Hypoglycemia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The hardest part of contending with diabetes is keeping blood glucose at optimal levels.

Sometimes even with monitoring, these levels will fall too low. When this occurs, it is known as hypoglycemia. But this is more than just low blood sugar: without immediate correction, this condition can escalate into much more serious circumstances.

Causes

The average blood glucose range where an individual will begin to feel the effects of hypoglycemia is around 70 mg/dL. This condition can be brought on by several different things, including improper diet and certain medications. Too much insulin can cause hypoglycemia.

Symptoms

Although different individuals can experience different symptoms, some of the most common ones are feeling dizzy or light-headed, weak, and shaky; having a pale complexion, racing pulse, and pounding heart; and sweating, confusion, irritability, and anxiety.

If treatment isn't rendered, symptoms will increase in intensity. The individual could experience a numbness in his or her mouth and tongue, inability to concentrate, and could even fall unconscious or progress into a coma. Under no circumstance should an individual try to drive once symptoms set in. That's why time is of the essence.

Treatment

As soon as a diabetic begins to feel these effects, he or she should immediately check his or her blood sugar level. If it is indeed too low, this person needs to take measures to bring this level back up as quickly as possible. The main way to do this is to consume something with a high sugar content, such as glucose tablets. Fruit juice or candy can also help.

If a diabetic begins to experience hypoglycemic episodes on a regular basis, he or she should notify his or her doctor. If hypoglycemic episodes occur regularly after eating, it is a sign that this person's diet may need to be adjusted.

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