Causes of Low Blood Sugar

Diabetes Care

The condition of low blood sugar is often referred to as hypoglycemia. Any person with blood sugar levels lower than 70mg/dL, is considered to have this condition. Although it can occur in people of any age group, it is most commonly observed in people at their extreme ages, like infants and older adults.


There are several causes of low blood sugar. Diseases, irregular functioning of some vital organs, or abnormality in secretion of vital chemical substances from the glands can be the reasons. Tumors in the pancreas or the liver can release a large amount of insulin in the blood and cause this condition. Some other reasons are discussed below.

Improper Functioning of Kidney or Liver

The kidney plays a significant role in controlling the blood sugar. It helps the body in the process of synthesis of glucose from amino acids. In case of kidney failure, this synthesis process stops, which leads to low blood sugar. Also, kidney failure brings down the appetite that results in decrease in intake of food. Glucose is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. When liver failure occurs, the process of generation and release of glucose come to a halt and causes low levels of sugar in blood.


People suffering from diabetes need insulin doses regularly in order to keep a check on their blood sugar levels. This results in loss of appetite and the patients often tend to skip their meals or take insufficient meals or eat at odd hours. Such a condition, when they have skipped their meals and continued with their insulin dosage, can lead to low blood sugar. In case a diabetic patient takes excessive insulin by mistake or any other medicines of diabetes, it can lower the blood sugar levels. Sometimes, excessive physical exercises by these patients may also be a cause of lowered blood sugar levels.


When cancer patients undergo chemotherapy, it gives a different taste to the foods. As a result, they lose interest in eating and develop a tendency of avoiding food. This gives rise to this problem. Doctors often advise such patients to stick to a special diet and medicines to prevent the condition of loss of hunger. If required, special medicines are administered to improve their appetite.

Inadequate Adrenal Secretion

Adrenal glands are responsible for manufacturing some hormones and other essential substances like cortisol and epinephrine. These substances play a crucial role in increasing the glucose levels in the blood. When certain kinds of illness causes abnormal functioning of adrenal glands, then it can lead to low blood sugar.


The common symptoms include shaking of the entire body, sweating, palpitations, anxiety, and irritability. It can be diagnosed only by checking the sugar level through a blood test. In case of emergency treatment, the person should be injected with some form of glucose, like orange juice or a mixture of table sugar and water.


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