Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): symptoms, causes, treatment

The primary substance that is the supplier of energy in the human body is glucose. In the required amount contained in the food. In the absence of revenues from food glucose is formed from natural internal reserves of glycogen in the liver cells. This compound is synthesized from excess glucose by using insulin. When necessary “turned on” to reverse the process. Insulin in turn is a waste product of the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. Therefore, in some diseases associated with this body (diabetes), disturbed carbohydrate metabolism, in particular sugar.

Causes of low blood sugar

With some problems and diseases the amount of glucose in the blood progressively decreases. This phenomenon is called hypoglycemia. It can lead to serious health problems.

Please note

In healthy human blood contains from 3.5 to 5.5 mmol/l glucose.

Causes of low sugar concentration can be physiological and pathological.

The content of his crashes:

  • sickness_absenceA long abstinence from foodfasting.
  • During the end of strict (malogabaritnih) diets. In this case, the sugar level sharply decreases on the background of the receipt of an unusually large amount of starchy foods. The body, accustomed to the limitations, cannot cope with the load and displays the glucose, thereby causing its decline below normal.
  • Dehydration. Lack of water leads to dramatically increased energy consumption required to maintain normal state. The number of glucose drops sharply.
  • Stressful reactions. Excess adrenaline contributes to a significant violation of carbohydrate metabolism, leading to changes in sugar content.
  • The reception of a large number of carbohydrate food. In this case, excess sugar circulates in the blood, causing an increase in the synthesis of insulin, which can lead to sudden glucose starvation.
  • Physical overloads. Large amounts of energy to stimulate the substantial consumption of internal sugars and glycogen. The result of this process can be a significant reduction of these substances in the blood.
  • The hormonal fluctuations. In a woman’s body cyclical changes occur, causing the change of the ratio of the major sex hormones – progesterone and estrogen. Both substances can affect the glucose level. On this basis, can develop hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
  • Physiological hypoglycemia newborns. In the first hours after birth the body of the little man trying to adapt to the changes of metabolism. Including to the manifestations of hypoglycemic States.

As a result of number of diseases may come permanent, or recurrent hypoglycaemia.

The most frequent pathological causes of low blood sugar:

  • Diabetes. In case of untimely food intake, excessive insulin dose, the development of hypoglycemic coma.
  • Liver diseaseaccompanied by the development of necrotic processes in the liver, cirrhotic changes, of hepatic failure.
  • The abrupt cancellation of corticosteroids.
  • Diseases of the stomach and intestines, in which is formed the lack of ability of the mucosa to absorption of carbohydrates.
  • Acute infectious diseases in a severe form.
  • Chronic alcoholismcomplicated by pathology of internal organs.
  • Severe disease, accompanied by cardiac and renal functional insufficiency.
  • Disease infection of the blood (increase glucose utilization).
  • Neoplasm of the pancreas – insulinoma, which is characterized by intense consumption of sugar.
  • Other ailments.

The extent of lowering blood sugar

If the glucose falls below the established norm, it is important to establish the degree of this condition. Is required by the definition of measures of assistance needed by the patient.

Hypoglycemia happens:

  1. Mild. Under this option, condition the level of sugar becomes below the level of 3.8 mmol/l. Although the lower limit of normal is 3.5 mmol/l is still sick prone to this condition, doctors try to be helpful therapeutic activities. Special caution cause complaints of weakness, nausea, emotional instability, chills, numbness of the skin, slight shortness of breath.
  2. A medium degree. In this case, glucose is reduced to the level of 2.2 mmol/l. The patient develops severe anxiety, fear, worry. To these phenomena joins dizzy and the problem of visual perception (“point and fly”), everything seems “in a fog”.
  3. Severe. The amount of sugar below 2.2 mmol/l. In the body of a person suffering from this disorder may develop convulsions, fainting, epileptic seizures. When failure to assist the patient falls into a coma. The body temperature drops, the recorded heart rhythm disturbances and respiration. This condition requires emergency treatment.

Please note

A particular danger is a sharp decline in blood sugar during the night. The patient may Wake up when it gets really bad, and without the intervention of medicine is not enough.

Night attack can be suspected if there were nightmares. During recovery, the patient pays attention that the underwear and bed linen thoroughly soaked then. The General condition is characterized with severe weakness.

