Hypoglycemia, also called low blood-glucose occurs when glucose level drops below required levels. Glucose, an important source of energy for the body, comes from food (carbohydrates).
What is Hypoglycemia?
After a meal, carbohydrate is broken down to glucose, absorbed into the bloodstream, and carried to the body’s cells. On seeing, the glucose level in blood, pancreas secret’s insulin (a hormone) with respect to the level of glucose in blood and help the cell to consume glucose for its energy.
Excess of glucose from food is converts into glycogen or fat and stored in liver or fat cells. The body can use glycogen for energy between meals. Fat can also be used for energy. When blood-glucose begins to fall, glucagons (another hormone) made by the pancreas, signals the liver to break down glycogen and release glucose into the bloodstream. Glucose level in blood will then rise toward a normal level. In some people with diabetes, these glucagons are impaired and other hormones such as epinephrine (or adrenaline) may raise the blood-glucose level. However, if the diabetes is treated with insulin or pills, then this helps to increase the insulin production, thus the glucose levels maintain in the normal range without any rise.
Hypoglycemia can happen suddenly. It is usually mild and can be treating quickly and easily by eating or drinking a small amount of glucose-rich food. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can get worse and cause confusion, clumsiness, or fainting. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
Hypoglycemia can also result, from other medications or diseases, hormone or enzyme deficiencies, or tumors.