When the blood-glucose drop to below normal levels, hypoglycemia is the result. Though uncommon, people who do not have diabetes can have hypoglycemia, caused by medication, diseases, tumours, or hormone/enzyme deficiencies. The symptoms are similar to diabetes-related hypoglycemia, which may include hunger, shakiness, sweating, light-headedness, sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, speaking difficulties, and weakness.
There are two types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia:
Relief from the symptoms after eating and a blood-glucose level below 70 mg/dL at the time of the symptoms constitutes a confirmation of reactive hypoglycemia.
Certain causes, though uncommon
Fasting hypoglycemia is diagnosed when the blood-glucose level is below 50 mg/dL after an overnight fast, between meals, or after physical activity.
Each underlying problem requires a different treatment approach, and is discussed with the following respective causes.
Some medications used to treat diabetes are the most common cause of hypoglycemia.
Other medications that can cause fasting hypoglycemia
Treatment would be to stop the medication or changing the dose
Alcohol interferes with the liver's function to raise blood glucose.
Hypoglycemia caused by excessive drinking is very serious and can even be fatal.
The treatment would be to cease alcohol use/abuse.
Illnesses that can cause fasting hypoglycemia
Treatment would be to address the illness and/or any other underlying cause.
Insulin-producing tumours in the pancreas, called insulinomas, raise the insulin levels too high in relation to the blood-glucose level.
Insulinomas are rare and do not normally spread to other parts of the body.
Short-term treatment would be to correct the hypoglycemia. Surgically removing the tumour is the long-term solution.
Usually occurring in very young children, but rarely in adults.
Shortages of hormones that can cause fasting hypoglycemia
Laboratory tests for hormone levels will confirm a diagnosis and establish a treatment regimen.
The treatment is with hormonal replacement therapy.
Fasting hypoglycemia in children
Hypoglycemia seldom happen to children, but might occur due to
In reactive hypoglycemia, symptoms occur within four hours of eating. Treatment for reactive hypoglycemia is to follow a healthy eating plan recommended by a registered dietitian.
Fasting hypoglycemia can be caused by certain medications, critical illnesses, hereditary enzyme or hormonal deficiencies, and some kinds of tumours.
Treatment targets the underlying cause.
Please consult the services of your
doctor and/or other members of your health care team
before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.
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