Hypoglycemia refers to the state of one’s blood sugar being too low. Normal blood sugar is 90-120 for an average adult. This number may peak within two hours after eating, but should not elevate to levels that can cause harm to the body. The blood sugar should not drop to very low levels either. When blood sugar levels fall below normal, the cells do not have the energy they need to function. Hypoglycemia symptoms follow a blood sugar drop below normal.
Blood sugar is maintained by the intake of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose to convert into energy for cell use. Food sources of carbohydrates are potatoes, fruit, grains, milk, and sugar found in sweets. These foods contain high levels of carbohydrates.
Hypoglycemia symptoms can be caused by a lack of carbohydrate intake, or a problem with too much insulin processing the carbohydrates like occurs with diabetes. If a diabetic takes too much insulin or does not eat enough carbohydrates, hypoglycemia symptoms occur. Hypoglycemia symptoms include (regardless of the cause):
- Increased hunger
- Shaking and loss of balance
- Wanting to fall asleep
- Slurred speech
- Weak or faint
- Feeling woozy
- Nightmares, agitation and difficulty awakening when hypoglycemia symptoms occur during sleep.
Other contributing factors to hypoglycemia symptoms are not eating enough meals and snacks at proper intervals, increase in physical activity, illness, and consuming alcohol.
Treatment of Hypoglycemia Symptoms
The immediate treatment for hypoglycemia symptoms is to bring up the blood sugar quickly. If the person is conscious and ; offer hard candy, chocolate, juice, sweetened soda (small amounts) or glucose tablets. If the person becomes unconscious; emergency medical personnel should be summoned. Health care professionals may need to administer intravenous glucose to bring the blood sugar up.
When a person exhibits hypoglycemia symptoms, they are also at risk of secondary injury such as that from falls. If you suspect someone has a low blood sugar; encourage them to sit or lie down. If you personal are suffering from hypoglycemia, you should call someone for help and sit or lie until help arrives.
Preventing Hypoglycemia Symptoms
In order to prevent hypoglycemia symptoms, you must first know you are prone to them. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are automatically at risk. Ways to prevent hypoglycemia from happening includes:
- Eating small frequent meals and snack at regular intervals.
- Maintaining a healthful lifestyle with a balance of diet and exercise.
- Follow your doctor’s diabetic treatment plan for you exactly.
- Try to avoid illness by getting plenty of rest and seeking medical treatment before sickness (especially infection) become serious. Diabetic person are much more likely to encounter problems with infections.
- Use prescribed medications exactly as directed.
- Monitor blood sugar levels regularly.
- If you suffer hypoglycemia symptoms and are not diabetic, eating to maintain a normal blood sugar should symptoms from occurring.
Consult your health care provider for any questions, concerns or problems you may have about your hypoglycemia symptoms.