Definition of Hypoglycemia unawareness

Hypoglycemia unawareness: A complication of diabetes in which the patient is unaware of a deep drop in blood sugar because it fails to trigger the secretion of epinephrine which generates the characteristic symptoms of hypoglycemia (such as palpitations, sweating, anxiety) that serve to warn the patient of the dropping blood glucose. The patient can then take action and eat to help reverse the hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia unawareness can result in prolonged exposure to hypoglycemia, resulting in a seizure, loss of consciousness, or brain damage. The development of hypoglycemia unawareness also makes intensified blood glucose control more difficult and puts the patient at risk for severe hypoglycemia-related complications.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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