Hypoglycaemia is a series of symptoms associated with low blood sugar. Dehydration happens when more fluid is expelled from the body than is replenished. Dehydration and hypoglycaemia have several overlapping symptoms, and hypoglycaemia can be indicative of dehydration.
Features of Hypoglycemia
Normally, sugars are digested and converted to glucose, which enters the bloodstream. The pancreas, alerted to the rise in blood-sugar levels, secretes insulin to stabilise them. With hypoglycaemia, too much sugar is consumed, and the pancreas secretes excessive amounts of insulin, dragging blood-sugar levels below the point of stabilisation.
Glucose is the body's main energy source. Lack of glucose can lead to confusion, visual impairment, anxiety, hunger, heart palpitations and sweating. Forgetfulness, blurry vision, emotional outbursts and sugar cravings are other common symptoms.
Hypoglycaemia is prevalent in diabetics, and in some pre-diabetics with insulin resistance. Non-diabetics experiencing bouts of hypoglycaemia can manage blood sugar levels by eating small meals several times a day. Fasting increases the likelihood of a hypoglycaemic episode.
The body needs fluid to support its basic functions. Normal amounts of water are expelled through breathing, sweating and urinating. Excess fluid is leeched through vomiting, diarrhoea, fevers or burns.
Thirst, fatigue, muscle weakness, fever, heart palpitations, wrinkled skin and dry mouth are all signs of dehydration. Mild cases can be treated by drinking water and replenishing electrolytes. If severe vomiting, irritability, or disorientation occurs, medical care is necessary.