Low blood sugar is a problem even if you don’t have diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels is key to managing your overall health. When a person’s blood glucose levels fall below the range that is considered normal, it is known as hypoglycemia. Although people with diabetes who take insulin to lower blood sugar are more likely to experience hypoglycemia, sometimes people without diabetes can experience it as well.
Studies have found that non-diabetic hypoglycemia is usually the result of another medical condition that affects a person’s body’s ability to hold or process glucose. To find out more, Health Shots contacted Dr. Ashutosh Shukla, Senior Director of Internal Medicine and Medical Advisor, Max Hospital Gurugram, Haryana.
What is non-diabetic hypoglycemia?
The medical term for people who experience low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is a term used for people who experience low blood sugar without diabetes. This happens when your blood sugar level falls below 70 mg/dL, explains the health expert. There are two types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia in people, including:
- Reactive hypoglycemia: This usually occurs after eating carbohydrate-rich meals or snacks.
- Fasting hypoglycemia: This happens at night if you do not eat or if there is a long interval between meals.
Symptoms of Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia
Someone who does not have diabetes should watch for symptoms of low blood sugar. You may experience sweating, dizziness, sudden weakness, headache, and confusion are some of the initial symptoms you may experience. A severe drop in blood sugar levels can lead to slurred speech, blurred vision, feeling faint, fainting, etc. A person whose blood sugar levels become dangerously low may pass out. Timely intervention is key to making sure the person doesn’t slip into a coma, says Dr. Shukla.
Also read: Tackle Low Blood Sugar With These Effective Ways
Causes of Low Blood Sugar in Non-Diabetics
There are a number of causes that can upset the balance of insulin and glucose in the body. Although it is a typical problem for people with diabetes, low blood sugar levels can affect anyone, even people without diabetes. With that being said, here are three common reasons for low blood sugar in a non-diabetic patient, according to the expert.
Some antibiotics can cause a fluctuation in blood sugar levels. For example, antibiotics such as levofloxacin and other similar antibiotics can also cause low blood sugar in a non-diabetic patient.
A sudden drop in blood sugar levels in non-diabetic patients could be due to an insulin-secreting tumor such as an insulinoma where there are some cells, especially in the pancreas, that secrete excess insulin. Since they produce extra insulin, your blood sugar levels drop.
Also read: Pancreatic cancer: from symptoms to treatment, know everything
A healthy, non-diabetic patient can have reactive hypoglycemia, which is a kind of pre-diabetic condition just before the patient goes into cerebral diabetes. It usually affects prediabetic patients. It is an indication that you could be at risk of developing diabetes in the future. Therefore, it is important to check the blood sugar levels and consult the doctor to find out the root cause.