Blood sugar or blood glucose is a term that many people are familiar with. But what exactly is low blood sugar?
When you have low blood sugar, there are several things you can suffer from. For example, you may experience heart palpitations, a lot of sweating or feel lightheaded. Some people experience tingling in the hands or feet, for example. Other people feel drowsy. Fainting can also happen when your blood sugar is too low. In very severe cases, a person can even go into a coma, but this usually only occurs in diabetics who inject their own insulin and don't do it the right way.
What causes low blood sugar?
Low blood sugar can occur when you eat too little. It can also occur when you eat too late, for example. There are also people who get low blood sugar from exercising too much. Sometimes, when combined with too much exercise and not enough food, it is also quite possible for your blood sugar level to drop. People who have diabetes can get low blood sugar by taking too much insulin. Also, the use of other medications is often a reason for low blood sugar. Finally, it is wise to pay close attention when drinking alcohol. When you drink too much alcohol, your blood sugar level can also drop.
Contact a doctor?
It is usually not necessary to contact a doctor. However, you should do this when you also have a fever or are nauseous. Also, if you have diarrhea or need to vomit it is best to seek advice from a doctor. If you feel dull or lightheaded and if you already have diabetes, it is also wise to consult with your doctor.
Blood sugar levels
Blood sugar is the amount of glucose or grape sugar (a carbohydrate) in the blood. Keeping blood sugar levels within normal limits is of great importance, because the body's cells largely depend on an adequate supply of this glucose for their energy. In particular, the brain has no glucose stores and low blood sugar can therefore lead to unconsciousness.
Several hormones are involved in maintaining blood sugar levels. If the level threatens to become too low, hormones from the adrenal glands stimulate an increased release of glucose from the liver. If the level threatens to become too high (for example, right after a meal rich in carbohydrates), insulin from the pancreas ensures that this too is compensated.
A disease in which the regulation of blood sugar levels is disturbed is diabetes (diabetes mellitus). In this case, there is a lack of insulin.