What is Hypoglycemia?

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What is Hypoglycemia?

What is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a complication of diabetes characterized by abnormally low sugar levels (usually less than 70mg/dl). Sugar (glucose) is the primary source of energy for your body. When the sugar level in your body is too low, your body is deprived of energy to perform bodily functions.

Causes :

In a person with diabetes, hypoglycemia can be triggered by :

  • Taking too much insulin
  • Missed or delayed meals
  • Eating less than usual
  • Vigorous exercises or unplanned activity
  • Alcohol Change in medication
  • Extreme temperatures
  • During Illness/ Stress if food intake is not adequate
  • Lumpy insulin injection sites

Warning Signs:

It is important that you recognize these warning signs of hypoglycemia and act on them promptly.

  • Feeling hungry
  • Palpitations (rapid heartbeat)
  • Anxiety Shakiness and sweating
  • Blurring of vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Clumsiness
  • Loss of consciousness

Hypoglycemia can occur in sleep and cause disturbed sleep, excess sweating, feelings of fatigue and confusion upon waking.

Treatment of Hypoglycemia :

If you cannot take the tests, please do not delay treatment

Immediate management includes consuming foods high in glucose such as

  • 3 – 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or candy
  • 150 ml of non-diet fizzy drink or 200 ml of fruit juice

This can be followed by long-acting carbohydrates such as a

  • Sandwich
  • Banana
  • A small bowl of cereal or meal if it is due.

Severe episodes of hypoglycemia, especially in people who are unconscious or not able to swallow food, may need to be treated with intravenous glucose or medication (glucagon).

Precautions to be taken :

As a person with diabetes, it is important that you

  • Always carry something sugary
  • Have meals on time
  • Take medicines as prescribed
  • Check blood glucose level regularly
  • Learn to adjust food and medicines with exercise
  • Carry a diabetes emergency card
  • Inform friends, relatives and people at work about your condition and how they can help
  • Avoid swimming or walking long distances alone
  • Avoid driving when experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia
  • Eat something sweet if you cannot check your sugar levels and you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia
  • Find out what caused your hypoglycemic episode and prevent the same thing from happening again

Contact your medical team at Sushila Hospital & Diabetes Care if you face any of these symptoms

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