Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)
What is Hypoglycemia?
It is a condition where the blood sugar becomes abnormally low. It is a medical Emergency, to be treated immediately. If not, brain damage or death can occur.
What level of blood sugar produces Hypoglycemia?
Blood sugar level below 55 mg\dl produces symptoms.
What produces Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia usually happen in diabetic patients on insulin and or on oral drugs and it happen when they skip meals or eat food very much latter than normal time. Over dose of anti-diabetic drugs can also lower blood sugar.
In non-diabetic people abnormal over work without enough food, excessive drinking alcohol without food (binge) and on fasting for long period can produce hypoglycemia.
Conditions like pituitary insufficiency, liver failure, Addison’s disease, and tumours of pancreas can also produce hypoglycemia.
What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?
Patients may have excessive sweating, hunger, palpitation (feeling fast heart beats), anxiety, dizziness, weakness, confusion and may have pale skin.
In severe cases patient may have seizures, can become violent and go in for hypoglycemic coma
What investigation to be done for low blood sugar?
Urgent capillary or blood glucose estimation to be done.
What is the treatment for hypoglycemia?
If the patient is conscious give oral glucose or sugar. Soft drinks with sugar or fruit juice can be given. Glucose tablets or hard sugar candy can be given.
Do not give food or fluids to unconscious patients as they may aspirate (choke).
If the patient is unconscious, shift to a hospital. Intra venous Glucose 10% or 25% can be given.
How to prevent Hypoglycemia?
Not to skip meals and to take small frequent food (once in 3 hours).
Take documents of their diabetic treatment always with them.
Check blood sugar level often and adjust the dose of drugs according to the physician’s advice.
Diabetic patients should carry glucose tablets or candy with them always to be taken in emergency like hypoglycemia.