Hypoglycemia is a stipulation which is characterized by an unusually low blood sugar or glucose level. Blood sugar or glucose is an essential requirement for the body as it is the main source of energy. Though hypoglycemia is closely related to diabetes, there are other conditions as well that are capable of causing low blood sugar level in people who do not suffer from diabetes. Hypoglycemia falls into category of health problem and can not be considered a disease. Immediate treatment can help you deal with hypoglycemia effectively and bring the blood sugar level to normal. It is essential to find out the cause of hypoglycemia before starting the treatment. Doctor’s advice is thus recommended for proper cure. Read on to know all about hypoglycemia.
The main cause of hypoglycemia is low blood sugar level. This could be due to any reason. Low blood sugar is a common side effect of diabetes drugs which tend to take blood sugar level to below normal. The human body generally breaks down the digested food’s carbohydrate content into sugar components i.e. glucose. Glucose is absorbed by the cells, for performing various tasks, with the help of insulin. In people suffering from diabetes, insulin production is not sufficient to assimilate the glucose, thus unable to keep a check on blood glucose level. For combating this situation, people take insulin dosage or other drugs that help bring down the blood sugar count. At times the blood sugar level goes down to extreme low leading to hypoglycemia.
People who do not suffer from diabetes can also experience hypoglycemia due to other reasons. Certain medicines like quinine which is used in treatment of leg cramps, can cause hypoglycemia. Too much of alcohol, hepatitis and kidney disorder can also cause hypoglycemia. Insulinoma, a tumor of pancreas, can lead to excessive production of insulin ultimately causing hypoglycemia. Certain endocrine deficiencies are also potential causes of hypoglycemia.
The onset of hypoglycemia is marked by blurred visions and abnormal behavior. There are several symptoms of hypoglycemia like:
1. Visual turmoil- Blurry vision or double vision.
4. Heart palpitations
These symptoms are not sure shot indications of hypoglycemia, so doctor’s advice and certain tests are recommended before coming down to a conclusion. It is crucial to consult a doctor as soon as possible as hypoglycemia can cause further complications in the body making way for several diseases and illnesses.
In order to diagnose hypoglycemia, the doctor will make use of the Whipple’s triad. The doctor will consider various factors like:
1. Occurrence of any sign of hypoglycemia
2. Check blood sugar level after meals as well as after long fasting hours, which is generally in the morning.
3. A physical examination
Those suffering from diabetes must give complete details of their ailments and medications.
There are basically two methods to treat hypoglycemia. The first one is to boost the blood sugar level using medication or high sugar foods. Second approach is to treat the underlying condition that caused hypoglycemia in a particular patient. It is also important to prevent recurrence of the condition.
Eating sugar in any form can help in dealing with the situation at first. An injection of glucagon or intravenous glucose, can help calm down the situation further by raising the blood sugar level. The underlying condition needs to be identified and treated. Changing patient’s medication or adjusting dosages can help in treating medicine-related hypoglycemia. If the cause is a pancreatic tumor, the patient is advised proper treatment wherein the tumor is removed surgically.
Prevention is always better than cure. Hypoglycemia can be prevented to a large extent. For people suffering from diabetes, it is important to follow diabetes management plan properly and as per the advice of doctor. For those who do not suffer from diabetes but face hypoglycemia situation frequently, small meals every now and then is recommended. This will provide the body with proper amount of glucose. Doctor’s advice can help you deal and prevent the situation of hypoglycemia effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a person suffering from diabetes face hypoglycemia problem?
A diabetic person is equally prone to hypoglycemia as a normal person. Excessive dosage of medication might bring the blood sugar level extremely low leading to hypoglycemia. It is thus very important to take proper medicine dose and consult the doctor frequently.