Home Diabetes & Blood Glucose Management What can cause low blood sugar?

What can cause low blood sugar?


What can cause low blood sugar?

There are many various factors which will cause a dip in your blood glucose levels. Here are a number of the foremost common causes.

Low blood glucose can happen in people with diabetes who take medications that increase insulin levels within the body. Taking an excessive amount of medication, skipping meals, eating but normal, or exercising quite usual can cause low blood glucose for these individuals. blood glucose is additionally referred to as glucose.

Food and drink

Skipping meals or going too long without a meal or snack can cause almost anyone to experience a drop by blood glucose .

Other causes associated with food and drink include:

  • not eating enough carbohydrates throughout the day
  • drinking alcohol without eating enough food
  • not eating for hours after you awaken within the morning
  • Physical activity


Exercising more or harder than usual can lower your blood glucose . After a very strenuous workout, take steps to make sure that your blood glucose level doesn’t drop too low by:

  • consuming foods that are high in simple carbohydrates, like fresh fruit, milk , or hard fruit candies shortly after your workout
  • not waiting too long before you eat a regular-sized meal

If you’ve got diabetes, you’ll got to take synthetic insulin. In some cases, taking insulin can cause hypoglycemia due to:

  • taking an excessive amount of of it
  • your body suddenly responding differently to the insulin
  • the interaction of insulin with other drugs, including sulfonylureas and meglitinides

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Health conditions

Several health conditions also can affect your blood glucose . Among them are:

  • anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders
  • hepatitis and other liver conditions, which may affect how your liver produces and releases glucose
  • pituitary gland disorders, which may affect the discharge of hormones that control glucose production
  • low adrenal function
  • kidney disease, which may affect how waste products, including medicines, are flushed from your body
  • insulinoma, which is an insulin-producing tumor of the pancreas
  • advanced cancer
  • inadvertently taking an excessive amount of diabetes medication (insulin or sulfonylureas)

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Hypoglycemia may be a condition during which your blood glucose (glucose) level is less than normal. Glucose is your body’s main energy source.

Hypoglycemia is usually associated with diabetes treatment. But other drugs and a spread of conditions — many rare — can cause low blood glucose in people that do not have diabetes

Hypoglycemia needs immediate treatment when blood glucose levels are low. for several people, a fasting blood glucose of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or below should function an alert for hypoglycemia. But your numbers could be different. Ask your doctor.

Treatment involves quickly getting your blood glucose back to normal either with high-sugar foods or drinks or with medications. Long-term treatment requires identifying and treating the explanation for hypoglycemia.


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Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood glucose (glucose) level falls too low. There are several reasons why this will happen; the foremost common may be a side effect of medicine wont to treat diabetes.

Blood sugar regulation

When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates from foods — like bread, rice, pasta, vegetables, fruit and milk products — into various sugar molecules, including glucose.

Glucose, the most energy source for your body, enters the cells of most of your tissues with the assistance of insulin — a hormone secreted by your pancreas. Insulin enables the glucose to enter the cells and supply the fuel your cells need. Extra glucose is stored in your liver and muscles within the sort of glycogen.

If you haven’t eaten for several hours and your blood glucose level drops, another hormone from your pancreas signals your liver to interrupt down the stored glycogen and release glucose into your bloodstream. This keeps your blood glucose within a traditional range until you eat again.

Your body also has the power to form glucose. This process occurs mainly in your liver, but also in your kidneys.

Possible causes, without diabetes

Hypoglycemia in people without diabetes is far less common. Causes can include the following:

Medications. Taking someone else’s oral diabetes medication accidentally may be a possible explanation for hypoglycemia. Other medications can cause hypoglycemia, especially in children or in people with renal failure . One example is quinine (Qualaquin), wont to treat malaria.
Excessive alcohol drinking. Drinking heavily without eating can block your liver from releasing stored glucose into your bloodstream, causing hypoglycemia.

Some critical illnesses. Severe liver illnesses like severe hepatitis or cirrhosis can cause hypoglycemia. Kidney disorders, which may keep your body from properly excreting medications, can affect glucose levels thanks to a buildup of these medications.

Long-term starvation, as can occur within the disorder anorexia , may result in insufficient of drugs your body must create glucose.

Insulin overproduction. A rare tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma) can cause you to supply an excessive amount of insulin, leading to hypoglycemia. Other tumors can also end in an excessive amount of production of insulin-like substances. Enlargement of cells of the pancreas that produce insulin may result in excessive insulin release, causing hypoglycemia.

