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 to blame.
For instance, if you don’t eat all day long or when being very hungry, you may experience some early symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as fatigue, headache, or shakiness.
To make a diagnosis of hypoglycemia, you need to 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! If there is no any sign that points to the existence of hypoglycemia but your doctor thinks you have it, your doctor usually will ask you to take fasting for about 9-12 hours (overnight). This will provoke the symptoms to occur if you do have the condition.
- 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 so thus the level of sugar in the blood can be continuously maintained as close to normal as possible. But taking insulin replacement would make hypoglycemia more likely!
Insulin is a crucial hormone to help the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream /blood-plasma to the cells of your body.
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), the pancreas will produce and release more insulin. This allows the body continuously maintain its normal level of blood glucose.
Sometimes hypoglycemia also occurs in type-2 diabetes, but this is less common. People with type-2 can develop the condition when they improperly take their oral diabetes medicines or insulin.
So, does having low blood sugar with unknown reason mean you have diabetes?