Hypoglycemia in the nondiabetic patient

Caroline J. Davidge-Pitts, Adrian Vella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Under most physiologic conditions encountered in modern life, glucose is the brain's obligate fuel (Cryer, 117:868-870, 2007); therefore maintenance of blood glucose within the physiological range is of great importance. Hypoglycemic disorders, although uncommon (Service, J Clin Invest 332:1144-1152, 1995), are significant because low blood glucose leads to symptoms and signs of brain dysfunction. Profound or prolonged hypoglycemia may lead to cardiac arrhythmias, cognitive dysfunction or brain death (Cryer, N Eng J Med 117:868-870, 2007). However, the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as tachycardia, sweating, tremor, and nervousness are not specific to hypoglycemia. To diagnose a hypoglycemic disorder, it is necessary to document low blood glucose at the time of symptoms compatible with neuroglycopenia. These symptoms should be ameliorated by correction of the hypoglycemia. This is often referred to as Whipple's triad (Whipple, Can Med Assoc J 66:334-342, 1952) and such documentation must underpin the diagnosis of a hypoglycemic disorder. In this chapter, we discuss the important aspects of hypoglycemic disorders, including clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEndocrinology and Diabetes
Subtitle of host publicationA Problem-Oriented Approach
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781461486848
ISBN (Print)1461486831, 9781461486831
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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