What causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?

Updated: Jul 23, 2020
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Causes of hypoglycemia are varied, but it is seen most often in diabetic patients. Hypoglycemia may result from medication changes or overdoses, infection, diet changes, metabolic changes over time, or activity changes; however, no acute cause may be found. Other causes include alimentary problems, idiopathic causes, fasting, insulinoma, endocrine problems, extrapancreatic causes, hepatic disease, post bariatric surgery, and miscellaneous causes.

In a multicenter, retrospective cohort study, Riegger et al reported that independent risk factors for intraoperative hypoglycemia in children include age under 5 years, weight for age below the fifth percentile, American Society of Anesthesiologists status of III or above, the presence of a gastric or jejunal tube, poor feeding, and abdominal surgery. Eighty percent of hypoglycemia cases were in children under age 5 years and in youngsters weighing under 20 kg. [4]


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