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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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  • 3 Assessment Questions

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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 regular 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 ausmed@ausmed.com.au 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
Enrolled Nurse
Informative
JP
Joyleen Poortier
05 Apr 2020
Very informative.
EB
Eleanor Brooks
03 Aug 2021
Great resource for a recap
KG
Katherine GROGAN
14 Sep 2021
Great
JB
Jesse Brown
07 Oct 2021
interesting
SD
Susan Donnelly
17 Nov 2019
good content
SR
Sambridhi Rana
31 May 2022
useful resource
SS
Surya shilalik
01 Sep 2022
Good resource
AA
Andrew Abbott
18 Sep 2019
A relevant overview of diabetes mellitus.
LP
Lois Punnoose
26 May 2021
Provided me in-depth knowledge
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