Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar or low blood glucose, is when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels. This may result in a variety of symptoms including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. A feeling of hunger, sweating, shakiness, and weakness may also be present. Symptoms typically come on quickly.
The most common cause of hypoglycemia is medications used to treat diabetes mellitus such as insulin, sulfonylureas, and biguanides.
Risk is greater in diabetics who have eaten less than usual, exercised more than usual, or have drunk alcohol.
Other causes of hypoglycemia include kidney failure, certain tumors, liver disease, hypothyroidism, starvation, inborn error of metabolism, severe infections, reactive hypoglycemia, and a number of drugs including alcohol.
Low blood sugar may occur in babies who are otherwise healthy who have not eaten for a few hours.