What is hypoglycaemia?
Hypoglycaemia is low blood sugar (glucose). The NHS suggests this is a level of 4 mmol/L or fewer, but ranges of when hypoglycaemia symptoms occur vary with every individual. Hypoglycaemia can bring on symptoms of shakiness, nervousness, sweating, and hunger. In more severe episodes, an individual may appear intoxicated–with slurred or incoherent speech, impaired motor function, and/or forgetfulness. If left untreated, hypoglycaemia can induce a coma.
Hypoglycaemic episodes can occur when people with diabetes take too much insulin without food, when they exert too much physical activity, or when they drink alcohol. If a person has had diabetes for a long time, they can also develop hypoglycaemic unawareness, or the inability to sense low blood sugar levels. Regularly monitoring blood glucose levels, taking insulin doses according to physician instructions, and not skipping meals can help prevent hypoglycaemic episodes.
Learn about what the differences are between hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia .