What is hypoglycaemia?

Hypoglycaemia is a drop in blood sugar (glucose) below normal. As glucose (sugar) is the energy that the brain uses exclusively, the body has a complex mechanism of receptors in the brain and periphery that detect any drop in blood sugar, even to normal levels, in order to prevent the sugar from falling to dangerous levels.


What are the symptoms of hypoglycaemia?

The symptoms of hypoglycaemia are usually:

  • Stress
  • Tremor
  • Tachycardia
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Aggression, Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Weakness, Fatigue,
  • Blurred Vision
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

What are the causes of hypoglycaemia?

The most common causes of hypoglycaemia are:

  • Diabetes
  • Medicines
  • Starvation
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Chronic kidney Failure
  • Severe illness
  • Autoimmune Hypoglycaemia
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Adrenal failure
  • Growth Hormone Deficiency
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Nesidioblastosis
  • Insulinoma

How is hypoglycaemia diagnosed?

The diagnosis of hypoglycaemia and the investigation of the cause of hypoglycaemia are made via history, physical examination, hormonal testing with special endocrine tests, imaging studies, some of which are invasive. Diagnosis requires a specialised centre and staff with experience and expertise in both the investigation and the interpretation of the results.


What are the complications of hypoglycaemia?

  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Falls
  • Injuries/fracture due to falls
  • Car accidents
  • Increased risk of dementia

What is the treatment of hypoglycaemia?

The immediate treatment of hypoglycaemia consists of rapid intake of

  • Oral Carbohydrates
  • Intravenous glucose
  • Glucagon injection

The cause/disease that causes hypoglycaemia should then be investigated and treated.