Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a medical condition in which the blood sugar levels drop drastically. In most of the people, the symptoms of low blood sugar appear when the sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dl. As glucose is a chief body fuel, lower levels of blood sugar cause a whole-body adverse response and can be a life-threatening condition if not treated on time.
Causes: One important reason for low blood sugar in diabetics is higher doses of sugar-lowering medicines such as insulin and sulphonylureas. Other causes include unplanned exercise or vigorous physical activity, avoiding or delaying a meal, less carbohydrate intake, and alcohol consumption with an empty stomach. In a few cases, even normal healthy individuals may face low blood sugar. The unexplained symptoms of low blood sugar must be reported to a doctor without fail. In some individuals, the blood sugar levels drop while they are sleeping. This condition is called nocturnal hypoglycemia and causes restlessness, sweating, sleepwalking, and headache when you wake up the next morning.
Symptoms: Different individuals with low blood sugar face different symptoms of low blood sugar and the severity of symptoms also varies in cases of mild, moderate, and severe hypoglycemia. Because glucose is the chief energy source, decreased levels of blood sugar adversely affect a wide range of body activities like decision making, behavioral changes, and normal body functions.
- Mild hypoglycemia: One of the most common symptoms of low blood sugar is sweating behind the neck. Other observed symptoms include blurred vision, headache, feeling very hungry, fatigue, weakness, and feeling nervous. However, these symptoms will vanish after eating due to a rise in sugar levels.
- Moderate hypoglycemia: A continuous fall in blood sugar levels alters the behavior of an individual and causes irritation, lack of concentration, confusion, and change in personal behavior such as crying and angry behavior.
- Severe hypoglycemia: A severe hypoglycemia causes extreme urgency and any delay in treatment may lead to even death of an individual. A few common symptoms of severe hypoglycemia are seizure, coma, stroke, and death.
Lower blood sugar levels are disastrous for the body. When the symptoms of low blood sugar appear, an urgent medical consultation is a must and a diet and medication plan must be discussed with the doctor to avoid further episodes of hypoglycemia. One may carry a glucose solution or sugar-rich food items as a precautionary measure.