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Can you get Hypoglycaemia Without Being Diabetic?

Dr. Pankaj Mandale 109 Views
Updated: 12 Jun 2024
Published: 12 Jun 2024

Hypoglycaemia occurs when blood sugar levels get dangerously low. It most commonly affects diabetics, but it can also affect non-diabetics. Hypoglycaemia occurs when blood sugar levels fall below 70 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL). Severe hypoglycaemia can be life-threatening if not treated. Treatments aim to return blood sugar levels to normal.

Blood sugar (glucose) is the body's principal source of energy. When levels dip too low, the body lacks enough energy to function properly. This condition is known as hypoglycaemia. Insulin helps the body's cells absorb sugar from the bloodstream. A person with diabetes may require insulin shots because their body is insulin resistant or produces insufficient insulin.

Can you Have Hypoglycaemia Without Diabetes?

Hypoglycaemia can occur when there is insufficient sugar in your blood or when your body is unable to regulate your blood sugar levels. This happens when your level falls below 55 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) without diabetes.

Low blood sugar indicates that your body lacks the necessary energy to function and carry out its activities. Non-diabetic hypoglycaemia can be caused by taking certain medications, drinking excessively, skipping meals or having an underlying health problem.

Food provides your body with glucose, which is its primary energy source. As a result, you may experience a drop in blood sugar after going several hours without eating or if you do not eat before exercising. In both circumstances, eating can help you keep your blood sugar stable.

Symptoms of Hypoglycaemia

Severe low blood sugar that causes unconsciousness is called hypoglycaemic or insulin shock. If you experience any of the symptoms, then immediately consult a doctor-

  • Dizziness
  • Tingling/numbness in the lips, cheeks or tongue
  • Intense hunger
  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors
  • Blurred vision
  • Personality changes
  • Pale complexion

Causes of Hypoglycaemia

Drinking too Much Alcohol:

The pancreas produces glucagon when a person's blood sugar levels are low. Glucagon signals the liver to break down stored energy. The liver releases glucose back into the bloodstream to restore normal blood sugar levels. Drinking too much alcohol can impair the liver's function. It may no longer be able to release glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in transient hypoglycaemia.

Anorexia:

A person who has anorexia may not be eating enough to allow their body to manufacture enough glucose.

Hepatitis:

Hepatitis is an inflammatory disorder of the liver. Hepatitis can impair liver function. If the liver cannot manufacture or release enough glucose, then blood sugar levels might drop, resulting in hypoglycaemia.

Adrenal and Pituitary Gland Problems:

Problems with the pituitary gland or adrenal glands can lead to hypoglycaemia because they influence the hormones that control glucose production.

Kidney Issues:

The kidneys assist the body in processing medication and eliminating waste. If a person's kidneys are not working properly, medicines might accumulate in their bloodstream. This type of accumulation can alter blood sugar levels, resulting in hypoglycaemia.

Pancreatic Tumour:

Although pancreatic tumours are uncommon, having one might cause hypoglycaemia. Tumours in the pancreas can cause the organ to produce excessive insulin, which can cause blood sugar levels to fall.

Treatment

Non-diabetic hypoglycaemia is treated by addressing the source, maintaining blood sugar constant throughout the day and quickly restoring blood sugar levels when they fall too low.

Treating Sudden Dips

When your blood sugar drops and you need to raise it quickly, you may be advised to:

  • Consume a 15-gram serving of carbs, such as hard candies, dried fruit or juice.
  • Have a sports drink or snack after a strenuous workout on an empty stomach (no additional medical treatment is needed).
  • Glucagon is a prescription drug that is either inhaled through the nose or injected (recommended in severe instances).

Conclusion

Non-diabetic hypoglycaemia is a rare condition that is primarily induced by certain medications. However, it could also be the result of another reason.

Symptoms might vary from moderate to severe. Your doctor may prescribe particular blood tests to diagnose this problem. Treatment options vary, including medication adjustments, dietary changes and prescribed medications. Non-diabetic hypoglycaemia, if left untreated, can cause serious side effects and consequences, however, there are things you can take to help prevent it.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can you have hypoglycaemia without being diabetic?

    Answer:- Hypoglycaemia can occur when your blood sugar level is too low, or your body is unable to maintain it. 

  2. Can healthy persons experience blood sugar drops?

    Answer:- You may have experienced the effects of low blood sugar when you were starving or exercised vigorously without eating enough. Almost everyone has experienced this at some point. It's simple to fix and typically nothing to worry about.

  3. Can hypoglycaemia resolve itself?

    Answer:- Your body can cure typically reactive hypoglycaemia, although eating carbohydrates may help your symptoms subside faster.

  4. Why would blood sugar drop if you do not have diabetes?

    Answer:- Severe liver disorders, including hepatitis or cirrhosis, severe infections, kidney disease, or advanced heart disease, can cause hypoglycaemia.

  5. Can anxiety cause hypoglycaemia?

    Answer:- While hypoglycaemia symptoms are caused by bodily stress, they require treatment and prevention rather than anxiety alone. Anxiety and hypoglycaemia are connected, although anxiety disorders cannot induce hypoglycaemia.

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