Hypoglycaemia: A Diabetes Emergency

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Hypoglycaemia is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose level (BGL) drops to a very low level (below 4mmol/L). It’s crucial to treat hypoglycaemia quickly in order to prevent the person’s BGL from continuing to decrease, which can cause them to become seriously unwell.

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The body’s most important glucose sensors are located in the brain (the brainstem and hypothalamus), with 30% of blood glucose being used to sustain normal brain activity. When the brain is starved of energy, it will start to shut down certain areas that control memory and balance and stimulate hunger. The brain will also release stress hormones. Following treatment of a hypo, it can take 40 minutes to re-establish full brain function.


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Editorial Team
Ausmed’s editorial team is committed to providing high-quality, well-researched and reputable education to our users, free of any commercial bias or conflict of interest. All education produced by Ausmed is developed in consultation with healthcare professionals and undergoes a rigorous review process to ensure the relevancy of all healthcare information and updates to changes in practice. If you have identified an issue with the education offered by Ausmed or wish to submit feedback to Ausmed's editorial team, please email with your concerns.
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Michelle Robins
Michelle Robins is a credentialled diabetes educator and a nurse practitioner with Northern Health. She has worked for 30 years as a diabetes educator at several major tertiary hospitals in Victoria and Queensland. Michelle has served on more than 50 diabetes-related committees and contributed to book chapters on diabetes.
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Alana Wilson
31 Mar 2022
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Joyleen Poortier
05 Apr 2020
Very informative.
Eleanor Brooks
03 Aug 2021
Great resource for a recap
Katherine GROGAN
14 Sep 2021
Debby Burgess
26 Nov 2022
Very helpful
Danielle SOUTHEN
19 Mar 2023
Great info
Jesse Brown
07 Oct 2021
Denise Leeder
16 May 2023
Registered Nurse
Very interest and relevant subject to my area of nursing in residential aged care.
Susan Donnelly
17 Nov 2019
good content
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Nida Lagunay
04 Oct 2022
Useful reading material.
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