Your body needs a steady supply of sugar (glucose) in order to function properly. If glucose levels become too low, as occurs with hypoglycemia, it can have these effects on your brain:

  • Confusion, abnormal behavior or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks
  • Visual disturbances, such as double vision and blurred vision
  • Seizures, though uncommon
  • Loss of consciousness, though uncommon

Hypoglycemia may also cause these other signs and symptoms:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Tingling sensation around the mouth

These signs and symptoms aren't specific to hypoglycemia. There may be other causes. An intravenous blood sample to test your blood sugar level at the time of these signs and symptoms is the only way to know for sure that hypoglycemia is the cause.

When to see a doctor

Seek a doctor's help immediately if:

  • You have what appears to be symptoms of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, if confirmed, can be an indication of any number of illnesses, all of which can be serious.
  • You have diabetes and early signs of hypoglycemia don't improve with eating or taking glucose tablets.
  • Seek emergency help if someone you know who has diabetes or a history of recurring hypoglycemia loses consciousness.
Feb. 22, 2012