Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below normal.

Your body needs glucose to have enough energy for your body and brain and comes from what we eat and drink. After you eat, your blood absorbs glucose. If you eat more sugar than your body needs, your muscles, and liver store the extra. When your blood sugar begins to fall, a hormone (insulin) tells your liver to release glucose. In most people, this raises blood sugar. If it doesn’t, you have hypoglycemia, and your blood sugar can be become low and you may not feel well and experience psychological consequences such as depression and anxiety attacks.

In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia is often a side effect of diabetes medicine. However, you can also have low blood sugar without having diabetes (non-diabetic hypoglycemia). Causes include certain medicines, or diseases or hormone or enzyme deficiencies.

What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?

Symptoms of hypoglycemia can come on quickly and vary from person to person. You may have one or more mild-to-moderate symptoms but some people don’t feel any symptoms at all. Signs of low blood sugar may include:

  • hunger
  • shakiness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • difficulty speaking
  • feeling anxious or weak

How is hypoglycemia treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your low blood sugar and it is important to discuss with your health care provider whether you need to change medications. A natural diet containing high density nutrients in protein may also be helpful in glucose regulation. Read more here about the Hypoglycemic Diet.

Please remember this information is intended for educational purposes only and should not substitute medical advice from a healthcare provider.