Hypoglycemia Symptoms



Hypoglycemia symptoms usually show up fast, in different stages of severity. This varies from person to person. There is no specific order in which the symptoms appear, if even transpiring at all. Symptoms may be similar from episode to episode, but could vary due to previous incidences, the speed at which the sugar levels are dropping and the severity of the hypoglycemia.


Hypoglycemia Symptoms


Symptoms by severity

Severe hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose level becomes so low that you are unable to treat yourself and need help from another person. Severe hypoglycemia is dangerous and needs to be treated right away.

Mild-to-Moderate

  • Shaky
  • Jittery
  • Anxiety
  • Crying
  • Nervousness
  • Sweaty
  • Hungry
  • Stomach rumbling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Double vision
  • "Glassy" look
  • Staring
  • Sleepy
  • Tired
  • Daydreaming
  • Dizzy
  • Lightheaded
  • Confused
  • Disoriented
  • Pale
  • Coldness
  • Clamminess
  • Feeling numb
  • Pins and needles


  • Uncoordinated
  • Irritable
  • Negativism
  • Argumentative
  • Belligerence
  • Combativeness
  • Rage
  • Changed behavior
  • Personality change
  • Emotional liability
  • Moodiness
  • Depression
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Lethargy
  • Apathy
  • Impaired judgement
  • Confusion
  • Amnesia
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Automatic behavior
  • Intoxicated behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Tardiness

Severe

  • Unable to eat or drink
  • Seizures
  • Delirium
  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness
  • Incoordination
  • General motor deficit
  • Stupor
  • Coma
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Paralysis



Symptom Triggers


Hypoglycemia symptoms appear from two sources.

  • Counter-regulatory hormones, like epinephrine, adrenaline and glucagon - triggered by the falling blood glucose levels.
  • Neuroglycopenia, shortage of glucose in the brain - alters brain function and behavior.

Hormonal Manifestations       

     Adrenergic

  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Pallor
  • Coldness
  • Clamminess
  • Dilated pupils
  • Feeling numb
  • Pins and needles
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

      Glucagon

  • Hunger
  • Stomach rumbling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Headache

Neuroglycopenia Manifestations

  • Impaired judgement
  • Delirium
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Depression
  • Crying
  • Negativism
  • Irritability
  • Belligerence
  • Combativeness
  • Rage
  • Personality change
  • Emotional lability
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Apathy
  • Lethargy
  • Daydreaming
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleepy
  • Confusion
  • Amnesia
  • Dizziness
  • Delirium
  • Staring
  • "Glassy" look
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Automatic behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Incoordination
  • Intoxicated behavior
  • General motor deficit
  • Paralysis
  • Tardiness
  • Headache
  • Stupor
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Seizures




Other Hypoglycemia Symptoms

Hypoglycemia symptoms can manifest during sleeping, for example:

  • Having nightmares
  • Crying out while sleeping
  • Damp hair, bed sheets and/or clothes from perspiration
  • Waking up feeling tired, irritable and/or confused

These might not necessarily be hypoglycemic symptoms, but could be signs of hypoglycemia during the night


For Contemplation


Enough episodes of hypoglycemia can lead to hypoglycemia unawareness. Test regularly and test when any signs or symptoms manifest. Take corrective action as soon as it occurs.

Make those around you (co-workers, friends and family) aware of your disease. They must know what the hypoglycemic symptoms are, how to recognize it and what to do about it when you are unable to treat yourself.

Hypoglycemia severe enough to cause seizure or unconsciousness can be reversed without obvious brain damage. However, permanent brain damage or death can occur in a single episode with prolonged, untreated unconsciousness. Treat all severe episodes of hypoglycemia as if fatal.

Find much more detail on preventing, recognising and coping with hypoglycemia in Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution



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