Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Glucose) Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by abnormally low blood glucose.The food you eat gets digested, and broken down, into a sugar your body's cells can use. This is glucose, one of the simplest forms of sugar. (blood sugar)1. A class of carbohydrates, with a sweet taste, including glucose, fructose, and sucrose. 2. A term used to refer to blood glucose) levels, usually less than 70 mg/dlmilligrams (MILL-ih-grams) per deciliter (DESS-ih-lee-tur), a unit of measure, that shows the concentration of a substance, in a specific amount of fluid. In the United States, blood glucose test results are reported as mg/dL. Medical journals, and other countries use millimoles per liter (mmol/L). To convert to mg/dL from mmol/L, multiply mmol/L by 18. Example: 10 mmol/L Ã¯Â¿Â½ 18 = 180 mg/dL.X. However, it is important to talk to your health care provider about your individual blood glucose,the main sugar found in the blood, and the body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar targets, and what level is too low for you. Hypoglycemia may also be referred to as an insulin reaction,when the level of glucose in the blood is too low (at or below 70 mg/dL). Also known as hypoglycemia, or insulina hormone, that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, it is taken by injection, or through use of an insulin pump. Hypoglycemic symptoms, are important clues that you have low blood glucose. Hypoglycemia occurs, when one's blood glucose is lower than normal, usually less than 70 mg/dL. Signs include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness, or light-headedness, sleepiness, and confusion. If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to unconsciousness. Hypoglycemia is treated by consuming a carbohydrate-rich food, such as a glucose tablet, or juice. It may also be treated with an injection of glucagon, if the person is unconscious, or unable to swallow. Also called an insulin reaction. It's important that you learn your own signs, and symptoms, when your blood glucose is low. The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing hypoglycemia, is to check your blood glucose, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms, and you are unable to check your blood glucose for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia has the potential to cause accidents, injuries, coma, sleep-like state in which a person is not conscious, may be caused by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), or hypoglycemia (low blood glucose),in people with diabetes., and death. Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia (happen quickly)shakiness, nervousness, or anxiety. Sweating, chills, and clamminess, irritability, or impatience,confusion, including delirium, Rapid/fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, or dizziness, hunger, and nausea, sleepiness,blurred/impaired vision, tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue, headaches, weakness, or fatigue,anger, stubbornness, or sadness,lack of coordination, nightmares, or crying out during sleep, seizures, unconsciousness. Treatment, Consume 15-20 grams of glucose, or simple carbohydrates. Recheck your blood glucose after 15 minutes. If hypoglycemia continues, repeat. Once blood glucose returns to normal, eat a small snack, if your next planned meal, or snack, is more than an hour, or two away. 15 grams of simple carbohydrates commonly used: glucose tablets (follow package instructions) gel tube (follow package instructions) 2 tablespoons of raisins, 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of juice, or regular soda (not diet) 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, or corn syrup, 8 ounces of nonfat, or 1% milk, hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops (see package to determine how many to consume) Glucagon. If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to a seizure, or unconsciousness (passing out, a coma). In this case, someone else must take over. Glucagon is a hormone chemical, produced in one part of the body, and released into the blood, to trigger, or regulate, particular functions of the body. For example, insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, that tells other cells when to use glucose for energy. Synthetic hormones, made for use as medicines, can be the same, or different, from those made in the body, that stimulates your liver,an organ in the body, that changes food into energy, removes alcohol, and poisons from the blood, and makes bile, a substance that breaks down fats, and helps rid the body of wastes, to release stored glucose into your bloodstream, when your blood glucose levels are too low. Injectable glucagon kits, are used as a medication to treat someone with diabetes, that has become unconscious, from a severe insulin reaction. Glucagon hormone produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas., raises blood glucose. An injectable form of glucagon, available by prescription, may be used to treat severe hypoglycemia. The opposite of insulin kits are available by prescription. Speak with your health care provider, about whether you should buy one, and how, and when to use it. The people you are in frequent contact with (for example, family members, significant others, and coworkers) should also be instructed on how to administer glucagon,to treat severe hypoglycemic events. Have them call 911 if they feel they can't handle the situation (for example, if the hypoglycemic person passes out, does not regain consciousness, or has a seizure, if the care taker does not know how to inject glucagon, or if glucagon is not available). If glucagon is needed: Inject glucagon into the individual's buttock, arm or thigh, following the manufacturer's instructions. When the individual regains consciousness (usually in 5-15 minutes), they may experience nausea, and vomiting. If you have needed glucagon, let your health care provider know, so they can discuss ways to prevent severe hypoglycemia in the future. Do not: Inject insulin (will lower blood glucose even more) Provide food, or fluids (individual can choke) Put hands in mouth (individual can choke) Hypoglycemia unawareness,very often, hypoglycemia symptoms occur when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl. But, many people have blood glucose readings below this level, and feel no symptoms. This is called hypoglycemia unawareness. People with hypoglycemia unawarenessa state, in which a person does not feel, or recognize, the symptoms of hypoglycemia. People who have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, may no longer experience the warning signs of it, and are also less likely to be awakened from sleep, when hypoglycemia occurs at night. Hypoglycemia unawareness occurs more frequently in those who: frequently have low blood glucose episodes (which can cause you to stop sensing the early warning signs of hypoglycemia) have had diabetes for a long time, tightly control their diabetes (which increases your chances of having low blood glucose reactions) If you think you have hypoglycemia unawareness, speak with your health care provider. Your health care provider may adjust/raise your blood glucose targets, to avoid further hypoglycemia, and risk of future episodes. Other causes of symptoms, other people may start to have symptoms of hypoglycemia, when their blood glucose levels are higher than 70 mg/dl. This can happen when your blood glucose levels are very high, and start to go down quickly. If this is happening, discuss treatment with your health care provider. Medical IDs,many people with diabetes, particularly those who use insulin, should have a medical ID with them, at all times. In the event of a severe hypoglycemic episode, a car accident, or other emergency, the medical ID can provide critical information about the person's health status, such as the fact that they have diabetes, whether or not they use insulin, whether they have any allergies, etc. Emergency medical personnel are trained to look for a medical ID, when they are caring for someone who can't speak for themselves. Medical IDs are usually worn as a bracelet, or a necklace. Traditional IDs are etched with basic, key health information about the person, and some IDs now include compact USB drives that can carry a person's full medical record, for use in an emergency. How Can I Prevent Low Blood Glucose? Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management, and learn to detect hypoglycemia, so you can treat it early—before it gets worse. If you're new to type 2 diabetes, join our free Living With Type 2 Diabetesa condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body's inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged, and older adults, but can appear in young people.