Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, occurs when the level of glucose in the blood falls below normal levels. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells, and when blood sugar levels drop too low, it can cause a variety of symptoms.
Some common causes of hypoglycemia include:
- Diabetes: People with diabetes may experience hypoglycemia if they take too much insulin or other glucose-lowering medications.
- Skipping meals: When a person skips a meal, or goes for long periods without eating, it can cause blood sugar levels to drop.
- Exercising more than usual: When a person exercises more than they normally would, it can cause the body to use up its stored glucose more quickly, leading to low blood sugar.
- Drinking alcohol: Alcohol can interfere with the liver’s ability to produce glucose, leading to hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include:
- Shakiness or tremors
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Irritability or mood changes
- Weakness or fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Rapid heartbeat
Treatment for hypoglycemia typically involves consuming a source of glucose, such as fruit juice, candy, or glucose gel, to raise blood sugar levels quickly. In cases where the person is unable to eat or drink, glucagon injections may be used to raise blood sugar levels. In some cases, adjusting diabetes medications or meal schedules may be necessary to prevent further episodes of hypoglycemia. It is important to seek medical attention if hypoglycemia becomes severe or recurrent.