A Condition to Take Seriously
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) is too low. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) usually occurs while fasting or in between meals. Reactive hypoglycemia is low blood sugar that occurs after a meal - usually one to three hours after eating.
Hypoglycemia occurs when:
- Your body’s sugar (glucose) is used up too quickly
- Glucose is released into the bloodstream too slowly
- Too much insulin is released into the bloodstream
Glucose, an important source of energy for the body, comes from food. Carbohydrates are the main dietary source of glucose. After a meal, glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the body’s cells. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood and reduces blood sugar. If a person takes in more glucose than the body needs at a certain time, the body stores the extra glucose in the liver and muscles as glycogen, which the body can then use for energy between meals. Extra glucose can also be changed to fat, which is stored in fat cells, and which the body may also use for energy.
When blood glucose begins to fall, glucagon (another hormone made by the pancreas) signals the liver to break down glycogen and release glucose into the bloodstream. Blood glucose will then rise toward a normal level. Normal blood sugar levels range between 83-75 mg/dL.
Symptoms of mild hypoglycemia
Symptoms of mild low blood sugar occur when blood sugar falls below 70 mg/dL:
- Extreme hunger
- Feeling nervous or jittery
- Cold, clammy, wet skin and/or excessive sweating not caused by exercise
- A rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Numbness or tingling of the fingertips or lips
- Decreased alertness
- Craving sweets
- Different size pupils
- Muscle pain
If blood sugar continues to fall, the nervous system will be affected. Symptoms that occur when the blood sugar falls below 55 mg/dL:
- Mood changes, such as irritability, restlessness, or anger
- Confusion, difficulty in thinking, or inability to concentrate
- Blurred vision, anxiety, dizziness, lightheadedness or headache
- Weakness, lack of energy
- Poor coordination
- Difficulty walking or talking, such as staggering or slurred speech
- Fatigue, lethargy, or drowsiness
- Memory loss
- Sleep difficulty
- Panic attacks
The symptoms of severe low blood sugar develop when blood sugar falls below 35 mg/dL to 40 mg/dL:
- Seizures or convulsions
- Loss of consciousness, coma
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
Suggestions to Stabilize and Balance Blood Sugar:
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