Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels fall dangerously low. It is more common in people with diabetes, but it can affect others.
In this article, we explore the health conditions beyond diabetes that can cause hypoglycemia. We also look at treatment options and the dietary changes that can help prevent low blood sugar.
What is hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Severe hypoglycemia can be life-threatening if a person does not receive treatment. Treatments focus on returning blood sugar to safe levels.
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the body’s primary source of energy. When levels fall too low, the body does not have enough energy to function fully. This is called hypoglycemia.
Insulin helps the body’s cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. A person with diabetes may take insulin shots because their body is resistant to insulin or because it does not produce enough.
In people with diabetes, taking too much insulin can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. Not eating enough or exercising too much after taking insulin can have the same effect.