Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by abnormally low levels of glucose in the blood. It is not a disease, but it is a sign of an underlying health problem. It is possible for an individual to feel nauseous from hunger, and most of the time, it is of no concern. However, hypoglycemia can eventually develop into a chronic condition. Hypoglycemia can be corrected by having high-sugar foods to bring back the levels of glucose in blood.
It is most commonly seen in people with diabetes as a side effect of the treatment to regulate blood sugar levels. If the amount of insulin injected is higher, when compared to the level of blood sugar, hypoglycemia may be a result. It may also be caused if the person does not eat enough food after taking insulin for diabetes. Extra physical activity, like exercise, can trigger hypoglycemia in people who are on diabetes medication. If you have diabetes, it is imperative to plan the best possible dosage after discussion with a physician.
Although rare, hypoglycemia may occur in other people without diabetes.
Some of the common causes for low blood sugar level include:
- Certain medications – Medicines, like quinine (drug for malaria), salicylates (used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases), and propronanolol (hypertension medication), are known to trigger low blood sugar levels. If a healthy person happens to take diabetes medication unknowingly, hypoglycemia will be the result.
- Alcohol abuse – Excessive drinking may result in low blood sugar levels, as liver blocks the release of glucose into the blood stream.
- Liver diseases – Certain liver diseases, like drug-induced hepatitis, lead to hypoglycemia.
- Kidney problems – Many kidney diseases affect the excretion of medications, and this leads to low blood glucose levels.
- Starvation – Several eating disorders can result in hypoglycemia.
- Deficiencies in endocrine – Disorders in the adrenal glands and pituitary glands affect the production of hormones that regulate the levels of glucose.
- Excessive production of insulin – Pancreatic tumors may lead to overproduction of insulin, which lowers the blood glucose levels significantly. In some cases, the tumors may utilize excess quantities of glucose from the blood, ultimately lowering it significantly.
- Tumors – Tumors in other parts of the body may also lead to low blood sugar levels.