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Hypoglycemia Overview

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Hypoglycemia Overview

Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is the condition when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels. It is most commonly seen in diabetic patients.

Signs and symptoms

Being aware of the early signs of hypoglycemia help to treat your low blood glucose levels quickly – to bring them back the condition into the normal range.

The most common symptoms regarding Hypoglycemia are

  • clumsiness,
  • trouble talking,
  • confusion,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • seizures,
  • feeling of hunger,
  • sweating,
  • shakiness,
  • weakness
  • Fatigue
  • A higher heart rate than usual
  • Blurred vision
  • And in extreme cases, coma and death

Causes of Hypoglycemia are

  • Medications like Insulin and sulfonylureas used to treat diabetes mellitus
  • Kidney failure
  • certain tumors
  • Liver diseases
  • insulinoma,
  • hypothyroidism,
  • starvation,
  • inborn error of metabolism,
  • severe infections,
  • reactive hypoglycemia,

Not enough cortisol, such as in Addison’s disease, not enough glucagon, or not enough epinephrine can result in low blood sugar the conditions is more common in children

Risk factors associated with Hypoglycemia are

  • Insulin intake patients
  • Sulphopnylureas
  • Prandial glucose regulators
  • And some conditions like
    • exercised more than usual
    • alcohol consumption
  • Factors linked to risk of lower sugar levels are
    • High dose of insulin
    • Delayed meals or skipping meals
    • Exercise
    • Alcohol


Hypoglycemia is diagnosed  by measuring blood sugar levels with a glucose meter.

  • Blood glucose level below 4.0 mmol/L indicates that the individual has hypoglycemia
  • In diabetics a levels below 3.9 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) is diagnostic
  • Whipple’s triad It is seen in adults without diabetes, symptoms related to low blood sugar, low blood sugar at the time of symptoms, and improvement when blood sugar is restored to normal confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment and prevention.

  • A mild case of hypoglycemia can be treated by eating 15-20g of  glucose tablets, sweets, sugary fizzy drinks or fruit juice.
  • Severe hypos can be treated with glucagon if the  glucagon injection kit is available
  • You should compulsory a doctor if the condition is serious like loss of consciousness, or  seizure persists for 5 minutes.

The most effective means of preventing further episodes of hypoglycemia depends on the cause.

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