Hypoglycemia: Battling low blood sugar

Hypoglycemia: Battling low blood sugar

Have you ever heard of the word, Hypoglycemia?  If no, you perhaps must have heard about Low Blood Sugar.  The two of them mean the same.

As the name implies, Low Blood Sugar is a medical condition that occurs when there is a very low level of glucose (blood sugar) in the body. It is most common in people with diabetes. However, it is quite possible to have low blood sugar even when one does not have diabetes.

What are the causes? People with Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes usually need to take medications that help bring down their blood sugar levels. Insulin is the  hormone that breaks down sugar so that the body can use it for energy. So, an individual with diabetes can have hypoglycemia if he or she takes too much insulin.

Sometimes, it does not mean that the individual increases the dosage of insulin. It could simply mean that the amount of insulin that was taken was more than what the body needed at that time.

For those who do not have diabetes, hypoglycemia can also occur, especially when the body cannot stabilise the blood sugar levels.

There are many other causes for non-diabetic hypoglycemia; they include:  Exercise  – long durations of exercise  need more energy than usual. Therefore, too much of exercise can lead to hypoglycemia; Alcohol – excess amounts of alcohol in the body can prevent the liver from producing glucose, thereby reducing the blood sugar level and Eating disorders – an example is anorexia.

Anorexic individuals can have hypoglycemia due to their bad eating patterns.

Delayed meals can also lead to hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia has its symptoms.  The symptoms vary in different individuals. Some symptoms include excessive sweating; fatigue and excessive hunger.

Other symptoms are nausea or vomiting; headache; light-headedness / shakiness / unsteadiness; anxiety; blurred vision; fainting; mental confusion and many more.

For the diagnosis of non-diabetic hypoglycemia, the doctor will want to know about the  health history of the person concerned.  Enquiries would be made on whether the person has any disease, any stomach surgery and so on.

A physical examination will be done and he will ask questions about any medication the individual takes.

The doctor will also check the blood sugar level and check later on, if the persons feels better when the glucose level goes back to normal.

Urine tests do not detect hypoglycemia.

In the area of treatment, hypoglycemic episodes could range from mild to severe. Mild case of hypoglycemia can be treated by eating or drinking high-sugar foods or drinks, such as regular fizzy drinks, orange or pineapple juice.

In severe cases, hypoglycemia can be treated with a glucagon injection kit. Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood glucose levels.

To keep the blood sugar level steady, one can make some easy changes in diet. The chances can mean eating small meals and snacks every three to four hours; preparing food timetable to include a broad variety of foods such as proteins, high-fibre foods, fatty foods and the decision never to skip meals

Also, alcohol should be avoided and the intake of food and drinks with caffeine should be reduced.

*Additional information from www.webmd.com and www.healthline.com