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The ups and downs of blood sugar levels

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Hypoglycaemia can be fatal if it occurs when drivi Hypoglycaemia can be fatal if it occurs while a person is driving

Hypoglycaemia is a greatly feared acute complication of patients receiving certain treatments for diabetes that can have profound consequences for lifestyle and occupation. Severe episodes of hypoglycaemia have a major impact on morbidity and are potentially fatal.

Hypoglycaemia is characterised by a low plasma glucose concentration although the exact biochemical definition varies between sources. However, the European Medicines Agency1 and the American Diabetes Association2 suggest a plasma glucose concentration of less than or equal to 3.9mmol/L. Symptomatic hypoglycaemia is an event when typical symptoms of hypoglycaemia accompany these plasma glucose concentrations. When symptoms are absent, this constitutes asymptomatic hypoglycaemia.

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