Information about the causes, symptoms and possible treatments of hypoglycemia is available on the websites for MedlinePlus, Mayo Clinic, WebMD and Healthline. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website explains how to prevent hypoglycemia and provides information about the cause and treatment of non-diabetes-related hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia develops when the body's blood glucose level gets too low, explains MedlinePlus. The body relies on glucose for energy, but when it doesn't have enough and hypoglycemia sets in, individuals start to experience many adverse symptoms, including weakness, shakiness, confusion, dizziness and anxiety. If blood sugar levels continue to drop, seizures, visual disturbances and loss of consciousness can occur, according to Mayo Clinic.
People with diabetes can develop hypoglycemia for a variety of reasons, including taking too much insulin, consuming excessive alcohol, combining diabetes medications with aspirin, warfarin or allopurinol, or eating later than normal, notes WebMD. Hypoglycemia must be treated immediately to bring the body's glucose level back to normal. Treatment can include eating a sugary snack or taking a glucose tablet, notes Healthline. In severe cases, doctors may inject glucose into a patient intravenously.
Individuals with reactive hypoglycemia, which is not related to diabetes, can start to experience symptoms within four hours of eating. Individuals with this condition are generally advised to stick to an eating plan approved by a dietitian, notes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.