Hypoglycemia is the term for abnormally low blood sugar. The condition can cause permanent brain damage and is potentially fatal. There are two types of hypoglycemia that a person without Diabetes can have.
Also called "Fasting Hypoglycemia"; often related to an underlying disease but may be idiopathic.
Fasting hypoglycemia is diagnosed from a blood sample that shows a blood glucose level below 50 mg/dL after an overnight fast, between meals, or after physical activity. [ ref: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/hypogly... ]
Also called "Reactive Hypoglycemia"; occurs within 4 hours after meals [ref: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/hypogly... ]
Causes are often unknown.
Symptoms of all types of hypoglycemia (including Diabetic) are similar, and it's not uncommon for blood glucose levels to be too low without any symptoms. Possible symptoms include but are not limited to:
* moodiness, irritability
* intense hunger
* shakiness, trembling
* palpitations, racing heartbeat
* difficulty speaking
Somewhere in the 50 mg/dl range, most patients progress to neuro-glyco-penic ranges (the brain is not getting enough glucose) [ref: http://www.medicinenet.com/hypoglycemia/page2... ], which may result in:
* changes in behaviour
* loss of consciousness
* seizure (tonic-clonic, previously called Grand Mal)
*****Stay calm, but act quickly — the longer a person's blood glucose levels are too low, the higher the chance of brain damage.*****
If a person is ***still conscious***, they need to eat or drink something containing sugar (dextrose, glucose, etc). Since hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is not harmful for short periods of time like hypoglycemia, it's ok to take sugar immediately without wasting time to measure blood glucose levels. In German we have the lovely rhyming phrase "erst essen, dann messen" = first eat, then measure). The sugar will immediately raise blood glucose levels and should be followed by something slowly absorbed — complex carbs and protein (eg, bread and meat, crackers and cheese) — to help stabilize it and avoid a second episode.
Care has to be taken to avoid/treat a postprandial (reactive) hypoglycemic episode in the next hours after a meal or taking any sort of sugar.
If a person is ***unconscious*** and/or having a seizure ***DO NOT*** administer foods or liquids by mouth as it can cause choking or be inhaled.
Call 911 (or equivalent emergency services where you are).
For information on how to recognize a seizure and what to do, see this site: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/answerplace...
Turn the person on their side but in case of seizure do not restrain unless it's to prevent them from injuring themselves.
If a glucagon injection kit is available, inject glucagon.
If a person's symptoms do not improve within 15-30 minutes of glucagon (or glucose) administration, it's likely hypoglycemia was not the cause of the symptoms. This is why it's best to call emergency services beforehand even if you think it is a hypoglycemic episode and the person doesn't otherwise seem injured, it will save time when seconds could count in case they do need further care.
After fast-acting sugars (eg: glucose, juice), give foods with slow-acting sugars (eg, bread and meat, crackers and cheese) to help continue to stabilize blood glucose levels once it has been raised. Monitor blood glucose until it remains stable, again especially keeping in mind that treatment of the acute episode may actually cause another one.
Following an acute episode a person may remain confused for hours and still need assistance to ensure glucose levels stabilize again, especially following unconsciousness or seizure.
I claim no rights to any of this video, it's put together from photos, video, and information I've gathered from the internet for personal use, intended for informative/educational purposes only.
Original video was from here:
The rest of the information was mostly from the website of Novo Nordisk Care, the company that makes the GlucaGen Hypokit:
The photos were from a Google search and this was the source given: