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What Happens If You Have Low Blood Sugar



What If Im Experiencing Hypoglycemic Episodes Even Though My Doctor Has Confirmed That Im Not Diabetic Or Prediabetic

If you have low blood sugar and don’t have diabetes or prediabetes, it can be a sign of another serious health issue such as a tumor, hormone deficiency, kidney disorder, anorexia, or other eating disorder, all of which can cause dangerously low blood sugar.

Anorexia has the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder, and the cause of death can be hypoglycemia, so take your illness seriously and seek help if you suspect your eating disorder may be progressing to the point where it is causing you to faint or experience other signs and symptoms of dangerously low blood sugar. The National Eating Disorders Association has resources on how to identify the signs that you may have an eating disorder, a hotline for help, as well as easily accessible information on everything from how to know when you need help to how to find quality treatment options in your zip code.

“People who are not diabetic don’t spontaneously have hypoglycemia for no reason,” explains Dr. Christofides. “It’s often an indication of another underlying issue, such as a hormone deficiency or eating disorder, so it’s important to schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause in order to prevent complications.”

Common causes of hypoglycemia in people without diabetes include:

  • Pancreatic tumor
  • Medication that inhibits the proper production of insulin
  • Hepatitis or kidney disorders
  • Hormone deficiencies
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders

Steps For Treating A Person With Symptoms Keeping Them From Being Able To Treat Themselves

  • If the glucagon is injectable, inject it into the buttock, arm or thigh, following the instructions in the kit. If your glucagon is inhalable, follow the instructions on the package to administer it into the nostril.
  • When the person regains consciousness , they may experience nausea and vomiting. 
  • Don’t hesitate to call 911. If someone is unconscious and glucagon is not available or someone does not know how to use it, call 911 immediately.

    Do NOT:

    • Inject insulin
    • Provide food or fluids

    What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar How Do I Know I’m Experiencing A Low Blood Sugar

    All this talk about lows, and we haven’t told you what to watch out for! Shame on us.

    The signs and symptoms of low blood sugars happen quickly, can vary a lot, and can even be different each time. The American Diabetes Association has a comprehensive list:

    • Shakiness
    • Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
    • Headaches

    What Happens When Your Sugar Drops To A Dangerous Level In Your Body

      Blood glucose, or blood sugar, is the main fuel your brain uses. Your brain cannot store glucose. When it senses a severe drop in its main fuel supply, your brain responds with confusion, nervousness and inability to focus and think. This disorientation progresses to symptoms such as low body temperature, seizures, convulsions, loss of consciousness and coma. Without immediate medical attention for severe hypoglycemia, you risk permanent neurological damage. While hypoglycemia is more common among diabetics, it also affects people without this disease.

      What Extreme Conditions Can Occur If Hypoglycemia Is Left Untreated

      Hypoglycemia: Battling low blood sugar

      Although severe episodes which can trigger potentially life-threatening comas are rare, they require immediate emergency room care, so it’s best to make sure you are tracking your blood sugar so that you never have to worry about getting to that point. A drop in blood sugar means less fuel for your brain, so it’s critical for your body to receive enough glucose. “Hypoglycemia that leads to extended, reduced brain function is the biggest concern, as this can lead to seizures and loss of basic bodily functions controlled by the brain, which can ultimately lead to death,” explains Dr. Dyer.

      Sweating That Is Caused By Ingesting Food Is Called _____________

      Gustatory sweating refers to sweating on the forehead, face, scalp, and neck occurring soon after ingesting food. Some gustatory sweating is normal after eating hot, spicy foods. Otherwise, gustatory sweating is most commonly a result of damage to a nerve that supplies the parotid gland, the large salivary gland in the cheek. In this setting, referred to as Frey’s syndrome, the sweating is usually on one side of the head. Gustatory sweating is also a rare complication of diabetes mellitus.

