Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is a condition that causes the sugar (glucose) in your blood to drop too low. This can happen in people who do not have diabetes. The 2 types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia are fasting hypoglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia. Fasting hypoglycemia often happens after a person goes without food for 8 hours or longer. Reactive hypoglycemia usually happens about 2 to 4 hours after a meal. When your blood sugar level is low, your muscles and brain cells do not have enough energy to work well.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Without treatment, you may develop severe hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to faint or have a seizure. You could also go into a coma.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Glucagon is a hormone that may be given to help increase your blood sugar level. Glucagon is usually given as a shot.

  • Glucose may be given through an IV if you cannot swallow foods that have carbohydrate.

Tests:

  • Blood tests are done to measure your blood sugar levels. These tests may also be done to find the cause of your hypoglycemia.

  • Fasting tests may be done. You may have an overnight fasting test or a 72-hour fasting test. After you have fasted overnight, your blood sugar levels will be tested 2 times. For a 72-hour fasting test, you will not be given food for a period of up to 72 hours. During this time, caregivers will check to see if your blood sugar drops to a certain level.

  • An oral glucose tolerance test may be done. After you have fasted for 8 hours, your blood sugar level is tested. You are then given a glucose drink. Your blood sugar level is checked after 1 hour and again after 2 hours. Caregivers look at how much your blood sugar level increases from the first check.

Treatment:

Treatment depends on the cause of your hypoglycemia. For example, your caregiver will change or stop giving you the medicine that is causing hypoglycemia. You may need to take hormones if you have low levels of hormones that are causing hypoglycemia. You may need to change what and when you eat to prevent low blood sugar levels. Dietitians will work with you to make changes to the foods you eat.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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