What is hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is defined as a condition in which the concentration of serum glucose – the amount of sugar or glucose in the blood, falls below 700 mg in liter of blood. The condition most often affects the elderly and babies, but it can happen at any age.

As a clinical condition, the diagnosis is made by the presence of three signs, better known among medical people as Whipple’s triad. The characteristics on the basis of which a diagnosis is made are:

• Whether symptoms correspond to low blood sugar levels;
• Low blood plasma glucose concentration;
• Relief of the symptoms, after the increase of glucose levels in the blood plasma;

Symptoms usually appear at levels below 600 mg/L. In some more sensitive people, signs may appear above this level. When the glucose concentration drops below 500 mg/l. brain function is affected.

The body regulates glucose levels – the main source of energy for the brain, muscles and other cells – through the secretion of hormones. These are insulin, which lowers blood sugar, and glucagon, somotropin, and epinephrine, which increase blood sugar.

What are the symptoms?

Epinephrine is among the main hormones secreted when blood sugar levels are abnormal. Also, epinephrine is the main cause of the initial symptoms.

The most common manifestations of the condition are:

• Trembling and the skin is sticky to the touch;
• Palpitations – rapid heart rate;
• Anxiety;
• Sweating;
• Feeling very hungry and irritable;

When the brain begins to suffer from the lack of glucose, the following symptoms appear later:

• Difficulty thinking;
• Confusion and headache;
• Seizures and subsequently coma;

If measures are not taken promptly to normalize blood sugar, death may occur after prolonged coma or loss of consciousness.

Treatment of hypoglycemia

What can we do at home without medical help?

• First of all, we can monitor our own blood sugar levels using a device called a glucose meter. This requires a drop of blood from your finger or forearm. The resulting blood is placed on a paper test strip, which is inserted into the meter and then the glucose concentration in the blood is written on the glucometer display.

How to recognize and help hypoglycemia?

• If you notice that a person is very down and confused and there is a needle lying around somewhere, this change may be low blood sugar levels. This may be due to an accidental injection of a larger amount of insulin.

• If the person is conscious and able to drink, you can give them a glass of orange juice or some other sweet non-carbonated and non-alcoholic drink or water with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. If hypoglycemia is the cause of the confusion and lethargy, the person’s condition will improve 10-15 minutes after drinking the juice or sweet water.

In hospitalization or in the doctor’s office, therapy consists of intravenous infusion of glucose or intramuscular injection of glucagon.

Is it possible to prevent it?

Prevention of the condition is achieved by the correct administration of anti-diabetic drugs and eating the right foods and following a diet where meals are -same time every day.

Some tips:

• Eat at the same time every day and do not skip meals;
• You must observe the amount of food you consume during the day and what your physical activity is. If you don’t eat well and overwork yourself, your blood sugar levels will drop below what is needed.
• Avoid excessive alcohol consumption;

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