What does low blood sugar mean?

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is as dangerous as an elevated glucose level. When the critical indicators comes coma and death is possible. Most often this condition is a complication of diabetes mellitus, but can be observed in mild form and in a healthy person.

Reasons for

In most cases, low blood sugar is observed in people with diabetes. Why does it fall? The reasons may be as follows:

  • diet with a lot of simple carbohydrates;
  • taking some antidiabetic drugs( most often to hypoglycemia lead medications of the old generation);
  • alcohol intake without food;
  • taking certain drugs or alcohol concurrently with anti-diabetic medications;
  • skipping the next meal or its delay;
  • injection of too much insulin;
  • physical load.

People who do not have diabetes may suffer from low sugar, although this happens very rarely. The reasons are different, among them:

  • a large amount of alcohol consumed;
  • taking certain medications;
  • diseases of the liver, kidneys, adrenals, pancreas;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • great physical exertion;
  • strict diets, especially low-carbohydrate;
  • large breaks between meals( from 8 hours);
  • reduced sugar in the mornings after a night's sleep due to prolonged lack of nutrition;
  • a large amount of sweet in the diet.

Symptoms of

With low blood sugar, the state of health varies, depending on the level to which the reduction has occurred. The appearance of signs also depends on the rate of sugar reduction. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may appear if the drop in glucose occurred abruptly, but at the same time its level remained normal.

Easy reduction

The glucose level drops to 3.8 mmol / l and lower. In this case, the symptoms may be absent or be as follows:

  • weakness, trembling all over the body, chills;
  • increased sweating, cold sticky sweat, usually sweats head, especially neck from behind;
  • dizziness;
  • feeling hungry;
  • nausea;
  • is nervousness, anxiety, anxiety;
  • heartbeat( tachycardia);
  • tingling or numbness in the lips and fingers;
  • blurred vision.

To feel well and the symptoms have disappeared, it's enough to eat something sweet.

Mean decrease

The glucose level drops below 3 mmol / l. If there is a decrease in sugar in the blood of medium severity, the following symptoms appear:

We advise you to read: fruit, glucometer and syringe pen
How to quickly reduce blood sugar?
  • irritability, anger;
  • confusion, inability to concentrate;
  • disorientation in space;
  • muscle cramps;
  • slow and indistinct speech;
  • instability, unsteady gait, impaired coordination of movements;
  • drowsiness;
  • fatigue and weakness;
  • crying.

Severe hypoglycemia

If the glucose level drops to 1.9 mmol / L, the consequences may be as follows:

  • convulsions;
  • coma;
  • stroke;
  • low body temperature;
  • death.

A prolonged and significant decrease in sugar can lead to irreversible changes in the brain and cardiovascular diseases. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may be absent if a person takes some medications, which include beta-blockers.

Fatigue in a woman
At a low level of sugar in the blood, a person experiences weakness, fatigue, drowsiness

Lowering the sugar level can happen in a dream. As a rule, in the morning a person wakes up with a headache. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are the following:

  • intense sweating;
  • falling from the bed;
  • walking in a dream;
  • restless behavior;
  • nightmares;
  • unusual noises produced by humans.

All of the above symptoms in different people can appear at different levels of glucose in the blood. Such manifestations are also possible with normal sugar, if there is a sharp drop. With persistent hypoglycemia in people with type I and type II diabetes, symptoms can appear at 6-8 mmol / liter. The longer the course of diabetes, the less the body's ability to experience hypoglycemia at the initial stage.

Children are less sensitive to lowering blood sugar. When falling to 3.6-2.2 mmol / liter, any manifestations in the child may be absent, and appear only when decreasing to 2.6-2.2 mmol / liter. Adults begin to feel changes in their well-being, usually at 3.8 mmol / liter.


The diagnosis of "hypoglycemia" is raised if the analysis shows a low level of sugar in the blood, and there are symptoms that disappear after eating sweet food or a drink.

In addition, the doctor conducts a physical examination, asks about the state of health, lifestyle, medication intake, changes in body weight.

Treatment of

With a slight drop in sugar, a person can cope on his own: take a glucose solution, eat a piece of sugar, a spoonful of honey, a candy( caramel), drink a sweet juice and so on. It is not recommended to eat a sandwich with sausage or butter: firstly, the loaf is not quite suitable, and secondly, the fat will slow the absorption of glucose from the loaf. Also, do not eat cakes, chocolate, ice cream, pasta, cereals, fruit.

With a severe decrease in glucose, a person may lose consciousness. In this case, you need to call an ambulance. Usually, the patient is slowly injected with a solution of glucose intravenously or glucagon, which can be injected not only into the vein, but intramuscularly or subcutaneously. After half an hour, the level of glucose in the blood is determined.

Sugar and a glass of water
With mild hypoglycemia, one can improve self-health by eating a piece of sugar

In severe cases, hospitalization is possible. Treatment depends on the causes of hypoglycemia: an overdose of insulin or a hypoglycemic drug, kidney failure, liver disease, sepsis, etc. Depending on the cause of the fall in sugar, determine how long the glucose infusion will last. The speed of administration is also important. It should be such that the sugar level was at a level of 5-10 mmol / liter.

Treatment of hypoglycemia in diabetes

Treatment of hypoglycemia in diabetic patients is as follows:

  1. If sugar falls after eating simple carbohydrates, it is recommended to change the diet.
  2. It is recommended to eat small portions, but often.
  3. Eat before a dream anything from complex carbohydrates or protein foods.
  4. Consult a physician to change the dose of insulin if a drop in glucose is due to its intake.

Prevention of hypoglycemia in diabetes

To prevent a decrease in blood sugar in diabetes, the following rules should be adhered to:

  1. Compliance with the diet recommended by the doctor.
  2. Breaks with honey for meals - no more than 4 hours.
  3. Constant blood sugar control.
  4. Control of the dose of a hypoglycemic drug or insulin.
  5. Knowledge of the effects of medications.
  6. Always have sugar-containing foods.
Determination of blood glucose
An important preventive measure of hypoglycemia in diabetes mellitus - continuous monitoring of glucose level

Blood sugar should not be lowered in the following cases:

  • to the elderly;
  • for diabetic rhinopathy and risk of bleeding in the retina;
  • for heart and vascular diseases;
  • people who have no symptoms of low sugar.

These patients are recommended to constantly monitor the level of glucose and keep it at around 6-10 mmol / liter.

It is necessary to avoid a sharp decrease in glucose, especially people with uncompensated for a long time diabetes. In this case, the sugar is constantly growing, and if it is reduced quickly even up to 6 mmol / liter, symptoms characteristic of hypoglycemia may appear.

Treatment of hypoglycemia without diabetes

First you need to analyze the lifestyle and health status, try to determine what could become the cause of low sugar. It is best for this to consult a doctor who can conduct a survey. Perhaps, the diseases that caused hypoglycemia will be revealed.

When sugar falls in the blood and the appearance of characteristic symptoms you need to eat cookies, candy, sweet dried fruits, drink fruit juice, milk or a glucose tablet.

In conclusion

If you do not pay attention to mild and moderate hypoglycemia, it can go into a severe one, at which loss of consciousness occurs. Treatment should be started immediately. The drop in the glucose level to low values ​​is no less dangerous to life than high sugar. Hypoglycemia can lead to coma and death, so it is very important to monitor the level of glucose. It is necessary to warn about their illness of friends and colleagues, and also inform them about what measures they could take as first aid.