Recurrent Hypoglycemia: When Diabetes Is Not The Cause
Diabetes, Nutritional And Metabolic Diseases, Diabetes Type 2 ABSTRACT: Most episodes of recurrent hypoglycemia occur in patients with diabetes mellitus and can be prevented by changes in medication, diet, or activity. However, persistent, unexplained hypoglycemia can indicate a potentially grave, often treatable, underlying disorder, such as insulinoma, or adrenal or pituitary insufficiency. Medication errors are another cause of unexplained hypoglycemia. A focused laboratory workup is essential; obtain a plasma or serum glucose level and serum insulin and C-peptide levels. Insulin levels should be suppressed (less than 6 μIU/mL) when the glucose level is below 60 mg/dL. “Normal” or high insulin and C-peptide levels suggest excessive endogenous insulin production. Hypoglycemia is a common event that typically occurs in persons with diabetes mellitus. In this context, hypoglycemia usually results from an imbalance among diabetic therapy, level of activity, and dietary intake. Therefore, management of hypoglycemia has become “scripted”: glucose administration, followed by adjustments in insulin or oral medications or diet. The simplicity of this approach can be deceptive, however. Practitioners may underestimate the impact of other hypoglycemic disorders that are not the direct result of diabetes or its treatment regimen. In this setting, hypoglycemia can indicate a serious disturbance in glucose regulation and can recur with devastating consequences. Determining the cause of hypoglycemic “outliers,” therefore, is critical. The potentially life-threatening consequences of sudden, unexpected hypoglycemia may endanger not only the affected person but others as well (eg, hypoglycemia in a driver of a motor vehicle). Here are 4 cases of hypoglycemia that occurre Continue reading >>
Difference Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia
People often get diabetes and hypoglycemia confused with one another, believing that they are two difference names for the same condition. In actuality, they could not be more opposite. As we eat, our food is converted over to glucose, which is used for fuel in our cells and organs. As long as glucose levels remain balanced, the body runs efficiently. Anything over the recommended level and the body is called being pre-diabetic because you are dangerously close to developing diabetes. Diabetes is a condition that originates when the body does not process sugar in the blood correctly. This sugar is known as glucose. When diabetes is present, the body is suffering from one of two situations: either it is not producing insulin for the body's needs or the insulin that is being produced is not adequate to meet the body's needs. In response, the amount of glucose continues to rise to dangerously high levels. While diabetes addresses the problem of sugar levels being too high, hypoglycemia is when blood sugars are too low (hypo means low and glycemia means the sugar in our blood). There are several reasons why an individual's blood sugar levels would dip too low. One has to do with the foods that they are consuming. Not balancing out foods correctly will cause glucose to drop. Not only will the types of foods cause hypoglycemia, but when you eat them can also create this condition. If an individual is going too long between meals, this is a prime opportunity for sugar levels to fluctuate too low. This is why it is imperative for diabetics to always include healthy snacks between their meals. But according to statistics, the number one reason for hypoglycemia is not food-related. It is triggered by their medication. Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes in many ways Continue reading >>
What is non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too low. It happens to people with diabetes when they have a mismatch of medicine, food, and/or exercise. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia, a rare condition, is low blood glucose in people who do not have diabetes. There are two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia: Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens within a few hours of eating a meal Fasting hypoglycemia, which may be related to a disease Glucose is the main source of energy for your body and brain. It comes from what we eat and drink. Insulin, a hormone, helps keep blood glucose at normal levels so your body can work properly. Insulin’s job is to help glucose enter your cells where it’s used for energy. If your glucose level is too low, you might not feel well. What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia? The two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia have different causes. Researchers are still studying the causes of reactive hypoglycemia. They know, however, that it comes from having too much insulin in the blood, leading to low blood glucose levels. Types of nondiabetic hypoglycemia Reactive hypoglycemia Having pre-diabetes or being at risk for diabetes, which can lead to trouble making the right amount of insulin Stomach surgery, which can make food pass too quickly into your small intestine Rare enzyme deficiencies that make it hard for your body to break down food Fasting hypoglycemia Medicines, such as salicylates (such as aspirin), sulfa drugs (an antibiotic), pentamidine (to treat a serious kind of pneumonia), quinine (to treat malaria) Alcohol, especially with binge drinking Serious illnesses, such as those affecting the liver, heart, or kidneys Low levels of certain hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, glu Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
