Low blood sugar is the condition wherein the blood glucose level falls below 70mg/dL. The following article provides information about the various causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for this condition.
The normal fasting blood sugar level is between 70mg/dL and 100mg/dL. When it falls below 70mg/dL, the condition is known as hypoglycemia. The condition can develop in people of any age group, however, it is mostly observed in the elderly and infants. There are several causes of this disorder; diabetes, being one of the most common causes. In such cases, the condition generally occurs as a side effect of medications taken for treatment of diabetes. The treatment of this condition involves determining its cause and raising the sugar levels as soon as possible, to avoid further complications.
As aforementioned, there are several factors that can cause your sugar level to drop suddenly, however, people affected by diabetes are more prone to it. The reason for this is the overdose of insulin, which can lower the blood sugar level by considerable amounts. Other causes include metabolic disorder, alcohol abuse, and stomach surgery. Irregular functioning of some vital organs of our body (liver, pancreas, or kidneys), abnormal secretion of certain hormones, and the use of medications such as beta blockers, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim are also some of the causes. Monitoring your sugar levels regularly is essential to keep a check on it.
The signs and symptoms of this condition vary, depending on how low the sugar level drops. Sweating, dizziness, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue are some of the symptoms of this condition. Also, lack of concentration, headaches, blurred vision, vertigo, and panic attacks can also be observed in certain cases. In extreme conditions, a person may experience difficulty in thinking clearly, confusion, frequent seizures, and unconsciousness. It is therefore important to get seek treatment as soon as the signs appear. The treatment of this condition varies, depending upon the nature and severity of the aforementioned symptoms.
The initial treatment involves raising the blood sugar as soon as possible, by consuming one of the following quick-action foods:
- Glucose tablets
- Table sugar
- Fruit juice
The next step is to check the glucose level within 15 minutes, to make sure it has reached the normal range. However, if it is still below 70 mg/dL, another serving of the aforementioned foods might be needed. In extreme cases, immediate medical attention may be required.
Once the blood glucose level is back to normal, the next step is the determination of the underlying cause, which can help in prevention of any future episodes. People who experience such frequent dips in the glucose level, should consult their medical care provider as soon as possible. Certain changes in the diet, lifestyle, or medication, and a new physical activity plan, might be needed to prevent such cases in the future.
It has been observed that a diet containing refined sugars and carbohydrates aggravates this condition. Caffeine, alcohol, and white flour are also some of the common triggers. Hence, one needs to get his/her diet planned by consulting a doctor. It is also important for people affected by this condition to pay attention to their blood sugar level, in response to certain foods. This helps in drafting the diet plan. Following this diet strictly and exercising regularly can help cure the problem.
It is recommended that diabetics, as well as others who are at a risk of low blood glucose should frequently monitor their sugar levels and maintain a chart. This chart helps to keep a track of the sugar levels.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.