Low blood sugar is also called a hypo. The official term is: hypoglycemia. When your blood sugar gets too low, your body responds to it by making you feel miserable. However, low blood sugar can feel different for everyone.
What are the symptoms of low blood sugar?
When your blood sugar is too low, your body kicks into overdrive. A lot of adrenaline is suddenly released, and this can cause you to sweat and shake. But low blood sugar also reduces your brain’s ability to function. This is because your brain needs glucose. For example, if your blood sugar gets too low, you may start to see blurry, suffer from dizziness, or severe fatigue. You may also find that you can’t concentrate as well, that you sweat a lot, start shaking, experience mood swings, or a feeling of hunger. And in severe cases of low blood sugar, you can even go into a coma.
When do you have low blood sugar?
A person has low blood sugar (a hypo) when his or her blood glucose has fallen below 3.5 – 4 mmol/l. Nevertheless, not everyone suffers from it at that point. And others suffer already when the blood sugar is even higher. Some people even pass out from nowhere because their bodies do not respond to the release of adrenaline. And because those people don’t start shaking or sweating first, they suddenly and totally unexpectedly lose consciousness.
What can cause low blood sugar?
Certain diabetes medications can cause a hypo. For example, if you are taking insulin, sulfonylurea derivatives, or meglitinides, it can result in a hypo.
But there are other situations that can cause a hypo. For example, the consumption of alcoholic beverages. But eating too late, or eating too few carbohydrates, without adjusting your medication, can also be a cause. Your blood sugar can also get too low if you do extra exercise during the day, if you lose some weight, or if you take too many blood sugar lowering medications.