Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar (glucose) level is lower than normal. Glucose is your body's main energy source.
Hypoglycemia is often related to diabetes treatment. But other drugs and a variety of conditions — many rare — can cause low blood sugar in people who don't have diabetes
Hypoglycemia needs immediate treatment when blood sugar levels are low. For many people, a fasting blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or below should serve as an alert for hypoglycemia. But your numbers might be different. Ask your doctor.
Treatment involves quickly getting your blood sugar back to normal either with high-sugar foods or drinks or with medications. Long-term treatment requires identifying and treating the cause of hypoglycemia.
Early signs of low blood sugar include:
CAUSES OF LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) level falls too low. There are several reasons why this can happen; the most common is a side effect of drugs used to treat diabetes.
Possible causes, with diabetes
If you have diabetes, you might not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or you might be less responsive to it (type 2 diabetes). As a result, glucose tends to build up in the bloodstream and can reach dangerously high levels. To correct this problem, you might take insulin or other drugs to lower blood sugar levels.
But too much insulin or other diabetes medications may cause your blood sugar level to drop too low, causing hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can also occur if you eat less than usual after taking diabetes medication, or if you exercise more than you normally do.
Possible causes, without diabetes
Hypoglycemia in people without diabetes is much less common. Causes can include the following:
Long-term starvation, as can occur in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, can result in too little of substances your body needs to create glucose.
Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to:
Hypoglycemia can also contribute to the following: