Yes, hypoglycemia is relatively an uncommon health condition except for diabetics who are on insulin treatments or other drugs used in the management of diabetes but many non-diabetics have died due to hypoglycemia, and these deaths would've been averted if proper awareness was also created among non-diabetics.

Heart attack is not the only cause of sudden death, hypoglycemia is also one of the ill-health conditions that can kill both diabetics and non-diabetics with the speed of lightning. You may have heard some stories about models who collapsed on the runway, players who collapsed after a match, people who fainted in the house, churches, and so on. And their families reported they weren't suffering any serious ill-health.

According to an article published in the American Journal of Medicine, ”Severe hypoglycemia in particular is associated with an increased risk of mortality, impairments in cognitive function, and adverse effects on patients' quality of life.”
So, It doesn't matter if you're diabetic or not, as long as you’re still living, you’ve got to be concerned about hypoglycemia as many factors other than diabetes could also lead to hypoglycemia.

What should you know about hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a disruptive condition which occurs when a person’s plasma glucose level falls below the normal range.
The primary source of energy for your body and brain is glucose. The main dietary source of glucose for your body comes from carbohydrates. After your meal, the hormone insulin aids your body cells to use glucose efficiently.
When you ingest excess carbs into your system, the extra glucose is stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles, and it’s used for energy during fasting periods.
Note that taking too much carbs than your body’s needs over a long period of time leads to excess body fat as excess glucose can as well be stored as fat in your fat cells. This is one of the major causes of obesity. So, what to do…? ...avoid ingesting excess carbs, and you will be on your way to better health.

What are the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia?

blurred vision
poor coordination

Do we all have same signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia?

No, your symptoms are likely to vary from others. So, study your body to know the signs and symptoms that are peculiar to you. The National Institute of Health advised that diabetics should pre-inform family members, friends, and work colleagues about their peculiar signs and symptoms in case of emergency episodes of hypoglycemia; they can always take necessary measures to arrest the situation, and prevent complications.

Well, I’m not diabetic…..but if I must be concerned about this topic, is it possible for non-diabetics to experience hypoglycemia?

Yes, a thousand times, yes! Although diabetic patients experience more episodes of hypoglycemia than normal people, hypoglycemia could be experienced by non-diabetics also.
Non-diabetics should note that excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, cinnamon, fenugreek, too much exercise, skipping meals more often than necessary, vomiting, certain medicines used in the treatment of malaria (quinine), antibiotics, and some kind of hormonal imbalances could cause hypoglycemia. Certain kinds of medications apart from anti-malaria, and antibiotics could also lead to hypoglycemia.

Low-carb diet for weight loss can also cause hypoglycemia. Yes, low-carb food regimen does actually make you loose fat, and gives your body that "killer" trim look if you combine it with moderate exercise….but you must extremely go cautious when taking certain medications while on low-carb regimen, as your glucose level may plummet, and you go into a hypoglycemic coma! I was on low-carb diet during a weight reduction phase, and was five times a victim of hypoglycemia! Though the condition was worsened by the anti-malaria drug I took while on the low-carb regimen.

I was taken aback to know about hypoglycemia even in "neonates after the first two hours of life"! You see why you’ve got to be concerned in the first place even as a non-diabetic. According to an article published in the Journal of Perinatology, “Now there is an enhanced understanding of metabolic disturbances and genetic disorders that underlie alterations in postnatal glucose homeostasis.”
Although the above study was geared towards finding and establishing appropriate glucose levels for clinical definition of hypoglycemia in newborns, it also proves that hypoglycemia is not experienced by diabetics alone.

Is it possible for one to have hypoglycemia, and doesn’t even know?

Yes, according to the American Diabetes Association, it is termed “hypoglycemic unawareness”. It was reported that people in this condition, are “less likely to be awakened from sleep when hypoglycemia occurs at night.” This insensitivity to the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia could be related to rigidly controlled diabetes with medications that have in turn become counteractive.

Can hypoglycemia be treated?

The best advice is to quickly consult your doctor for possible ways to reverse the condition, and prevent future occurrence. If you are diabetic, adopting good diabetic management practices will go a long way to stabilizing your blood sugar levels. The “spike and dip” sugar levels have the potential to cause harm if experienced often. It is majorly advised to eliminate all kinds of carbs with high glycemic index, and incorporate whole complex carbs…...carbs with low glycemic index into your meal plan.

What happens if my doctor is not within reach? Should I blindly initiate a treatment?

Take note that the symptoms and signs of hypoglycemia can be caused by other illnesses, therefore, the best bet in case your doctor can’t be contacted immediately is to check your blood glucose level before initiating any hypoglycemic first aid treatment. This check you must do immediately you feel any symptom of hypoglycemia; waiting longer than necessary may lead to complications. In case your test shows low sugar level, it is advised to quickly arrest the situation by taking sugary drink, three or four glucose tablets, or any fruit juice in the amount of 15g of carbs at least.
When I first experienced hypo, I took half bottle of coke (not diet coke), followed up with two fingers of banana, and I was fine in a matter of minutes!

What if I wait longer than necessary? Any likelihood of serious complications?

I bet you don't want to experience seizures, or go into hypoglycemic coma! What next?
The caveat: consult your doctor before taking any decision about your health condition. We all have unique body constitutions, your healthcare provider knows your history, and can tailor your treatment options to suit your condition!

Author's Bio: 

Clare Obikwere (PhD) is a freelance writer specializing in the health, nutrition, and fitness niche. Her website is:
She can be reached at