Type 1 diabetes in an autoimmune disease where a person’s pancreas doesn’t produce insulin—a hormone needed to convert food into energy. It affects children and adults, comes on suddenly, and it cannot be prevented or cured. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common and dangerous occurance with type 1 diabetes. If your blood sugar gets too low it may lead to insulin shock, which is life-threatening if not cared for. Low blood sugar can happen when your body has too little food—or glucose—or when it produces too much insulin. Type 1 diabetes hypoglycemia symptoms So what are the low blood sugar symptoms you should look out for? It’s important to realize that the signs of low blood sugar will vary depending on the person. However, people with type 1 diabetes—whether it’s been diagnosed or not—may experience one or more of the following: -Sweating and shaking -Blurry vision -Poor coordination -Dizziness or feeling lightheaded -Difficulty concentrating -Feeling anxious or irritable -Hunger or nausea -Erratic changes in behavior What to do if you experience low blood glucose symptoms Severely low blood-sugar levels can lead to hypoglycemic seizures, unconsciousness, coma, and death if left untreated. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor if you think you have low blood sugar so he or she can check your blood-glucose levels—look into whether type 1 diabetes may be a cause—and provide the necessary treatment. Your support is more critical than ever Continue reading >>
All About Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)
Hypoglycemia refers to an abnormally low level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Hypoglycemia is not a disease in itself, it is a sign of a health problem. The brain uses a lot of energy and needs glucose to function. Because the brain cannot store or manufacture glucose, it needs a continuous supply. Signs of low blood sugar include hunger, trembling, heart racing, nausea, and sweating. Hypoglycemia is commonly linked with diabetes, but many other conditions can also cause low blood sugar. This article will discuss the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hypoglycemia, and the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. We will also look at how to prevent it. Here are some key points about hypoglycemia. More detail is in the main article. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a symptom of another condition. Early symptoms include hunger, sweating, and trembling. A common cause is diabetes. Alcohol abuse and kidney disorders can also lower blood sugar levels. What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is a condition where there is not enough glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Levels of blood sugar are below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL). Adults and children with mild hypoglycemia may experience the following early symptoms: hunger tremor or trembling sweating irritability a pale face heart palpitations accelerated heart rate tingling lips dizziness weakness Severe hypoglycemia is sometimes called diabetic shock. It may involve: concentration problems confusion irrational and disorderly behavior, similar to intoxication inability to eat or drink Complications If a person does not take action when symptoms of hypoclycemia appear, it can lead to: A person who regularly experiences hypoglycemia may become unaware that it is happening. They will not notice the warning signs, and this can lea Continue reading >>
Diabetes-related High And Low Blood Sugar Levels - Topic Overview
When you have diabetes, you may have high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) from time to time. A cold, the flu, or other sudden illness can cause high blood sugar levels. You will learn to recognize the symptoms and distinguish between high and low blood sugar levels. Insulin and some types of diabetes medicines can cause low blood sugar levels. Learn how to recognize and manage high and low blood sugar levels to help you avoid levels that can lead to medical emergencies, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or dehydration from high blood sugar levels or loss of consciousness from severe low blood sugar levels. Most high or low blood sugar problems can be managed at home by following your doctor's instructions. You can help avoid blood sugar problems by following your doctor's instructions on the use of insulin or diabetes medicines, diet, and exercise. Home blood sugar testing will help you determine whether your blood sugar is within your target range. If you have had very low blood sugar, you may be tempted to let your sugar level run high so that you do not have another low blood sugar problem. But it is most important that you keep your blood sugar in your target range. You can do this by following your treatment plan and checking your blood sugar regularly. Sometimes a pregnant woman can get diabetes during her pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Blood sugar levels are checked regularly during the pregnancy to keep levels within a target range. Children who have diabetes need their parents' help to keep their blood sugar levels in a target range and to exercise safely. Be sure that children learn the symptoms of both high and low blood sugar so they can tell others when they need help. There are many support groups an Continue reading >>
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Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia In Type 2 Diabetes
