Back to Diabetes Basics Hypoglycemia

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Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is an emergency that must be treated immediately. Without treatment, a low blood sugar may progress to unconsciousness and convulsions.

The risk of low blood sugars can be reduced by:

Treatment should be given whenever the blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/l) or symptoms are present.

Low Blood Sugar Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms Treatment
  • Grouchiness
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Fast heart rate
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Yawning
Quick-acting Sugar
  • 15 Grams of carbohydrate
  • See Guidelines for Treating Lows by Age
  • If not better in 15 minutes, repeat treatment
  • If the next meal or snack is more than 30 minutes away give an extra snack of carbohydrate and protein
  • Confusion
  • Poor coordination
  • Inability to cooperate
  • Slurred speech
Instant Glucose or Cake Frosting Gel
  • Insert tube between gum and cheek
  • Administer appropriate amount
  • If no response in 15 minutes administer glucagon
  • If the next meal or snack is more than 30 minutes away give an extra snack of carbohydrate and protein
  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions

For Additional Information

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