Hypoglycemia is caused due to low blood sugar. It is generally observed in people who are diabetic and take medications to increase their insulin levels. Moreover, taking excess medications, doing too much exercising, and eating less than usual can also lead to hypoglycemia. Also known as glucose, blood sugar is found in food, and it is an important source of energy in the body. It is majorly found in food rich in carbohydrates, such as milk, vegetables, fruits, cereal, tortillas, bread, potatoes, and rice.
After a meal, the glucose in the food is absorbed in the bloodstream. It goes to the body’s cells. With the help of insulin, the glucose is converted to energy inside the cells. In case more glucose is consumed, the body converts it into fat or stores it in the muscles or liver. The excess glucose can be used as energy when required. The lack of sufficient glucose may make the body incapable of performing normal functions.
People who do not take medications to increase insulin levels in the body will not have any health problems. This is because their bodies have sufficient glucose to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Moreover, the liver can make use of the stored glucose and supply it to the body. However, in the case of people who are taking insulin-boosting medications, there can be a lot of health complications if there is a short-term reduction in blood sugar. Hypoglycemia may happen if the blood sugar levels go below 70 mg/dL. It is important to get immediate medical treatment to avoid the development of serious symptoms and health complications.
One of the major causes of hypoglycemia is diabetes. Diabetes directly affects the body’s ability to use insulin. People with diabetes use various medications for the effective utilization of glucose and to increase insulin levels in the body. Taking too much of such medications may cause the blood sugar levels to drop. This may also happen if a person takes the medications on time but does not eat a full meal or skips meals. Sugar levels may also drop if there have been unplanned excess physical activities without sufficient eating. If a person drinks too much alcohol without eating enough and takes insulin-boosting medication, it may also lead to hypoglycemia.
Other medications such as quinine may also lead to hypoglycemia. Ailments such as kidney disorders and hepatitis may also cause blood sugar levels to drop. In some cases, tumors that produce excess insulin have been known to cause hypoglycemia. Other causes include endocrine disorders such as adrenal gland deficiency.
There are no early warning signs of hypoglycemia. The symptoms occur quite suddenly. People with hypoglycemia are often unaware that they may be suffering from this condition. Their blood sugar levels may drop without them even noticing it. Some of the common symptoms are a blurry vision and rapid heartbeat, sudden mood changes, sudden nervousness, pale skin, and unexplained fatigue. Additionally, a person may also experience a headache, hunger, dizziness, sweating, and shaking. They may also find it difficult to fall asleep and may feel their skin tingling. They may have trouble thinking clearly or concentrating properly. In extreme and emergency cases, a person with hypoglycemia may lose consciousness, have a seizure, or even go into a coma.