HypoglycemiaBy: Morgan and Alicia



Definition: Hypoglycemia is when abnormally low blood sugar levels occur as the effect of excessive insulin or an inadequate diet.

The word hypoglycemia literally means "under sweet blood". Diabetes is caused from hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is the exact opposite of hypoglycemia, meaning your sugar levels are too high. Hypoglycemia occurs when complications with diabetes mellitus or oral medications arise. When there is not enough sugar to fuel for the brain, hypoglycemia takes control.

In non-diabetic persons, hypoglycemia is less likely to occur. Although when it does, it is an effect of sugar in the body being used up too quickly or when glucose is released into the bloodstream not quickly enough.
In diabetic persons, hypoglycemia is more common. With diabetics, hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin or diabetic medicine is consumed, when certain amounts of food are consumed, or when exercise is suddenly increased without an increase of your food intake.
Hypoglycemia is also common in newborns when their sugar levels are too low. If the mother of the newborn is has diabetes, the newborn is likely to be diagnosed with severe hypoglycemia.
Lastly, hypoglycemia can also occur due to alcohol intake and liver disease.

Another form of hypogIycemia, known as idiopathic hypoglycemia, has no known cause but is a type of hypoglycemia that non-diabetic persons are diagnosed with.


As stated above, hypoglycemia is when you have low blood sugar. Blood sugar is controlled by two hormones in the pancreas. One hormone that controls blood sugar is insulin. Insulin has a great effect on the metabolism. Insulin causes cells to take sugar from the blood and store them as glycogen and stops use of fat as an energy source. Another hormone that controls blood sugar is glucagon. Glucagon is an affect of carbohydrate metabolism. Glucagon is the opposite of insulin, it is released when the blood sugar gets too low. Therefore, the liver turns glycogen into sugar and the sugar is released it into the blood stream making the blood sugar level raise. This prevents hypoglycemia.


Adrenaline also has a great affect on the blood sugar levels. Adrenaline uses up the sugar in the blood stream. When adrenaline uses this sugar, it is being lost, ultimately causing low blood sugar.


  • Cold sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Discomfort
  • Convulsions
  • Headache
  • Coma
  • Hunger
  • Double vision
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Memory Loss
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • Fainting
  • Paleness
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia


Treatments differ depend on the cause. Diabetics who use medication to lower the blood sugar levels can consume a snack or drink which contains sugar.
Persons with severe hypoglycemia are treated with glucose injections or hormone glucagon. A change in diet or a balanced diet may also be recommended from a doctor.


In order to prevent hypogylcemia from occurring, follow these steps:

1) Eat a well balanced diet
2) Eat small meals, often
3) Keep a drink or snack nearby at all times
4) Avoid sugary foods on an empty stomach
5) Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach
6) Stray away from drinks containing caffeine
7) Try to maintain body weight
8) Steer clear of smoking