What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is a symptom of people with diabetes Type I and Type II. It occurs when people have too little sugar, or glucose, in their blood. While this often is the result of medication from diabetes, hypoglycemia has many different causes and can affect anyone. Those with this disorder present with low blood sugar. This can be temporary and easily fixed by protein or food. In some cases, people who have been fasting can develop low blood sugar. Often, this is quickly cured by protein.
It is a common misconception that someone suffering from hypoglycemia should be given something sweet to alleviate the condition. The truth of the matter is that those suffering from hypoglycemia are usually lacking protein and a food high in protein can alleviate their symptoms. Peanut butter is an excellent choice in helping someone suffering from hypoglycemia.
In some cases, however, hypoglycemia is a disease as it occurs for many different reasons in a person. The best way to define hypoglycemia is to say that it is the opposite of diabetes. While people with diabetes need to avoid sugar as they have an abundance of glucose in their blood, those with hypoglycemia have low glucose levels and need to replenish the sugar or glucose in their blood. In many cases, those with diabetes may develop hypoglycemia as a reaction to insulin or diet. This is different than someone who experiences hypoglycemia on an occasional basis, usually the result of not eating properly.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, anxiety, heart palpitations, sweating, dilated pupils, coldness, feeling of fainting, clamminess. These symptoms are triggered by the loss of glucose that affects the brain If untreated, a person with hypoglycemia can fall into a diabetic coma and even die from the hypoglycemia. If someone is suffering from hypoglycemia, they should be given something to eat rich in protein to avoid falling faint or, in the worst case scenario, falling into a coma.
Other symptoms of hypoglycemia include physical symptoms such as vomiting and abdominal pains as well as hunger. As hypoglycemia continues, neurological symptoms may include difficulty speaking, slurred speech, fatigue, anxiety, lethargy, delirium, headache, stupor, abnormal breathing and finally, coma.
One of the first things that a doctor will do to treat someone with hypoglycemia is to determine the circumstances that caused the disease. A physical examination is necessary and blood samples will usually be taken. Many cases of hypoglycemia are unexplained as no sample is taken from the blood before glucose is given to relieve the symptom.
In many cases, hypoglycemia is nothing to be concerned about. It can simply be the reaction of malnutrition or fasting. Many people experience hypoglycemia without even knowing it. If it continues to be a problem, however, many people will seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause of the illness.
For the most part, hypoglycemia has many common causes and for those who experience the symptoms, testing by a medical professional is necessary to determine the etiology of the cause of hypoglycemia. In a good number of cases, the cause for hypoglycemia is never determined and the situation resolves itself.