Hypoglycemia Definition By Medical
Hypoglycemia definition is a health disorder that occurs when blood sugar levels fall below normal levels. Sugar is derived from foods we digest and absorb. These sugar molecules enter the bloodstream to be channeled to all the cells in the tissues of the body. But most body cells can not absorb sugar without the help of the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. In this case, insulin acts as a door opener for the entry of sugar substances into cells.
If the amount of insulin is too much, automatically blood sugar levels will decrease. That’s why hypoglycemia is commonly experienced by diabetics because they often use insulin or insulin-producing drugs to lower their blood sugar levels. But not just insulin alone, there are several other factors, such as poor diet and excessive exercise, can also cause hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia
If the blood sugar level is too low then the body, including the brain, will not function properly. And if that happens, a person with hypoglycemia may experience symptoms such as the following:
- Lips tingling
- Feeling hungry
- Heart palpitations
- Difficult to concentrate
- Easy to get angry
Patients with hypoglycemia whose condition worsens will experience symptoms such as:
- Impaired vision
- Such confusion
- The movement becomes awkward, even behaving like a drunk person
- Missing awareness
These worsening symptoms generally occur when blood levels drop dramatically due to hypoglycemia that is not treated properly.
If you are diabetic and suspicious of being hypoglycemic, it is advisable to see your doctor immediately if your condition does not undergo a positive change even if it is treated (eg by eating sweet foods or drinks).
The cause of hypoglycemia
Here are some of the causes of hypoglycemia that usually occur in diabetics:
- Use of insulin injections in cases of type 1 diabetes overdosage, or overuse of oral drugs in case of type 2 diabetes can also trigger excessive release of insulin. One such drug is sulphonylurea.
- Using insulin with a normal dose, but the body lacks carbohydrate intake. This problem can occur because the patient is too much physical activity, not enough to eat foods that contain carbohydrates, forget to eat, or delayed eating.
- Too much alcohol or alcohol in an empty stomach.
While some of the causes of hypoglycemia in non-diabetic people include:
- Too much insulin production by the pancreas. This can be caused by obesity, too much carbohydrate, tumors in the pancreas, or side effects of gastric bypass surgery.
- Too much alcohol.
- Suffer a disease that attacks the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, kidneys, or liver.
- Suffer from Addison’s disease (abnormalities in the adrenal gland).
- Lack of nutrients.
- Side effects of drugs, such as propranolol for hypertension, salicylic acid for rheumatism, and quinine for malaria.
Diagnosis and treatment of hypoglycemia
Currently there are available blood sugar levels in pharmacies that can be used by people with diabetes at home. In addition to diabetes, this tool can also be used to diagnose hypoglycemia.
Normal sugar levels of a person are 72 to 108 mg / dl at the time of fasting, and reach 140 mg / dl approximately two hours after eating. Usually symptoms of hypoglycemia will begin to feel someone if their blood is below 70 mg / dl.
When symptoms of hypoglycemia appear, immediately the consumption of foods containing high levels of sugar, such as fruit juice, candy, or soft drinks. In addition, you can also eat foods that contain carbohydrates can be converted into sugar quickly by the body, such as sandwiches, cereal, or biscuits.
After 15 minutes, check your sugar levels again. If it remains below 70 mg / dl, re-consume these sugar-boosting foods. Keep checking every 15 minutes until your sugar levels are above 70 mg / dl. Once the sugar levels return to normal, keep them stable by eating healthy foods or snacks.
If symptoms are severe or early treatment is ineffective so that your condition worsens, then immediately to a doctor or hospital. In the hospital, usually the doctor will directly give a glucagon injection or intravenous fluid containing glucose so that your blood levels back to normal. Be sure not to put any food or drink into the mouth when the patient is in an unconscious condition to avoid shortness of breath.
In addition to blood tests, the doctor will also examine the function of the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, or pancreas to see if your hypoglycemia occurs due to interference with these organs. If it turns out to be true, then the new hypoglycemia can heal once the underlying condition is treated. Basic treatment can be done with drugs, as well as with surgery, for example to remove the tumor in the pancreas.
In general, hypoglycemia needs to be handled quickly and appropriately to avoid complications such as loss of consciousness, seizures to death. Always consult the doctor of the type of treatment and what activities are right for you.
Prevention of hypoglycemia
Here are some tips to prevent the emergence of symptoms of hypoglycemia and tips for symptoms that appear hypoglycemia does not worsen:
- Eat according to the activities we do. It is important to maintain the availability of sugar needed by the body. Moreover for diabetics who will do sports, make sure you eat foods that contain enough carbohydrates and adjust the dose of insulin you use according to the doctor’s advice. For those who often experience symptoms of hypoglycemia at night is also recommended to consume snacks containing carbohydrates before bed, such as milk or biscuits. In addition, keep sugary foods near the bed in anticipation if symptoms of hypoglycemia interfere with your sleep.
- Limit your alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether if you can. This is because alcohol can affect the body’s ability to release glucose. If you have type 1 diabetes, it is advisable not to consume alcohol at all, or consume no more than 30 ml of alcohol per day. Make sure you instantly eat snacks afterwards.
- Monitor your sugar levels regularly. This is important to do every day to ensure blood sugar levels are within the normal range. If you often have hypoglycemia at night, check blood sugar levels at 3:00 or 4:00, when hypoglycemia is often felt by diabetics.
- Recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia that appear. Our knowledge of this can help to deal with hypoglycemia rapidly.
- Always prepare food or drug symptom relief wherever you are. One of the drugs that may be taught by doctors is the use of glucagon injections.
- Be careful when driving a vehicle. Make sure your condition is primed before driving. Avoid carrying a vehicle if it is in recovery condition or newly undergoing treatment within the last 48 hours. Stop the vehicle if you have a hypoglycemic attack and treat it as early as possible.