Many people think that there is a link between hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and diabetes. There is nothing wrong with this opinion, because some diabetics (especially for those with type-1 diabetes) report that they often experience symptoms of hypoglycemia. Nevertheless, diabetes is not the single answer of health problem that can lead to hypoglycemia.
If you experience hypoglycemia, this doesn’t always mean that you definitely develop or have diabetes. Even almost all healthy people also can experience low blood glucose from time to time.
For instance, if you don’t eat all day long or when being very hungry, you can experience some early hypoglycemia symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, or shakiness. Before continuing, see also the natural ways to treat low blood glucose on this section!
The symptoms that occur are one of ways to help diagnose whether or not you have hypoglycemia. To make a diagnosis of hypoglycemia, you need to take a blood test to find out the level of your glucose in the blood – whether or not it is normal! Your doctor may also perform a physical exam. He /she may ask you some questions related with your health (your medical history) or any medications that you are taking.
In general, the tests and diagnosis will follow the rule of Whipple’s triad that includes:
- Analyzing the signs & symptoms, as mentioned before! If there is no any sign that points to the existence of hypoglycemia but your doctor thinks and believes that you have it, your doctor usually will ask you to take fasting for about 9-12 hours (overnight). This idea will encourage the symptoms to occur if you do have hypoglycemia.
- To get to know the level of your glucose in the blood, doctor needs to take a sample blood of your body after fasting. Your doctor may also need to take a sample blood of your body about 2 hours after meal. See also the normal levels of blood sugar!
- If the symptoms occur, how long they last? Your doctor will analyze whether the symptoms disappear after the levels of your blood sugar are raised!
In diabetics, episodes of hypoglycemia are more common in type-1 than in type-2 diabetes.
In patients with type-1, they need to take insulin replacement regularly in order to supply adequate insulin that body needs so thus the level of sugar in the blood can be continuously maintained as close to normal as possible. But sometime taking insulin replacement also can put them at greater chance of having too much insulin in the bloodstream which then can lead to hypoglycemia, especially if they take insulin too much!
Insulin is a hormone that crucial to help absorption of glucose from the bloodstream /blood-plasma to the cells. In healthy people, the release of insulin into the bloodstream is equivalent with the level of glucose in the blood. When there is many glucose in the blood (such as after meal), pancreas will produce and release more insulin to the bloodstream. This allows the body continuously maintain its normal level of blood glucose.
Hypoglycemia sometime also occurs in type-2 diabetes, but this is pretty rare.
People with type-2 can develop too low blood sugar when they improperly take oral diabetes medicines or insulin. Both people with type-1 and type-2 need to take their insulin replacement or diabetes medicines ‘properly’!
So, does having low blood sugar with unknown reason mean you have diabetes?