin or other medications to control their blood sugar levels.
If the dose is excessive, blood sugar levels may fall dangerously low, resulting in hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia can also occur if an individual exercise more than usual or eats insufficiently.
A person does not need to increase their dose if they already have an abnormally high insulin level in their body. It is possible that the insulin they took was more than what their bodies required at the time.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, both insulin and two other medications can cause hypoglycemia. These medications refers to as sulfonylureas and meglitinides.
Autoimmune syndrome to insulin
Hypoglycemia can also cause by autoimmune insulin syndrome, a rare disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks insulin for an unwanted substance.
The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center reports that symptoms typically manifest abruptly (GARD). They frequently disperse after a few months, but they occasionally reappear.
Other factors can contribute to hypoglycemia.
- Certain meds: Quinine, a malaria-prevention drug, has the potential to cause hypoglycemia. Salicylates, which uses to treat rheumatic disease, and propranolol, used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), may also cause a drop in blood sugar levels. This can also occur when someone takes diabetes medication who does not have diabetes.
- Consuming excessive alcohol can impair the liver’s ability to release stored glucose into the bloodstream.
- Certain liver conditions include the following: Hypoglycemia can result due to the liver’s involvement in drug-induced hepatitis.
- Patients with kidney disorders may experience difficulty excreting medications. This can cause hypoglycemia.
- Consuming insufficient calories: Individuals suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa may experience dramatic drops in blood sugar levels. Fasting or going without food for an extended period can result in hypoglycemia.
- Insulinoma: A pancreas tumor can cause the pancreas to produce an excessive amount of insulin.
- Increased physical activity can temporarily lower blood sugar levels.
- Hypoglycemia can occur as a result of certain disorders of the adrenal and pituitary glands. Children are more likely to experience this than adults.
- Hypoglycemia reactive, or postprandial, occurs when the pancreas overproduces insulin following a meal.
- Tumors: Occasionally, a tumor in a non-pancreatic organ can cause hypoglycemia.
- Severe illness: Certain diseases, for example, cancer, can affect multiple organs, including the pancreas. Hypoglycemia may result as a result.
If a person notices hypoglycemia symptoms, he or she should immediately consume:
- a tablet of glucose
- a sugar lump a confectionery
- a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice
These are capable of producing rapid results. Following that, they should consume carbohydrates that release slowly, such as cereals, bread, rice, or fruit.
Glucose tablets can be ordered online.
The following step is to seek treatment for any underlying conditions.
In the case of diabetes
A person with diabetes should check their blood glucose and treat hypoglycemia immediately, then wait 15–20 minutes before checking again.
If the person’s blood glucose levels remain low, they should repeat the procedure. They should consume some glucose and wait 15–20 minutes before rechecking their blood sugar.
Individuals with diabetes must adhere to a regular eating schedule. This will assist in maintaining stable blood glucose levels.
Suppose the individual’s symptoms are severe and he or she is unable to treat themselves. In that case, another person must apply honey, treacle, jam, or Glucogel to the inside of the cheeks and then gently massage the outside.
Within 10–20 minutes, the individual should begin to feel better.
If the individual loses consciousness, they should place in the recovery position and a glucagon injection should be administered by a qualified health professional.
If this is not possible, someone should contact emergency services to transport the individual to a hospital’s emergency department.
It is critical not to place food or drink into an unconscious person’s mouth, as this could obstruct the airways.