      What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level

      • Check your blood sugar level, if possible. Your blood sugar level is too low if it is at or below 70 mg/dL.
      • Eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate. Fast-acting carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Examples of 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates:
      • 4 ounces of fruit juice
      • 4 ounces of regular soda
      • 2 tablespoons of raisins
      • 1 tube of glucose gel or 3 to 4 glucose tablets
    • Check your blood sugar level 15 minutes later. If the level is still less than 100 mg/dL, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrate. When the level returns to 100 mg/dL, eat a snack or meal that contains carbohydrates. This will help prevent another drop in blood sugar.
    • Teach people close to you how to use your glucagon kit. Your blood sugar may be too low for you to be awake. People need to know when and how to use your kit.
    • Some Seizures Are A Medical Emergency And 911 Should Be Called

      Most seizures aren’t an emergency. They usually stop on their own with no permanent ill effects, but there are times when 911 should be called such as: – If this is a person’s first seizure- If the seizures are longer than normal- If the seizures repeat over a few minutes- If consciousness is not regained

      _______________ Is A Common Complication Of Hyperhidrosis

      Athlete’s foot stems from a fungal infection. A person is more likely to suffer with athlete’s foot as a result of excessively sweaty feet because fungus thrives in moist conditions like enclosed footwear. Athlete’s foot may be best prevented by keeping the feet clean and dry and avoiding prolonged exposure to moisture.

      Why Is It Important To Recognize A Low Blood Sugar Level

      Low blood sugar levels can happen with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Low levels are more likely to happen if you use insulin. Hypoglycemia can cause you to have falls, accidents, and injuries. A blood sugar level that gets too low can lead to seizures, coma, and death. Learn to recognize the symptoms early so you can get treatment quickly.

      How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy

      Follow these steps:

    • Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth – so they do not choke.
    • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
    • If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
    • If they’re fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.
    • They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.

      Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

      What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low

      People who use insulin and other diabetes medications are at risk for hypoglycemia. Keep this action plan handy so you’re prepared.

      If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may be at risk of developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Without quick attention, hypoglycemia can lead to serious complications, so it’s important to know what to do if it happens to you or someone close to you.

      “In very severe cases, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness,” says Marilyn Tan, MD, a clinical assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford Health Care, and chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic.

      It’s possible to have hypoglycemia but have no symptoms, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . On the other hand, symptoms can also come on rapidly. While symptoms vary from person to person, if you develop mild to moderate low blood sugar you may:

      • Feel shaky or jittery
      • Have a headache or be lightheaded
      • Turn pale
      • Be irritable or combative
      • Have blurred vision or see double

      “Some people feel tingling or numbness in their extremities too,” says Rodolfo Galindo, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and lipids at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and chair of the inpatient diabetes taskforce.

      Thinkstock

      Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes: Is It Possible

      Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

      6/26/2015 by mySugr

      Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? The answer is yes! People with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows. But don’t worry, if you know about the reasons, symptoms, and treatment, there’s no need to be afraid!

      Low Blood Sugar Risks With Insulin And Sulfonylureas

      There are different types of drugs used to manage diabetes. They are put into different classes depending on how they work.

      • Those who manage their blood sugar with diet and exercise don’t have to worry much. The risk of hypoglycemia is the same as non-diabetics.
      • Reassuringly, those who only take drugs that limit the amount of sugar released from the liver and slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines , also have a very low risk.
      • Those using insulinotropic agents , which stimulate or affect the production of insulin, need to be especially careful, as does anyone using insulin.
      • Shockingly, while insulin-dependent diabetics experience many more low blood sugars, it is the patient group using sulfonylureas who have more severe low blood sugars requiring emergency assistance. That may ultimately be because those using insulin understand the risks for lows and are often better prepared for them.

      Chemicals In Sweat Can Fight Many Types Of Bacteria

      Sweat contains fatty acids and mineral matter as well as a potent anti-infective agent dubbed dermicidin. The first antimicrobial agent discovered that is produced by cells in the skin, dermicidin is active against many different types of bacteria, including Escherichia coli , Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and the common fungus Candida albicans.

      What Else Can You Do To Control Blood Sugar Levels

      Yes. People with diabetes should wear identification stating they have diabetes and whether they have recurrent low blood sugar. Those at risk for the health condition should be counseled on checking blood sugars before they drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or do anything physically taxing. In addition, it is important to carry a quick-acting glucose source at all times, and keep a source in their car, office, and by their bedside. Efforts should be made to minimize the hypoglycemic effects of drug regimens and to avoid variable surges in exercise, activity, and drinking alcohol.

      What Is The Underlying Cause Of Epileptic Seizures

      Seizures occur because the brain becomes irritated and an “electrical storm” occurs. This “electrical storm” occurs because the normal connections between the cells in the brain do not function properly. This causes the brain to try to shut down because of the electrical surge. Irritation of the brain tissue has many causes such as lack of oxygen before, during or after birth, brain tissue malformations, brain infections, and other chemical, genetic and metabolic problems.

