—hypoglycemic, adj./huy'poh gluy see"mee euh/, n. Pathol.an abnormally low level of glucose in the blood.[1890-95; HYPO- + GLYC- + -EMIA]
* * *Below-normal levels of blood glucose, quickly reversed by administration of oral or intravenous glucose.Even brief episodes can produce severe brain dysfunction. Fasting hypoglycemia can be life-threatening; it occurs most often in patients with diabetes mellitus who mistime insulin therapy or miss meals. It also results from insulin-producing tumours, starvation, or metabolic disorders. Reactive hypoglycemia occurs when the body produces too much insulin in response to sugar intake. Symptoms range from irritability to confusion and seizures, leading to coma and death in severe cases.
* * *reduction of the concentration of glucose in the blood below normal levels, commonly occurring as a complication of treatment for diabetes mellitus. Even brief falls in blood glucose levels can produce severe brain dysfunction. In healthy individuals, an intricate glucoregulatory system acts rapidly to counter hypoglycemia by reducing insulin production (insulin is important in the mechanism that removes glucose from the bloodstream) and mobilizing energy reserves from the fat and liver. When this regulatory system does not operate, as in type I diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM), disproportionately large amounts of insulin in the blood result in sudden drastic falls in circulating glucose.Fasting hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening problem; it occurs most often in diabetic patients who have accidentally overdosed on insulin by mistiming their therapy, missing meals, or exercising without compensating for increased glucose use. The condition also occurs in otherwise healthy individuals with insulin-producing tumours or as a late complication of starvation or other metabolic disorders.The symptoms of hypoglycemia result from energy starvation in the central nervous system and include mental impairment, confusion, lethargy, and seizures; in severe cases, hypoglycemia causes coma and death. Diagnosis is based on the concurrence of these neurological symptoms, low blood glucose levels, and the alleviation of the patient's symptoms upon the rapid oral or intravenous administration of glucose, which is the usual treatment for the condition.
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