Low blood sugar, medically known as hypoglycemia, can be a life-threatening condition.
Low blood sugar is common among people who are living with diabetes, even when they are managing the condition.
Low sugar in the blood results from a reduction of glucose to a level that is too low for the normal functioning of the body. When the level of sugar in the blood drops below 70mg/dL, at such levels it is described as low blood sugar. Sugar level below this value is considered dangerous.
What Is The side effect of low blood sugar.
The decrease in blood sugar level in the body can cause short-term complications like confusion and dizziness and even more serious long-term complications.
When left unattended to, low blood sugar can lead to coma and death.
Every cell in the body needs sugar (glucose) to function.
When a person’s blood sugar levels drop too low, the cells become starved of energy.
Initially, that can cause some minor symptoms, but if blood sugar levels are not checked up soon, a person is at risk of serious complications.
Serious effects of low blood sugar are:
Nervous system damage
Rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations
What Are The Causes Of Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)?
There are several reasons why hypoglycemia may occur in the body, the most prevalent is the result of a side effect that results from using some diabetic drugs.
Low blood sugar can be caused by a variety of factors like:
- Alcohol Consumption – Some alcohol can induce low sugar levels
- Medications – Medications like diabetic treatments can leave one at risk to low blood sugar.
- Infections – Some infections can badly affect the proper functioning of the body and induce low blood sugar.
- Liver Malfunction – People whose liver do not function properly are at risk of low blood sugar.
- KidneyMalfunction – People with kidney related problems are at risk of low blood sugar especially when they are undergoing dialysis
- Food Absorption Issues – When the body can not absorb the food that it is provided with it can lead to low blood sugar level.
- When vital body components like the thyroid glands or pituitary glands are not functioning properly, it may cause low blood sugar.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar Levels.
So now, how to you determin you have low blood sugar? what are the symptoms of low blood sugar levels you can hold on?
Regular medical checkup is the most effective means to determine one’s blood sugar level.
Symptoms that occur when blood sugar gets too low include:
- Double vision/ blurry vision.
- Rapid or pounding heartbeat.
- Feeling cranky or acting aggressive.
- Feeling nervous.
- Shaking or trembling.
- Tingling or/and numbness of the skin.
- Tiredness or weakness.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Unclear thinking.
- Ravenous hunger.
- Slurred speech.
People with severe hypoglycemia may look and behave as if they’re intoxicated. Their words may be slurred, and they may move clumsily.Other conditions asides hypoglycemia may cause these signs and symptoms to occur.
A blood sample to test the blood sugar when these signs and symptoms occur is a great way to know if blood sugar is low.These symptoms may not appear even if blood sugar is already too low. Some people do not know they have low blood sugar until they faint, have a seizure, or go into a coma.
How To Diagnose Low Blood Sugar.
Now you have all the symptoms pointing to a possible case of low blood pressure, here is how to diagnose low blood sugar to be sure you are not treating a wrong ailment.
It is important to go for a medical checkup when one experiences the symptoms of low blood sugar.It is crucial to visit a doctor immediately.
The doctor will probably carry out a blood test to measure blood sugar levels.
The doctor will also ask about symptoms, and whether they have improved.After the test are done to determine the sugar level in the system, checks will be carried out to find out medications that have been used in the patient’s medical records and treatments such a patient may have been receiving.
There are other methods used to determine a person’s level of sugar. This method suggestsan individual’s occurring signs and symptoms are caused by low blood sugar.
Tests are performed based on the symptoms and signs exhibited.
When the symptomsare observed, a blood test shows a low plasma glucose levels (<50mg/dl).
When glucose is raised to normal levels, the symptoms disappear.
Some people may not show any signs and symptoms during their initial doctor’s visit.
If this happens, it may be required to go without food for a specific period to induce the body to make adjustments so that precise diagnosis can be made.If the test shows low level of sugar in the blood stream after this exercise, the person involved will have to be re-tested after resuming a normal diet.
Low Blood Sugar Treatments.
In most cases, a person can treat hypoglycemia him/herself when he/she recognizes the symptoms.
Treating an episode of low blood sugar
The immediate treatment for hypoglycemia is to take some sugary food or drink (about 15 to 20g of rapidly acting carbohydrate) to stop the attack.
For example, a person can take a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
between three (3) and five (5) dextrose tablets.
At first, consumption of fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk should be avoided, because these foods don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they contain may be absorbed more slowly by the body.
After having something sugary foods, the patient should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few cookies, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.
It usually takes around 15 minutes to get out from a mild episode of hypoglycemia.
If the patient has a blood glucose meter, he/she should measure his/her blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low (below 4mmol), the patient should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing his/her levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.