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In health hypoglycaemia is rare and occurs only in circumstances like extreme sports. Hypoglycaemia in type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and advanced type 2 Diabetes (T2D) are the result of interplay between absolute or relative insulin access and defective glucose counterregulation. The basic mechanism is, failure of decreasing insulin and failure of the compensatory increasing counterregulatory hormones at the background of falling blood glucose. Any person with Diabetes on anti-diabetic medication who behaves oddly in any way whatsoever is hypoglycaemic until proven otherwise. Hypoglycaemia can be a terrifying experience for a patient with Diabetes. By definition, hypoglycaemic symptoms are subjective and vary from person to person and even episode to episode in same person. Fear of iatrogenic hypoglycaemia is a major barrier in achieving optimum glycaemic control and quality of life which limits the reduction of diabetic complications. Diabetes patients with comorbidities especially with chronic renal failure, hepatic dysfunction, major limb amputation, terminal illness, cognitive dysfunction etc. are more vulnerable to hypoglycaemia. In most cases, prompt glucose intake reverts hypoglycaemia. Exogenous insulin in T1D and insulin treated advanced T2D have no control by pancreatic regulation. Moreover, failure of increase of glucagon and attenuated secretion in epinephrine causes the defective glucose counterregulation. In this comprehensive review, I will try to touch all related topics for better understanding of hypoglycaemia.


Muhammad Muneer. Hypoglycaemia. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 2021;1307:43-69

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PMID: 32406022

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