Diabetic Hypoglycemia and Its Symptoms

People with diabetes are at risk of developing hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level). When blood glucose level is below 70 mg/dl, it can be considered as hypoglycemia. However, many people do not suffer from symptoms of hypoglycemia at this level. Most people develop symptoms of hypoglycemia, when blood sugar is 55 mg/dl or lower. Diabetes is metabolic problem where carbohydrate metabolism (as well as protein and fat metabolism) is disturbed, and diabetics are prone to develop hypoglycemia (as well as hyperglycemia). Hypoglycemia is diabetics may be caused by various factors such as low intake of carbohydrate (such as skipping a meal), sudden severe exercise, high insulin level (mostly due to high dose of insulin or intake of diabetes medications that may cause hypoglycemia) etc.id-100168356

If you are diabetic, it is important you know the symptoms of hypoglycemia, especially early warning signs of hypoglycemia. Because if you notice early symptoms of hypoglycemia, you can easily take corrective measures on your own by taking glucose tablet, sugary drink or carbohydrate rich food such as biscuit. Hypoglycemia if left untreated can cause serious complications such as seizures, fainting, loss of consciousness and even death in rare cases. Hence, hypoglycemia need to be treated as medical emergency and managed well.

Early warning signs of diabetic hypoglycemia:

These include,

  • Dizziness, sweating
  • Hunger
  • Feeling of shakiness
  • Anxiety/nervousness
  • Headache
  • Irritability

Symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia during sleep:

Diabetic hypoglycemia can occur at night during sleep. You should know the signs and symptoms of nighttime hypoglycemia. These symptoms may awaken you and include,

  • Bed sheet may become damp due to heavy perspiration and you may awaken from sleep with profuse sweating
  • You may become confused after waking
  • Tiredness and irritability may also occur.
  • Nightmare

Hypoglycemia if left untreated or inadequately treated may lead to serious complications. Severe hypoglycemia may develop if left untreated for long time which may lead to irreversible changes in brain, because the only form of energy used by brain is obtained from glucose. Hence, low level of blood glucose for long time may cause serious brain damage and even death in some cases. Hence, hypoglycemia should not be taken lightly in any patient (diabetics as well as non-diabetics).

Serious symptoms and signs of hypoglycemia include,

  • Clumsiness
  • Movements may become jerky
  • Muscle weakness may develop which may lead to even difficulty in speaking or slurred speech
  • Blurring of vision or diplopia (double vision)
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions and/or seizures
  • Unconsciousness/fainting
  • Death can occur rarely if prompt treatment not initiated or inadequately treated.

 

Image courtesy of [Gualberto107] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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