An Abuja-based general physician, Dr Fredrick Chimezie, has called for regular medical check-up of sugar level to avoid hypoglycemia.
Chimezie made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition in which blood sugar drops perilously low.
He described low blood sugar as a disease that affects mostly diabetic patients due to lack of sugar in the body to use as fuel.
According to him, low blood sugar could be as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol without eating as well as becoming more physically active than usual.
He said that skipping meals and some form of medication such as insulin treatment could also cause low blood sugar in patients.
“Low blood sugar will most often make you feel shaky and weak in extreme cases you could lose consciousness and slip into a coma.
“Your body uses glucose as its main fuel source, glucose is derived from food, and it is delivered to cells through the bloodstream.
“The body uses different hormones to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood, glucagon, cortisol, and epinephrine are some hormones that help regulate glucose.
“Your body uses another hormone called insulin to help your cells absorb glucose and burn it for fuel. If your blood sugar level drops below a certain point, your body can develop various symptoms and sensations,” he said.
Chimezie added that preventing low blood sugar was important to both diabetic patients and patients suffering from other related ailment.
“Don’t skip meals if you have diabetes, particularly if you are taking diabetes medications, to avoid low blood sugar.
“If you take too much insulin, it is necessary to increase the amount of carbohydrate you eat and drink to avert low blood sugar.
“ Test your blood sugar as often as directed by a doctor and know when your medicine is at its peak level to avoid low blood sugar,” he added.
Chimezie stated that eating at least three evenly spaced meals each day with between-meals snacks, as prescribed by a doctor, was important in preventing low blood sugar.
The physician added that following a meal plan and eating meals not more than four to five hours separate could help in the reduction of developing low blood sugar.
He said that treatment for low blood sugar could be achieved by a doctor evaluating the medicines taken if it was caused by too much of insulin that peaks in the evening-to-morning hours.
The expert said that a change of diet when the blood sugar level drops after eating meals containing lots of sugar helps in treating low blood sugar.
“Avoid consumption of sugary foods; eating frequent small meals during the day could help treat low blood sugar.
“Eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, such as glucose gel, skim milk and soft drink with sugar help treat patients with blood sugar.
“If the blood sugar gets low before meal was taken, have a snack rich in protein or take food with more complex carbohydrate before bed time to treat low blood sugar,’’ the physician said.
Chimezie urged patients with the disease to always check their blood sugar level after consuming meals enriched with sugar before eating another sugary food if it was still low.
The medic, who suggested that foods, fluids and insulin should not be given to an unconscious person susceptible with the disease, added that it could choke the patient, which could lead to death.