Advertisement
 

doctorslounge.com

 
Powered by
Careerbuilder

 

                    Home  |  Forums  |  Humor  |  Advertising  |  Contact
   Ask a Doctor

   News via RSS

   Newsletter

   Endocrinology

   News

 

 Conferences


   CME

   Forum Archives

   Diseases

   Symptoms

   Labs

   Procedures

   Drugs

   Links
   Specialties

   Cardiology

   Dermatology

   Endocrinology

   Fertility

   Gastroenterology

   Gynecology

   Hematology

   Infections

   Nephrology

   Neurology

   Oncology

   Orthopedics

   Pediatrics

   Pharmacy

   Primary Care

   Psychiatry

   Pulmonology

   Rheumatology

   Surgery

   Urology

   Other Sections

   Membership

   Research Tools

   Medical Tutorials

   Medical Software

 

 Headlines:

 
 

Back to Endocrine Diseases

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a pathologic state that is caused by neuronal glucose deprivation.
Brain metabolism depends primarily on glucose as energetic material. When blood glucose levels decrease a group of homeostatic mechanisms come into play as a reaction to that phenomenon. This syndrome is called hypoglycemia.

Causes of hypoglycemia

The main cause of hypoglycemia is intentional or accidental overdose of antidiabetic medication, insulin or oral drugs, or failure to eat as planned after taking those medications.

Another serious cause of hypoglycemia is the 'insulinoma', a pancreatic tumor that is derived from B (beta) cells of islets of Langerhans. These tumours are hormonally active, producing and releasing insulin into bloodstream. C-peptide levels can distinguish between abnormally high insulin levels that result from overproduction, and those caused by administration of exogenous insulin.

Hypoglycemia is usually divided into "reactive hypoglycemia" and "functional hypoglycemia." Reactive hypoglycemia refers to hypoglycemia caused by external influences, like diet and medication use. This type is more amenable to management or cure. Functional hypoglycemia refers to hypoglycemia caused by a malfunction, possibly metabolic, within the sufferer. This type is harder to manage. Functional hypoglycemia is caused by an overproduction of insulin, or a malfunctioning of the body's insulin-management system (insulin resistance. Hypoglycemia is also known as idiopathic if no physical cause for the bloodsugar drop can be discerned.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia

Generally they can be divided into effects on the central nervous system and those caused by release of antagonistic hormones. It should be said that severity of hypoglycemic symptoms depends on level of blood glucose drop, speed of the drop and overall health status.

  • impaired consciousness and cognitive properties
  • overwhelming fatigue
  • tremor
  • constant hunger
  • sweats
  • nervousness, anxiety
  • restlessness
  • fear of dying
  • confusion, delirium
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • headaches
  • muscle pain
  • memory loss

In severe cases the symptoms can resemble various mental illnesses; when left untreated the condition can even induce coma.

Treatment

If the patient is conscious, eating or drinking something that is rich in simple carbohydrates. If not, intravenous injection of glucose and/or injection of glucagon that is a hormone with antagonistic properties counteracting the hypoglycemic state. When injecting anything to a diabetic patient under a state of Hypoglycemia, one must be careful not to inject insulin accidentally, under the typical confusion this type of emergency brings. This would cause the diabetic person immediate death.

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a doctor or a nurse?

Do you want to join the Doctors Lounge online medical community?

Participate in editorial activities (publish, peer review, edit) and give a helping hand to the largest online community of patients.

Click on the link below to see the requirements:

Doctors Lounge Membership Application


previous.gif (72x17 -- 347 bytes) next.gif (72x17 -- 277 bytes)
 

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 



We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the HON Foundation. Click to verify.
We subscribe to the HONcode principles. Verify here

Privacy Statement | Terms & Conditions | Editorial Board | About us
Copyright 2001-2012 DoctorsLounge. All rights reserved.