Hypoglycaemia Print

Hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar, is where the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood drops too low. It mainly affects people with diabetes, especially if you take insulin.


Glucose is an important source of energy for the body and the brainís only source of energy. Foods containing sucrose or starch release glucose into the bloodstream during digestion. Hormones such as insulin maintain the correct levels of glucose in the blood for energy and brain function. Irregularity leads to hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar).


Symptoms include hunger, weakness, cold sweats, palpitations, dizziness and confusion which may progress to unconsciousness.

Hypoglycaemia may occur in people with diabetes if they have consumed too much diabetes medication; skipped or delayed a meal; consumed less carbohydrates than usual (bread, pasta, potato, fruit); or engaged in intense exercise.

People without diabetes can also experience hypoglycaemia if they consume large carbohydrate meals; fast; have gastric bypass; have other medical conditions (e.g. Addisonís Disease); or taken certain medication (e.g. quinine).


Control your blood sugar levels by having regular smaller meals, instead of larger meals. Meals should be mainly complex carbohydrates (whole grains, pulses, sweet potatoes and pasta) and fresh fruit and vegetables. Slow-release carbohydrates are preferable to quick-release ones. Allah has prohibited alcohol and saved us from its harms, including disruption to insulin and glucose levels.

A diabetic who experiences dizziness or a hypoglycaemic attack should immediately take two to three glucose tablets, or four or five soft sweets, or half a can of sugary drink. If the next meal is not soon thereafter, have slow-release carbohydrate, such as bananas, dried fruit, or fruit juice.

One who continuously suffers from hypoglycaemia before meals should advance the meal to an earlier time.

Consume carbohydrates before and after exercise. Adjust the amount based on your metabolic rate and type of exercise.

People prone to hypoglycaemic attacks should always carry a source of sugar with them.


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