Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams recently experienced a mid-air emergency on a flight from Atlanta to Miami.
Williams, 34, suffered a hypoglycemic attack, which means low blood sugar. Williams' sister, Lauren, told gossip tabloid TMZ.com that her sister often suffers from attacks of low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar is defined as blood glucose that is lower than 70 mg/dl on a glucose monitor. Normal blood sugar is 80-100.
Low blood sugar is usually associated with diabetes. But you don't have to be a diabetic to suffer from low blood sugar. This post will focus on conditions other than diabetes that can cause low blood sugar.
Those conditions include certain tumors of the brain, pancreas or liver, hypothyroidism, kidney failure, alcoholism, severe infections, starvation diets, or drug addiction.
The brain (and other internal organs) needs sugar to operate normally 24/7.
The human brain has a very low tolerance for low blood sugar. Blood sugar that dips too low (below 50 mg/dl) can cause coma and even death.
Most people feel their blood sugar begin to dip after they eat candy, drink soda, or consume sugary confections. These episodes are referred to as "sugar crashes."
Sugar crashes are not as severe as hypoglycemia attacks. Eating or drinking something sweet can bring sugar levels back up after a sugar crash.
But Williams is rendered unconscious before she can even take a bite of a candy bar or sip soda.
The symptoms of low blood sugar includes:
Please note that drug addicts or alcoholics may not be able to recognize the early symptoms of hypoglycemia to treat themselves quickly.
You should know the symptoms of low blood sugar so you can recognize the symptoms in others.
Some athletes and very active people can experience low blood sugar after vigorous exercising. They usually eat a protein bar or drink a sugary beverage to keep their blood sugar within the normal range.
Doctors advise people who suffer from hypoglycemia to take something sugary like mints or sugar pills when they feel the symptoms or low blood sugar coming on.
But for some reason, Williams is unable to reach for something sugary to keep herself from passing out. She should always carry a Glucose monitor with her and check her blood sugar periodically. She should also inform people around her that she suffers from hypoglycemia since she is apparently unable to react quickly enough when she feels the symptoms coming on.
This has been your Medical Minute.
More Info On the Web
Hypoglycemia - Diabetes.org
Hypoglycemia - WebMD
Hypoglyceemia - Mayo Clinic
Prevent Hypoglycemia - Joslin.org
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