Hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar levels can produce a variety of symptoms and can be caused by a variety of conditions. Knowing how to manage low blood sugar levels is very important.
There are a great number of causes of low blood sugar or as it is properly known hypoglycaemia, although it is very often associated with diabetes. Whilst it is true that a large number of cases of people suffering from low blood sugar do so due to diabetes, there are a number of more rare conditions that can also cause hypoglycaemia as a symptom. Some such conditions include diseases of the pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands and other organs. Additionally certain drugs such as Salicylates like Aspirin as well as excessive alcohol consumption can lead to the condition. Furthermore exercise accompanied with a lack of certain essential dietary components can lead to low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar, although it can affect anyone is more common in women that in men and tends to affect older adults. There are a number of symptoms that can be caused by hypoglycaemia and they can be split up into three categories; mild, moderate and severe.
Symptoms of mild hypoglycaemia may include:
- A feeling of nervousness
- Cold, damp skin
- Excessive sweating
- Increased heartbeat
Symptoms of moderate hypoglycaemia may include:
- Increased irritability
Symptoms of severe hypoglycaemia may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Coma and potentially death
Treatment of low blood sugar revolves around attempting to normalise the glucose deficiency in the blood. Low blood sugar levels are anything below 70 and when this occurs the individual should immediately find something sweet to eat or drink. Some good examples include fruit juice, sugar, honey, soda and glucose gel or tablets. Ideally you are looking for a source of sugar glucose that the body can easily absorb. Ideally the best treatment is prevention so those who suffer from hypoglycaemia should take care to eat a diet that is tailored to suit their needs and does not allow their blood sugar levels to fall too low. Additional treatment in more severe cases includes injections of glucose or glucagon. Furthermore, there is the option to have the hyperactive part of the pancreas surgically removed.