Hypoglycemia (or hypoglycemic) unawareness is the inability to
recognize early symptoms of low blood sugar until they become severe. When
symptoms reach this stage, urgent treatment is needed to prevent further
progression and life-threatening health problems, such as a seizure or
Severe symptoms of low blood sugar include confusion, slurred
speech, unsteadiness when standing or walking, muscle twitching, and
personality changes. People with diabetes who tightly control their blood sugar
levels are more likely to have episodes of low blood sugar. Frequent and severe
low blood sugar episodes are likely to evolve into hypoglycemia unawareness.
The longer a person has had diabetes, the more likely he or she is to develop hypoglycemic unawareness. After a person has had one hypoglycemia unawareness episode, more are likely to
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.