Causes

Causes can best be understood by breaking them into the nondiabetic and diabetic categories. In the nondiabetic patient, there are three classifications of hypoglycemia: organic, iatrogenic, and reactive. Organic hypoglycemia is caused by liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and insulin-secreting tumors. Iatrogenic hypoglycemia is associated with consumption of alcohol and reactions to drugs such as beta-adrenergic blockers and sulfonylureas, the two most common for this problem. Reactive hypoglycemia is caused by an adrenergic response that is triggered within 5 minutes of meal consumption in susceptible individuals. Symptoms are transient. Reactive hypoglycemia occurs in approximately 75% of all spontaneous hypoglycemic reactions.

Hypoglycemia occurs more often in patients who are receiving insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents. Usually, this reaction is the result of an imbalance between insulin/hypoglycemic agent

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