Hypoglycemia - Hormonal and Metabolic Disorders - MSD Manual Consumer Version
Hypoglycemia is most often caused by drugs taken to control diabetes. Much less common causes of hypoglycemia include other drugs, critical illness or organ. Relationship Between Hypoglycemic Episodes and Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases: Silent. Hypoglycemia is a frequent adverse complication of glucose-lowering treatment of diabetes, particularly with insulin and sulfonylureas. Severe hypoglycemia.
How is hypoglycemia treated? When you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, it is important to check your blood sugar level. If it is low, you should eat or drink something that will quickly raise your blood sugar. For mild to moderate hypoglycemia, you need to consume 15 grams of carbohydrates, for example, a piece of hard candy, a cup of milk, 6 ounces of orange juice, or 7 ounces of regular not diet soda.
Then you should wait minutes and retest your blood sugar level. If the level is still low, you should consume an additional 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Close friends or relatives should be aware of your condition and be taught how to recognize severe hypoglycemia and treat it quickly if you cannot do it yourself, with an injection of glucagon a hormone that raises blood glucose levels. Prevention To help prevent diabetic hypoglycemia: Don't skip or delay meals or snacks. If you take insulin or oral diabetes medication, be consistent about the amount you eat and the timing of your meals and snacks. Monitor your blood sugar.
Depending on your treatment plan, you may check and record your blood sugar level several times a week or several times a day. Careful monitoring is the only way to make sure that your blood sugar level remains within your target range.
Measure medication carefully, and take it on time. Take your medication as recommended by your doctor. Adjust your medication or eat additional snacks if you increase your physical activity. The adjustment depends on the blood sugar test results and on the type and length of the activity. Eat a meal or snack with alcohol, if you choose to drink.
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can cause hypoglycemia. Record your low glucose reactions. Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is abnormally low levels of sugar glucose in the blood. Hypoglycemia is most often caused by drugs taken to control diabetes. Much less common causes of hypoglycemia include other drugs, critical illness or organ failure, a reaction to carbohydrates in susceptible peoplean insulin-producing tumor in the pancreas, and some types of bariatric weight loss surgery.
The importance of hypoglycemia in diabetic patients
A fall in blood glucose causes symptoms such as hunger, sweating, shakiness, fatigue, weakness, and inability to think clearly, whereas severe hypoglycemia causes symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and coma. The diagnosis for a person who has diabetes is based on finding low glucose levels in the blood while the person is experiencing symptoms. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are treated by consuming sugar in any form. Doses of drugs that cause hypoglycemia may need to be decreased.
Diabetic hypoglycemia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
See also Diabetes Mellitus. In hypoglycemia, the glucose level becomes too low. Although diabetes mellitusa disorder involving blood glucose levels, is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood hyperglycemiamany people with diabetes periodically experience hypoglycemia due to side effects of diabetes treatment.
Hypoglycemia is uncommon among people without diabetes. Very low levels of glucose in the blood may interfere with the function of certain organ systems.
The brain is particularly sensitive to low glucose levels because sugar is the brain's major energy source.
To prevent glucose levels in the blood from falling too far below their usual range, the brain responds by stimulating the Adrenal glands to release epinephrine adrenaline Adrenal glands to release cortisol Pancreas to release glucagon Pituitary gland to release growth hormone All of these hormones cause the liver to release glucose into the blood, but sometimes these hormones do not raise the blood glucose level enough to overcome the hypoglycemia.
If the blood glucose level remains too low, the brain will get insufficient fuel, resulting in confusion, seizures, or loss of consciousness.
Causes of Hypoglycemia Drugs Most cases of hypoglycemia occur in people with diabetes and are caused by insulin or other drugs especially, sulfonylureas, see Drug Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus: Oral Antihyperglycemic Drugs that they take to lower the levels of glucose in their blood. Hypoglycemia is more common when intense efforts are made to keep the glucose levels in the blood as close to normal as possible, or when people who take insulin do not check blood glucose levels frequently enough.
People with diabetes who reduce food intake or who develop chronic kidney disease are more likely to have hypoglycemia. Older people are more susceptible than younger people to hypoglycemia resulting from sulfonylurea drugs. If, after taking a dose of a drug for diabetes, a person eats less than usual or is more physically active than normal, the drug may lower the level of glucose in the blood too much.
People who have had diabetes for a long time are particularly prone to hypoglycemia in these situations because they may not produce enough glucagon or epinephrine to counteract a low level of glucose in the blood.
The importance of hypoglycemia in diabetic patients
Certain drugs other than those for diabetes, most notably pentamidine, used to treat a form of pneumonia that occurs most often as part of AIDS, and quinine, used to treat muscle cramps, occasionally cause hypoglycemia. An uncommon type of drug-related hypoglycemia sometimes occurs in people who secretly take insulin or other drugs that treat diabetes as part of a psychologic disorder such as factitious disorder imposed on self Munchausen syndrome.
Fasting hypoglycemia In otherwise healthy people, prolonged fasting even up to several days and prolonged strenuous exercise even after a period of fasting are unlikely to cause hypoglycemia.
However, there are several diseases or conditions in which the body fails to maintain adequate levels of glucose in the blood after a period without food fasting hypoglycemia. In people who drink heavily without eating, alcohol can block the formation of glucose in the liver.