The technical term for low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. Most people who develop it do so because of diabetes and the medications taken for it. However, there can be other reasons. Missing meals, other medical conditions and other medications can all cause it.
The medical definition for low blood sugar is any level under 70 mg/dl. For most people, symptoms begin to appear when the sugar levels are 60 mg/dl, and brain function can be affected at 50 mg/dl. However, symptoms could be felt at any point under 70.
The symptoms are fairly straightforward. Hunger, ahakiness, nervousness, sweating and dizziness are usually first, followed by sleepiness, confusion, difficulty speaking, anxiety and weakness. The treatment for it can be as simple as eating something full of glucose. The cause, however, needs to be discovered.
When the cause is something temporary, such as a missed meal, little needs to be done other than to eat. However, if it is caused by medications or the cause is not known, it’s time to talk to the doctor. If, for instance, you are diabetic, your medications may need to be adjusted.
Certain types of cancer can cause low blood sugar. Some of those include mesothelioma and fibrosarcoma. These cancers can produce factors similar to insulin. Some congenital birth defects, failure of the kidneys or liver and adrenal insufficiency are other possible reason.
One huge reason for hypoglycemia is alcohol intake. Alcohol is, after all, a highly refined sugar. If large amounts are consumed, low blood sugar is sure to follow. This information is critical to anyone who has a condition that causes blood sugar to drop.