What are the symptoms of mild hypoglycemia?
Signs of mild hypoglycemia include feeling hungry or jittery. In this video, endocrinologist Jack Merendino, MD, explains that your body's response is impacted by the amount of blood sugar your body has gotten used to.
Somebody goes on a fast but is otherwise in good shape, they can actually drop their blood sugar into the 20s,
sometimes without any symptoms at all. So it's not just the number. [MUSIC PLAYING]
People often ask me what the symptoms of hypoglycemia are and, in particular, whether they're going to have symptoms,
if they have a mild episode of hypoglycemia. And this is an interesting situation
to explain to somebody that actually your blood sugar level is not the only thing that dictates how severe your reaction is.
It has a lot to do with what your body has become accustomed to in terms of blood sugars. And it has a lot to do with how blood--
how fast your blood sugar is changing. So for example, if you have somebody whose diabetes has been out of control for a long time,
maybe their sugars are averaging around 300. And they come into the hospital because they're sick. And you give them fast-acting insulin intravenously,
enough to drop their sugar by 100 or 150 points in an hour. They may have severe hypoglycemic symptoms,
even though their blood sugar never goes below 150, just because they're so accustomed to a high number. At the same time, if somebody goes on a fast
but is otherwise in good shape, they can actually drop their blood sugar into the 20s, sometimes without any symptoms at all.
So it's not just the number. Now, for the average person, symptoms will start when they're maybe below 70.
But at the very beginning, the symptoms tend to be mild. Oftentimes, they're not perceptible at all. Sometimes hunger is the only symptom of hypoglycemia.
As the hyperglycemia gets more severe, you tend to get jittery and tremulous because your body is releasing insulin in response
to the low sugar. And as you get very low, you'll start to get lethargic. You may lose consciousness, in fact.
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