Severe cases of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can cause a person to experience a variety of symptoms. Sometimes, this can include hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature.

Hypoglycemia can lead to symptoms such as tiredness and shaking. In serious cases of hypoglycemia, a person may develop hypothermia.

Both hypoglycemia and hypothermia can affect a person’s ability to think clearly lead to other severe complications. If a person displays any symptoms of hypoglycemia or hypothermia, it is important to attempt to restore their blood sugar levels to a suitable range, and raise their body temperature.

This article discusses the link between hypoglycemia and hypothermia and outlines how low blood sugar levels can affect a person’s body temperature.

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If a person experiences severe hypoglycemia, it can cause serious complications. These can include confusion, seizures, fainting, and even a coma. These more serious symptoms occur when the brain does not have the continuous supply of glucose that it needs to function properly.

When blood glucose levels become too low, the brain is unable to function, and signs such as dizziness and confusion, can occur immediately.

The brain uses sugar in the blood for energy. If the body does not have sufficient levels of energy, it cannot regulate temperature. As such, severe hypoglycemia can lead to hypothermia.

Medical professionals do not fully understand how hypoglycemia causes hypothermia. However, many medical professionals believe it involves the hypothalamic thermoregulatory system.

This system is the part of the brain that regulates a person’s body temperature. The hypothalamic thermoregulatory system sits in the hypothalamus, which is a structure that sits deep inside the brain.

According to an older study, hypothermia may occur when a person has hypoglycemia to help decrease the energy demand during periods where blood sugar levels are low.

Hypothermia can impact a person’s blood sugar levels. However, while low blood sugar levels can lead to hypothermia, a drop in body temperature can lead to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels.

When a person has hypothermia it can cause them to experience a decrease in insulin secretion and an increase in insulin resistance. The body may respond in this way to help preserve energy.

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. It allows glucose in the blood to enter cells, providing them with energy and lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance occurs when a person’s cells do not respond well to insulin. This means that the body is less able to take up glucose from the blood.

Additionally, hypoglycemia is a potential complication of rewarming treatment for hypothermia, particularly if an individual requires higher doses of insulin.

If a newborn infant experiences perinatal stress it may increase their risk of developing hypoglycemia. This is because this stress can increase the infant’s metabolic energy requirements. This means their body will use up more blood glucose, causing their blood sugar levels to drop.

Hypothermia is one cause of perinatal stress that can lead to hypoglycemia in newborns.

Hypoglycemia in newborns may also lead to the infant developing hypothermia. Common symptoms of hypoglycemia in newborns include:

  • hypothermia
  • sweating
  • feeding difficulties
  • weak or high-pitched crying
  • tremors
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • seizures
  • coma

Symptoms of hypoglycemia may vary from person to person. However, common symptoms of hypoglycemia can include:

It is important that a person is aware when they are experiencing hypoglycemia. This is because severe low blood sugar levels can be dangerous.

Severe low blood sugar levels can cause a person to faint and will require medical treatment. Signs of severe low blood sugar levels include:

Read on to learn more about how to treat a hypoglycemic episode.

Warning signs of hypothermia can include:

Read on to learn more about how to treat hypothermia.

Hypothermia is the medical term for a dangerous drop in body temperature. Hypoglycemia is the term for a drop in blood sugar levels.

If a person experiences hypoglycemia, they may also develop hypothermia. This is because the body uses the energy from blood glucose to regulate body temperature and keep the body warm.

Conversely, if a person experiences hypothermia, their blood sugars may rise. This is because the body stops using or responding to insulin, which is the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugars.

If a person displays symptoms of either condition, such as confusion, shaking, or disorientation, it is important to try and raise their blood sugars, by giving them quick acting carbs to eat and raising their body temperature to a suitable range by moving them to a warm and dry area.