Diabetic hypoglycemia can occur in individuals with diabetes when there’s too much insulin and not enough sugar in the blood. Hypoglycemia is defined as blood sugar below 70 milligrams per deciliter or 3.9 millimoles per liter . This condition can happen for several reasons: diet, medications, exercise, skipping a meal, others. It is vital to treat diabetic hypoglycemia, as it can lead to fainting, seizures or even death. Also, warning close friends and family about hypoglycemia is recommended in case of personal failure to recognize signs and symptoms and prevent further complications.
Symptoms can differ from person to person or from time to time, so it's important to monitor and control blood sugar levels regularly.
Early signs and symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia include:
- Shaking and trembling
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling hungry
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Pale skin
Nighttime signs and symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia include:
- Night sweats
- Confusion upon awakening
Severe signs and symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle weakness
- Weakened vision
Hormone insulin lowers glucose levels when glucose is elevated. Taking insulin to help control blood sugar is recommended, however taking too much might cause the blood sugar level to drop too low and result in hypoglycemia.
The most common causes of diabetic hypoglycemia include the following:
- Lack of food consumption
- Increase in insulin intake or diabetes medication
- Increase in exercising or physical activity
- Increase in alcohol consumption
- Skipping a meal or snack
Complications of diabetic hypoglycemia can include:
- Repeated episodes of hypoglycemia
Ignoring signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness due to lack of glucose in the brain. It is important to address any complications as soon as they occur in order to reduce symptoms.
A few recommendations for preventing a diabetic hypoglycemia may include:
- Taking insulin or oral diabetes medication when necessary
- Monitoring blood sugar level
- Recording low glucose levels
- Not skipping meals or snacks
- Wearing a medical ID necklace or bracelet with valuable information