Dr. McLaughlin explains what hypoglycemia/low blood glucose (sugar) is.
Low blood glucose can be defined in different ways, can just simply be a low value on a blood test or it could be associated with symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, tremor, and if it gets severe enough there can be cognitive changes including loss of consciousness.
A low blood glucose is often defined as a blood glucose less than 70 mg/dL; however, many normal people have blood glucose levels in this range. Normal individuals can even have blood glucose under 50 mgs/dL. So the presence of associated symptoms is important when identifying hypoglycemia.
In patients who are diabetic and treated with insulin, we get concerned about glucoses that are under 70, and that’s called mild hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia is often defined as glucose under 50 or low blood glucose requiring medical assistance.
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