When your blood glucose level falls below average levels, the consequence is hypoglycemia or abnormally low blood sugar. The typical cause of this condition is either an overabundance of insulin or an inadequate diet. But, hypoglycemia can also be triggered in diabetics by a delay in eating a meal or as a result of over-stressing the body from too much exercise. Many people refer to hypoglycemia as “insulin shock” because of the extreme and sudden effect that it has on the body. Because hypoglycemia can possibly cause brain dysfunction and weakness, it is extremely important that those at risk learn to recognize it’s symptoms. Based on to research paper about diabetes mellitus, common symptoms are:
Blanched and perspiring skin – at the first signs of hypoglycemia, the body begins producing and releasing epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. This is an attempt by the adrenal glands to raise the body’s blood sugar levels. High levels of the epinephrine hormone causes the skin to become pale.
Rapid heart beat – adrenaline has many effects on the body. One effect is to cause the blood vessels to constrict and the heart to beat faster. The person may experience heart palpitations and a pounding heartbeat. Other symptoms caused by adrenaline flooding through the body can be trembling of the limbs, a tingling sensation in the hands, and a general sense of anxiety.
Severe headaches – The brain is one of our major organs. And like all of the body’s major organs, it needs glucose to function. When the body’s blood sugar levels drop, all of a sudden the brain has less glucose available to it. Now, if there is merely a tiny drop in the glucose levels, the result may be a mild headache or double vision. A more severe drop, however, can lease to seizures. And an even greater drop can possibly lead to loss of consciousness, difficulty concentrating and confused speech or, in the worst case, lapsing into a coma.
Severe hunger – the body is constantly in a state of adjusting itself to various circumstances. When the blood sugar levels drop, the body instinctively knows that it needs food to get the levels up again. The way of letting us know that is to send hunger signals to the brain in an attempt to get us to eat. Once we eat, the blood glucose levels return to normal and the hunger subsides.
The above symptoms usually do not start to show until the blood glucose levels fall a fairly significant amount such as below 60 milligrams per deciliter of blood. Also, if the person is taking medications for symptoms other than diabetes, it’s important to be aware that some medications may mask some of these symptoms. In addition, not everyone has the same reactions to low blood sugar so they may naturally experience different symptoms.
It’s not unusual for someone diagnosed with diabetes to occasionally get hypoglycemia. In fact, diabetics may become very familiar with many of these symptoms as regulating the blood glucose levels with medicines, although pretty accurate, is not an exact science. And as the blood sugar levels return to normal, the symptoms will normally dissipate. Nevertheless, anyone experiencing any of the above conditions should ensure that their physician is aware of them.