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April 4, 2001

Hypoglycemia

Question from Baltimore, Maryland, USA:

What are the short and long term effects of glucose levels that are occasionally below 50-80 mg/dl [2.7-4.4 mmol/L] in a 52 year old male who has had type�2 diabetes for a little over two years?

Answer:

In general, blood sugar levels as low as 50-80 mg/dl [2.7-4.4 mmol/L] (not lower though) are not dangerous on a short term if they happen before meals, or during daytime. On the other hand, if they occur at wake up, the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia is markedly increased. Over the long term, if they are presenting only occasionally, there is no further risk.

MS