      How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit

      Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:

    • Stay with them and stop them hurting themselves – lie them down on something soft and move them away from anything dangerous .
    • After the seizure or fit stops, give them a sugary snack.
    • Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.

      Deodorant And Antiperspirant Are One And The Same

      Antiperspirant and deodorant are not one and the same. Antiperspirants feature a chemical barrier that helps to prevent excessive sweating under the armpits. Deodorant helps to combat body odor caused by sweating by masking it with fragrance. Antiperspirants and deodorants are commonly sold in combination as a single product to reduce sweating and dilute odor.

      What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Drops To Zero

      Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is a fall in blood sugar to levels below normal. This may result in a variety of symptoms, including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. Feelings of hunger, sweating, shakiness, or weakness may also be present.

      What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

      Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

      Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:

      • feel hungry or have “hunger pains” in their stomach
      • feel shaky or like they’re trembling
      • have a rapid heart rate
      • feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
      • have pale, gray skin color
      • have a headache
      • have seizures or convulsions
      • lose consciousness

      If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when you’re having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.

      Whats The Link Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

      Hypoglycemia is most common, by far, in people with diabetes. Treatment for the diseaseoften involves taking medication to increase insulin. Hypoglycemia can develop if things like food, exercise and diabetes medications are out of balance.

      Common pitfalls for people with diabetes include:

      • Being more active than usual.
      • Drinking alcohol without eating.
      • Eating late or skipping meals.
      • Not balancing meals by including fat, protein and fiber.
      • Not eating enough carbohydrates.
      • Not timing insulin and carb intake correctly .

      Also, if someone with diabetes uses the wrong insulin, takes too much or injects it incorrectly, that can cause hypoglycemia.

      What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia

      Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.

      Hypoglycemia Symptoms With Normal Glucose Levels

      There is such a thing as pseudo-hypoglycemia. This happens when glucose levels are continuously high for a long time then are suddenly brought down to normal. It’s as if the body becomes accustomed to the higher range, then panics when levels drop to normal, responding with hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

      Info:Hypoglycemia is usually defined as blood glucose levels below 70 mg/dl . However, your doctor may give you a different blood glucose number that is considered too low for you.

      Causes Symptoms Diagnosis Treatments And Support

      With Elena Christofides and Jennifer Shine Dyer MD, MPH

      When you’re diabetic, a severe drop in blood sugar can strike even when you’re doing everything right. Glucose is your body’s main source of energy and fuels your brain, so it’s critical to recognize the early signs of an episode before it becomes severe enough to cause you to pass out or worse. We’re here to empower you with clear answers to all your pressing Qs.

      Definition | Causes | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatments | Complications | Fast Facts | Support 

      What Complications Can Be Caused By Hypoglycemia

      Passing out from low blood sugar because you have not recognized the early signs and symptoms is called hypoglycemia unawareness, and can be quite dangerous depending on where you are, explains Dr. Klonoff. As doctors are required to report such incidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it can also mean a suspended driver’s license.

      If this is something you’re worried about, “Wearing a continuous glucose monitor with an alarm for hypoglycemia can alert a person who is prone to developing low blood sugar levels that their blood glucose concentration is becoming dangerously low, so appropriate preventive action can be taken before they lose consciousness,” explains Dr. Klonoff.

      What Should I Do If I Experience A Hypoglycemia

      Low blood sugar can be treated quickly with fast-acting glucose. If you are at risk for lows, you should always have something fast and sweet with you. Glucose tabs, for example, are available at any pharmacy, are relatively affordable, and are designed to digest quickly and raise blood glucose fast.

      Other options are fruit juice, regular soda, candies , or other . It is important that whatever you use to treat the low does not contain a lot of fat or fiber, which slows digestion and takes longer to raise blood sugar.

      The general guidelines are to eat 15-20 grams of glucose or simple carbohydrates then check your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. If you are still low, repeat.

      If you experience low blood sugars often, talk to your doctor. Together, you’ll be able to figure out why they are happening and then make adjustments, so they don’t happen so often.

      What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

      Hypoglycemia tends to present as a cluster of symptoms, and they often occur together. The most common signs of dangerously low blood sugar include:

      • Dizziness, disorientation, light-headedness, and an inability to think clearly
      • Hunger, especially if you’ve just eaten
      • Heightened irritability, confusion, and anxiety
      • Clamminess and sweating, with cold hands and feet
      • Drastic mood swings

      If you have one or more of these symptoms contact your doctor.

