Hypoglycemia can occur in both diabetic and non-diabetic people. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is caused by a dangerously low drop in blood sugar usually below 60. The pancreas is the organ which controls blood sugar. It produces insulin which is used by the body to process glucose or sugar. Without adequate insulin the body can’t use the available glucose. In essence this is the definition of diabetes. Hypoglycemia can be a very dangerous condition especially in the Type One diabetic. However, low blood sugar is uncomfortable even for non-diabetics. Below are tips for recognizing and treating hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Recognize the warning signs of hypoglycemia. Hunger, irritability, shakiness and weakness are the most common initial symptoms of hypoglycemia. Later symptoms of low blood sugar can include sweating, confusion, and difficulty speaking. In Insulin dependent diabetic’s hypoglycemia can proceed to coma, seizures and even death.
Understand severe hypoglycemia can look like alcohol or drug intoxication. Look for an ID bracelet before assuming someone acting strangely is intoxicated. If you are a diabetic, wear an ID bracelet so you won’t accidentally be taken to jail for intoxication!! Severe sweating is a common symptom of hypoglycemia in diabetics. If this symptom is present along with confusion try giving OJ with sugar if the person can drink safely. If not, call 911. Emergency personnel have the ability to start intravenous lines and give glucose intravenously.
To prevent episode of hypoglycemia in the diabetic, careful attention to diet and medication are necessary. You must be supervised by your doctor. For people suffering the jittery, irritable feeling associated with a drop in blood sugar not related to being a diabetic try eliminate sugar from your diet. Sugar causes spikes of insulin production in response to the sugar’s presence in the blood and can then result in drops in blood sugar and the resultant hypoglycemia. Keep a high protein snack available and with you. Cheese, boiled eggs, or peanut butter are good examples of high protein snacks that are easily carried with you A balanced diet lower in simple carbs and with meals spread over the day in five to six smaller meals will help equalize blood sugar and prevent hypoglycemia in the non-diabetic patient.
This article is informational and not to be taken as medical advice. Follow up with your doctor if you think you may have hypoglycemia.