Hypoglycemia = Extremely low blood sugar levels
Diabetes mellitus is a condition where the body fails to produce enough insulin. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and if it is not in high enough concentrations, blood sugar levels can increase, causing a condition called hyperglycaemia.
To combat this insulin-deficiency, diabetics control the types and amounts of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) they eat, as well as take insulin injections or tablets. The insulin levels in the body must be kept within narrow limits, so too much insulin, or not enough sugar will lead to hypoglycaemia. As you can see, its a balancing act.
Diabetic emergency when blood glucose levels become too low
When blood sugar levels drop too low, you may recognise the following symptoms:
- muscle tremors
- pale face
- strong pulse
- shallow breathing
A diabetic suffering these symptoms needs to be given sugar and be aware that hypoglycaemia comes on very rapidly. This will raise blood glucose levels quickly, and prevent a more serious condition. If the condition improves, the diabetic can be allowed to rest. However, if symptoms persist, you should call an ambulance.
If the diabetic emergency progresses it can lead to:
- loss of consciousness