      How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself

      Los Angeles Medical Clinic: Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

      Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:

    • Have a sugary drink or snack – like a small glass of fizzy drink or fruit juice, a small handful of sweets, 3 or 6 glucose tablets or 1 to 2 tubes of glucose gel.
    • Test your blood sugar after 10 to 15 minutes – if it’s improved and you feel better, move on to step 3. If there’s little or no change, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading after 10 to 15 minutes.
    • You may need to eat your main meal if it’s the right time to have it. Or, have a snack that contains a slow-release carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or toast, a couple of biscuits, or a glass of cows’ milk.
    • You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.

      But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.

      Does Everyone Have Symptoms From Hypoglycemia

      Some people don’t have symptoms or don’t notice them. Healthcare providers call that situation hypoglycemia unawareness. People with such a challenge aren’t aware when they need to do something about their blood sugar. They’re then more likely to have severe episodes and need medical help. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should check their blood sugar more often.

      How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia

      You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:

      • Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
      • Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
      • Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
      • Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
      • Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
      • Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.

      A note from Cleveland Clinic

      Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.

      What Drinks And Foods Raise Blood Sugar Fast

      • 4 teaspoons of sugar
      • 1/2 can of regular soda or juice

      Many people like the idea of treating low blood sugar with dietary treats such as cake, cookies, and brownies. However, sugar in the form of complex carbohydrates or sugar combined with fat and protein are much too slowly absorbed to be useful in acute treatment.

      Once the acute episode has been treated, a healthy, long-acting carbohydrate to maintain blood sugars in the appropriate range should be consumed. Half a sandwich is a reasonable option.

      If the hypoglycemic episode has progressed to the point at which the patient cannot or will not take anything by mouth, more drastic measures will be needed. In many cases, a family member or roommate can be trained in the use of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that causes a rapid release of glucose stores from the liver. It is an injection given intramuscularly to an individual who cannot take glucose by mouth. A response is usually seen in minutes and lasts for about 90 minutes. Again, a long-acting source of glucose should thereafter be consumed to maintain blood sugar levels in the safe range. If glucagon is not available and the patient is not able to take anything by mouth, emergency services should be called immediately. An intravenous route of glucose administration should be established as soon as possible.

      The Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On Your Body

      Suzanne Falck, M.D., FACPAnn Pietrangelo

      Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy might come as a surprise: It’s sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential to proper brain, heart, and digestive function. It even helps keep your skin and vision healthy.

      When your blood sugar levels fall below the normal range, it’s called hypoglycemia. There are many identifiable symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is by taking a blood glucose test.

      Learn more about the symptoms of low blood sugar, as well as the long-term effects on the body.

      most common reasons for low blood sugar are some medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin.

      In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or your body can’t use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetic medication can lower the blood sugar level, leading to hypoglycemia.

      However, contrary to popular belief, low blood sugar isn’t exclusive to diabetes, though it is rare. It can also happen if your body makes more insulin than it should.

      Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over long periods of time. This can interfere with the liver’s ability to create a buildup of glucose and then release it into your bloodstream when you need it.

      Other causes include:

      Digestive Endocrine And Circulatory Systems

      After you eat, your digestive system breaks down carbohydrates and turns them into glucose. Essentially, glucose is your body’s fuel source.

      As your sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which helps glucose get taken up and used by cells throughout your body. If you have insulin-dependent diabetes, you must take the right about of insulin to get the job done.

      Any excess glucose goes to your liver for storage.

      When you go a few hours without eating, blood sugar levels go down. If you have a healthy pancreas, it releases a hormone called glucagon to make up for the absence of food. This hormone tells your liver to process the stored sugars and release them into your bloodstream.

      If everything works as it should, your blood sugar levels should remain in the normal range until your next meal.

      Insufficient blood sugar levels can cause a rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations. However, even if you have diabetes, you may not always have obvious symptoms of low blood sugar. This is a potentially dangerous condition called hypoglycemia unawareness. It happens when you experience low blood sugar so often that it changes your body’s response to it.

      Normally, low blood sugar causes your body to release stress hormones, such as epinephrine. Epinephrine is responsible for those early warning signs, like hunger and shakiness.


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