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Hypoglycemia

In people with eating disorders, hypoglycemia is common. Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar (glucose), your body's main energy source. Hypoglycemia is also called low blood sugar, occurs when your blood glucose (blood sugar) level drops too low to provide enough energy for your body's activities.

Hypoglycemia can have these effects on your brain:

  • Confusion, abnormal behavior or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks
  • Visual disturbances, such as double vision and blurred vision
  • Seizures, uncommonly
  • Loss of consciousness, uncommonly

Hypoglycemia may also cause these other signs and symptoms:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremor
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Hunger

Severe hypoglycemia is an important but uncommon complication of anorexia nervosa. It is primarily diagnosed through blood work. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, in rare cases, patients with anorexia nervosa can go into a hypoglycemic coma and die.