Low blood sugar symptoms begin to appear at different blood sugar levels depending on the individual. Symptoms may present themselves gradually in some people while they may appear very suddenly in others.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) more frequently occurs in people with diabetes than in otherwise healthy individuals. However, certain drugs, diet changes, and organ disorders may also result in low blood sugar in nondiabetics.
The normal range of sugar in the blood is 70-110 milligrams per deciliter. Symptoms may appear when levels fall below 60 milligrams per deciliter.
The brain mainly requires sugar for energy and is very sensitive to the level of sugars in the blood. Initial symptoms of low blood sugar typically are nervousness, sweating, and trembling. This is a result of the brain triggering the release of adrenaline to cause other organs to being releasing sugar into the blood.
Low blood sugar symptoms:
- heart palpitations
- slurred speech
- blurred vision
- inability to concentrate
- odd behavior
Severe hypoglycemia is very dangerous and can progressively cause headache, slurred speech, odd behavior, blurred vision, seizures, coma, brain damage, and death.
Diagnosis is typically through physical examination, observation of symptoms, and blood testing. In a person with diabetes the characteristic low blood sugar symptoms should lead to a fairly intuitive diagnosis.
Immediate treatment is typically with oral and/or intravenous administration of glucose. The drug glucagon which causes the liver to release sugar can also be used in emergencies.
In nondiabetics a simple diet regimen can also help effectively control blood sugar levels. Routine blood sugar monitoring is effective in helping avoid hypoglycemia.