Normal levels of blood sugar vary from 70 to 110 mg/dl (milligramsper deciliter). When the sugar levels are too low, under 60 mg/dl, the condition iscalled hypoglycemia. It usually affects diabetic patients, who havehypoglycemic episodes. Healthy people rarely experience this condition.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia might be confused with abuse ofalcohol. The common symptoms of low blood sugar are: sweating, shaking, tiredness,weakness and hunger. In some serious cases, when the brain doesn’t get enoughof sugar, the symptoms are headache, slurred speech, confusion, inappropriatebehavior, convulsion and even coma.
Low levels of sugar affect the normal function of our brainand many other systems in our body.
Treatment for hypoglycemia includes consummation of sugar inany form, as candies, glucose tablets, sweet drink or fruit juice, and later, adjustmentof the diabetic drugs, that caused the condition. People with the hypoglycemia preferglucose tablets, because of the quick results. Specialists recommend to use sugarfirst and then some food which provides longer-lasting carbohydrates, such asbread or crackers. Also, taking your meals in small doses, 5 times a day andlimiting the use of simple sugar might be of some help in preventinghypoglycemia.
Severe or prolonged hypoglycemia is dangerous to the brainfunction and in those cases doctors use intravenous sugar solution. Patient withsevere hypoglycemia sometimes use glucagon injections at home.
Diabetic medications are known to have hypoglycemic sideeffect, but possible causes of low blood sugar might be fasting, reactions tocarbohydrates, pancreas tumor or stomach surgery.
Insulin and other drugs, used to treat diabetes may causehyperglycemia, especially when these patients tends to be on a diet to lose someweight or have kidney problems. Older patients and diabetics who are morephysically active are more sensitive to develop hypoglycemia.
The use of pentamidine, Nebupent, quinine or Qualaquin (thenon-diabetic medications) might be the cause of low blood sugar levels. Some patientssuffering from the Munchausen syndrome (who are faking Illness for attention) secretlyuse insulin and therefore provoke hypoglycemia.
Most healthy people rarely have hypoglycemia. The reasons of the condition might be prolonged fasting and exercising, although it rarelyhappens. Alcoholics and patients with liver problems, as well as children withabnormalities in the enzyme systems that control sugar levels are more likelyto have this so-called fasting hypoglycemia.
Tumors of the pancreas may cause hyper production of insulinand cause hypoglycemia. Low sugar levels could be also caused by pituitary oradrenal hormone disorders, kidney and heart failure, cancer or shock, particularlyin diabetic patients. Insulin-producing tumors should be removed surgically.
Hypoglycemia might be a reaction to indigestion of fructose,galactose or amino acid leucine, or affect people after some stomach surgery.