Are You Diabetic? Why You Should Be Beware Of Hypoglycemia?

Are You Diabetic? Why You Should Be Beware Of Hypoglycemia?


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Are You Diabetic? Why You Should Be Beware Of Hypoglycemia?

In diabetes, there is problem in metabolism of glucose, due to various reasons. Hence, diabetes patients are prone to develop hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level). In fact, for diabetic individuals, hypoglycemia is more acute and serious problem than hyperglycemia (high blood glucose level), although diabetes is a disease of high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia). In diabetes, there is insulin resistance (absolute and relative resistance) as well as shortage of insulin. Absolute lack/shortage of insulin in type-1 diabetes (due to autoimmune destruction of beta cells of pancreas, which produce insulin) and relative lack/shortage of insulin in type 2 diabetes (70%-90% functioning beta cells which are able to secrete insulin although it may be inadequate for optimum glucose metabolism, and there is also insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes)., Are You Diabetic? Why You Should Be Beware Of Hypoglycemia?

Why hypoglycemia is more serious problem than hyperglycemia?

The symptoms of hypoglycemia appear immediately and severe in nature. If hypoglycemia is not corrected promptly (by administration of glucose orally or parenteral) and allowed to remain for long duration, it may lead to permanent brain damage and ultimately death of the individual. Because glucose is the only fuel brain normally utilizes. Hence, glucose level need to be maintained within normal range. Hypoglycemia also causes various acute symptoms such as sweating, palpitation (rapid heart rate), nervousness, anxiety, cold clammy extremities, headache, nausea, vomiting, feeling of hunger, abdominal discomfort etc. The patient may also have problems such as mental disturbance, impaired judgment and various other neurological symptoms in hypoglycemia. Whereas, in case of hyperglycemia symptoms are usually absent and no immediate danger or problem occurs. In fact, most of the patients with hyperglycemia (and therefore diabetes) are not aware of their problem for many years, before symptoms appears or high blood glucose level is detected on routine blood tests for other purpose. Many patients may remain asymptomatic and unaware of the disease (type 2 diabetes) for several years (up to 5 to 7 years) and diagnosed only during routine medical examination and routine blood tests. Hence, it can be easily said that hypoglycemia is more serious and acute condition in compare to hyperglycemia.

Patients with even uncontrolled diabetes takes several years and sometimes decades before developing complications of diabetes. Hence, many medical experts regard diabetes as a “silent killer”, because the patient is unaware of the damage being done by the disease (diabetes), till the complications become symptomatic. So, never neglect diabetes and hyperglycemia and keep blood glucose under control and prevent complications.

What constitutes hypoglycemia?

The question is not easy to answer. It is also very difficult to pinpoint the blood glucose level below which it can be said as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia also has individual variations, i.e. different individuals develop symptoms of hypoglycemia at various blood glucose level. There is no unanimity among medical experts as to which level of blood glucose constitutes hypoglycemia.

However, every diabetes expert agree unanimously in one point, which is “Whipple’s triad” for in regards to hypoglycemia. Whipple’s triad, which is symptoms consistent with hypoglycemia, a low blood sugar, and resolution of these symptoms once the blood sugar improves (by administration of glucose). But, different individuals develop Whipple’s triad at different blood glucose level, hence defining hypoglycemia solely on blood glucose level is not possible.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia can occur when blood glucose level is 60 to 70 mg/dl, hence it can be called hypoglycemia. But, some patients develop symptoms of hypoglycemia only when blood glucose level falls below 50-54 mg/dl.

Image courtesy of [Sura Nualpradid] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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