What Is Considered a Dangerously Low Blood Sugar Level
Blood glucose, sometimes referred to as blood sugar, is essential for sustaining our body's healthy functioning. Our cells use it as their main source of energy, and it is controlled by a complex hormone balance. Blood sugar levels can be dangerously low as well as overly high, with both conditions increasing the risk of diabetes and other health issues. In this post, we'll look at what constitutes dangerously low blood sugar, as well as its causes, signs, and treatments.
Understanding Blood Sugar Levels:
Usually, blood sugar levels are expressed in millimoles per litre (mmol/L) or milligrammes per deciliter (mg/dL). Whether or not a person has eaten recently affects the typical range of blood sugar levels. A normal blood sugar level in a fasted condition (after not eating for at least eight hours) is typically between 70 and 99 mg/dL (3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L). After eating, blood sugar levels may momentarily increase, but for the majority of people, they typically remain below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L).
What Is Considered a Dangerously Low Blood Sugar Level:
The medical term for a critically low blood sugar level is hypoglycemia. When blood sugar levels fall outside of the normal range, typically below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L), it happens. The threshold for hypoglycemia, however, might change based on the person and their unique circumstances. Even if their levels are just a little bit higher than 70 mg/dL, some people may still suffer the symptoms of low blood sugar, while others may tolerate lower levels without any symptoms.
Causes of Dangerously Low Blood Sugar:
Numerous things can lead to hypoglycemia, but the most frequent one is:
a. Diabetes Medications: To lower their blood sugar levels, people with diabetes frequently take drugs like insulin or oral hypoglycemics. However, hypoglycemia can occur if the dosage is too high or if they skip a meal without modifying their prescription.
b. Excessive Physical Activity: Blood sugar levels might drop quickly after engaging in vigorous exercise without consuming enough carbs to make up for the lost energy.
c. Delayed or Missed Meals: When meals are skipped or delayed, the body is deprived of a consistent source of glucose, which causes blood sugar levels to fall.
d. Alcohol Consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can prevent the liver from releasing glucose into the bloodstream, which lowers blood sugar levels.
e. Certain Medical Conditions: Hypoglycemia can result from some medical diseases that impair the body's capacity to control blood sugar, such as adrenal insufficiency or specific types of tumours.
Symptoms of Dangerously Low Blood Sugar:
There are numerous signs of low blood sugar, all of which vary in severity. Some typical signs include:
a. Shakiness or trembling
c. Rapid heartbeat
e. Irritability or mood changes
f. Weakness or fatigue
h. Blurred vision
i. Dizziness or lightheadedness
If severe hypoglycemia is not treated right away, it can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and even death.
Addressing Dangerously Low Blood Sugar:
Rapid action is required to raise blood sugar levels to a safe range when they are dangerously low. Here are some actionable steps:
a. Consume Fast-Acting Carbohydrates: Consuming foods or drinks high in glucose can help fast elevate blood sugar levels. Fruit juice, soda, glucose pills, and hard sweets are a few examples.
b. Monitor Blood Sugar: Regular blood sugar checks can help prevent hypoglycemia and identify it early if it does happen, especially for people with diabetes.
c. Eat Regular Meals and Snacks: Blood sugar swings can be avoided by keeping a regular eating schedule with well-balanced meals and snacks.
d. Adjust Medications: Working closely with a healthcare professional to modify dosages as necessary based on exercise levels, food changes, and other factors is essential for anyone on diabetes meds.
e. Alcohol Consumption: When drinking alcohol, it's crucial to do so moderately and have a strategy in place to control blood sugar levels.
f. Medical Alert Bracelet: Wearing a medical alert bracelet can help those who are at risk of developing severe hypoglycemia, such as diabetics, by alerting others to their situation in an emergency.
When to Seek Medical Attention:
It's crucial to get medical help if blood sugar levels fall dangerously low and symptoms are severe or persistent. The infusion of intravenous (IV) glucose or the hormone glucagon, which increases blood sugar levels, may be necessary for severe hypoglycemia.
Blood sugar control is essential for general health and wellbeing. Hypoglycemia, or extremely low blood sugar, can have catastrophic repercussions ranging from minor discomfort to life-threatening situations. People with diabetes and those who are at risk of hypoglycemia must be informed of the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments for low blood sugar levels. Working closely with medical professionals and leading a healthy lifestyle can greatly lower the chance of dangerously low blood sugar and the difficulties that go along with it.