Hypoglycemic stroke – What you need to know

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Hypoglycemia is considered as a complication of diabetes which involves a very low blood glucose level. Once the blood supply to the brain is disrupted by a clogged up or there is a burst vessel in the brain, a stroke will occur. When a stroke occurs, the brain cells are killed and can lead to permanent damage to the brain.

Even though some individuals with diabetes face a higher risk for experiencing an actual stroke, the symptoms of hypoglycemia are strikingly similar to a stroke. A hypoglycemic stroke refers to the stroke-like symptoms along with brain damage due to severe hypoglycemia. If you want to learn more about first aid training that is available to you, click here.

What is hypoglycemia?

Once the blood glucose levels drops below 70mg/dL, it indicates hypoglycemia. The condition is triggered by certain medications used in treating diabetes, not able to eat enough and vigorous physical activity. It is important to note that hypoglycemia can also be caused by liver disease, consumption of alcohol and the presence of a pancreatic tumor that releases too much insulin. There are some individuals who have diabetes which develop idiopathic hypoglycemia which does not have a known cause.

Hypoglycemic stroke
The symptoms that are common to hypoglycemia and stroke include blurred vision, headache, fatigue, memory loss, weakness, mood changes, clouded thinking, fainting, muscle pain, tingling and numbness as well as loss of consciousness.

What is stroke?

A stroke or brain attack disrupts oxygen and blood from reaching the brain which results to permanent damage in just a matter of seconds. An ischemic stroke occurs once a blood clot blocks a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain. Blocked arteries can also cause ischemic stroke while a hemorrhagic stroke develops due to a weakened blood vessel in the brain that ruptures and blood leaks into the brain which damages the brain cells.

What are the common symptoms?

The symptoms that are common to hypoglycemia and stroke include blurred vision, headache, fatigue, memory loss, weakness, mood changes, clouded thinking, fainting, muscle pain, tingling and numbness as well as loss of consciousness. When insulin shock develops due to hypoglycemia, it can result to coma. Those who suffer from a severe stroke can fall into coma. In such cases, lasting damage to the nervous system including the brain can occur in both conditions.

What hypoglycemia stroke effects?

Once the blood glucose drops below 18mm/dL, there is failure of the brain which is confirmed via an electroencephalogram which measures the electrical activity in the brain. This will lead to the death of the brain neurons along with permanent damage to the brain once the electrical activity stops.

Even though hypoglycemia brain damage is strikingly similar to an ischemic stroke, there are certain differences such as the lack of damage on the brainstem and cerebellum. Always bear in mind that hypoglycemia which is similar to a stroke is regarded as an attack to the brain that results to the death of the brain cells.

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