Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when the glucose level in your blood drops below 70 mg/dL. Its causes range from medical conditions such as diabetes, to side effects from certain medications, to prolonged fasting or strenuous exercise.
Mild hypoglycemia tends to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea or extreme hunger, confusion, shaking or trembling, or cold sweats. It can impair your ability to operate a vehicle. Left untreated, it can turn into moderate hypoglycemia.
Moderate hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels drop below 55 mg/dL. Dizziness becomes more pronounced, and can lead to fainting. Confusion may lead to an inability to care for yourself and bring up your blood sugar count. Blurred vision and poor coordination make it difficult to move, especially to operate a vehicle or machinery. Left untreated, it becomes severe hypoglycemia.
Severe hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels drop below 35 to 40 mg/dL. The effects of blood sugar this low include seizures or convulsions, hypothermia, coma and even death.
When hypoglycemia is left untreated, serious medical conditions can result. You can end up with irreversible brain damage or heart problems. Pregnant women can have defects in their unborn children.
Carefully monitor blood sugar levels. Take medications as prescribed by your physician. Eat regular, appropriate meals throughout the day, working with a nutritionist if necessary. Treat early symptoms of hypoglycemia immediately to avoid developing worse effects.