What is Hypoglycemia?

For people with diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs when there's too much insulin and not enough sugar (glucose) in the blood. Hypoglycemia is defined as blood sugar below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).5

Early signs and symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia include:5

 

Shakiness

Dizziness

Sweating

Hunger

Irritability or moodiness

Anxiety or nervousness

Headache

Severe symptoms5

 

If diabetic hypoglycemia goes untreated, signs and symptoms of severe hypoglycemia can occur. These include:

  • Clumsiness or jerky movements
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death

References:

5. Diagnostic Criteria and Classification of Hyperglycaemia First Detected in Pregnancy. World Health Organization. Geneva, WHO Press. 2013: 20-23.