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Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, occurs when the body cannot access enough glucose to keep it energized. This problem is most frequently associated with diabetes, but it can also be related to other conditions. Many people with low blood sugar are advised to eat several light meals per day rather than three larger ones. This condition can affect all ages from the very young to the very old.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include a pale complexion, anxiety, shakiness, extreme hunger, sweating, heart palpitations, headache, confusion, fatigue and weakness, clumsy or jerky movements, sudden moodiness or behavior changes, tingling sensations around the mouth, irritability, blurred or double vision, and seizures or loss of consciousness in severe cases. The symptoms of low blood sugar are similar to other medical problems, so it is best to get it diagnosed correctly.

Causes

Besides diabetes, low blood sugar can occur as a side effect of some medications. Ingesting excessive amounts of alcohol, prolonged fasting or long periods of strenuous exercise can also cause it. Certain conditions like some cancers, anorexia, diarrhea, liver disease, heart problems, kidney failure, insulinoma and hormonal deficiencies may also cause hypoglycemia. This condition can also occur in early pregnancy or be due to a problem with the metabolism.

Cautions

If you think you have low blood sugar, see a medical provider for diagnosis. The condition may be a symptom of a more serious condition. Some medications mask symptoms which can lead to additional complications. These medications include beta-blockers, which are often used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions.

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