An overview of hypoglycemia Full Text
U.S. Pharmacist, 07/06/2012
Hypoglycemia is a low concentration of glucose in the blood, but no specific plasma glucose level defines the condition.1 Rather, hypoglycemia is best described as a plasma glucose concentration sufficiently low to elicit signs and/or symptoms. In healthy individuals, the glycemic threshold for symptoms is 50 to 55 mg/dL, although plasma glucose levels under 70 mg/dL signal impending hypoglycemia. Symptoms can occur at higher concentrations in patients with poorly controlled diabetes, and at lower levels in those with tight glycemic control or recent hypoglycemic exposure. Most hypoglycemia is iatrogenic and associated with drug–treated diabetes mellitus. Other causes of hypoglycemia, rare in individuals older than 10 years of age, will be briefly discussed later.