Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose level in the body. The level is usually 4 mmol/L or lower. The condition might be categorized as mild or severe.
Individuals with diabetes who utilize insulin or using oral diabetic tablets are at high risk for hypoglycemia. There are also other medical issues that cause an increase in the production of insulin and low blood glucose occurs even when not using insulin or diabetes medications. A doctor must be consulted so that proper assessment can be done.
What are the causes of hypoglycemia?
Various activities can cause the blood glucose levels to significantly drop among those with diabetes. The usual reasons include the following:
- Using too much insulin or oral medications
- Exercising strenuously than usual
- Missing a meal or not taking enough carbohydrates
- Loss of weight
The early warning indications of hypoglycemia include the following:
- Rapid heart rate
- Sudden hunger
These indications should not be ignored and require immediate treatment so that the blood glucose levels do not continue to drop.
A severe case occurs if the brain does not receive enough glucose to function properly. The symptoms include the following:
- Inability to think clearly
- Inability to follow instructions
- Appearance of being drunk
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
In severe cases, it is vital to call for emergency assistance. If the individual could not swallow or follow instructions, do not start treatment orally.
If you are trained on how to prepare and inject glucagon, this should be administered. Once the emergency team arrives, they can properly handle a severe case of hypoglycemia.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on hypoglycemia is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage hypoglycemia, register for a first aid and CPR course with Mississauga First Aid.