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What does it mean to have low blood sugar?

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Quick Answer

Low blood sugar is defined as the glucose levels in blood dropping below 70 milligrams per deciliter, impacting the body's ability to function normally, according to Healthline. Also referred to as hypoglycemia, low blood sugar is typically accompanied by symptoms such as blurry vision, rapid heartbeat and fatigue. Low blood sugar requires immediate treatment, usually in the form of a small snack of carbohydrates.

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Full Answer

Hypoglycemia can be caused by skipping meals, eating less than normal, or exercising more than usual, reports Healthline. It is also common in people with diabetes, especially if too much insulin is taken in proportion to the amount of sugar consumed. While mildly low blood sugar levels can be quickly resolved, severely low blood sugar levels can be life-threatening and lead to seizures, comas or death. For this reason, diabetics are advised to carry a glucagon kit to raise their blood sugar levels immediately when necessary.

Hypoglycemia has a wide range of symptoms that vary with the individual, according to Healthline. However, a condition called hypoglycemic unawareness affects the symptoms and can prevent a person from noticing rapidly decreasing blood sugar levels. Blood glucose meters are available to test and diagnose low blood sugar immediately. If blood sugar levels are regularly dropping without cause, a physician may be needed to diagnose the underlying condition.

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