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Hypoglycemia

 

Hypoglycemia is a condition of abnormally low blood sugar levels.

Causes
In diabetics:

  • Excessive intake of insulin or diabetes medication
  • Missing a snack or meal
  • Excessive alcohol consumption on empty stomach
  • More physical activity than usual

In non diabetics:

  • Hormonal deficiencies
  • Certain health conditions like kidney disorders, drug induced hepatitis or tumors of the pancreas

Symptoms

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Hunger
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment
  • Difficulty in speaking

Treatment
Immediate:

  • Consuming glucose increasing foods like glucose tablets, juice, soft drinks, milk, sugar, honey or candy in limited quantities
  • Glucagon injections in severe cases
  • Intravenous glucose in severe cases

Long term in case of recurrent hypoglycemia:

  • Change in diabetes medication
  • Treatment of underlying medical cause

Prevention

  • Take correct diabetes medication in prescribed dosage
  • Avoid more than usual physical activity if diabetic
  • Avoid skipping meals if diabetic
  • Avoid alcohol consumption on empty stomach