Symptoms of a sharp decline in blood sugar (hypoglycemic coma)


Whatever the reason that led to the hypoglycemia patients are noted:

  • Progressive weakness throughout the body.
  • Expressed feeling of hunger.
  • Dizziness accompanied with nausea.
  • A sudden increase of heart rate;
  • Severe sweating;
  • Fine tremor in the body with chills;
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds and light;
  • “The darkening of the eyes”, loss of color vision.
  • Confusion;
  • Nervousness, anxiety, fears;
  • The gradual development of drowsiness, seizures.

Please note

Sometimes coma is manifested paradoxical complaints – excited, loud laughter and conversation, convulsions that mimic epilepsy. (hysteroid type).

When viewed draws attention to – severe pallor, skin moisture, increased tendon reflexes.

People suffering from diabetes, and friends with the manifestation of hypoglycemic coma themselves recognize this problem. In most cases, they are able to take action, warning of further development of this disease.

Features of hypoglycemia in children

Complaints, manifested in children and adolescents with disorders associated with changes in sugar content in the blood similar to those who experience adult patients. In children, this painful process has the same roots as in adults, develops much faster. Thus, assistance cannot be postponed. A dangerous sign is the odor of acetone, which is clearly felt in the room where the child is.

Prolonged lowering of sugar leads to impaired development of children, forms of mental and physical retardation.

Peculiarities of diagnosis of hypoglycemia in newborns:


Features of hypoglycaemia in pregnant women

In the diagnosis of this condition in women preparing for motherhood, it should be noted that the complaints and symptoms can develop at higher numbers analysis. This is caused by the increased needs of the organism in carbohydrates.

Emergency care and treatment of cases of low blood sugar

Acute hypoglycemic condition develops suddenly, in the failure to assist could lead to a coma. Therefore, a person who is familiar with this problem tries at the first sign to take action to suspend the process. Often faced with hypoglycemia patients with diabetes. Therefore, they always have a “first aid” — candy, sugar, cookies. When manifestations of this ailment the patient immediately eats them, drinks sweet tea, eats cake, any starchy product.

Please note

When this kind of medication should comply with a reasonable measure so as not to cause yourself further harm. Dose of carbohydrates should not exceed the required dose.

The guidance in this issue is as follows:

  • sugar 5-10 g (1-2 teaspoons);
  • candy (1-2) better caramel, and chocolate are allowed;
  • honey – 1 tablespoon;
  • sweet compote, jelly, lemonade, lemonade, juice – 200 ml.

If above measures do not bring the desired effect, and he developed hypoglycemic syndrome, it is necessary to call an ambulance.

To ease the following measures:

  • The patient must be laid, better in the room. At the first sign of impaired consciousness (confusion) feet to give an elevated position.
  • To ensure the supply of fresh air.
  • Undo and remove the embarrassing items of clothing.
  • If unconscious, the patient should be given a “safe” pose” (on the side with the bent leg and put it under his head with his hand). It is necessary for the prevention of suffocation and collapse.
  • To enter the unconscious man “Glucagon” from a special syringe-tube (most patients with diabetes it needs to be to yourself).

Ambulance assigns the affected person a concentrated solution of glucose intravenously and transportorul to the hospital. If received treatment easier for the patient does not become, he is under the skin type solution of adrenaline. In severe form of coma prescribe corticosteroids.

Diet for hypoglycemia

Compliance with the rules of supply patients with a tendency to develop this condition is very important.

In case of a hypoglycemic episode, the patient is recommended:

  • In the acute phase – cereal, omelets, vegetables, salads, juices from fresh fruits and vegetables, boiled sea fish, green tea.
  • With the gradual normalization condition in the diet can introduce fresh river fish, boiled and braised meat, berries.
  • In the period of remission in food need to add cheese, eggs (up to 2 units a week). The quantity of carbohydrates, sugars, flour, be sure to coordinate with your doctor.

Preventive measures

All patients who have a tendency to hypoglycemia, recommended diet, consisting of a list of necessary products that you should take a fractional method under instruction of nutritionist. Physical activity energy consumption must correspond to the number of consumed carbohydrates.

How often should measure blood sugar. It is necessary to have first aid in case of hypoglycemia.

With frequent bouts of increase in blood sugar should undergo additional study and adjust diet and treatment. Possible additional use of insulin.

Strict adherence to all rules and recommendations will help to minimize cases of hypoglycemia and eliminate the complications that are dangerous to health and life of the state.

Latin Alexander, doctor, medical commentator