I have finally remembered to look up symptoms of hypoglycemia. I don’t have diabetes, just hypoglycemia. I didn’t realize that I was experiencing the mild symptoms on a regular basis, multiple times a day, until I saw a dietician. I’m copying and pasting this here to help me remember and to put it someplace I can easily find it again.
Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) in People Without Diabetes
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is most common in people with diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and need more information about low blood sugar, see Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes.
Your body uses hormones to keep your blood sugar in a normal range. But a long-term health problem that needs treatment can cause blood sugar to drop too low.
People with diabetes often deal with low blood sugar. It’s not as common in people who don’t have diabetes, but it can happen. It could be caused by:
* Medicines such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (used to treat depression), quinine sulfate (used to treat malaria), and aspirin.
* Drinking too much alcohol.
* Diseases that affect the pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, or other organs.
* Metabolism problems that run in families.
* Problems caused by stomach surgery.
The symptoms of hypoglycemia may vary from episode to episode because low blood sugar can be mild, moderate, or severe. Increasingly severe symptoms appear as the blood sugar level falls.
In healthy people, fasting blood sugar levels are usually between 70 and 99 mg/dL.
Symptoms of mild low blood sugar usually develop when blood sugar falls below 70 mg/dL and may include:
* Extreme hunger.
* Feeling nervous or jittery.
* Cold, clammy, wet skin and/or excessive sweating not caused by exercise.
* A rapid heartbeat (tachycardia).
* Numbness or tingling of the fingertips or lips.
If blood sugar continues to fall, the nervous system will be affected. Symptoms usually develop when the blood sugar falls below 55 mg/dL and may include:
* Mood changes, such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness, or anger.
* Confusion, difficulty in thinking, or inability to concentrate.
* Blurred vision, dizziness, or headache.
* Weakness, lack of energy.
* Poor coordination.
* Difficulty walking or talking, such as staggering or slurred speech.
* Fatigue, lethargy, or drowsiness.
The symptoms of severe low blood sugar develop when blood sugar falls below 35-40 mg/dL and may include:
* Seizures or convulsions.
* Loss of consciousness, coma.
* Low body temperature (hypothermia).
Prolonged severe hypoglycemia can cause irreversible brain damage and heart problems, especially in people who already have coronary artery disease. If emergency medical treatment is not provided, severe hypoglycemia can be fatal.
Some medicines may mask symptoms of low blood sugar, including beta-blockers, which are often used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure.
Different people may develop symptoms of mild, moderate, or severe hypoglycemia at varying blood sugar levels. Although the blood sugar levels listed above are typical, they may not apply to everyone. If your blood sugar drops suddenly, you may develop symptoms even if your level is in the normal range.