Known as hypoglycemia, low blood sugar is a potentially dangerous condition that can sneak up on you without you realizing you’re in trouble until you’re experiencing symptoms. On the bright side, true hypoglycemia is rare in healthy adults and children over ten. This isn’t necessarily the case for sufferers of diabetes, as low blood sugar can actually be a fatal problem in sufferers. However, since the symptoms are nearly identical, it can be easy to identify and remedy once you know the low blood sugar symptoms.
Generally speaking, blood sugar is a measurement of the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in your blood. Glucose comes primarily from food– carbohydrates specifically– and acts as a primary source of energy. Without glucose, your body can’t perform its basic functions and your overall health can begin to suffer.
Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar symptoms generally begin to manifest when your blood sugar falls below 70mg/dL. Should it drop below this level, you can begin treatment immediately by eating something or taking special glucose tablets. Immediate treatment is especially important to prevent damage to your body and other problems.
Sudden onset of symptoms of low blood sugar can be distressing when first experienced but they include:
sudden mood changes
trouble thinking and concentrating
In extreme cases, your blood sugar can go into a rapid fall that you may not even have these symptoms. When this happens, you may faint, go into seizure or even slip into a coma.
The Dangers of Low Blood Sugar
Critically low blood sugar levels can be life threatening; seizures and damage to the central nervous system make quick treatment absolutely pivotal to preventing long term damage to the body. Due to the risky nature of this condition, it’s also important that the victim not drive as they may pass out on the way. Eat something first, then call for an ambulance.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar?
Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar can occur from a number of small problems and isn’t strictly a complication of diabetes.
Medication – Certain medications can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar.
Alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol can lower your blood sugar as well as dehydrate you.
Medical Conditions – Some conditions such as kidney related ailments and hepatitis can lower your blood sugar.
Tumors – Some tumors produce excess insulin making them throw your body chemistry out of balance and lower your blood sugar.
A less common condition called reactive hypoglycemia can make your drop drastically after eating a meal. This is more likely in people who’ve had gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgery.
When you’re suffering from symptoms of low blood sugar, you can eat something with carbohydrates to get your energy back and raise your blood sugar level. Try to monitor your body for signs of low blood sugar and carry little snacks with you such as apples or candy that can replenish some of what you need to keep going. Battling with low blood sugar needn’t be a one sided fight when you take proper precautions.