Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

It usually occurs most often in people who use insulin to lower their blood sugar. Hypoglycemia results when the blood glucose level becomes extremely low (below 60 mg/dl). Other conditions that can lead to hypoglycemia in people with diabetes include :

  • Taking too much medication
  • Missing or delaying a meal
  • Eating too little food for the amount of insulin taken
  • Exercising too strenuously
  • Drinking too much alcohol

Symptoms include :

  • In mild hypoglycemia (41-60mg/dl) patient is
    • irritable
    • weak
    • shaky
    • hungry
  • In moderate hypoglycemia (21-40 mg/dl) patient
    • feels drowsy
    • has a pale face
    • breathes with difficulty
    • skin is cold and clammy to touch
  • In severe hypoglycemia (less than 20 mg/dl) patient may
    • have convulsions
    • become unconscious

Frequent hypoglycemic spells can lead to a condition in which the brain gets adapted to low blood glucose levels making the person unaware of hypoglycemia. Such a state is therefore called Hypoglycemic Unawareness and the only identifiable features are excessive yawning and mental clouding.

Hypoglycemia is an emergency which can be reversed easily. But if allowed to progress unchecked it can lead to convulsions or coma.