Hypoglycemia in Diabetes
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the sugar level in blood becomes less than 72 mg/dl. Being aware of the early signs of hypoglycemia will allow you to treat your low blood sugar levels better. Hypoglycemia is commonly seen in type 1 diabetes but is also prevalent in type 2 or adult-onset diabetes. Hypoglycemia can be detrimental to the body in many ways; it can even cause neurological damage leading to stroke and coma.
- Fine tremors
- Excessive sweating
- Pale skin
- Loss of consciousness
Risk factors for Hypoglycemia:
Low blood sugar can happen to anyone. However, a severe fall in blood sugar can occur in people who are on medications such as Insulin and Sulfonylureas (such as glibenclamide, gliclazide, glipizide, glimepiride)
It is important to know whether your diabetes medication puts you at risk for Hypoglycemia. Talk to you physician to know more about it
Causes of Hypoglycemia:
- Higher than needed dosage of Insulin
- Large intervals between meals
- Exercise without eating
- Alcohol intake
- A mild case of hypoglycemia can be treated through eating or drinking 15-20g of fast-acting carbohydrates such as glucose tablets, sweets, sugary fizzy drinks or fruit juice.
- A blood test should be taken after 15-20 minutes to check whether blood glucose levels have recovered.
- In case of a seizure or a loss of consciousness that persisted for more than 5 minutes, an ambulance might be required an, for example.
The key to preventing hypoglycemia is to understand why it occurs and then taking actions to stop it.
- Testing blood sugar levels regularly can help you to understand when your sugar levels are dropping too low.
- Check with your doctor if your medication doses need to be altered.
- Avoid large meals and opt for multiple frequent meals
- Wear an alarm which you can press and alert others if symptoms appears
About The Author
Dr. Chhavi Goyal-Mehra – MBBS, MD – University of California Sanfrancisco.