Low Blood Sugar: Health Risks, Causes, And How To Prevent It

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Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we're sleeping. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels (also called blood sugar levels) drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia needs immediate treatment when blood sugar levels are low. For many people, a blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per litre (mmol/L), or below should serve as an alert for hypoglycemia. But your numbers might be different. Ask your doctor.

Hypoglycemia symptoms include Confusion, abnormal behaviour or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks, visual disturbances, such as blurred vision, seizures, loss of consciousness.

Possible Causes of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia in people without diabetes is much less common. Causes can include the following:

Medications; Taking someone else's oral diabetes medication accidentally is a possible cause of hypoglycemia. 

Excessive alcohol drinking; Drinking heavily without eating can block your liver from releasing stored glucose into your bloodstream, causing hypoglycemia.

Some critical illnesses; Severe liver illnesses such as severe hepatitis or cirrhosis can cause hypoglycemia. 


If you don't have diabetes, for recurring episodes of hypoglycemia, eating frequent small meals throughout the day is a stopgap measure to help prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too low. However, this approach isn't advised as a long-term strategy. Work with your doctor to identify and treat the cause of hypoglycemia. Also, see your doctor if you have diabetes and you have hypoglycemia symptoms.

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