What Can Cause Diabetics To Get Dangerously Low Blood Glucose Levels (hypoglycemia)?
Great question, complex answer. Bear with me, I'll try to simplify this as much as possible without losing the high points. Let's imagine a diabetic patient named Nebuchadnezzar, nicknamed "Nebby" for short. Nebby's blood glucose level balances... (+) food (+) glucagon: a hormone that prevents blood sugar from becoming too low (+) gluconeogenesis: the liver's production of glucose from precursors; this is always happening to some extent (-) energy expenditure: basal metabolic rate, exercise, etc. (-) insulin: a hormone that drives sugar into the cells and keeps blood sugar from becoming too high To keep blood sugar even, Nebby's body must maintain this equation: food + glucagon + gluconeogenesis = energy expenditure + insulin So how could Nebby get hypoglycemia? Always think back to the equation! decreased food intake: Nebby skipped a meal because he was busy, but he still took his insulin. skipped meal = less (+) factor. Nebby's physician may suggest that Nebby skip/lower his morning insulin dose when he misses a meal. Or Nebby could just make sure to eat regularly. increased energy expenditure: let's say Nebby decides to take up a sport to get in shape. increased activity = more Continue reading >>