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What Causes Low Blood Sugar and How to Prevent It

When you have too little sugar in your blood, it is called low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Sugar, or glucose, is what your body and brain use for energy. When your blood sugar is low, you might feel:

  • Shaky
  • Sweaty
  • Hungry
  • Dizzy
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Angry
  • Mixed up
  • Blurry vision

There are many reasons why your blood sugar can be low. It depends on if you have diabetes or not. Some of the usual reasons are:

  • Taking more insulin or other diabetes drugs than you need
  • Missing or putting off meals
  • Not eating enough carbs
  • Working out more than normal
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having some health problems, like liver disease, kidney disease, or hormone problems
  • Having a rare growth in your pancreas that makes too much insulin

Low blood sugar can be very bad if you do not fix it right away. It can cause big problems, like passing out, shaking, or dying. To fix low blood sugar, you need to make your blood sugar go up fast by eating or drinking something sweet, like juice, candy, or glucose tablets. If you feel very bad, you may need a shot of glucagon, a hormone that makes your blood sugar go up.

To avoid low blood sugar, you should check your blood sugar often and do what your doctor tells you to control your diabetes. You should also eat good meals and snacks, stay away from alcohol, and change your medicine and exercise based on your blood sugar. If you have low blood sugar a lot, you should talk to your doctor about changing how you treat your diabetes.

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