A low level of blood sugar is more of a physiological condition than a disease and occurs when the level of glucose, the blood sugar, is too low. By too low, it means the sugar levels in the blood are below 70mg/dL. The scientific term for low blood sugar levels is hypoglycemia or hypoglycaemia. These terms are often confused with hyperglycemia which its opposite is meaning high blood sugar circulating in the plasma of the blood, usually above 200mg/dL. There are a myriad of problems and resulting symptoms associated with low blood sugar chief of which inadequate glucose supply to the brain leading to a malfunctioning of the brain. The impairment of the brain stemming from inadequate blood sugar supply (neuroglycopenia) also results in a whole range of effects on the patient, some mild like dysphoria and others devastating like bouts of unconsciousness, seizures, brain damage and in the extreme cases death can occur.
Hypoglycemia can affect all ages but is less common in people who are diabetic. Many forms of low blood sugar often result from complications brought about by the treatment of diabetes forms like the diabetes insipidus or diabetes mellitus by oral medications containing insulin. The most common causes from which low body sugar levels can result include the following: hyperinsulinemia which is the excessive production of insulin, poisons and medications, inborn metabolic error, hormone deficiencies, alcohol consumption, organ failures and alterations of the body metabolic processes as a result of infections.
The level of blood sugar levels that defines hypoglycemia varies from individual to individual, with circumstances and sometimes even doctors differ on this figure. However, there is a benchmark for any healthy person at around 4.ommol/L, an equivalent of 72mg/dL and symptoms that are particular to hypoglycemia will develop when this glucose level is less than 4mmol/L. Sometimes, it is a little difficult to tell if the symptoms exhibited by a patient are exclusively due to low blood sugar levels. The combination of criteria that is used to diagnose hypoglycemia from a myriad of symptoms is referred to as the Whipple's triad and involves three stages. The first is noting down the symptoms have occurred then comparing the low glucose levels with the threshold for hypoglycemia. Finally, if the symptoms are reversed to normal by restoration of glucose level then this is a case of hypoglycemia.