Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do my hands shake because I have low blood sugar?"
Sometimes my hands get really shaky and someone said it is probably just from having low blood sugar. How would I get low blood sugar? Can that really make your hands shake or is it probably something else?
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can be the result of a few different processes. In general, the body uses several mechanisms - including glycogen breakdown and hormones such as insulin and glucagon - to control the level of blood sugar at all times. However, in certain circumstances such as with the addition of extra insulin (used in diabetic patients) or with the aberrant production of insulin from within the body (such as with an insulin-producing tumor), the blood sugar may become too low. This may also happen occasionally with very poor dietary intake combined with increased metabolic stress (such as from exertion). Hypoglycemia can produce symptoms such as shakiness or tremor, lightheadedness and fatigue. However, other causes of shaky hands exist, such as essential or familial tremor, medication effect, and overactive thyroid. If you are concerned about your hands shaking or think that you may be suffering from hypoglycemia, you should visit your primary care doctor. He or she can check your blood to determine your sugar levels to see if this correlates with your symptoms. With the addition of a thorough history and physical exam, an accurate diagnosis should be achieved.
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