Diabetes and hypoglycemia are conditions related to blood sugar that could lead to severe complications and even death, if not treated properly. Hypoglycemia is the medical term that refers to low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can be caused by diabetes.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin dependent or juvenile onset diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough of the insulin hormone. The insulin hormone is used by the fat and muscles cells to absorb and metabolize blood sugar properly. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood.

Type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin resistant or adult onset diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs when the muscle and fat cells become resistant to the insulin hormone. When this happens, the cells are unable to absorb blood sugar properly.

With both types of diabetes, blood glucose is unable to be absorbed or metabolized properly. This leads to unstable blood sugar levels.

Many people wonder what the difference is between diabetes vs. hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can be related to diabetes. However, it is possible to experience hypoglycemia without diabetes. Hypoglycemia can occur when there is not enough food consumed over a long period of time. Stress, pregnancy, extensive exercise, or vigorous exercise can also cause hypoglycemia.

Diabetes related hypoglycemia can occur when food is not consumed every few hours or a proper diabetic diet is not followed. It can also occur when too much diabetes medication is taken. When diabetics participate in vigorous or excessive exercise, hypoglycemia can also occur.


Diabetes Hypoglycemia Symptoms


Hypoglycemia and diabetes can share many symptoms, regardless of whether the hypoglycemia is related to diabetes or not. According to the Mayo Clinic website, symptoms for these conditions can include:

  • Strange or abnormal behavior
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or light headedness
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Visual changes or disturbances such as blurry or double vision
  • Palpitations – feels like heart is beating out of your chest
  • Shaking
  • Anxious or nervous
  • Unexplained hunger or thirst
  • Facial tingling, especially around the mouth


If you are experiencing any of these symptoms consuming sugar should help. If the symptoms persist or do not get any better with food, contact a physician or seek care. A blood glucose test is necessary to determine if somebody is suffering from hypoglycemia or diabetes.


Diabetes Hypoglycemia Treatment


Treatment for people with diabetes who are experiencing a hypoglycemic episode includes eating (candy, regular soda, orange juice, or something sweet) or consuming a glucose tablet or glucose syrup. Diabetics usually carry glucose tablets with them. If you feel you might be experiencing hypoglycemia, check your blood sugar immediately.

Diabetics are typically given a treatment protocol related to hypoglycemia. Follow your treatment protocol. If the symptoms do not improve and your blood sugar does not start to go back up, contact your physician or seek medical help immediately. If you or somebody you know has diabetes or hypoglycemia and starts to feel dizzy or faint or has a seizure, seek emergency medical help immediately.