What is the focus of the medical history in the evaluation of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?

Updated: Sep 12, 2019
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

The glucose level at which an individual becomes symptomatic is highly variable (threshold generally at < 50 mg/dL). Carefully review the patient's medication and drug history for potential causes of hypoglycemia (eg, new medications, insulin usage or ingestion of an oral hypoglycemic agent, possible toxic ingestion).

The patient’s medical and/or social history may reveal the following:

  • Diabetes mellitus, renal insufficiency/failure, alcoholism, hepatic cirrhosis/failure, other endocrine diseases, or recent surgery

  • Central nervous system: Headache, confusion, personality changes

  • Ethanol intake and nutritional deficiency

  • Weight reduction, nausea and vomiting

  • Fatigue, somnolence


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