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What is hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycaemia is a term clinically used to describe low blood sugar levels. Glucose, the simplest form of sugar, is used by cells to fuel them. The primary function of our digestive system is to convert the food we eat into a powerful fuel that helps the cells to work suitably.

Hypoglycemia occurs when the supply of glucose starts to deteriorate. The symptoms of this condition are very evident. The patient starts to feel anxious and shaky, fails to focus suitably and will get tired sooner. The patients also feel thirstier and hungrier than before. If these symptoms are overlooked, then a person might get blurred vision and start sweating profusely.

The results could be quite severe if a diabetic person ignores hypoglycaemia as it can result in coma, seizures or even death. But this only occurs in severe cases and with patients who have untreated diabetes type 1. These situations might also occur if too much insulin is taken by a type 2 diabetic.

Symptoms of hypoglycaemia

Hyperglycemia symptoms can transpire unexpectedly which include:

  • Hunger
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Mood swings
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pale skin
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Difficulty to sleep
  • Consciousness loss, coma, or seizure

Causes of hypoglycemia

There are certain possible causes of hypoglycaemia which are:

  • Use of medications like quinine
  • Medical conditions such as kidney disorders and hepatitis
  • Endocrine disorders like adrenal gland deficiency

Diagnosis of hypoglycemia

The hypoglycaemia diagnosis involves a physical exam and reviewing the medical history of a patient. Blood sugar levels are tested with a glucose metre. Additionally, if the patient is unaware of which medication caused the condition, then the healthcare provider will ask certain questions like:

  • Signs and symptoms experienced by a patient
  • Blood sugar levels while having the symptoms
  • If symptoms disappear when blood sugar levels increase

Hypoglycemia treatment

Doctors recommend following certain steps for patients experiencing hypoglycemia symptoms such as:

  • Eating or drinking 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates
  • Make sure to recheck the blood sugar levels every 15 minutes after treatment
  • Once the blood sugar level is normal, it is recommended to eat a healthy snack to avert another drop

Depending on the causes and symptoms, here are other hypoglycemia treatment options:

  • Nutritional counselling
  • Medications
  • Surgical removal of the tumour

Why should you choose BM Birla Heart Research Centre for hypoglycemia treatment?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre, Kolkata is a super speciality hospital offering comprehensive cardiac care. Our hospital incorporates a team of multidisciplinary specialists and some of the best heart surgeons in India with international repute to ensure a high success rate.

Our hospital is equipped with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology for wide-ranging diagnosis and personalised care. Consult us in case you are experiencing symptoms of irregular heart rhythm.


Is hypoglycemia dangerous?

Yes, hypoglycemia can be dangerous if not treated on time. If this condition becomes severe, you might find it difficult while trying to swallow food or drink. Chances are you can experience issues like confusion, passing out, and seizures. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to coma or even death without immediate treatment.

Does metformin cause hypoglycemia?

No, metformin doesn’t cause hypoglycemia, however, it can happen when taken with other diabetic medicines like insulin or gliclazide.

How do beta blockers mask hypoglycemia?

Beta-blockers can prolong, or prevent the hypoglycemia symptoms. It causes an increase in blood glucose concentrations and antagonises oral hypoglycemic drugs. These drugs can also conceal the symptoms like irritability, confusion, hunger, tremor, etc.

How to prevent hypoglycemia during exercise?

Here are some tips to prevent hypoglycemia during exercise:

  • Make sure to exercise at glucose above 140 mg/dL
  • Reduce bolus insulin
  • Try to reduce basal insulin
  • Make sure not to eat too close to exercise
  • Keep trying different foods during exercise


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