Hyperglycemia can occur when blood sugar levels are too high. People develop hyperglycemia if their diabetes is not treated properly. Hypoglycemia sets in when blood sugar levels are too low. It is usually a side effect of treatment with blood-sugar-lowering medication. Diabetes is a metabolic disease with far-reaching health consequences. In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is released into the bloodstream, or the insulin cannot be used properly. In type 1 diabetes, the body only produces very little insulin, or none at all. We need insulin to live. Without it, sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood because it cannot be taken out and used by the body. Very high blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, leads to a number of symptoms. If blood sugar levels are too low, it is called hypoglycemia. When is blood sugar considered to be too high or too low? Slight fluctuations in blood sugar levels are completely normal and also happen on a daily basis in people who do not have diabetes. Between around 60 and 140 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) is considered to be healthy. This is equivalent to between 3.3 and 7.8 mmol/L. “Millimole per liter” (mmol/L) is the international unit for measuring blood sugar. It indicates the concentration of a certain substance per liter. If type 1 diabetes is left untreated, people’s blood sugar levels can get very high, even exceeding 27.8 mmol/L (500 mg/dL). Such high levels are rather uncommon for type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar concentrations below 3.3 mmol/L (60 mg/dL) are considered to be too low. As you can see in the illustration below, there are no clear-cut borders between the normal range of blood sugar and high and low blood sugar. Signs of hyperglycemia People with type 2 diabetes do not always realize that their Continue reading >>
Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?
back to Overview Know-how Type 2 A tag-team approach on low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. Markus recently wrote an article on our German language blog talking about low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. The question (“can I have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes?”) is very common, and it’s easy to see why it’s of concern. So I’ve helped Markus bring his German post to life here in English. I hope it helps! Here’s Markus: Low blood sugar In 2014, results from the DAWN2 study were announced. It was the largest study of its kind (15,000 participants) on the “fears & needs of people with diabetes and their families.” One result stood out: The gravest fears are related to low blood sugars, especially at night. Up to 69% of the participants share this fear! So! Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? Yes! Of course! But let’s think about who exactly is at risk – and why. It’s common to think: Type 1 diabetes = at risk for lows Type 2 diabetes = not at risk for lows But that isn’t correct at all, so we should wipe it from our mind. So… what do I need to know? Maybe it’s more accurate to say that people with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows. We’re getting closer! But to get to the truth, we should take a look at someone without diabetes. Is it possible for them to have lows, too? Theoretically yes, especially if doing long-lasting physical activities without proper food intake. Additionally, extreme stress and binge drinking are also common causes of low blood sugar for people without diabetes. However, it’s pretty rare because as soon as BG’s drop below 80 mg/dl (4.4 mmol/L), the natural counterregulatory system kicks in, raising blood sugar back to normal levels. I’ve never exp Continue reading >>
Print Overview For people with diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs when there's too much insulin and not enough sugar (glucose) in the blood. Hypoglycemia is defined as blood sugar below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Several factors can cause hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, including taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications, skipping a meal, or exercising harder than usual. Pay attention to early warning signs, so you can treat low blood sugar promptly. Treatment involves short-term solutions — such as taking glucose tablets — to raise your blood sugar into a normal range. Untreated, diabetic hypoglycemia can lead to seizures and loss of consciousness — a medical emergency. Rarely, it can be deadly. Tell family and friends what symptoms to look for and what to do in case you're not able to treat the condition yourself. Symptoms Early warning signs and symptoms Early signs and symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia include: Shakiness Dizziness Sweating Hunger Irritability or moodiness Anxiety or nervousness Headache Nighttime symptoms Diabetic hypoglycemia can also occur while you sleep. Signs and symptoms, which can awaken you, include: Damp sheets or bedclothes due to perspiration Nightmares Tiredness, irritability or confusion upon waking Severe symptoms If diabetic hypoglycemia goes untreated, signs and symptoms of severe hypoglycemia can occur. These include: Clumsiness or jerky movements Muscle weakness Difficulty speaking or slurred speech Blurry or double vision Drowsiness Confusion Convulsions or seizures Unconsciousness Death Take your symptoms seriously. Diabetic hypoglycemia can increase the risk of serious — even deadly — accidents. Identifying and correcting the factors contrib Continue reading >>
Is Hypoglycemia The Same As Diabetes?
