Dr Aidin Rawshani

Hypoglycemia: what is it and what to do?


Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia)

Any medicine that lowers blood sugar can lead to low blood sugar, which in medical language is called hypoglycemia. Getting low blood sugar is unpleasant and potentially dangerous, which is why you need to know the symptoms of low blood sugar, and how to fix it. Insulin, which is used by all people with type 1 diabetes and many with type 2 diabetes, may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take too much insulin relative to your blood sugar. If the injection of insulin causes blood sugar to become too low, you get symptoms and these symptoms are called hypo. There are other names for hypo: feeling, being low or feeling low is the same thing.

What are the symptoms of low blood sugar?

Do not forget to read the chapter Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). The following symptoms indicate that your blood sugar is low (mild symptoms appear at the top of the list and serious symptoms are seen at the bottom of the list):

  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Paleness, Weakness
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced attention, slurred speech
  • Confusion, memory disorder
  • Irritability, anxiety and aggression
  • Absensive behaviour
  • Convulsions, seizures
  • Coma
  • Abnormal vision

When talking about hypo, you refer to the first symptoms (sweating, trembling, palpitations, anxiety). Thus, hypoglycaemia occurs if you have more insulin in your blood than is appropriate. This can happen if you have waited too long to eat, if you eat less than usual, if you are more physically active than usual, or if you have overdosed insulin.

What should I do if I get a hypo?

If you get a hypo, you can eat or drink some carbohydrates. It should be fast carbohydrates (for example, glucose) to get the carbohydrates quickly into your blood. Fruits, sweet drinks (not light drinks), juices, juices, glucose, honey, sweets, etc. contain a lot of sugar. Your blood sugar will recover faster if you drink something sweet because liquids are quickly absorbed into your intestines.

Always measure your blood sugar if you suspect it is too low. After many years of diabetes, you don’t feel your hypoglycaemia as much, which means that you can’t correct the condition early either. Therefore, always measure your sugar if you suspect that you have hypoglycaemia. Never take insulin again if your blood sugar is low.

It is usually said that children with blood sugar below 4.0 mmol/l should receive glucose to increase their blood sugar. For adults, the same limit can be applied.

Hormones that counteract low blood sugar

The body makes the hormones adrenaline and glucagon, which both raise blood sugar. When you get low blood sugar, both adrenaline and glucagon will be released into the blood to raise blood sugar (the hormones do this by forcing the liver to release glucose that it is stored). Keep in mind that if you drink alcohol, or if you eat poorly, you have less glucose stored in your liver, and you will suffer more in the case of hypoglycaemia.

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