URL of this page: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hypoglycemia.html

Hypoglycemia

Also called: Low blood sugar 

Summary

Hypoglycemia means low blood glucose, or blood sugar. Your body needs glucose to have enough energy. After you eat, your blood absorbs glucose. If you eat more sugar than your body needs, your muscles, and liver store the extra. When your blood sugar begins to fall, a hormone tells your liver to release glucose.

In most people, this raises blood sugar. If it doesn't, you have hypoglycemia, and your blood sugar can be dangerously low. Signs include

  • Hunger
  • Shakiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Feeling anxious or weak

In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia is often a side effect of diabetes medicines. Eating or drinking something with carbohydrates can help. If it happens often, your health care provider may need to change your treatment plan.

You can also have low blood sugar without having diabetes. Causes include certain medicines or diseases, hormone or enzyme deficiencies, and tumors. Laboratory tests can help find the cause. The kind of treatment depends on why you have low blood sugar.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • Hypoglycemia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Hypoglycemia From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Available in Spanish

Diagnosis/Symptoms

Specific Conditions

Genetics

Clinical Trials

Find an Expert

Children

Teenagers