Diabetes can be a complicated disease due to the vast number of side effects that it can produce. But some people who are not diabetic might confuse diabetes with hypoglycemia. Are they two different names for the same disease? Actually, they are more the opposite of one another. Diabetes is a condition where blood sugar is too high. This is due to the fact that the body's insulin supply is either too low, non-existent or is not responding well with the cells within the body. In order to combat this condition, insulin has to be introduced externally to compensate for the delinquency. Hypoglycemia, on the other hand, occurs when blood sugar levels are too low. This occurs for a number of reasons, some of which are poor diet, too long between meals and certain types of medications. Ironically, hypoglycemia is a symptom of diabetes. When insulin levels are off, the individual will often experience episodes where their blood sugar levels drop too low. Hypoglycemia affects different people in different ways. The extent and the severity of an episode can vary, as does the recovery time and method used. The typical remedy for an episode is to ingest some form of sugar. Although glucose tablets are the most common approach, there are many other ways to bring sugar levels up quickly. Fruit drinks, candy, white bread, etc., are all foods that work well to elevate levels. The key is to bring them up to the appropriate range without overdoing it. Over compensating will result in levels surpassing the normal range and becoming too high. This will send the individual into a hypoglycemic episode which means that they will again have to adjust their blood sugar. The information provided on battlediabetes.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a pa Continue reading >>
What's The Difference Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose levels. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in the blood - hyperglycemia - and this is what leads to complications. FYI, there are 2 (main) types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent) requires insulin to treat, is typically developed as a child or young adult, and is a disease that destroys pancreatic cells meaning no insulin production is possible. Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) is considerably more common and typically affects people over the age of 45, who are also overweight. Those suffering from type 2 are unable to produce enough insulin, and sugar builds up in the bloodstream. Continue reading >>
Print Overview Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar (glucose), your body's main energy source. Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with the treatment of diabetes. However, a variety of conditions, many of them rare, can cause low blood sugar in people without diabetes. Like fever, hypoglycemia isn't a disease itself — it's an indicator of a health problem. Immediate treatment of hypoglycemia involves quick steps to get your blood sugar level back into a normal range — about 70 to 110 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL (3.9 to 6.1 millimoles per liter, or mmol/L) — either with high-sugar foods or medications. Long-term treatment requires identifying and treating the underlying cause of hypoglycemia. Symptoms Similar to the way a car needs gas to run, your body and brain need a constant supply of sugar (glucose) to function properly. If glucose levels become too low, as occurs with hypoglycemia, it can cause these signs and symptoms: Heart palpitations Fatigue Pale skin Shakiness Anxiety Sweating Hunger Irritability Tingling sensation around the mouth Crying out during sleep As hypoglycemia worsens, signs and symptoms may include: Confusion, abnormal behavior or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision Seizures Loss of consciousness People with severe hypoglycemia may appear as if they're intoxicated. They may slur their words and move clumsily. Many conditions other than hypoglycemia may cause these signs and symptoms. A blood sample to test your blood sugar level at the time of these signs and symptoms is how to know for sure that hypoglycemia is the cause. When to see a doctor Seek a doctor's help immediately if: You have what may be symptoms of hypoglycemia an Continue reading >>
What Is The Difference Between Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia?
