Etiologies of patients admitted to emergency department with hypoglycemia
Hakan Eren1, Haci Mehmet Caliskan1, Fatih Kilicli2, Ilhan Korkmaz1, Fettah Acibucu2 & Sebila Dokmetas2
Introduction: Hypoglycemia is the most common endocrinological problem in emergency departments.
Objective: To explore the causes of hypoglycemia in patients who were admitted to the emergency department with symptoms resembling hypoglycemia.
Design: In our study, 225 hypoglycemia cases were evaluated from January 2000 to May 2008.
Results: Of 225 hypoglycemia cases, 158 (70.2%) receiving treatment for diabetes mellitus are the most common group (94 using insulin, 55 receiving oral anti-diabetics (OAD), and 9 using both OAD and insulin). Among other reasons, there are reactive hypoglycemia cases (11.6%), insulinoma (2.7%), malignancies (2.2%), Sheehan syndrome (0.9%), chronic liver disease (0.9%), gestational diabetes mellitus (0.4%), OAD use by mistake (3.6%), and use of OAD for suicidal purposes (13%). In eight of the cases, the reason cannot be identified.
Conclusion: Diabetes mellitus is the most common reason for hypoglycemia in patients seen in emergency departments. Efforts should be made as to prevent hypoglycemia through training patients on better grounds.
Key words: emergency department, hypoglycemia, endocrine emergency.