Hormone deficiencies. Certain adrenal and pituitary tumor disorders may result during a deficiency of key hormones that regulate glucose production. Children can have hypoglycemia if they need insufficient somatotropin .


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Possible causes, with diabetes

If you’ve got diabetes, you would possibly not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) otherwise you could be less aware of it (type 2 diabetes). As a result, glucose tends to create up within the bloodstream and may reach dangerously high levels. To correct this problem, you would possibly take insulin or other drugs to lower blood glucose levels.

But an excessive amount of insulin or other diabetes medications may cause your blood glucose level to drop too low, causing hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia also can occur if you eat but usual after taking diabetes medication, or if you exercise quite you normally do.

Hypoglycemia after meals

Hypoglycemia usually occurs once you haven’t eaten, but not always. Sometimes hypoglycemia symptoms occur after certain meals high in sugar because your body produces more insulin than you would like .

This type of hypoglycemia, called reactive hypoglycemia or postprandial hypoglycemia, can occur in people that have had stomach bypass surgery. It also can occur in people that haven’t had this surgery.


Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to:

  • Seizure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

Hypoglycemia also can contribute to the following:

  • Dizziness and weakness
  • Falls
  • Injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Greater risk of dementia in older adults

Hypoglycemia unawareness

Over time, repeated episodes of hypoglycemia can cause hypoglycemia unawareness. The body and brain not produce signs and symptoms that warn of a coffee blood glucose , like shakiness or irregular heartbeats. When this happens, the danger of severe, life-threatening hypoglycemia increases.

If you’ve got diabetes, recurring episodes of hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia unawareness, your doctor might modify your treatment, raise your blood sugar level goals and recommend blood glucose awareness training.

Undertreated diabetes

If you’ve got diabetes, episodes of low blood glucose are uncomfortable and may be frightening. Fear of hypoglycemia can cause you to require less insulin to make sure that your blood glucose level doesn’t go too low. this will cause uncontrolled diabetes. ask your doctor about your fear, and do not change your diabetes medication dose without your doctor’s okay.


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If you’ve got diabetes
Continuous glucose monitor
Continuous glucose monitor Open pop-up panel
Follow the diabetes management plan you and your doctor have developed. If you are taking new medications, changing your eating or medication schedules, or adding new exercise, ask your doctor about how these changes might affect your diabetes management and your risk of low blood glucose .

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is an option for a few people, particularly those with hypoglycemia unawareness. A CGM features a tiny wire that’s inserted under the skin which will send blood sugar readings to a receiver.

If blood glucose levels are dropping too low, some models of CGM will provide you with a warning with an alarm. Some insulin pumps are now integrated with CGMs and may shut off insulin delivery when blood glucose levels are dropping too quickly to assist prevent hypoglycemia.

Be sure to always have a fast-acting carbohydrate with you, like juice or glucose tablets in order that you’ll treat a falling blood glucose level before it dips dangerously low.

If you do not have diabetes

For recurring episodes of hypoglycemia, eating frequent small meals throughout the day may be a stopgap measure to assist prevent your blood glucose levels from getting too low. However, this approach isn’t advised as a long-term strategy. Work together with your doctor to spot and treat the explanation for hypoglycemia.

When to hunt care

It’s essential that you simply get immediate medical attention if your blood glucose drops and you’ve got severe symptoms, like seizures or loss of consciousness.

If you’ve got diabetes and your blood glucose drops, and therefore the usual quick-fix treatments don’t help raise your blood glucose above 70 mg/dL, it’s also important to urge medical aid as soon as possible. This happens more commonly with taking an excessive amount of long-acting insulin or sulfonylurea diabetes pills.

Also, make certain to urge medical aid if you don’t have diabetes but have symptoms of hypoglycemia that don’t get away or worsen after you’ve eaten a minimum of 15 grams of carbohydrates.


The conclusion

Low blood glucose are often a short lived issue caused by skipping a meal or not eating enough food. It are often harmless, especially if you’re ready to quickly raise your blood glucose by eating a snack.

Sometimes, though, a drop by blood glucose are often associated with diabetes or other underlying health conditions. If your symptoms are severe, or if eating a snack doesn’t help or causes you to feel worse, make certain to urge immediate medical attention.

If you are feeling your blood glucose isn’t well controlled, talk together with your doctor to ascertain whether there’s a treatment plan which will be suited to keeping your blood glucose within a healthy range.

And if you recognize you’ll be susceptible to drops in blood glucose , always keep gel tablets or other quick fixes with you when you’re on the go.





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