By Debra A. Sokol-McKay, MS, CVRT, CDE, CLVT, OTR/L, SCLV What Is Hyperglycemia? In relation to diabetes, hyperglycemia refers to chronically high blood glucose levels. Most medical professionals define hyperglycemia by using the blood glucose goals that you and your physician have established and combining those goals with the blood glucose target ranges set by the American Diabetes Association. It's important to understand that you'll probably experience high blood glucose levels from time to time, despite your best efforts at control. As with any chronic disease, talk with your physician and diabetes care team if the pattern of your blood glucose readings is consistently higher or lower than your blood glucose goals. Complications from Hyperglycemia Persistent hyperglycemia can cause a wide range of chronic complications that affect almost every system in your body. When large blood vessels are affected, it can lead to: Stroke (cerebral vascular disease) Heart attack or Congestive Heart Failure (coronary heart disease) Circulation disorders and possible amputation (peripheral vascular disease) When smaller blood vessels are affected, it can lead to: Kidney disease (nephropathy) Nerve damage (neuropathy) Diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) Joseph Monks: Writer, Producer, and Film Director Joseph Monks, who has diabetic retinopathy, creates and produces films for his production company Sight Unseen Pictures. He is also the first blind filmmaker to direct a feature film. Says Joe, "I'm not uncomfortable with the term 'blind.' I'm not thrilled about it, of course, but it's accurate. The lights went out for me in early 2002 as a result of diabetic retinopathy—the death of my retinas. It is what it is, so when it happened, I decided that I wasn't going to let it put an en Continue reading >>
Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes - Topic Overview
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is most common in people who have diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and need more information about low blood sugar, see the topics: You may have briefly felt the effects of low blood sugar when you've gotten really hungry or exercised hard without eating enough. This happens to nearly everyone from time to time. It's easy to correct and usually nothing to worry about. But low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can also be an ongoing problem. It occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low to give your body energy. Ongoing problems with low blood sugar can be caused by: Medicines. Metabolic problems. Alcohol use. Symptoms can be different depending on how low your blood sugar level drops. Mild hypoglycemia can make you feel hungry or like you want to vomit. You could also feel jittery or nervous. Your heart may beat fast. You may sweat. Or your skin might turn cold and clammy. Moderate hypoglycemia often makes people feel short-tempered, nervous, afraid, or confused. Your vision may blur. You could also feel unsteady or have trouble walking. Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. You could have seizures. It could even cause a coma or death. If you've had hypoglycemia during the night, you may wake up tired or with a headache. And you may have nightmares. Or you may sweat so much during the night that your pajamas or sheets are damp when you wake up. To diagnose hypoglycemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your health and any medicines you take. You will need blood tests to check your blood sugar levels. Some tests might include not eating (fasting) and watching for symptoms. Other tests might involve eating a meal that could cause symptoms of low blood sugar seve Continue reading >>
Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too low. It happens to people with diabetes when they have a mismatch of medicine, food, and/or exercise. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia, a rare condition, is low blood glucose in people who do not have diabetes. There are two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia: Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens within a few hours of eating a meal Fasting hypoglycemia, which may be related to a disease Glucose is the main source of energy for your body and brain. It comes from what we eat and drink. Insulin, a hormone, helps keep blood glucose at normal levels so your body can work properly. Insulin's job is to help glucose enter your cells where it's used for energy. If your glucose level is too low, you might not feel well. You can have symptoms of hypoglycemia, but unless your blood glucose level is actually low when you have symptoms, you don't have hypoglycemia. The two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia have different causes. Researchers are still studying the causes of reactive hypoglycemia. They know, however, that it comes from having too much insulin in the blood, leading to low blood glucose levels. Some people have trouble speaking and also feel weak. Talk with your doctor if you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, even if you only have one episode. HOW IS NON-DIABETIC HYPOGLYCEMIA DIAGNOSED? Your doctor can diagnose non-diabetic hypoglycemia by reviewing your symptoms, doing a physical exam, looking at your risk for diabetes, and checking your blood glucose level. Your doctor will also see whether you feel better after you eat or drink to raise your glucose to a normal level. Checking your blood glucose to see if it is actually low (about 55 mg/dL or less) when you're having symptoms is an important part of Continue reading >>