When a person’s blood glucose falls extremely low, that individual is suffering from hypoglycemia. This condition is not exclusive to people diagnosed with diabetes. Anyone can become hypoglycemic. It is important to know and understand low blood sugar so that it can be treated and even prevented.
The normal blood sugar level in humans is 70 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. With energy this low, the body cannot function properly. The moment glucose in the blood drops below normal levels, hypoglycemia happens. This condition can be fatal if a person suffers from untreated severe hypoglycemia. It is imperative that blood sugar levels revert to safe levels.
In diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body is renitent to the hormone. Insulin injections aid the cells in using the sugar present in the bloodstream. If the diabetic takes more than the prescribed amount, blood glucose levels fall below the normal range. The same thing happens when the patient over exerts or skips meals after an insulin shot.
Non-diabetic patients can also experience hypoglycemia.
What Causes Hypoglycemia?
In people without diabetes, reactive hypoglycemia occurs. It results from the body’s over production of insulin after every meal. This phenomenon causes blood glucose levels to fall drastically low. This type of hypoglycemia can be considered an early sign of dreaded diabetes.
Below are more conditions that can ring about hypoglycemia:
1. Certain medications. Hypoglycemia happens if a patient takes another diabetic patient’s prescribed medications. It can also occur as a side effect of some pneumonia medications, malaria medicine, and a number of antibiotics. Those with failing kidneys have an increased risk of hypoglycemia, induced by medications.
2. Hepatitis. This is an inflammatory ailment affecting the liver. This can impede the liver’s normal functions. Once the liver fails to produce enough sugar, the body experiences hypoglycemia.
3. Anorexia. An individual suffering from anorexia does not consume enough food for the body to manufacture the right amount of glucose.
4. High alcohol intake. The pancreas produces glucagon when blood glucose levels fall. Glucagon informs the liver to disintegrate stored energy. This brings back glucose into the blood, normalizing sugar levels. Excessive alcohol intake retards the liver from functioning properly, preventing it from releasing glucose. This event results in a short period of hypoglycemia.
5. Other causes. Kidney problems, pituitary gland or adrenal disorders, and pancreatic tumors can also lead to hypoglycemia.
What Are The Symptoms of Hypoglycemia?
Here are the known symptoms of low blood sugar:
• Loss of concentration
• Inability to focus vision
• Mood swings
• Loss of consciousness
It is best to see a doctor if you experience the symptoms regularly. Lifestyle and diet changes can help eliminate hypoglycemia. Even if you don’t have diabetes, low blood sugar can be treated, and optimal health can prevail.